Peculiar Board of Aldermen prepares to bring back fuel tax ballot question

The Peculiar Board of Aldermen held their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday night, which began with an appointment of Marcia Major to the Peculiar Park Board. Major has been a longtime resident of Peculiar, and wants to “be a part of our beautiful city and what it has to offer our community, family and especially kids.”

The board then heard a presentation from Brenda Conway, a representative from Downtown Peculiar Arts & Culture District, an organization that focuses on retaining the character and feel of downtown Peculiar Conway discussed several points in her presentation, including the types of businesses that should be in an arts district.

“The core is where I feel like there is disconnect and we need to work together to mitigate that,” Conway said. “We cannot have an arts district without arts district compatible businesses.”

Several members of the board shared the concerns of Conway, and want to see the downtown area in Peculiar maintain it’s historic value, look and feel. As communities grow and develop, a downtown area can be seen as the core of the city.

“I agree with Brenda that the downtown core is vital,” Alderman Matt Hammack said. “No matter what happens with 211th, we have to maintain downtown.”

Following the appointment, the board moved to unfinished business, which contained one item. A second reading of Bill No. 2015-18, an ordinance by the Board of Aldermen of the City of Peculiar to address possession, receiving, or controlling stolen property, was passed by a vote of 5-1. Alderman Donald Turner was the one dissenting vote.

The board then moved into new business, which contained two items. Resolution 2015-38, a resolution authorizing the mayor and city administrator to enter into an agreement with the Raymore-Peculiar School District for one School Resource Officer at the district complex on School Road, was passed unanimously.

Resolution 2015-39, a resolution addendum to contract for City of Peculiar citywide residential solid waste and recyclable pick-up services, was passed unanimously.

With the action items on the agenda completed, the board then moved to topics for discussion, which included yet again the one-cent fuel tax, as requested by Alderman Matt Hammack and Alderman Jerry Ford.

“The overwhelming amount of people that I talk to, want it back on the ballot,” Hammack said. “There is a committee that is working on it right now with a different approach.”

The city has placed the sales tax question on the ballot three times, which has failed to receive the required ¾ vote each time. A majority of the board members feel that this sales tax would help improve the roads in the city, but believe there has been a disconnect between themselves and the citizens.

“To continue to do something the same way every time four times and expect a different outcome is ludicrous,” Ford said. “That’s what we’ve done every time.”

Following the discussion, Alderman Hammack motioned for the city staff to bring forth, at the next Board of Aldermen meeting, a ballot question to be placed on the November ballot. Alderman Ford seconded the motion, and the first reading of the ballot question will be heard at the Board’s next meeting on Aug. 3.

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