Friday, February 10, 2017

Buy Local and First Street are Hot Topics at Council Meeting

Kevin Surbaugh

Mayor Marilyn Pearse called the Baldwin City Council meeting to order, before a packed room of fifteen to twenty residents. The council finished up it's discussion on the "Buy Local Policy." Before the vote, local resident Mike Bosch, owner of RG Fiber complemented the council for a great job of supporting local businesses.
However, he noticed that any business including a nationwide business that sets up shop locally could be considered a "local" business, under the terms of the policy, if has a physical shop or office in town. He also noticed when reading through the policy, that it seemed to read that the policy was for products only, leaving him wondering how the policy related to service based businesses like his.
City Finance Director, Brad Smith said, that he hadn't thought of the policy being a products only policy. Mayor Pearse didn't think it was the intent of the council to be products only. I'm not sure what we would change to imply services were included to," she said.
The council then unanimously voted to adopt the "Buy Local Policy,' which will reinforce what the city already practices.
Also on the agenda, was ordinance 1362, which would amend 1247, modifying front yard set backs from the current thirty feet to twenty. Allowing more rear yardage or even a larger structure. Some of the council members questioned if bigger vehicles would be hanging over the sidewalk or into the street.
Dave Hill, Baldwin City, explained to the council that a road has a sixty foot right-of-way, so there wouldn't be a twenty-two foot car hanging into the street. There is still quite a bit more area then a twenty foot set back sounds like.  With twenty feet being from the right-of-way, it would actually be closer to thirty-five feet from the street.
Shawna Vandebuerie said there should
be a big push for the Signal Oak area
and all the history of that area.
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh
Council Member David Simmons would like to hear more input from the community before taking any action, even if that action would be sending it back to the planning commission. After a lengthy discussion the council decided to mull the matter over, before the February 21, 2017 meeting.
The majority of those in attendance, where at the meeting for the next item on the agenda. That being a discussion of the improvements of  the section of First Street leading up the hill to Signal Oak. The plan proposed by the county is that the county would pay 100% of the engineering study at an estimated cost of $345,000, as previously reported in the Gazette.
A process which would take about two-years since the road has not been surveyed. The estimated construction  for the cost of $430,000 would be split 30-30-30-10.
  • County would pay 30% ($129,000)
  • City would pay 30% ($129,000)
  • Property Owners would pay 30% ($129,000)
  • Township would pay 30% ($129,000)
With an anticipation construction date being in 2019.
Glenn Rodden, City Administrator, said that it should have been paved as a condition of the development of the subdivision on the west-side of the road.
Those in attendance were told that they would not be expected to pay their amount divided among the seven property owners upfront. Instead the city would establish a benefit district which would have to approved by 51% of the included residents. Who then would pay a portion of that amount back each year with their property taxes. Should the benefit district fail to get enough votes, the proposed plans of paving the road would not continue.
Once it is paved the entire road will be maintained by the city. Currently it is half owned by the city, but is maintained by the Paymyra Township.
In other business:

  • Approved resolution 2017-02, the sale of general obligation bonds to finance the new public works building to UMB at an interest rate of 1.55 percent. Council Member Christi Darnell cast the dissenting vote.
  • Approved an inter-local agreement with neighboring communities and county for assisting fire services.

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