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North Kansas City City Council Recap – January 18, 2017

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

Study Session beginning at 6 p.m.

Three somewhat related topics were covered during this City Council study session: beer garden events on city property, other proposed changes to alcoholic beverages code, and new technology for illegal drug identification.

Beer Garden Events on City Property

North Kansas City Parks & Recreation requested changes in regulations to permit occasion beer garden events at city parks. After a presentation that explained how some other communities handle this issue the City Council expressed willingness to agree, but only for events Macken Park. Each event would need to have specific City Council approval.

Proposed Changes in Alcoholic Beverages Code

The City’s recently-hired Liquor Control Director, Matt Brantner, offered four recommendations which the City Council seemed to be comfortable with: allow malt liquor greater than 5% to be consistent with state regulations, increase the number of allowable liquor-by-the-drink establishments to be 16 rather than the current 12, eliminate some of the redundant paperwork that businesses need to file with the City, and revise the verbiage for the related type of activities to be more inclusive – inspired by the recent opening of Chicken N Pickle with the relatively unfamiliar sport of pickle ball.

TruNarc Narcotics Analyzer 

Police Chief Steve Beamer introduced a representative to show City Council members the capability of a new TruNarc Narcotics analyzer which can identify more than 300 compounds. This tool will be valuable in prosecuting narcotics violations in North Kansas City. It will also be made available for use by neighboring communities.

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

Comments from the Public 

Scarf Bomb 

Jennifer Keller, the North Kansas City Business Council’s Coordinator of Membership Services and Events, used this opportunity to give a report on an innovative service jointly sponsored by the North Kansas City Business Council and North Kansas City’s Parks & Recreation department. A “scarf bomb” event offered nearly a hundred scarfs, pairs of gloves and hats to anyone with a need for something to help them keep warm. This event, utilizing the fence that surrounds Dagg Park, attracted a lot of attention, including coverage on 3 different Fox 4 TV news shows on Tuesday. Go to this link to view:http://fox4kc.com/2017/01/17/north-kansas-city-is-feeling-the-warmth-as-volunteers-scarf-bomb-dagg-park/. Keller “discovered” this event that had been done in another city and proposed the idea to Parks & Rec Director Kelli Votypka. Kelli eagerly adopted the idea and quickly found people who knit scarves as a hobby, waiting for the opportunity to give them away.

Business License Issue

Glen Stinson, former owner of Stinson’s Northside Plumbing and current owner of Calibration Brewery and other businesses in North Kansas City and other Northland communities, asked for a review of the process that a business must go through to cease operation and not be summoned for failure to renew its business license. Although Glen has several active businesses with valid business licenses, he chose to cease operation of the plumbing business and therefore did not renew the license for it. Due to miscommunication or lack of communication, the City did not receive notification of his intention. Some complications followed resulting in a summons to appear in court to clarify the situation.

Agenda Topics

Name for New Parks & Recreation Building

Now that architectural and engineering drawings are being developed for the new building in Macken Park that will house the Parks and Recreation department a need has emerged to give it an appropriate name. After some discussion about other alternatives it was agreed that the name will be the North Kansas City Parks and Recreation Center.

Police Body Cameras

Police Chief Beamer updated the City Council on changes since the topic of body cameras was first discussed with City Council in 2014. One big advantage of the newer technology is the synchronization between body cameras and vehicle cameras. The original estimated cost of $27,000 in the budget proved to be under-stated by $19,355. Approval was given to spend $46,355. This includes a comprehensive warranty program for the units.

One North Residential

We no longer need to call the large re-development area east of I-35 and south of Armour Rd/MO 210 the “Armour Road Redevelopment Area”. The developer, Rick Worner with North Kansas City Destination Developers, LLC., has named it “One North”. One of the expected components of One North is market rate residential units. Since a portion of the property has restrictive covenants some environmental work is required to terminate the restrictive covenant in the area where residential construction will occur. The City Council approved a contract with SCS Engineers to coordinate this effort. There will be both environment assessment and coordination with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Harrah’s Charitable Fund

Each year, Harrah’s sets aside at least $100 thousand for charitable causes serving North Kansas City residents. Approval was given by City Council for an allocation of $100,000 that was recommended at a special City Council work session last week. Some of the organizations receiving the largest allocations were Life Unlimited (formerly known as Concerned Care prior to merging with Immacolata Manor), Firefighters Community Service Organization of North Kansas City, Northland Shepherd’s Center, Miles of Smiles, Northland Assistance Center and First Christian Church (free lunch Wednesday program).

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