Council Recap: Changing of the Guard, Community Development Report & More

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The Excelsior Springs City Council met on April 3, 2023, to discuss a variety of topics and make decisions that will impact the community. The meeting included presentations from several city officials, including the Economic Development Director, the Director of Public Works, the Mayor, and the City Manager. Among the items on the agenda were the consideration of a lease agreement with United Services Inc. for a public safety equipment building, a task order for pavement condition assessment and report, and a regional resource-sharing agreement with neighboring communities. Let’s take a closer look at what was discussed and what decisions were made at the meeting.

Outgoing council members Andrew Kowalski and Sharon Powell have served Excelsior Springs well! (photo S Jason Cole).

The meeting began with the recognition of outgoing council member Andrew Kowalski. Kowalski served as a councilman from June 12, 2020, through April 14, 2023. Mayor Sharon Powell who will also be voluntarily stepping away from the council after serving for 9 years, 3 of those as mayor presented Kowalski with a certificate stating, “The City of Excelsior Springs would like to recognize you for your contribution and service to the citizens of Excelsior Springs so done this third day of April 2023!”

Later this week, the council of Excelsior Springs will hold a meeting to choose two positions: mayor and mayor pro tempore. Excelsior Springs operates under a council-manager form of government where a professional city manager handles the day-to-day administration of the city and serves as the chief executive officer. The council members will vote to choose the mayor and mayor pro tempore from among their own members. Although the mayor is considered the ceremonial head of the city and represents the city at public events and presides over city council meetings, they do not have significant executive authority. In the absence, disability, or vacancy of the mayor, the mayor pro tempore exercises the mayor’s authority. However, holding the title of mayor pro tempore does not mean that the person will automatically become the mayor when the term is up. This “changing of the guard” is performed after each municipal election in which council members are elected.

Consideration of Change Order with Royal Construction

Director of Parks, Recreation, & Community Center, Nate Williams, presented a proposal for the replacement of toilet partitions in the locker rooms of the Community Center. The current stainless steel partitions have been problematic, as rust has taken over in some areas. The proposed replacement is solid plastic partitions, which have been successfully used in Rainbow Splash Park and other community centers and will not rust. The recommendation is to use Royal Construction, which is already on site and has the necessary capabilities to do the work easily. The proposed expense for the purchase and installation of the replacement partitions is $35,203, and the bond funds are available for this project. The City Council will need to approve the expense for the project to proceed.

Consideration of Change Order #3 for Community Center Phase II Project

Director of Parks, Recreation, & Community Center, Nate Williams, presented a proposal for the consideration of items included in Change Order #3 for the Phase II project of the Community Center. The change order included several items such as changes to a storm box, coordination of the dome’s mechanical and electrical which tie into the storm box, gate modifications, and storage building modifications. The gate modifications involved increasing the access points from 10 feet to 12 feet, providing extra space for emergency assistance and for the concession trailer. Williams recommended using Royal Construction to include this work and move forward on the project, as they have met all requests during the design phase. The proposal requires approval of $45,247 to complete all changes listed in Change Order #3, and the bond funds are available for this project which is still within budget.

Consideration of Westside CID Board Appointment

Mayor Powell appointed Mike McCoy by resolution to the Westside Community Improvement District Board. McCoy will be replacing Kayla McCauley, who voluntarily stepped off the board, and will serve out her term.

Presentation – Community Development Annual Report

At the City Council meeting, Melinda Mehaffy, the Economic Development Director, presented information on the city’s annual report regarding the work completed by the Planning and Zoning Commission, as required by city ordinances. The report covered Fiscal Year 2022 and compiled data on permits, inspections, code cases, and the work of the 11 boards and commissions. The report also included the work completed by the department’s five divisions: Administration, Building Trades, Economic Development, Neighborhoods, and Planning and Zoning. During the presentation, Mehaffy shared each division’s accomplishments with the council. See her presentation below, or watch the video presentation above.

Consideration of North West Pump Station, High Service Valve Actuator Replacements

During the City Council meeting, Chad Birdsong, the Public Works Director, presented information about the North West Pump Station’s system improvements. The updates, which were budgeted for this year, included two new electric valve actuators on both high-service pumps, replacing the leaking and obsolete current valves. The new valve actuators are electric with battery backups and connected to the SCADA system, unlike the previous ones, which were run by water pressure. The old valves could not close automatically in the event of a power loss, which could cause backflow and overflow of the clear wells at the plant. The new actuators can also be controlled remotely through the SCADA system. Mid America Valve, who has previously performed most of the valve and actuator replacement updates, was the low bidder for the project. A resolution for the approval of the $21,340.00 improvement from Mid America Valve was presented for consideration and approval.

Consideration of Lake Maurer and Prathersville Lift Station Control Upgrade Project

The Public Works Director, Chad Birdsong, presented regarding the Lake Maurer and Prathersville Lift Station Control Upgrade Project. According to Birdsong, the existing level indicator controllers at the lift stations have been causing issues for the utility crews, needing to be reset multiple times per week. These obsolete controllers, which had been in service for over 20 years, could not be repaired. A bid was put out to replace them, and REP Pedrotti was selected as the low bidder at $19,210.

Consideration of Agreement with Lamp Rynearson for Task Order 2023-02 Engineering Services Pavement Maintenance Condition Assessment and Report

Chad Birdsong, the Director of Public Works, presented information about an agreement with Lamp Rynearson for Task Order 2023-02 Engineering Services. The scope of services included a pavement inspection of the existing street system to evaluate and score each street’s condition and to create a database for an exact inventory of curbs and sidewalks. The Transportation Trust Authority approved the funding for the project for a not-to-exceed amount of $50,000. The fee for the work was a lump sum of $48,615.60, which included Stantec Services for scanning and delivering data into a database and Lamp Rynearson’s services for project management, recommended street maintenance techniques, and budgetary recommendations.

Consideration of Lease Agreement with United Services Inc. (dba United Fiber)

Mayor Sharon Powell presented a proposed lease agreement with United Services Inc. (dba United Fiber) for the city’s public safety equipment building located on the Pasta Plant water tower site. The building, which was initially used solely for public safety and amateur radio equipment, has not been in use by the city’s public safety departments for several years. United Fiber is willing to take over the electrical utility cost of the structure and is requesting the ability to improve the facility with a new backup generator. In return, the city still retains the ability to occupy 10% of the building in case of future public safety needs. United Fiber has provided multiple gratis services to the city, including fiber internet to several departments and wireless internet connectivity to the golf course, airport, water treatment plant, and wastewater treatment plant. The proposed lease has been reviewed by the city attorney, and the lease was touted as a “win-win” situation as it benefits both United Fiber and the city by providing reliable internet services to the community and income for the city from a structure that was not being used by city staff.

Consideration of the Regional Resource Sharing Agreement

City Manager Molly McGovern presented Resolution No. 1426 for the consideration of the Regional Resource Sharing Agreement. The agreement, provided by MARC, aims to establish a comprehensive understanding of how certain resources can be shared and assistance can be offered between neighboring communities. This agreement expands upon existing mutual aid agreements to provide a safety net for accessing potentially needed resources, such as public information officers, medical examiners, and public works volunteers. McGovern emphasized that the agreement is not intended to supersede or replace any existing agreements but rather to strengthen current working relationships between jurisdictions within the region. In the last year, the city has already received assistance from neighboring communities, such as Clay County providing public information on active incident scenes and working with KCPD on crimes that occurred between their jurisdictions.


Excelsior Springs City Council Meetings are normally held on the first and third Monday of each month at 6:00 PM at the Hall of Waters in downtown Excelsior Springs. Meetings are streamed live, courtesy of the Simmons Sales Team and Excelsior Springs Hospital, to the Excelsior Citizen Facebook Group, Facebook Page, and YouTube Channel where they can also be watched later.

Find City Council agendas and information here: https://cityofesmo.com/index.php/council/


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