Tuesday, Jan. 08 2013 4:52PM
April bond decision looming
Remaining issue is how to order ballot questions
By Russ Pulley
The deadline for the Lee’s Summit City Council to choose whether to hold an April bond election is approaching and the council’s final vote is expected this week.
At its Jan. 10 meeting, the council members will determine whether to ask voters to approve borrowing $7.5 million for street improvements and cultural arts facilities.
The proposals have been discussed for months, first by the council’s ad hoc Capital Improvement Project Committee, which asked for resident’s suggestions and scrutinized a list of projects from city staff.
Then the full council adjusted the committee recommendations, adding a $3 million proposal for reconstruction of Orchard Street between Douglas and Independence streets.
The bond issue is also expected to include $1.6 million for adding paved shoulders to Pryor Road.
The cultural arts facilities, $2.9 million, would enhance the Legacy Park amphitheater next to the Community Center by adding a covered stage, storage and additional parking, renovate a city building on West Main Street for exhibit space for the Lee’s Summit Historical Society in what was a the 1939 post office and former City Hall, and on adjacent property that fronts Market Street build a small festival space and stage.
The council is expected to work out whether it wants to split the bonds into separate questions for each project or combinations, such as one question for street projects and another for cultural arts, or lump them all together.
Mayor Randy Rhoads said that city staff would be prepared for any of the possibilities so the council could vote on the ordinance for the ballot. Rhoads said he wants the council to be consistent on the ballot, but otherwise doesn’t have a preference.
If the three cultural arts projects were under one yes or no question, then it would be preferable for the two street projects ought to be one question, he said.
“There is a school of thought to break it into five issues,” Rhoads said.
He said he did not have any indication which way council members would want to put the questions on the ballot.