Lee’s Summit lets contract with Development Initiatives expire

rpulley@lsjournal.comJuly 23, 2013 

Lee’s Summit continues reorganizing pieces of its economic development efforts.

Recently it repositioned work it is sending to consultant Chris Sally, principal of Development Initiatives.

As of July 1, the city eliminated the position of Director of Development, which had been held by Greg Foss. Daren Fristoe, hired for a newly-created assistant city manager position, assumed those responsibilities and others.

Sally’s general consulting contract also expired July 1 without renewal.

City Manager Steve Arbo said the city expects to use Sally’s services in the future on individual contracts regarding specific projects. Sally recently has been working with the Lee’s Summit Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority and other projects on a “time-based” contract for “general consulting” which was in force for two years.

Authority Chairman Keith Asel said Sally is expected to finish a blight study that is part of its work on a proposed commercial redevelopment district being considered.

He credits Sally with progress the authority had made in reorganizing and work on a downtown redevelopment district and other projects.

He said Sally had coached and educated the LCRA as to its role and given specific guidance for projects.

“He’s been tremendously helpful,” Asel said.

He said as discussion of that project resumes in late fall, commercial property owners will be contacted by the authority to come to meetings for their comments.

Arbo said that due to budget constraints for the 2013-14 fiscal year that started July 1, as part of a reduction in spending on consultants and studies, he did not request funds to renew the contract with Sally.

Sally and the city will negotiate the scope of work and related fees for projects, which will be taken to the City Council for consideration and potential budget amendment. Sally said the situation was “very much par for the course” and expiration of that specific contract was far from an end of his relationship with the city.

Examples of his recent work include a blight study for the 300-acre Unity Village annexation, the reactivation of the Land Clearance Development Authority and consideration of the Enhanced Enterprise Zone.

Arbo said Sally is very familiar with the community and works well with city staff and elected officials.

“I am certain redevelopment opportunities will be presented in the future that will need Mr. Sally’s assistance,” Arbo said.

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