By Laurie Bassett-Edmonds
RAYMORE – Raymore Mayor Kris Turnbow spoke of the “remarkable successes and possible challenges” in his annual State of the City Address Monday evening before City Council at the beginning of its regular meeting.
He mentioned the many amenities added to the City parks and the construction of both new and improved roads that were made possible by the citizens’ passage of a $10-plus million bond project.
With the construction of two all-inclusive playgrounds, Raymore will be the only city in the region with so many amenities geared to people of varying abilities. Turnbow said that not only will Raymore serve as a model to other communities for the development of future parks, but the community will become a destination for those seeking such amenities.
The bulk of the bond funds for road improvements went to the resurfacing of M-58 Highway through Raymore. A couple additional projects were completed, and the one remaining will connect Kentucky Road to M-58 Highway at an intersection with a stoplight. Turnbow said that this will reduce the number of accidents at that intersection.
Raymore has continued to lead Cass County and the region in single-family home permits, said Turnbow. He mentioned that the population has increased from 19,891 to 21,784 in the past five years. He congratulated city staff for taking on this increase without adding any additional full-time positions during this time.
He also mentioned the high level of satisfaction the residents have with public safety—citing the recent citizen survey which indicated that 100 percent of residents feel safe during the day and 95 percent the rest of the time.
In looking to the future, Turnbow said that possible annexation is a conversation that needs to be started. Residents have been asking for improvements to M-58 Highway to the east of town. He said the best way to do that is by annexing to the east. According to him, the City will strive to be fair and transparent through any annexation process pursued.
In other business, it was announced with some excitement, that a Hy-Vee Fast and Fresh will be built on the southwest corner of M-58 and Foxridge Drive. With a focus on produce, meat, and a quick shopping experience, this will be the first of these stores located in Missouri. Plans include a pizza kitchen and with proper approval, a fueling station.
First readings were approved on the following: a contract with RL Phillips Construction for the renovation of the Station House, a historic structure that is part of the T.B. Hanna Station Park; an agreement with the Ray-Pec School District for School Resources Officer services; a contract with Kansas City Audio Video for the Centerview AV Production System/Outdoor Speakers; a budget amendment for the water meter conversion project; and an easement vacation in the Good Ranch.
Resolutions were approved for a memorandum of understanding with the Raymore Festival in the Park Committee outlining the responsibilities and contributions of both entities and a permit for alcohol in the parks during the festival.
Second readings were approved for the Arboretum Playground improvements in Memorial Park and for a budget amendment for the purchase of Solid Waste and Recycling Carts.
The following appointments were approved: Council member Jay Holman to the License Tax Review Committee; Paul Bertolone to the Board of Adjustment; William Manson to the Park board; Joshua Collier to the Park Board; and Chanda Williamson to the Park Board. Reappointments were approved for: Bryan Harris to the Park Board; Ryan Supple to the Park Board; and Paula Diaz to the Tree Board.
All votes during the meeting were unanimous.
An update was given on the status of trash collection. The City received four “solid” bids. Three of the companies were interviewed. A special meeting has been called for this coming Monday, June 17, to vote on the new trash provider. According to the agenda, staff is recommending Constable Sanitation, Inc., beginning July 15, 2019, through July 1, 2024.
In a related item, the City-owned trash cans are being delivered. Residents should continue using the cans from Jim’s Disposal through July 14.
Jeff Cherry addressed Council regarding the dangerous intersection at M-58 and Prairie Lane. He witnessed a serious accident there a few weeks ago and implored the City to somehow make it safer. Turnbow told him that it had been discussed in the previous work session and would continue to be a topic.
Arts Commission Chair Harriet Lawrence introduced the current exhibit in the Council Chambers. The artist is Ethan Holman, son of Council member Jay Holman. Also displayed are pieces from sixth, seventh, and eighth graders at Ray-Pec East Middle School.
City Clerk Jeanne Woerner announced that six permits for fireworks stands had been issued for 2019. The regulations for their sale and use are posted on the City website.