Raymore prepares to adjust development fees

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The Raymore City Council met at its normal time at the Raymore City Hall on Monday, September 9.

The meeting began with a declaration by Mayor Peter Kerckhoff for Constitution Week, which is September 17-23 this year. Mary Dobson, with the Prairie Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, was the recipient of the declaration.

John Kennedy, with the Raymore Parks and Recreation Department, gave an update on the City’s parks and events. Kennedy said that the first week of fall sports has gone well for Raymore and that there have been over 270 children signed up for soccer. He also stated that the Department was convinced by citizens to extend the Raymore Farmer’s Market for another month—so that it will last through October.

The only matter of unfinished business was Bill 2895, which prohibits the use of aerial luminaires within the Raymore city limits. The usage of floating lanterns, most often seen at weddings and other celebrations, is being banned due to the same dangers that are associated with bottle rockets and other fireworks.

Five items were up for the first reading Monday night. The first item, a liquor license application by WW Grill, as Oliver’s Pizza in Raymore, passed unanimously. Oliver’s Pizza is a new business that opened in recent weeks located on Highway 58 next to Freedom Stop.

The next item on the agenda dealt with the annexation of the Cass County right-of-way for Kurzweil Road. In 1998, Raymore agreed with the County to annex the section of Kurzweil Road from 163rd Street to 155th Street.

“This is purely a housekeeping issue,” said Councilmember Wescoat. The Councilmember assured those present that the City has been maintaining the road and will continue to do so; the Bill is in place just to make sure the City is squared away legally.

The Bill passed 6-2, with Councilmembers Kevin Kellogg and Charlene Hubach opposing.

Resolution 13-51 was the next item on the agenda and was presented in regard to development fees for the City. Every fiscal year, Raymore’s City Manager, Eric Berlin, reviews the City’s water and sewer connection fees for residential and non-residential buildings. He then makes recommendations for adjustment based upon what costs a development would cause the City in the present and/or future and competitiveness with other cities so that Raymore does not price itself out of the development market.

A section of the reading from the memorandum explained area competition in regards to fees:

  • Of the [local] cities that charge an impact fee or excise fee for transportation, Raymore’s is well above the second highest. Raymore’s current fee is $1,795, Lee’s Summit’s is now $1,041, Peculiar’s is $1,000 and Belton’s is $810.
  • The mean for the basic building permit fee is $1,198, slightly higher than Raymore’s $1,102.
  • Raymore has several small fees that most cities do not have, including a building permit reviewal fee, electrical ermit fee, plumbing permit fee, and mechanical permit fee. The total amount of these fees in Raymore is $177.
  • Raymore’s water tap fee of $2,263 is slightly below the mean amount for those cities that have a fee.
  • Raymore’s sewer connection fee, $2,263, is well above the mean for cities that have such a fee ($980).

Because of these factors, City Staff recommended that the City’s sewer connection be reduced by 41% to $1,333. The water connection fee is advised to be raised to $2,318.

“We seem to be building more homes than we have forecasted in recent years,” Berlin said.

The increase in the water connection fee was recommended because of the necessity of a new water tower in the near future. According to Berlin, a new water tower will cost the City around $5 million. In addition, 16-inch water line will need to routed to Kentucky and Kurzweil Roads, creating a need for more funds as well. The Resolution passed unanimously.

The next topic discussed was Bill 2899 which refers to concrete repair at the Brookside Greenway Trail. According to the Bill, “Cracking of the trail surface has occurred at the edges of some panels where earth was lacking and the edge gave away.” The proposed replacement concrete, which is 120 feet of ten-foot wide sidewalk, would cost the City $6,000. The first reading of the Bill passed unanimously.

The last agenda item, Bill 2897, was another house-keeping matter that cleared up an inconsistency between the City Charter and the city Code. The Charter states that three members of the Council may call for a special meeting of the Council, but the Code says that a majority of members (five) is required. Since the Charter supercedes the Code, a code amendment has been prepared to bring unity to the documents.

There were no public comments for the Council Monday night.

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