Arts Council, Budget, Community, Construction Projects (City), COVID-19, Informational, Meetings, Parks, Racism, Retail, Statuary, Taxes

Council Meeting Recap – 10/19/20

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

Third Update to the State Line Construction Status in a previous post: The PV side is complete, but the gas company on the MO side (Spire) needs a few more days before they can open as of 10/22/2020. It was set to open after the 23rd, so look for it to be more like late the week of the 26th.

Also: Link to image above for Tracking Covid-19 cases in the US.

This is the Prairie Village City Council meeting recap for Monday, October 19, 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:

Committee Reports

Arts Council

I shared that the Arts Council posted a blog this week about the history of The Homesteaders, the iconic Prairie Village statue at 71st and Misson. Read it here: ​LARGER-THAN-LIFE SCULPTOR | Anna Belle Campbell Cartwright, 1929-2001.

Parks & Recreation Committee

Councilmember McFadden chairs the Parks & Rec Committee, and she shared all the maintenance the Public Works Department has done on the Harmon Park pool facility over this summer while it was closed, including painting the building, power washing the lockers, installing LED lighting, and hanging new windows. They also have made some upgrades to the grass around the new restrooms at Porter Park, and did some design work on the kids’ nature play area.

Mayor’s Report

  • As mentioned last recap, JCDHE has changed their calculation method for the 14-day moving average and it APPEARS to have fallen sharply – it has not. Last week’s new average was 6.3%
  • Current standings:
    • Numbers are STILL going in the wrong direction based on JCDHE: our 14-day moving average for new cases is 6.6% as of 10/19. Today, 10/22, it’s 6.9!
    • Local CMO’s are starting to worry about ER swamping.
    • The virus is dramatically, adversely affecting Hispanic and Black Americans.
      • wear masks
      • wash hands
      • socially distance
      • stay home when you’re not feeling well
  • First Washington has released preliminary ideas and images for a mixed-use retail and office concept for the old Macy’s space. You can read more about that in the Shawnee Mission Post.
  • The Diversity Task Force’s second meeting is October 20th. See the Task Force webpage for the video.
  • The next council work session for Village Vision 2.0 will be Monday, October 26th. You can see the agenda packet HERE.
    • A NEW survey is available NOW to respond to: SURVEY. **We had a relatively low response rate to the first survey – although typical per our consultants – so it is IMPERATIVE that if you want your voice heard on the next 20 years of development in PV, you MUST engage with the city through these surveys and public participation at meetings!

** My add.

Staff Reports

Wes Jordan, City Administrator, shared that JCPRD will be attending a council meeting in November to present ideas for the next phase of Meadowbrook Park as the tax revenue has been replenishing (to the tune of about $1.2 million).

Lisa Santa Maria, Finance Director, updated us on third quarter finances. Sales tax revenue is down, but use tax is up. Also, expenditures are DOWN due to the hard work of city staff to tighten their department belts during this uncertain time. Overall, for 3/4 of the year, we’re at 74.5% of expected revenue and 68% of expected expenditures. Not bad!

Thank you so much to all of our city staff who take the city’s finances, budgets, and credit rating so seriously and make sure we are set-up well for the future!

Chief of Police Tim Schwartzkopf ensured us that polling places in Prairie Village will be safe for voters. They are working with the Johnson County Election office and their federal & local partners on coordinating in every way they can.

Melissa Prenger, Senior Project Manager, gave the Public Works update including that the 71st Street closure project (at Mission) is running on time (we’re three weeks in on the 60-day closure). They have also notified the contractors on that job that there will be a polling place at that intersection (Colonial Church) and to keep the site free and clear of debris for voters.

New Business

Consider a revised scope of services with Gould Evans for Village Vision 2.0

Jamie Robichaud, Deputy City Administrator, presented Gould Evans’s proposal for additional services to complete the Village Vision 2.0 comprehensive plan. For $12,930, it includes:

  • Three more 2-hour work session with the City Council
  • An additional online feedback platform for public comment (see Survey above)
  • One more revision of the comprehensive plan
  • Two more public hearings required for adoption with the Planning Commission and City Council

Council voted 10-2 to approve this additional scope with Councilmembers J. Nelson and Runion voting nay.

BUT, I will reiterate: it is imperative that if you want your voice heard on the next 20 years of development in PV, you MUST engage with the city through this survey, public participation at meetings, and emailing your councilmembers!

Approve a policy regarding the distribution of written public comment to the governing body or other city committees

Council voted unanimously to approve this official policy. Tonight’s discussion on this topic was much more productive, coherent, and respectful to staff.

Council Committee of the Whole

Discuss the possibility of adding new historic trail signing in Prairie Village

Mark Morgan, a resident of Prairie Fields, started this as a small neighborhood project in Corinth Hills (SW of Santa Fe Trails Park) to identify where the Westport route of the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trails crossed the neighborhood, and to develop appropriate marking/signing for residents.

It has now grown into a city-wide project in conjunction with the Kansas City Area Historic Trails Association that has garnered positive feedback from many Prairie Village residents as well as the Council Committee of the Whole who approved it unanimously to move forward to the next steps.

One of the next steps, however, will need to be reviewing the narrative on the markers to make sure it doesn’t discount or misrepresent the effect of the trails on the indigenous people who were here and how they were displaced. I look forward to learning how this can be addressed and creative ways to make it a learning opportunity.

That’s all for now, folks.
Thanks for hanging in with me!
I hope you found this engaging.

Just a Couple Reminders:

Residents and visitors are STILL required to wear masks or cloth face coverings in Prairie Village and ALL of Johnson County as well as most of Kansas and the KC Metro on the Missouri side.

Got Symptoms? Get Tested!

Those who live or work in Johnson County, KS can schedule a free COVID-19 test.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, you need to get tested. If you’ve been in close contact with someone who has the virus, you need to get tested — even if you don’t have symptoms. Click the image above for more info.

Upcoming Events

  • October 26th – VV 2.0 Council Work Session, 6:00 p.m
  • November 2nd – City Council Meeting via Zoom, 6:00 p.m.
  • November 4th – Tree Board Meeting, 6:00 p.m.
  • November 4th – Planning Commission Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

STAY WELL & enjoy the week!

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