Lee’s Summit approves April election for new U.S. 50 interchange

rpulley@lsjournal.comDecember 25, 2013 

The Lee’s Summit City Council followed through on its decision to put a $10-million bond issue to improve the U.S. 50 and Missouri 291 intersection on April’s ballot.

During its regular meeting Dec. 19, it unanimously passed an ordinance calling for the election, along with several other bills on its agenda. Council members in previous meetings had discussed the merits and possible outcomes of embarking on a joint project with the Missouri Department of Transportation.

If the city is successful in its application for partial state funding of the interchange, it could be reimbursed $5 million to repay bonds.

The city also followed up on projects underway on bond issues already approved by the council.

The council unanimously voted to approve at $1-a -year lease for the Lee’s Summit Historical Society for the WPA Post Office being renovated with city money. It will be a museum for the society’s collection.

Council members decided to support an effort lingering promise made a decade ago when voters passed bonds for a new City Hall and downtown improvements.

Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street Inc. is working on a Community Improvement District that would help pay for upkeep of some of those improvements, such as benches and trash receptacles, and for cleanups of downtown.

The CID also would help pay for some marketing and other programs to help promote business in the district.

Brad Culbertson, representing downtown, told the council that the organization needed council members support to reach thresholds for forming the district, because the city is a major landowner in the small district. Without it, the petition would fall short, he said.

“We almost have to get every property owner to support this petition, that’s pretty unlikely,” Culbertson said.

Council member Derek Holland asked whether the petitioners were coming to the city because there was so much opposition.

Culbertson said that in recent years property owners who previously had opposed the idea were now willing to sign the petition, making it possible to go forward.

“That’s what I wanted to hear, it gives me more piece of mind,” Holland said.

The district would levy an additional one-cent sales tax in its borders, without raising property taxes.

Councilman Ed Cockrell said the CID was promised to voters in 2002. By agreeing to the CID, which also will take an election in the district, the city can say it completed its obligation.

“It closes a chapter,” Cockrell said.

The council will have to take vote on ordinances for the WPA lease and the CID ordinances to make the decisions final.

Also, the council approved a 10-year special use permit for a used car dealer that specializes in exotic, high-end vehicles, like Porsche, Range Rover and Jaguar.

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