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Council Recap: Proclamations, Police Vehicle Purchases, & Board Appointments

Key topics of the September 5, 2023, Excelsior Springs City Council meeting included a public transportation grant application for 2024-2025, a one-year review of the Minor Home Repair Program, and two mayoral proclamations. Additional agenda items covered police vehicle purchases, appointments to city boards and commissions, two historic preservation grant resolutions, and an amendment to the city’s Purchasing Policy. 

Consideration of Public Transportation 5311 Grant Application for Operating and Capital 2024-2025 – Ordinance No. 23-09-01

Chad Birdsong, the Director of Public Works for the City of Excelsior Springs, presented the Council with a request to approve a grant application aimed at securing financial assistance from the Missouri Department of Transportation. This grant falls under Section 5311 of Chapter 53, Title 49, of the United States Code and would be utilized to support the City’s Transportation Department for the years 2024 and 2025.

The financial overview of the grant application detailed a total operating expense budget of $705,400 for the period of July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2025. This amount includes Federal funds of $376,000, requiring a local match of $329,400. Additionally, the total capital funding budget for the same time frame is outlined as $291,862, comprising Federal funds of $233,490 and a local match of $58,372.

Presentation – Minor Home Repair & Modification Program Report by Rebuilding Together KC

Laura Mize, the Neighborhood Specialist for the City of Excelsior Springs, introduced Mr. Scott Hickox from Rebuilding Together KC. Hickox presented a comprehensive report on the Minor Home Repair Program and its impact on Excelsior Springs for the one-year period from August 16, 2022, to August 16, 2023.

Proclamation – Missouri Good Neighbor Week 2023

Mayor Mark Spohn took the floor to read a proclamation declaring September 28 to October 4, 2023, as National Good Neighbor Week in Excelsior Springs.

Proclamation – National Diaper Need Awareness Week

Following the Good Neighbor Week proclamation, Mayor Mark Spohn read another proclamation, this time declaring September 18 to 24, 2023, as National Diaper Need Awareness Week in Excelsior Springs. The proclamation highlighted the critical issue of diaper need, defined as the condition where families cannot afford an adequate supply of clean diapers to keep their babies and toddlers clean, dry, and healthy.

Consideration of Police Vehicles Purchase Request – Resolution No. 1465

The Excelsior Springs Police Department submitted a purchase request for two new police vehicles from Grapevine Dodge, located in Grapevine, Texas. These new vehicles aim to replace one that was wrecked and declared a total loss by the department’s insurance company, as well as an aging vehicle in the existing fleet.

The specific vehicles requested are a 2023 Dodge Charger priced at $37,336 and a 2023 Dodge Durango priced at $42,940. The total cost for both vehicles, including delivery, is estimated at $81,276. After review, the City Council approved the purchase. The vehicles will be acquired using funds from the Public Safety Sales Tax (PSST) Fund, earmarked for such expenditures.

Consideration of BZA Board Appointments – Resolution No. 1466

Mr. John McGovern was appointed to the Board of Zoning Adjustment. He will serve until September 30, 2025, filling the vacancy left by Ambrose Buckman.

Mr. Brent McElwee was appointed as an alternate to the same Board of Zoning Adjustment, with a term ending on September 30, 2026. He is to replace John McGovern in the role of Alternate #2.

Consideration of HPC Board Appointment – Resolution No. 1467

The City Council continued with the appointment of citizens to city boards and commissions by appointing Mrs. Anna Sue Spohn to the Historic Preservation Commission. Her term is set to last until September 30, 2026.

Consideration of Housing Authority Board Appointment – Resolution No. 1468

​​The Council appointed Ms. Sharon Williams to the Housing Authority Board. Her term will last until September 30, 2026, and she will fill the vacancy left by Pam Grubbs.

Consideration of PSST Board Appointment – Resolution No. 1469

Mrs. Domonique Purnell was appointed to the Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee, with her term extending until September 30, 2026. She will be filling the vacancy left by Ron Smith.

Consideration of Annual Board Re-Appointments – Resolution No. 1470

Board of Zoning Adjustment: Mr. Rocky McLaughlin was re-appointed until September 30, 2028.

Capital Improvements/Transportation Trust Authority: Mrs. Mary Lou Greim and Mr. Jason Cole were both re-appointed until September 30, 2026.

Downtown Excelsior Springs Commercial Community Improvement District: Mrs. Jill Rickart, Mrs. Daphne Bowman, and Mrs. Melinda Mehaffy were all re-appointed until September 30, 2027.

Enhanced Enterprise Zoning Commission: Mr. Brent McElwee was re-appointed until September 30, 2028.

Excelsior Springs Redevelopment Corporation: Mr. Gary Sanson was re-appointed until September 30, 2026.

Historic Preservation Commission: Mr. Dennis Hartman was re-appointed until September 30, 2026.

Hospital Board of Trustees: Mrs. Martha Buckman and Mr. Tim Pence were re-appointed until September 30, 2027.

Housing Authority Board: Mrs. Barbara Blubaugh and Captain Robert Warner were both re-appointed until September 30, 2027.

Planning & Zoning Commission: Mr. Jake Simmons and Mr. Jason Van Till were re-appointed until September 30, 2027.

Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee: Mr. Bill Westerheide was re-appointed until September 30, 2026.

Consideration of Resolution of Support for State Historic Preservation Grant #1 – Resolution No. 1471

Melinda Mehaffy, the Economic Development Director, presented the Council with a resolution to express support for applying for the Missouri State Historic Preservation Grant targeting Isley Neighborhood Planning. She elaborated that the non-federal matching funds required from the city for this grant would be $5,544.

The grant, if approved, would enable planning services for the Isley Neighborhood. Among other things, this planning would include community discussions about the future of a city-owned property located at 410 Superior Street. The intent is to engage with neighborhood residents to gather their views on what should be done with this particular property.

Consideration of Resolution of Support for State Historic Preservation Grant #2 – Resolution No. 1472

Following her previous presentation, Melinda Mehaffy, the Economic Development Director, introduced a second resolution of support. This one is for a Missouri State Historic Preservation Grant aimed at providing education training for members of the Historic Preservation Commission. The city’s non-federal match for this particular grant would be $3,328.

The purpose of the grant is to provide “Defensible Decision Making Training” for the commission members. This training is intended to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to make informed and defendable decisions concerning historic preservation within the city.

Consideration of Amendment to the Purchasing Policy – Ordinance No. 23-09-02

City Manager Molly McGovern addressed the Council to discuss needed amendments to the city’s Purchasing Policy. According to McGovern, minor modifications were necessary for clarity and to accommodate the limitations of the city’s computer system.

Firstly, she clarified the wording concerning approval limits for purchases. Rather than using ambiguous terms like “less than 3,500,” the revised policy should specify that approvals are within the range of “$0 to $3,499.99.” The next tier will then clearly be stated as “$3,500 to $14,999.99.”

Secondly, McGovern highlighted an unintended change that occurred when the policy tiers were collapsed in a prior revision. The change inadvertently shifted the approval authority for purchases over $3,500 solely to the City Manager. She clarified that this was not the intention and that the threshold for her approval should remain at $7,500. This element was corrected in the amended ordinance.

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