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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Council Review: Proposed Recreation Area Stalls


Last updated on February 26, 2023 by: Jason Cole

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The city council heard several proposals, ranging from creating a recreation area in the city center to replacing the blower unit at the sewage treatment plant. Human resources manager Shannon Stroud proposed a regulation to approve a memorandum of understanding between New York City and Excelsior Springs Hospital for laboratory services. Meanwhile, Economic Development Director Melinda Mehaffy has proposed an addition to the recreation area, while Finance Director Vonda Floyd has proposed amendments to the summer sewer credit program. Let’s take a closer look at each of these stories.

Downtown Excelsior Partnership Publishes Placier.ai Q4 Report, Placier.ai Annual Report and 2022 Annual Report

Lyndsey Baxter, Director of Downtown Excelsior Partnership, presented 3 reports, Placier.ai Q4 Report, Annual Placier.ai Report and Downtown Excelsior Partnership’s 2022 Annual Report. See the reports listed below:

Consider Replacing Blower #5 at Wastewater Treatment Plant

The City Council was informed by Superintendent of Public Works Chad Birdsong that blower number 5 at the WWTP (Wastewater Treatment Plant) needed to be replaced.

According to Birdsong, the WWTP currently has five blower units used to supply air to the two oxidation ditches in the treatment process. However, one of the units stopped working and upon inspection it was found that the blower motor housing was faulty and needed to be replaced.

To address this issue, the city issued a call for bids to replace blower motor housings and received two bids. The lowest bid came from blower unit manufacturer Aerzen for a total of $27,836.78. Birdsong noted that the city’s own staff, with assistance from JCI, will install the blower housings if required.

A resolution was prepared and presented to City Council for their consideration and approval to replace the blower unit. The council finally approved the resolution and authorized the replacement of the blower unit.

Considering MOU with Excelsior Springs Hospital for Laboratory Services

The City of Excelsior Springs requests approval of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Excelsior Springs Hospital for certain laboratory services. Human Resources Manager Shannon Stroud submitted the request to the council.

Under the proposed memorandum of understanding, the city will utilize new staff and random drug collection at Excelsior Springs Hospital. The hospital will provide 7 panel drug screening services in-house, and the process, rates and time frame for the screening services will be outlined in a memorandum of understanding.

Stroud noted that utilizing Excelsior Springs Hospital’s services will save the city significant money in screening services and streamline the process for staff. The ratio of negative test results to non-negative test results is also listed in the MOU.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Excelsior Springs and Excelsior Springs Hospital will allow the City to continue providing essential laboratory services to its employees while saving money.

Consider amending Chapter 600 to include recreation areas, and modify the code accordingly.

Leaflet describing the proposed entertainment area as part of the proposal.

The City Council is considering an amendment to Chapter 600 to create a recreation district in downtown Excelsior Springs. Economic Development Director Melinda Mehaffy submitted the proposed amendments to council.

According to Mehaffy, the Downtown Excelsior Partnership approached city staff about opportunities to allow open containers in the recreation district, similar to what other successful downtowns have already begun to do. Representatives from the Police Department and the Department of Community Development met with Ms. Baxter of the Downtown Excelsior Partnership to discuss the parameters for creating the recreation district.

The proposed parameters include restricted hours of 11am to 10pm daily and a requirement to purchase alcoholic beverages within the entertainment area and not allow purchases outside the entertainment area. Beverages will be served in branded containers and exotic beverages will not be brought into the area for public consumption.

The proposal includes a map of the recreation area area outlined in dark blue. Most of the affected areas are on Broadway Ave, Spring St. and Thompson Ave.

Mehaffy noted that city staff held hearings with local businesses in the area and received very positive reviews and support for such plans. Staff and the Downtown Excelsior Partnership have agreed to review the plan six months after implementation to address any needed changes.

Several members of the committee expressed concerns about the proposed district and suggested adding a listening station to gather feedback from community members. The proposal was put on hold for 1 month to allow time for more feedback. City Council will vote on the amendment at a future meeting.

Proposed Changes to Create Recreation Areas

Consider Revising Summer Sewer Credit Program

Excelsior Springs City Council is considering an amendment to the Summer Sewer Credit Program to extend the number of months of reduced sewer bills from three months to four months. The proposal, presented to council by Treasurer Vonda Floyd, would reduce sewer rates for July, August, September and October. Usage bills for these months will appear on August, September, October and November invoices. The calculation of the average sewer quota will remain unchanged, based on the average sewer usage for January, February and March.

According to Floyd, the change was proposed because residents demanded better accommodation of winter water for lawn care that does not go through the sewer system. Extending available credits through October is expected to encourage lawn landscaping. Proposed amendments to the Summer Sewer Credit Program will be considered at the Finance Committee meeting on February 21, 2023.

The committee was approached by a concerned citizen, Carol Baxter, who said she was a vegetable gardener and would rather see the revised months run from June to August. Council members Spear and Kowalski suggested looking carefully at the “data points” before making a final decision. The proposal was put on hold to allow time for additional analysis. City Council will vote on the amendment at a future meeting.

Please see the full council agenda attached below or visit https://cityofesmo.com/index.php/council/

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