Campaign, City Services, Informational, Infrastructure

Council Meeting Recap

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

*This is the Prairie Village City Council meeting recap for Monday, September 16th, 2019. You can see the full agenda and board packet HERE.

Council members present at roll call: Herring, J. Nelson, Schermoly, R. Nelson, Poling, Myers, Morehead, Runion, McFadden, Odell, and Gallagher.

Here are some highlights from this meeting:


County Update

See Presentation by Becky Fast, County Commissioner, that starts on page 3. Highlights:

  • There will be construction at 75th & I-35 to add an additional lane in each direction starting in March 2020 – This is a partnership with local municipalities and KDOT. This is the first time Johnson County is helping the state fund such a project, because the state could not come up with a match for federal funds.
  • The expanded Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant south of 435 is expected to be treating water by the end of 2021. Right now JoCo sends 60% of the water to KCMO for treatment, and rates increase 7-8% annually. After construction, rates are expected to only increase annually 3-5% to cover maintenance and operation. Have more questions? Check out the FAQ HERE.
  • Mental Health investments county-wide.
  • Commissioner Fast encouraged residents to come to the weekly BOCC Thursday meetings for public participation – not too many from NE JoCo attend because of the distance, but you can hear first hand about current appraisal and sales tax challenges and more.

Stormwater Management Update

See Presentation by Cliff Speegle, Stormwater Manager for the City of Prairie Village, and Lee Kellenberger, JoCo Stormwater Manager, that starts on page 41.

  • Johnson County is moving to an integrative Stormwater Management plan, in partnership with KCMO, for watershed “zones” instead of individually by municipality since water doesn’t follow state or city lines. Next step will be a Master Plan.
  • See my previous post about Stormwater Management programs for residents HERE.
  • UPDATE: Shawnee Mission Post attended and reported on a presentation of this topic at a more recent County Commissioners meeting. See their article: Johnson County using watershed-based approach to collaborate with cities on flooding issues.

Public Participation

Kathy Jennings, Ward 3 resident, spoke to Council to thank PVPD on their commendable response and care during her family’s recent Silver Alert. Not only did they help find her missing spouse, Jim, but they also helped her with logistics and, as important, her emotional state that really calmed her down. Kathy urged Council and Chief to give their officers raises!

Committee Reports

Community Center Ad Hoc Committee

  • The Survey Firm has been selected, Wiese Group, and the bid came in almost $20k below budget. Woot woot!

Environmental Committee

  • Will begin working on 1, 3, 5, and 10 year plans for Prairie Village to include composting, glass recycling, planting native flora, LED replacements, solar panel angling, converting to an all Electrical Vehicle fleet, and reducing the use of toxic chemicals. Will also encourage all new buildings or renovations to be built to the most environmentally green standard of LEED platinum.

Arts Council

Mayor’s Report

  • Jazzfest – phenomenal event, awesome turnout, great weather.
  • The Community Visioning Events weren’t as well-attended as Jazzfest, but garnered good feedback. You can still submit online feedback through end of September at this LINK.
  • Attended NAACP Freedom Banquet
  • Attended JCPRD’s going away reception for Jill Geller
  • Noted the local Millennial survey where PV ranked #3 – See my post and response to that HERE.
  • Congratulations to Councilwoman Sheila Myers who has been asked to fill a recent opening on MARC Solid Waste Committee
  • Attended Annual SMEF Breakfast with Councilors Courtney, Chad, Brook, and Tucker and much of City staff.
  • Harvesters Peanut Butter Week is coming up!

Staff Reports

Police Department

  • Chief Schwartzkopf thanked Mrs. Jennings for coming to speak and share her experience. The whole department was happy that it turned out well.
  • National Coffee with a Cop will be at Starbucks on October 2nd, 7-9:00 a.m..

Public Works

  • Roe construction going on a few more weeks.
  • Plan to get Somerset open Oct. 5, but may be delayed..
  • Wassmer Park is taking shape.
  • Weltner Park’s nature logs were replaced with concrete versions. Easier to maintain. If they’re received well, may look at expanding.
  • New bench coming along Tomahawk Creek trail

See 2019 Construction Projects for a map!


Lisa Santa Maria, Finance Director:

  • Prairie Village, and other municipalities, will owe KS Department of Revenue tax refunds. PV’s is a $20k hit.
  • Also owe another ~$44k due to error by the County in collections…
  • on top of Dark Store Theory hit which could be $191k instead of $91k previously reported. She is looking into this.

Wes Jordan, City Administrator:

  • CBIZ, the City’s broker for insurance, will have a 0% cost increase – even factoring in 3% ACA fee – equating to ~$170,000 in savings from original estimates!
  • Wassmer Park dedication may be 10/26 in the afternoon. Please save the date for now.


  • Legislative round-table discussion idea
    • Mayor floated the idea that would be open to the public, local legislators, etc. to talk about issues that affect PV.
    • Councilwoman Nelson says our legislative platform is released too late (January) to be moved on by legislators during the session. PV may need to change our release date so we’re not past the date they can introduced. Legislators are busy right now writing bills that they will pre-file before the next session, so this time of year (early- to mid-September) would be better.
    • Mayor will talk with staff and bring back to council at a later date.
  • Discuss website redesign
    • Already in the budget (due every 5 years)
    • Increased accessibility – for diversabilities, like folks using screen readers
    • Better customer service experience and search options
    • Updated mobile view – more than 50% of traffic comes from mobile devices – app-esque, but not an actual app, so it will be the same experience for every single visitor
    • Heat mapping to track where customers go on the site and redesign with that information
  • Discuss conceptual layout options and estimated costs for building reconstruction at the Public Works facility (starts on pg. 64 of the agenda packet), presented by Melissa Prenger, Project Manager:
    • The PW facilities assessment presented on March 4th, 2019 can be found starting on page 12 in the agenda and board packet found in my Council Meeting Recap HERE.
    • $6.6M estimate
    • LEED Platinum standards for another $800k using best practices
    • Mayor wants to know what the ROI will be, but of course, it’s too early in the process for that now.
    • Tucker asked if geothermal is possible on this site. Keith looking into it still. (PV City Hall has geothermal)
    • The plan is to lease the solar array – Melissa will have MC Power come in to talk about the pros/cons of leasing vs. buying
    • 25-30% contingency in the budget at this stage to also consider swing space for 40 FTEs and phasing plans with trailer rentals for office space to maintain operation throughout


The City Council took the following actions:

  • Approved the regular City Council meeting minutes – September 3, 2019

Upcoming Events

  • September 20th – Chamber in the Chamber 5:30 p.m.
  • September 28th – Shaffer Park renaming ceremony
  • September 30th – October 4th – 35th Annual Peanut Butter Week
  • October 7th – City Council Meeting

*This council meeting recap is indicative of how I will update residents twice monthly in my efforts to increase transparency and communication as your Ward 3 Councilwoman so you always know what’s happening at City Hall. I make an effort to pull together references from previous meetings, topics, and issues that are relevant in hopes of making some of the ongoing issues more clear.

Take care and reach out if you have any questions or concerns,


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