This recap is courtesy Rich Groves of the North Kansas City Business Council.
Study Session beginning at 6 p.m.
The purpose of this meeting was for North Kansas City Fire Chief Gary Fisher to explain the proposed process for fire department accreditation. If approval is given for the necessary funding the eventual achievement of accreditation with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) would put North Kansas City in a very small, elite group of fire departments across the country. According to Chief Fisher, only four other communities in the Kansas City area have achieved this distinction: Blue Springs, Lee’s Summit, Overland Park and Lenexa.
The standards are demanding and the time to complete the process is about 4 years. And then it becomes an ongoing, recurring process to maintain accreditation. When/if the proposed Public Safety Sales tax is approved by North Kansas City voters in April a portion of the increased revenue will cover the cost of an additional administrative person a portion of whose duties will be to collect and compile the necessary data for CFAI accreditation.
Some of the benefits expected from the process to become CFAI accredited include:
- Assure the public of definitive missions and objectives that are appropriate for this community
- Provide a detailed evaluation of the services provide to the community
- Identify areas of strength and weakness within the department
- Create methods or systems for addressing deficiencies while building organizational success
- Encourage professional growth for both the department and its personnel
- Provide a forum for the communication of organizational priorities
- Foster national recognition by colleagues and the public
- Create a mechanism for developing strategic and program action plans
Based on a general sense of consensus by the City Council City staff will make an official request for funding to launch the process at a future City Council meeting.
Regular City Council meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Comments from the Public
High School Parking
One citizen expressed concern about the rumored plan for location of an additional parking lot for North Kansas City High School as a consequence of the school district’s plan to expand the building where a current parking lot is located.
I took this opportunity to, once again, thank the City’s Public Works department for setting up, watering and removing the 35 sponsored Christmas trees as well as setting up the other Christmas decorations along Armour. North Kansas City offered a very attractive setting throughout the holiday season.
Work Order for Taney and Mill Streets Construction
Olsson Associates was given approval to provide construction oversight for the first phase of infrastructure improvements for the ARRA, including construction of Taney and Mill Streets.
ARRA Financing and Tenant Plans – THE REALLY BIG NEWS!
Matthew Webster from Ameritas Investment Corp., the City’s financial advisor for the ARRA project, and Rick Worner, the approved “Master Developer” for the ARRA project (aka North Kansas City Destination Developers, LLC.) presented an outline of the financing plan and planned tenants for the development.
Financing will be presented for approval to the City Council in stages to include: TIF financing, use of the hotel/motel transient guest tax and a CID sales tax. It is anticipated that approximately 25% of the total $134 million project will be from public sources and the remainder from private sources.
The first phase of the project will include:
- Completion of the spine road connecting Armour Road with E 16th Ave.
- Development of a hotel with at least 150 rooms and a conference center
- Development of a grocery store comprised of at least 35, 000 square feet
- Development of an apartment complex with at least 200 market rate units
The second phase will include:
- A golf entertainment venue – DRIV Golf Lounge & Brewhouse – similar to TopGolf
- Restaurants, including Flow House – an exciting entertainment venue pioneering the fusion between flowboarding, food, beverage, retail and events
- Medical offices building
- Retail – exact vendors to be released later
This project does not technically include the new Meierotto Jewelry store retail store and headquarters now under construction, but for viewers and users of the development area, the Meierotto building will look like it is a part of the ARRA.
It is possible that future funding will include sales tax from a Transportation Development District. It is also possible that in the future a separate Industrial Development Authority will be established through which bond issuance will be handled. In any case, the City will not have responsibility for repayment of the debt.
Authors note: This is the type of news we have been hoping to hear for a long time. Congratulations to City Staff for working through the myriad details and to Rick Worner for stepping up to take on the role of Master Developer. The core philosophy of North Kansas City Destination Developers is to offer unique “destination” attractions and not just be another “me-too” kind of development. Thanks also to the Meierotto family for committing to relocate their business to North Kansas City and to have the first structure in the new development. It is also noteworthy to mention that the composition of the ARRA development has been deliberately structured to be complementary with other businesses in North Kansas City and not in direct competition.
Join The Northland News’ email newsletter that delivers the most popular stories right to your inbox: