Lucy Webb roundabout costs Raymore $100k more

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The Raymore City Council gathered for their normal meeting on Monday, July 8 at City Hall.

Leading off, Parks and Recreation Director John Kennedy gave an update about the City’s Fourth of July celebration (see photo and caption below). In response to the less-than-spectacular finale that caught the attention of the majority of the crowd, Kennedy explained that a malfunction caused nearly half of the fireworks not to explode. The City will be credited back for the duds and promises a better finale in 2014.

City Manager Eric Berlin announced that, for the ninth year, Raymore has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association. The award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting and represents a significant achievement to any organization who earns it. The award was given for the City’s 2013 budget.

On the Consent Agenda was an approval of the disposal of City surplus property. The City will be auctioning off several computer monitors, computers, police department resources, and several other surplus items. Whatever is not able to be sold at auction will be disposed of.

Four awards of contract were unanimously passed for second reading without any discussion. Awards of contract were granted for Phase II of the Raymore street preservation project, sidewalk installation on Foxridge Drive, and for a financial adviser and bond counsel for the City. Details for each of the contracts can be found on the City’s website, raymore.com.

In new business, the City was set to vote on the start of construction for the roundabout at Lucy Webb Road and Dean Avenue. The proposed plan was passed last October, with three Council-members opposing (current members Kevin Kellogg and Jeffrey Stevens along with former member Jeff Cox). The plan now has a new twist, with recent construction estimates coming in $106,053.35 over budget. The total cost of the project is $513,553.35.

In response to the discrepancy, Councilman Ryan Wescoat asked why the budget fell so far short of the actual cost. City staff member Mike Krass answered by stating that with the economy’s change and work loads increasing across the board, prices have been able to increase for construction projects in recent months.

A statement from the City reads, “There are sufficient funds in the Excise Tax Fund to handle the increased amount.” The budget amendment for the roundabout would adjust the Fund balance from $551,983 to $445,930.

Technical aspects of the roundabout were also discussed.

Councilman Richard Hall inquired about the design of the roundabout’s centerpiece. “Everyone is going to have an opinion,” he said, stating that people will likely compare this roundabout to the one on South Madison, along with those in other cities.

Krass responded by stating that the City does have a landscaping plan and no additional decoration, such as a monument, has been considered.

Councilman Kellogg was concerned about the acquisition of the surrounding land if the need arose for the roundabout to be increased from a one-lane to a two-lane roadway.

Krass explained that the City owns the property on the west side of the roundabout, but not the property on the east side. Eric Berlin added that an estimate given to the City surmised a one-lane roundabout would sustain Raymore’s growth for up to 25 years.

Councilmembers Derek Moorhead and Charlene Hubach discussed the possibility for traffic lights to be installed in the intersection in place of the proposed roundabout. The estimated price for stoplights is around $350,000, over $150,000 less than the roundabout.

Councilmembers Wescoat and Sonja Abdelgawad promoted the idea of the roundabout since the City has already spent money toward the project and the timing of the Sam’s Club opening in October would cause major issues if the project was delayed further.

The award of contract passed with Kellogg, Moorhead, and Hubach opposing. The budget adjustment passed with Kellogg and Hubach opposing.

A City Code passed first reading as well, which requires commercial buildings that generate grease and oil to maintain records of cleaning their grease interceptors. The City will  impose a duty on food preparation establishments to maintain their grease interceptors.

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