The 2020 PV pool opening date is up in the air, water main replacement on Mission Rd will take it down to 2 lanes for about a year, and PV Foundation is taking tax-deductible donations that you can earmark specifically for food pantry allocation. Read on for more!
This is the Prairie Village City Council meeting recap for Monday, April 20, 2020. You can see the full agenda and board packet HERE.
Council members present at roll call: Herring, J. Nelson, Selders, R. Nelson, Poling, Limbird, Myers, Reimer, Runion, McFadden, Graves, and Gallagher.
Here are the highlights of this meeting:
These items were considered routine business and were approved as a group for the most part. One item (bolded) was separated out for additional discussion due to Covid19, but was ultimately approved also:
- Approval of regular City Council meeting minutes – April 6,
- 2020 Approval of Expenditure Ordinance #2989
- Approval of agreement with Black and McDonald for streetlight maintenance services
- Approval of bid award for highway rock salt
- Approval of bid award for the purchase of swimming pool chemicals
Councilmember Reimer asked if these pool chemicals would expire and if we should hold off on the purchase since the pool opening date is up in the air due to COVID-19. Keith Bredehoeft, Public Works Director, let us know that the pool chemicals don’t really expire, and that they only buy them on an as-needed basis.
The April Arts Committee meeting was canceled due to COVID-19, but will have their regular monthly meeting in May via Zoom. At that time, they will discuss when to take down the March show (which is still partially hanging in City Hall), how the virtual Art of Photography show has gone, the canceled May show, and a plan for the June show if it is able to happen.
The Environmental Committee also hasn’t met since COVID-19, but they were planning a Native Plant Sale with Deep Roots KC, and that has now been postponed until possibly June 6th. Earth Day/Week is upon us, so plant a tree, pick up litter on your socially-distanced walk, or just continue to reduce your carbon emissions by leaving your car in your garage. Deep Roots KC also has Virtual Series you can participate in online to learn more about native gardening:
A Free Deep Roots Virtual Series
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 pm
For the duration of #StayHomeKC, Deep Roots will present short live sessions (20-30 minutes) with some of our many knowledgeable partners. Presentations are free, with interactive Q&A, and recordings will be available after.
Drug & Alcohol Council
Councilmember Reimer attended a meeting of the DAC, which is a committee through the United Community Services, and they received and approved many requests for awarded non-profits to carry over their funds until 2021 due to COVID-19.
The Tree Board didn’t meet in April but may meet May 6th. Annual Arbor Day events have been canceled but they may try to reschedule for later in the year. In Bennett Park, Public Works has installed a commemorative plaque for the American Elm stump and planted a new American Elm tree.
Statuary meetings have also been cancelled, but they do plan to conduct and audit/inventory of all the statuary in Prairie Village this year.
NLC Congressional Cities Conference Attendees Reports
Limbird: I attended the 4 General Sessions, as well as the breakout sessions on Overcoming Obstacles to Affordable Housing; Council on Youth, Education & Families; and the First Tier Suburbs Council Meeting.
The session on Overcoming Obstacles to Affordable Housing was my favorite. There were several updates given on proposals in Congress:
- Bipartisan 2019 Eviction Crisis Act to create several grant programs to prevent at-risk tenants from being evicted and establishes consumer protections related to evictions
- Bipartisan 2019 Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act to authorize a new type of housing choice voucher to help achieve the goals of ending homelessness among families with children, increasing housing opportunities, and improving life outcomes of poor children.
There were city examples of efforts to solve the affordable housing crisis:
- Metro ATL Housing Strategy metroatlhousing.org is a best practices site designed to offer a set of actionable steps that local communities can consider taking to address their housing issues
- Oregonians are working on a program called “re-legalization” for duplexes, quadplexes, & accessory dwelling units
- Resource: Sightline Institute: among other things, Includes an article about how increase of *plexes is great for increasing biking.
And there were several general takeaways that resonated with me:
- If we’re going to solve our climate crisis, we must solve our housing crisis;
- i.e. We need to make it easier for people to live near where they work with access to affordable, reliable public transportation.
- Citizens & government representatives need to get rid of the NIMBY mindset altogether.
- Book Recommendation: The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. I’ve ordered it from Rainy Day Books (they need your online business while the store is closed) and hope to have it soon for #StayAtHome reading.
- Noted: Cities that adopted ACA saw a statistically significant drop in the eviction rate.
Reimer: Attended different breakout sessions, and talked with several Teen Council members from other municipalities. She loved seeing their engagement in the conference and their massive presence and hopes we can send some of our Teen Council members in the future as well.
Selders: Thanked Council for the opportunity to attend, and shared other tidbits about her takeaways.
Paraphrased by me. 😏
- The Market at Meadowbrook Park has opened, although it is also under the same Governor’s orders for restaurants and gathering places. They are open for curbside and carry-out pickup.
- The Market offers seasonally inspired house-made soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts, as well as a wide selection of gourmet cheese, charcuterie, freshly baked breads, and more.
- They partner with local farmers, butchers, and artisanal purveyors to bring you foods prepared with only the freshest, finest ingredients.
- The Meadowbrook Park Inn and restaurant, Verbena, have been delayed due to COVID-19.
- City staff members are doing a great job, as usual.
- Local cities are sharing and coordinating information and efforts during this time.
- Mayor and staff have had multiple calls with the county, state, and federal entities.
- We’re not ready to open up yet, but may be getting close.
- The Johnson County COVID-19 Recovery Planning Task, of which Mayor Mikkelson is the mayoral representative, had their first meeting and you can watch it HERE. This is an advisory committee only; they won’t be making the final decisions. Their next meeting is on April 24th.
Keith Bredehoeft gave us a few updates on current construction projects:
Mission Road, from 83rd to 93rd will be having a main replacement and will be down to 2 lanes for about a year.
Nall Avenue from 83rd to 95th is under construction. The work includes curb repair and mill/overlay of the asphalt surface. Pavement markings will include bike lanes or sharrows as appropriate with the Cities Bike Plans. The City of Overland Park is the managing agency and will oversee the contractor on site.
Public Works building demolition will be commencing soon. Public Works staff are now in their swing spaces which include the Community Center building in front of City Hall. Between construction and COVID-19 closures, they request you contact them through their Public Service Request Form or email staff directly.
Pool Complex – The adult pool has a leak that was identified previously and is causing significant extra water expenses. Public Works has done several different types of investigations to identify the leak location to no avail. At some point this year, depending on whether or not the pool is able to open due to COVID-19, there will be an exploratory construction project to get to the bottom of it. (That pun is for PV resident Doug Fishel! 🤣)
At Councilmember Myers request, Council ratified the Mayor’s action to modify City staff vacation accrual:
New Vacation Benefit:
–City employees who have physically worked (in person) from March 23, 2020 through the conclusion of the stay-at-home order will receive 8 hours of vacation for each week worked with a maximum cap of 5 days
–Vacation Cap – The current vacation cap would not apply to this benefit. We recognize there could be difficulty in taking vacation time due to the demands of this response
Consider revisions to Council Policy 028 to allow for public meetings held by remote participation
Approved unanimously, this revision, as I understood it, allows us to meet primarily via Zoom-like capabilities during emergency declarations. During non-emergency times, we still must have a majority of members in person at meetings, although a minimum number of members may be able to “call-in” via video if the technology allows. (We are able to call-in now if needed, but only via phone, and it has limitations.)
Consider approval of survey questions for curbside compost and glass recycling pilot program
Approved unanimously to allow Jamie Robichaud to make modifications as suggested/intended by Council during discussion and disperse without further Council approval. Suggestions included adding qualitative questions to allow residents to explain “why” they did one thing or the other, adding preference of frequency, and to allow non-pilot residents to respond as well. For example, my street isn’t in the pilot program, but I would like to chime in that I would be interested and how often and what value I think it has that I would be willing to pay extra for.
Consider Amendment No. 1 with McCown Gordon for the CMAR agreement for the Public Works facility & Consider Amend. No. 2 with McCown Gordon for the pre-engineered metal building at the Public Works facility
Both approved unanimously.
Lisa Santa Maria, Finance Director, shared that she has modified and pushed out the 2021 Budget Calendar as far as she can with the COVID-19 orders in place, hoping that we can meet in person soon. If restrictions aren’t lifted, the finance committee will have to meet via Zoom in order to meet State deadlines for budget.
She also shared her projections for how COVID-19 may affect PV in the current budget year, and the negative impact could be as much as $1,458,624 or 6.6% of the 2020 budgeted revenues.
Between savings the City has already seen this year (ex. health insurance), and new areas identified by department managers and their staff (ex. fuel costs have gone down), Lisa was able to present a plan to offset the loss of revenues in the below matrix that shows us only dipping into our mandated reserves for about $178,000.00.
Councilmember Runion, a Colonial Church member, shared that after 3 months the solar panels installed on the church roof have had an environmental impact of reducing 2.5 tons of CO2 sent into the atmosphere, which is equal to planting about 122 trees! He mentioned this because the new Public Works building will have solar panels, and he looks forward to the impact those will have on our environment as well.
Mayor also reminded us all that the Prairie Village Foundation will take tax-deductible donations that you can earmark specifically for local food pantry disbursements. If you are looking for a list of local food pantries (none in PV are open to the public right now), the JoCo Library keeps a list HERE.
- May 4th – City Council Meeting, 6:00 p.m. on Zoom via Facebook Live which is accessible to ALL residents even if you don’t have a Facebook account.
- May 5th – Board of Zoning Appeals & Planning Commission Meetings, 6:30 p.m.
- May 6th – Arts Council Meeting
May 8th – Artists’ Reception w/ the PV Arts Council – CANCELED
Thanks for reading to the end! 😉 STAY WELL & have a great weekend!