Arts Council, Budget, Construction Projects (City), COVID-19, Events, Infrastructure, Parks, Streets, Taxes, Vaccine

Council Recap – 5/17/21

Posted by Bonnie Limbird
Presentation: Johnson County Community College Update

Recently appointed President, Dr. Andy Bowne, joined the City Council meeting to share the latest updates from JCCC:

  • Of JCCC students, 425 are Prairie Village residents
  • 65 are taking classes concurrent with high school classes
  • 220 students are non-degree track/continuing education
  • If you didn’t know, JCCC has one of the best culinary courses nationally
  • In the Fall 2021, more than 50% of the students will be back in person
  • The Nerman Museum will open back up to the public on June 1st with a special exhibition of pieces from their permanent collection.
  • JCCC is the most affordable option for higher education in Kansas at $94 per credit hour!

Fun Fact: JCCC also has drivers’ education classes!

(National Police Week Proclamation Follow-up)

May 15th was Peace Officers Memorial Day, and Prairie Village publicly saluted and honored all fallen officers and their families in front of City Hall. I got this great photo:

Parks & Recreation Committee

The Parks & Rec Committee recently took a tour of inclusive parks in the metro and the Prairie Village parks as well. They will soon begin work on the next 5-year Parks Master Plan.

JazzFest Committee

The JazzFest committee reported that they are moving forward with JazzFest on Saturday, September 11th.

Arts Council

A reminder to mark your calendars for Friday, June 11th at 5:30 p.m. for our first annual Prairie Village Art Walk! We will also host a small ribbon-cutting for the “boy on a bike” sculpture which is PV’s newest public art piece.

Also, the 4th Annual Art of Photography (virtual) exhibition is still live at with art available to purchase.

Mayor’s report
  • COVID vaccine report:
    • 53% of JoCo residents 16 and older have at least one dose of the vaccine
    • 43% of JoCo residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated
  • Mayor Mikkelson is now the newly elected chair of the Mayor’s Council and serves with City Attorney and Westwood Mayor, David Waters.
  • The U.S. Treasury has issued guidance for use of the recovery funds.
    • 50% will be disbursed to the states within 30 days, then the states will disburse to cities of populations fewer than 50,000 (that includes PV) within another 30 days.
    • the last 50% will be disbursed next year after 12 months
    • The funds can be used in six categories:
      • Support Public Health Response
      • Replace Public Sector Revenue Loss
      • Address Negative Economic Impacts
      • Premium Pay for Essential Workers
      • Water and Sewer Infrastructure
      • Broadband Infrastructure
  • Staff are working on in-person Council meetings. We will have a hybrid option available for those not comfortable for awhile even after we go back in person.
Pool Update

Meghan Buum updated Council on the pool opening in 2 weeks. The pool opens on Saturday, May 29th. They’ve hired 60 lifeguards and 25% of those are 15 years old, highlighting the need we had to open up that age group for hire. The last day for $10 off pool passes has now passed.

Streets Update

Melissa Prenger reviewed the upcoming street rehabilitation work including work right here in Ward 3 on 71st Street from State Line to Belinder, State Line from 71st to 75th St, as well as 74th Street from Windsor to Mission.

2022 Budget

Council approved the 2022 budget out of Council Committee of the Whole:

  • The mill rate percentage will stay static.
  • The property value appraisals went up again for 2022, but it was the least it’s gone up in the last 5 years (based on the overall city average).
  • Prairie Village residents will pay an additional $5 (based on the average home price) per calendar year.
  • The additional funding will go toward two additional full time employees, maintenance of a new K-9 unit and new building permit software, a 5-year salary survey, energy efficiency upgrades to City Hall, additional funding for the streets capital improvement program, and more.
  • I made a motion to cut the mill rate by a negligible amount, probably insignificant even to those that need a tax break the most, but an effort to at least slow the ever-increasing budget. While I believe the items being funded are worthy, it had been 2 years since Council last entertained a motion for a mill rate reduction and in that time no one had proposed a tax relief program to the entire Council as an alternative to a mill rate reduction. My motion received a second, a lengthy discussion, and even open scorn by at least one councilmember, but didn’t even come close to passing. After two years on the Finance Committee now, I’ve learned a lot, and I hope I can continue in 2022. Either way, I will continue this discussion with the knowledge I’ve gained for my next two budget cycles.
Agenda Packet for your reference

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So that’s it for last week. Thank you for your patience waiting for this recap as I juggle an extra heavy schedule this last couple of months. Some things I’m working on:

  • Final preparation with the Arts Council for our first ever Prairie Village Art Walk 👟 (Download Otocast today!)
  • Research review with Haskell University for the Native American trail signage in PV
  • Meeting and planning a coffee chat with a prospective new Arts Council member ☕
  • Johnson County Library Foundation Communications Task Force & Fundraising Committee (Library Lets Loose is coming soon!!)
  • Running the business side (registration and fee payment) for Girl Scout Day Camp for the 5th year in a row! ⛺
  • Joining the Shawnee Mission East PTSA executive board. 🏫
  • Finally getting some grass at the Limbird household. It will be nice to not have a back yard of mud.
  • Seed starting and planting of Sweet Pea vines for the first time. Wish me luck!
  • Getting my 15yo ready for her final 4-week sleepaway camp in June. 😢
  • Window shopping for a first car for that same 15yo… Looking for a Jetta if you know of one for sale! 🚗
  • so many work deadlines….

Take care, continue wearing your masks, and get vaccinated!

Stay positive; test negative.

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