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North Kansas City City Council Recap – February 8, 2017

This recap is courtesy Rich Groves of the North Kansas City Business Council.

Work Session, beginning at 6 p.m.

The only topic of this work session was for City Council members to converse with management of Town & Country Disposal, which is now owned by WCA (Waste Corporation of America), about the solid waste contract the City has for picking up trash in residential neighborhoods. The contract with the City is for five years, subject to renewal each year. Next year will be Year 3 of this contract if it is renewed effective October 1.

After discussion, a majority of City Council members (5 yes; 3 no) favored renewing the contract rather than going out for bids. This result seemed to be because of deliberate action steps taken by WCA to bring in a management team of specialists from around their nationwide system that will be more effective in delivering reliable service. City staff will bring this item back at a future City Council meeting for formal approval.

Regular City Council meeting, beginning at 7:00 p.m. 

Agenda Topics 

EPA Administrative Order of Compliance

Some issues were identified in a January 2016 audit relating to pretreatment programs for effluents from certain industrial customers. Most of the items have been addressed but approval of an Administrative Order of Compliance was required.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to implement many of the federal regulations. Based on the January 2016 audit and the City’s response to follow-up questions, the EPA has defined the violations that occurred and the actions the City must take. The violations essentially involve:

  • Certain of the City’s Significant Industrial Users (SIUs) that operate in the city being incorrectly classified according to the most recent standards
  • Failure to include a required certification statement on reports that are submitted
  • Failure of the City’s Wastewater Discharge Permit to include certain required information
  • The practice of collecting composite samples rather than grab samples for cyanide analysis from SIUs subject to a cyanide limitation.

The City Council approved a resolution authorizing execution by the Mayor of the Administrative Order of Compliance.

Alcoholic Beverage Code

Police Chief Steve Beamer explained that recent analysis and implementation of the City’s alcoholic beverage code pertaining to Restaurants/Bars revealed that even though the code specifies a limit of 12 facilities there are currently 14 of them. He recommended that the upper limit by increased to a total of 22, based on plans for facilities in the One North redevelopment area and other businesses that are emerging for approval. Approved.

Environmental Issue Affecting One North’s Spine Road Construction

Approval was given to amend the contract with Clarkson Construction to move forward quickly to remove trees in the path of the planned “spine road” to connect Armour Road with E. 16th Ave. Urgency is needed because regulatory restrictions affecting the seasonal habitat of Northern Long-eared bats require clearing of the trees before March 31. Failure to accomplish this in a timely manner would likely delay completion of the project for most of a year.

Brochure for Public Safety Sales Tax Ballot Issue

Approval was given for the proposed informational brochure describing the need for and the planned uses of a proposed public safety sales tax which will be on the April ballot. Although the City is prohibited from actually suggesting how to vote, it can provide information. Individual City Council members and others who support this new sales tax may act more persuasively.

The North Kansas City Business Council plans to give City Administrator Eric Berlin the opportunity to inform members at the February 23 and March 23 membership luncheons. The Business Council’s Board of Directors has already indicated support for this issue which is perceived to be able to help ease City financial issues and will help make the community even better protected by the fire and police departments.

Operation Green Light

Synchronization and monitoring of traffic signals on major arteries is optimized by a program called Operation Green Light which North Kansas City and 21 other local entities participate in. Each community is expected to pay a specified amount for each intersection that is included. A cost of $11,200 for two years was approved by the City Council. 

Staff Comments

YMCA Financial Report

City Administrator Eric Berlin offered a brief, but encouraging, summary of the financial results of the North Kansas City YMCA for the full calendar year 2016. The YMCA reduced the annual deficit to slightly over $217,000 vs a budget of nearly $600,000 which is even more favorable than the cost before the YMCA of Greater Kansas City took over programming. Including incentives for superior performance, the total amount paid to the YMCA was $511,000.  The projected deficit for 2017 is $470 thousand.

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