CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2001
Mayor Anita Newsom called the Regular April 23, 2001 City Council Meeting to order in the City Council Chambers at 7:30 p.m.
PRESENT: Mayor Anita Newsom
Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross
Councilman Dan Bishop
Councilman Shirley Smith
Councilman Les Smith
City Manager Kirk Davis
Assistant City Manager Laura Gay
City Clerk Marilyn Ahnefeld
Item 3. on the Agenda. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.
Mayor Anita Newsom welcomed and thanked scouts Jared and Jacob Gilliam from Troop #731 who led the Pledge of Allegiance in which all joined.
Mayor Newsom also acknowledged and welcomed another scout, Chris Williams, from Troop 388 who was attending the Council meeting to work on his Citizenship merit badge.
Item 4. on the Agenda. APPROVAL OF MINUTES.
Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross moved to approve the Regular April 9, 2001 City Council Meeting Minutes as submitted; Councilman Les Smith seconded the motion. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom. (5-0)
Item 4a. on the Agenda. PROCLAMATION.
Mayor Anita Newsom read a Proclamation designating the month of May 2001 as “Motorcycle Awareness Month” in Gladstone, Missouri. A representative of Freedom of Road Riders, Inc. accepted the proclamation and advised that about 2,000 motorcycle riders were going to Jefferson City in May to present the proclamation to our state representatives.
Item 5. on the Agenda. CONSENT AGENDA.
Following the Clerks reading, Councilman Les Smith moved to approve the Consent Agenda as read; Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom. (5-0)
CONSENT AGENDA DETAIL
Councilman Les Smith moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-01-29, granting an easement on City owned property to Kansas City Power & Light Company in conjunction with the 70th Street reconstruction project. Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom. (5-0)
Councilman Les Smith moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-01-30, accepting temporary easements from property owners in conjunction with the 70th Street reconstruction project. Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom. (5-0)
Councilman Les Smith moved to adopt RESOLUTION NO. R-01-31, authorizing execution of a contract with Green Mountain Joinery, Inc. for construction of the Oak Grove Park Storage Building for a total amount not to exceed $63,490.00 from the Capital Improvements Sales Tax Fund with a contribution from the Amphitheater Fund. Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom. (5-0)
Councilman Les Smith moved for APPROVAL OF MARCH 2001 FINANCIAL REPORTS. Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom. (5-0)
Item 6. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE.
Ralph Parkinson, 7005 N. Highland, stated he was a recipient of funds from the gas assistance utility program and thanks the Mayor, Council and City Manager for initiating this program. He said for someone on a fixed income, it came in very handy and he appreciates it very much.
Mayor Newsom thanked Mr. Parkinson and said it is not very often we receive thanks for the things we do.
Heather Brinkman, representing the American Cancer Society in the northland area, stated that they will be hosting the Relay for Life event this summer in Parkville and would like the City of Gladstone to be involved.
Ms. Brinkman is a staff representative and will be on hand after the meeting to answer questions about the event. There are 28,000 new cases of cancer in the state of Missouri, and 12,000 deaths will result this year. She invites everyone to participate in the Northland Relay for Life on August 10th and 11th at Park University. There is a planning committee meeting on April 25th and she invites those interested to attend.
Galen Neil, 6010 N. Wyandotte, expressed his appreciation to Mayor Newsom, the Council and staff members for the fast repair of the potholes on 61st Street.
Item 7. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY COUNCIL.
Councilman Les Smith had no communications at this time.
Councilman Shirley Smith commented on what a beautiful spring we are having with all the flowering trees and shrubs which we can all enjoy while it is here.
Councilman Dan Bishop said it is hard to believe it is budget time again and we had our first study session this evening for the general fund budget.
Mr. Bishop said he will speak on an issue that has been discussed from the Council table before and that is the 72nd Street project. He has had occasion over the last two or three months to talk with a number of residents who reside in the northeast quadrant of the City, specifically in the Northaven Gardens subdivision. There is a great deal of frustration among folks in that area and he understands it. They have had to endure increased traffic on the usually pretty quiet residential streets because of the 72nd Street detours. Although it is a newer subdivision in our City, they are concerned that with the streets getting the additional wear and tear, they are not going to hold up. They are concerned about what will be done to incorporate their street in the crack-seal program. Also, the safety issue in the subdivision with people trying to get to Indiana or around Old Antioch, and just general inconvenience and frustration among those folks who are right on 72nd Street and have to go through the detour every day.
It is a frustrating project and a big project, no doubt about it, and big projects take time. He knows staff has worked very hard on this and has worked diligently to keep citizens in the area informed as to the progress of the project. But, it seems that it has been one delay after another after another. We thought the street was going to be open by the end of last summer, and here it is almost May and still not done. It was the gas company, then other utilities, then it was weather. He wants to know what, if anything, can be done in terms of recourse with the contractor. He does understand there is a penalty clause in the contract, but the belief was, because of the reasons for the delays, we would not be able to enforce any kind of penalty clause. He wants to know, and wants the City Counselor’s input on this issue and analysis of the contract to determine if there is anything we can do because we, as a community, are facing a great cost in terms of inconvenience to our citizens, wear and tear on our streets, and the project should have been done a long time ago. That is his question, and he would appreciate appropriate follow-up on this.
City Manager Kirk Davis said that Assistant City Manager for Development Scott Wingerson would explain the situation, but stated that he also has been very frustrated with the project and it is probably the most frustrating project he has ever been witness to. Nine month delays caused by utility companies that knew about the project in 1993; when we had a great winter, we could not do anything, because the utilities, quite frankly, did not pay much attention to us. We had the better part of eight or nine meetings with one utility company and they made continual promises to us and we did not have the stick to deal with them. They continually did not meet deadlines and continually blew us off. We worked our way up that chain until finally we were able to get some response from them. They completed their project late last fall. That forced us to be almost nine months behind.
City Manager Davis apologized and said he lives in that neighborhood too, and has the same frustrations.
Mayor Newsom asked if this was the same utility company that raised their prices so much this past winter.
Mr. Davis said they had a lot of unhappy people this winter. He stated that numerous promises have not been kept. Contractors pulled off the site and dealt with other projects because they could not sit around and wait. That, combined with the weather was an issue, and the project was a very technical one with cutting a hill almost 30 feet, with several large retaining walls. Water lines were moved, sewer and other utility lines had to be moved and a storm sewer had to be built. Just about everything was involved in this project. It has been extremely frustrating and we even have a representative from Burns and McDonald on site as the project engineer. This is not City staff managing the project, it is Burns and McDonald who works all over the world.
It seems despite all of these frustrations, staff is taking a lot of heat for this project, and he believes it is extremely unfair. He know it is not the intent of Council and we need to respond to the citizens as much as possible. Yes, we are getting several complaints at City Hall as well and are working very hard to get the road opened.
Councilman Bishop stated that he knows the City Manager is personally very frustrated with this, but it seems unfair that Council is getting beat up about it, staff is getting beat up about it, and it is not our fault. The question is, can we put the feet to the fire of those whose fault it is. He knows it is late, and maybe needs some analysis, but what can be done.
Mr. Davis stated that it should be answered relatively quickly, because we have looked at frequently.
Assistant City Manager for Development Scott Wingerson stated that City Manager Davis has done a good job of articulating the frustration of staff, so he will hold his frustration and talk about some of the other questions Councilman Bishop has raised in terms of the impact on the adjacent street systems because of detours and cut-throughs. Actually, they anticipated some of that impact prior to the start of construction and have watched the adjacent streets very closely since the beginning of construction to see if streets were deteriorating at a faster rate than otherwise normally would have been expected. The goods news is in most cases, it is not occurring. In one case it is, and that is on 72nd Terrace, which is north of 72nd Street between Indiana and Antioch Road. We are currently working to ensure that street segment can be treated either this summer or next summer to address those concerns.
On the south side of 72nd Street, the impact has not yet been fully realized, because the heavy traffic through that area was really last summer. The impacts of that may not have been completely realized yet, so we continue to evaluate that on an annual basis and as it moves forward it would be appropriately treated with intermediate maintenance such as crack-sealing or potentially an overlay.
In terms of the cut-through traffic, through the Northaven neighborhood, Director Adamo and his traffic division have been extremely helpful and responsive to requests from residents and staff, requests from Burns and McDonald, requests from the contractor, and requests from everyone who could possibly request in terms of enforcing, monitoring, evaluating, patrolling that area, specifically as it relates to the speeding and heavy truck traffic in that area.
In terms of the work that was done over the winter, although it may not look like very much today, an extremely large amount of work was done over the winter. There was no efficiency gained by the contractor doing that, it was not in the contractor’s best interest to work all winter, however the contractor’s did do that at the request of Council and staff and residents to push the project forward and get it done. The end result is most of the things under ground or above ground, specifically the 22 foot retaining wall, have been completed except for some finishing touches. What that does is clear the way for grading of the road itself and paving. In the middle of winter, the contractor committed to us that we would be very close to first in line when the asphalt paving plant opened for base asphalt on 72nd Street. We are not ready for it yet, but he believes that by the end of this month, base asphalt will be down from Indiana to Bellefontaine. We are very excited at that potential and it is a result of the work done over the winter that cleared the way for the early part of the season of paving.
Mr. Wingerson stated that he certainly will discuss with Mr. Ramsay the impacts of damages and those sorts of things under the contract, and will let Council know. City Counselor Thompson and Stinson, Mag both looked at the contract and there was not at that point, an appropriate remedy that dealt with damages, but there may be now and in the future so we will continue to watch that.
Mayor Newsom stated that based on information you have, there will be asphalt a week from today. Mr. Wingerson said yes, but stressed that it depends on the weather. It would be the only thing that will hold us up now, but that is the case in all paving operations.
Mayor Newsom said that would be marvelous.
Mr. Wingerson said the next step after the base asphalt would be the curb and gutter; the second lift of base asphalt, then the discussion of opening up in the morning and evening hours for through traffic while they work during the day, finishing sidewalks and things like that.
Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross thanked Mr. Parkinson for coming up to City Hall to thank Council for the utility assistance and said we can all empathize with him in experiencing the same thing, especially those of us who are retired. It is nice to have someone take the time and spend an evening to come express it verbally.
Councilman Cross also thanked Mr. Neil for his compliment on the quick action on the pot hole repairs.
Councilman Cross stated that he does agree with Mr. Bishop in that we do get calls on the 72nd Street project. We tell them what we know, then they come back and ask why it is not done. knowing that the City is doing everything they possibly can do, and that it is some other company that is creating those problems.
Mayor Anita Newsom stated that she had a whole list of comments this evening. Since we are talking about streets, we have talked about 76th Street before but the segment of 76th Street from Troost east to the improved section of 76th Street is horrible right now. There is a patch that has sunken in and could break an axle on a small car. There are big chunks of asphalt eroding at the edges making it hard for two cars to pass on that strip of road. What can we do in the interim until the whole project can be undertaken and done the right way. She said she does not like to throw band aids on it, but it is an embarrassment.
City Manager Davis stated that it is a difficult project to address. What can be done immediately is obviously temporarily patching or asphalt patching in basically a two-block area directly east of Oak Grove Park.
Mayor Newsom commented that directly south of Oak Grove park is not a prize by a long shot.
Mr. Davis stated that the whole road is tough and right now, given our revenue sources, it is about a three or four year phased project. We are looking at options to finance it. With the Public Works site discussed tonight, we are equally looking at options to finance those at 76th Street to do the whole project at one time by reprioritizing existing revenues. We are in that process now.
We must get out and patch that area east of the park. It will be a temporary patch, throwing good money after bad, but it is in really bad shape and is probably the worst street in town. It is a major reconstruction project with much of the redesign work already done. At this point in time, it is a three-year project unless we can find some financing alternatives.
Mayor Newsom stated again she does not like to band aid something that is major surgery. It is an embarrassment to our community with all the events we hold in the park during the course of the summer. She feels it is important.
Mr. Davis stated that he know Director Hashemizadeh is taking notes and will be looking at that area between Oak and Lydia to see what areas need to be patched and reinforced along the side where there is no curb and gutter.
Councilman Les Smith commented that we do have some design work done. Even in anticipation of a three-year plan, have we started any right-of-way acquisitions which seems to be a time-consuming process.
Mr. Wingerson stated that he could not completely answer Councilman Les Smith’s question tonight, but certainly over the last three years initial acquisition efforts have begun as far as a
preliminary contact with adjacent property owners. Acquisition, especially from Oak east to Troost will be a difficult proposition. The roadways in that area and the homes are relatively close in terms of setback. It will be a long, time-consuming process, but certainly that effort is ongoing. With the proposed funding in 2003 and potential funding earlier than that, we are gearing up those efforts through Director Hashemizadeh’s office.
Councilman Les Smith wholeheartedly concurred with that, stating that the roadbed will not last three years. Secondly, if there is a way to refinance and get that built, the Council will look at that very, very strongly. It is a horrible situation all the way out to and including the traffic signal at 76th and Oak, which, he understands, is part of that project.
Mayor Newsom stated that her second item is that at the last Park Board meeting they talked about issues that take place in the City. A brochure was passed out about adults, especially parents, buying liquor for underage people. Also, Mr. Harper brought up an article from The Kansas City Star about a keg registration. Mr. Harper said he brought this up at a Council meeting about a year ago and asked where we stood on keg registration and how that impacts Gladstone.
City Manager Davis stated that we did look into that a year ago. He asked Director Adamo to address the results of that research.
Director Adamo stated that yes, there was a report done about a year ago. At that time there were four establishments that dealt with and sold keg beer. One has since gone out of business which leaves three. Bubbles is the number one, doing about 15 per month, followed by Hy-Vee who sells one a month on average last year, and Hen House has sold one in a twelve month period. Obviously, the retail liquor establishments per se do the most business in that arena.
We have not had problems as far as minors in possession to his knowledge over the last 30 years, nor have we arrested a minor with a keg in their possession. Bubbles is going to sell them for weddings, receptions, graduations from colleges and universities, and family reunions, but fortunately we are not coming into contact with underage people.
Mayor Newsom asked if this could be put into some kind of written form so it can be passed on to the people on the Park Board. They were very concerned about young people getting into trouble with the help of adults, especially when they should know better.
Mayor Newsom’s third item discussed at Park Board was a combining of a couple of events this year which is the Kids Fest and the EMS Fair on May 6th. She thinks it is a great blend of activities. Please mark your calendars for these events, which begin at 10:00 AM. Unfortunately, she will be out of town and cannot participate, but thinks it should draw a good crowd and be very good for the youth of the city. The event runs from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There is a band performance at 3:00 PM.
Mayor Newsom mentioned the upcoming North Oak Corridor Study Public Meetings set up for Monday, April 30th at 7:30 AM and 5:30 PM as well as Tuesday, May 1st at Noon. The City has invited the public to join in to provide more input and look at the North Oak Corridor Study and the major elements. Notices have gone out to property owners and residents/business owners,
the Planning Commission and Capital Improvements Committee, Economic Development Summit participants, GEBC, and our local press. The more input we get, the better.
Ms. Newsom said she shouldn’t stay home reading the paper so much. In a newspaper article, State Auditor Claire McCaskill talks about more stings in the Sunshine Law. One thing brought up was that 65% of agencies, boards and commissions did not have written policies on how to handle records requests. Governor Holden says there should also be written documentation that talks about copy charges. Do we currently have that in place.
City Manager Davis stated that City Clerk Marilyn Ahnefeld affirms yes to both. We are as advanced as any community in responding to Sunshine issues and protecting ourselves from violation. Yes, we do have policies in place and mirror the Sunshine Law which is pretty explicit in what you need to do.
We keep track of copies, but it is not our policy to charge for copies unless there are volumes of copies. We collect a fee only for large quantity, not if there are only two or three copies.
Ms. Newsom stated that the last item she has is relating to our new Council member and the appointment of City Council liaisons to boards and commissions. Mr. Les Smith has requested to basically hold the same places that Councilman Nodler had which is liaison to the CIP Committee and Uniform Codes Board of Appeals. Councilman Shirley Smith is remaining on the Planning Commission and IDA, and expressed a desire to work with the Recycling and Solid Waste Committee. Councilman Bishop has asked to retain his place as liaison to the Road District and TIF Commission. Mayor Pro Tem Cross will serve on the CIP, BZA and the Cable TV Advisory Board. The Mayor said she will continue to serve on the Planning Commission and the Parks Board.
As for input from the Council, we have Mr. Smith’s vacancy on the Planning Commission that we need to fill in a timely fashion.
Councilman Bishop stated that he thinks that we have an outstanding candidate for the Planning Commission, someone who submitted a letter of interest last year prior to our deliberations and appointments for this calendar year. Because of the great interest in the Planning Commission, there was not a spot at that time and this individual was appointed to the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee, but indicated that her very strong preference was still to serve on the Planning Commission. This individual attends every Council meeting and she was instrumental with the citizen group that took part in the Scharhag property development project which we approved at the last Council meeting. Because of her active involvement in that, we came up with the very best possible plan for that piece of real estate. She showed herself to be a strong and fair advocate for the neighborhoods down by the Scharhag property. It is his pleasure to nominate his good friend Mary Abbott for the vacancy on the Planning Commission.
Mayor Newsom asked for questions or comments.
Councilman Les Smith stated that he concurs with Councilman Bishop on Ms. Abbott’s appointment. He got to know her better working together on the Scharhag project and feels she will do well on the Planning Commission.
Mayor Newsom said she considers that a second. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom. (5-0)
Ms. Newsom told Ms. Abbott that it looks like she will be getting a Planning Commission packet very soon.
Ms. Newsom stated that we now have to deal with the vacancy on the Solid Waste and Recycling Committee. We need to look back at our applicants and see what we can come up with. We can look at the pool of applicants and move on that since we have some important issues coming up on Solid Waste and Recycling.
Councilman Les Smith commented that over the years there has been a place for a Council representative on GEBC. To his knowledge, the last time there was an appointment to the GEBC Board of Directors who attended, was Bill Reynolds, which is quite some years ago. We probably should discuss how we wish to handle that. He has been on that Board as a business person. If we want to appoint a separate Council person to continue in that role, it is not a decision we need to make this evening, but food for thought. There has been that position for a Councilperson on GEBC and they have not been there, and we have missed that over the years.
Mayor Newsom stated that yes, it something to think about and discuss in our next meeting.
Item 8. on the Agenda. COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE CITY MANAGER.
City Manager Davis reminded everyone about the annual Beautification event at Central Park this weekend and the Brush Disposal event next weekend at the Community Services facility.
Also, this coming Friday, we will hold a reception at 9:30 AM for visitors from Turkey. It is sponsored by the Gladstone Rotary Club and all are welcome to come by and say hello to our guests.
Item 9. on the Agenda. CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING: on a request to rezone property at 5800 N Oak Trafficway from C-2 to CP-3 Auto Trend, Inc. (File #1148) (Originally continued from 3/12/01 to 4/9/01 and recontinued to 4/23/01)
Mayor Newsom stated that at the Council’s place is a letter from representatives from Auto Trend asking for a continuance of a month. Since this is a continued Public Hearing, she asked Mr. Ramsay what needs to be done to move this forward and continue it till May 29th.
Counselor David Ramsay stated that they could make an additional motion of continuance and if Council approves that motion, then it could be moved forward to the requested hearing date.
Ms. Newsom asked for a motion. Councilman Bishop moved to continue the Public Hearing to May 29th. Mayor Pro Tem Cross seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom. (5-0)
Mayor Newsom stated that due to the continuance of the public hearing, Item 9a (Bill 01-18 for rezoning) and 9b (Bill 01-19 for Site Plan revision) will not be introduced.
Item 10. on the Agenda. CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING: on a request to rezone from CPO to CP-2, property at 6902 North Oak. Applicant: Dominic Cuccia (File #1152)
(Continued from April 9, 2001 City Council Meeting).
Mayor Anita Newsom opened the Public Hearing and announced that it will be re-continued to the May 14, 2001 City Council Meeting at the request of the Applicant.
Item 11. on the Agenda. FIRST READING BILL 01-20, repealing Ordinance No. 3.758 and enacting a new ordinance in lieu thereof levying new sewer billing and commodity charges for the City of Gladstone, Missouri.
Councilman Les Smith moved to place Bill 01-20 on First Reading; Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross seconded.
Councilman Bishop commented that he understands that we really do not have any choice and it is not something we welcome. We know that as long as we depend on Kansas City for sewer treatment, we are subject to their rate increases. Unfortunately, it has been coming every year. The good news is that when you look at the chart, which is attached to the memorandum we are not out of line with other communities in the metro area, we are still very much in the middle of the pack. Even though he does not like it, he will vote in favor of this ordinance tonight.
Mayor Newsom stated that we do feel held hostage.
The vote: All “aye” - Les Smith, Shirley Smith, Dan Bishop, Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom. (5-0) The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Les Smith moved to accept the First Reading of Bill 01-20, Waive the Rule and place the Bill on Second and Final Reading; Councilman Cross seconded. The vote: All “aye” - Les Smith, Shirley Smith, Dan Bishop, Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom. (5-0) The Clerk read the Bill.
Councilman Les Smith moved to accept the Second and Final Reading of Bill 01-20 and enact the Bill as Ordinance No. 3.793; Councilman Cross seconded. Roll Call Vote: All “aye” - Councilman Les Smith, Councilman Shirley Smith, Councilman Dan Bishop, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Cross, Mayor Anita Newsom. (5-0)
Item 12. on the Agenda. OTHER BUSINESS.
There was no other business from the Council at this time.
Item 13. on the Agenda QUESTIONS FROM THE NEWS MEDIA
Mr. Joe Rudzik, Dispatch Newspaper reporter asked about the sewer memo from the City of Kansas City, Missouri which states that water consumption is not available.
Director of Finance Cash Sweiven answered that it is a letter sent to all communities including Gladstone and Liberty. In Gladstone we provide our own water so that comment would be n/a because it does not apply to Gladstone.
There being no further business to come before the Regular Monday, April 23, 2001 City Council Meeting, Mayor Anita Newsom adjourned the meeting.
Marilyn F. Ahnefeld, City Clerk