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City Administrator’s Report for 3/16/2012

City Administrator’s Report
FROM: Mahesh Sharma, City Administrator

 

Community Development

The Steering Committee for the Downtown Streetscape Project met on Tuesday, March 13th to review refinements to Phase 1 of the proposed streetscape design. The Steering Committee also reviewed the estimate of probable construction costs and different streetscape amenities for Phase 1. The city’s project consultant, Confluence, will present the Phase 1 design concept developed by the Steering Committee at the March 20th Board of Aldermen Work Session at 6:00 pm. As required the Transportation Enhancement Grant that the City received for construction of the Phase 1 streetscape improvements final construction plans will be submitted to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) for their review and approval by the end of April. Following approval of the plan by MODOT, the city will release a request for bids, which is anticipated to occur this summer with construction of the Phase 1 improvements beginning early this fall. Presentation to the Board of Aldermen is set for Tuesday, March 20th, during the scheduled work session.

Economic Development

Raytown Plaza, Bowen Apartments and Blue Ridge Plaza have been purchased by a regional real estate developer with the intent to renovate each property to a higher standard of operation. Much of the work to be completed on the properties is cosmetic (paint, windows), but will also include many system upgrades. The commitment of the new ownership team will undoubtedly usher a greater opportunity for new businesses and additional tenants to reinvigorate the commercial areas.

The former Laurel Lanes bowling alley has been purchased by an entrepreneur planning on converting the building into a youth baseball training facility. The building may also host a golf swing analysis program.

In general, economic development activity and interest in Raytown is brisk in the first quarter of 2012. We anticipate that such preliminary interest will yield real projects and business expansion later in the year.

Finance

Two staff members attended a full day of training at the Mid America Regional Council (MARC) office. They were able to complete two of the seven courses required to receive a Customer Service Certificate awarded by MARC. It is one of the departmental goals to have all sewer and accounting clerks complete the certification program.

The Finance Director and Senior Accounting Analyst have been conducting interviews for the open Accountant position over the past few weeks. Several excellent candidates have been interviewed and staff is hopeful that the position will be filled soon.

The past week the finance department processed 164 credit card and e-check payments, 67 of which were walk in customers and 97 were web transactions. The sewer department also issued 152 welcome letters to new customers and issued 62 water shut off notices. At the County Tax windows staff handled 444 transactions for walk in customers.

Public Works

The Missouri Local Technical Assistance Program hosted a light weight aggregate seal coat best practices training program on March 14th at the Clay County Highway Department. Staff attended the training to reinforce knowledge and learn more proper methods in calibrating oil distributors and aggregate spreaders.

Staff will met with MODOT this afternoon in Lee’s Summit to interview the 350 Highway Preliminary Design project finalists.

Federal authorization for funding of transportation is set to expire in the coming months. Congress has addressed the issue several times in the past by passing extensions to the existing transportation bill. This week the Senate passed a 2-year $109 Billion transportation bill that would end the extensions of the existing bill and enact a new bill. The 2-year bill is much shorter in time frame than the 5-year bills that have been in place in the past. The House of Representatives must approve the senate’s version of the bill before it can be sent to the President for consideration. The transportation bill is important to Raytown as the transportation bills are the source of funding for the grants the city has been receiving for projects such as the bicycle/pedestrian trails and intersection improvements at 350 Highway and Raytown Road.

Board, Committee and Commission Meetings, and Events

March 19 – Park Board Meeting; Park Office, 7:00pm
March 20 – Fire Board Meeting; Station 1, 9:00am
March 20 – Board of Aldermen Work Session; Council Chambers, 6:00pm
March 20 – Board of Aldermen Meeting; Council Chambers 7:00pm

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