There were three items of business on the agenda for the May 30 Cass County Commission meeting– two of which were requests made by Raymore.
First, the commissioners approved the Cass County Sheriff’s Office request to accept a bid with 911 Custom LLC for the purchase of emergency vehicle equipment. The bid is in reference to the City of Independence contract #139-10-1 for the same terms and pricing. $52,000 will be used to purchase equipment and patrol cars as a one-time buy this year. Since Ford Motors no longer makes the Crown Victoria, a popular choice for police patrol cars, a different model will be chosen at a discount off of the manufacturer’s rate.
Next, the commission heard a request from the City of Raymore to have Kurzweil Road voluntarily annexed. In 1998, Raymore and Cass County agreed to a deal that would annex the section of Kurzweil Road from 163rd Street to 155th Street in 2001. Part of the agreement was that the County would “double chip and seal Kurzweil Road from county line to Highway 58 based on current county road construction standards.” Raymore’s part of the deal was to “provide a minimum of two inches of hot mix asphalt overlay and then annex Kurzweil Road and accept responsibility for all future maintenance.”
Raymore kept its part of the deal; however, fifteen years later, annexation has not occurred.
The commissioners unanimously agreed to proceed with the annexation process. First, the County will submit a petition to the City. Next, the City will publish a noticed of proposed annexation in The Journal. The City will go on to notify all property owners adjacent to the right of way property proposed to be annexed before conducting a public hearing at a regularly scheduled City Council meeting. After the City communicates public feedback about the road to the County, the County will confirm its petition and the Raymore City Council will be able to pass an ordinance voluntarily annexing the subject area.
The last matter on the agenda was also a matter of request by the City of Raymore. In regards to subdivision regulations for Cass County, Raymore petitioned to have some of the language changed so that new housing additions to adjacent municipalities would be required to become annexed to said municipality. In Cass County’s 1991 Comprehensive Plan in regards to future land use, it was stated that “Subdivisions which are being developed adjacent to incorporated areas present problems which are hindering the growth of the cities in Cass County.” Therefore, after this plan was adopted it was stated by the County that “Developments at a density greater than one ‘sell-off’ in 40 acres within one-half mile of and adjacent to an incorporated City in Cass County shall petition for annexation to the City.”
In 2003, though, the County changed the word “shall” to “may,” not making it a requirement for subdivisions to voluntarily annex themselves to the city which lay one-half mile or closer. Raymore wants the rule changed back.
Presiding Commissioner Jeff Cox said he was “personally not comfortable” with the plan, stating that involuntary annexation always causes contention. Though the commissioners saw the positives for cities with this issue, they voted down the measure unanimously. Commissioner Cox said he voted against the change because he sees it as a “property rights issue.”
The next Cass County Commission meeting is set for Thursday, June 6.