Redistricting issue on tonight’s UG Commission meeting agenda

Update: Because four UG commissioners will not be in attendance at the 5 p.m. meeting, the performance review of the UG administrator will not be conducted on Oct. 14, according to an amended agenda note. The labor negotiations discussion is still on the 5 p.m. agenda.

At its meeting tonight, the Unified Government Commission will consider sending a letter urging the Kansas Legislature to leave Wyandotte County with Johnson County in the 3rd Congressional District.

Legislators currently are redrawing maps for the districts based on population.

Also on the 7 p.m. agenda Oct. 14 is a resolution approving an agreement with Bishop Ward High School to provide a school resource officer from the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department. The school would pay $30,000 this school year for the SRO; $33,000 in 2022-2023; and $36,000 in 2023-2024. There would be increases from 2024 through the term of the agreement.

Also on the agenda is a resolution for a sewer separation project, authorizing a survey of land. The location of the project would be Washington Boulevard to Sandusky Avenue, North 13th Street to North 10th Street.

The project includes sewer separation south of Big Eleven Lake, including new sanitary and storm sewers; Big Eleven Lake enhancements, including energy dissipation and aeration; utilization of Big Eleven Lake for stormwater storage; stormwater pretreatment facilities including bioretention and mechanical debris-nutrient separators; and closure of Waterway Drive between Washington Boulevard and State Avenue. Eminent domain could be used in the future to acquire parcels.

Also listed on the agenda are Land Bank option applications for new construction of two single-family homes by Circuit Avenue Partners LLC. Addresses were 837 Freeman Ave., 841 Freeman Ave., 843 Freeman Ave., 845 Freeman Ave., 847 Freeman Ave., 849 Freeman Ave. and 851 Freeman Ave. They were “fast-tracked” to the Oct. 14 meeting and put on the consent agenda, but there is a question about whether they will be considered on Oct. 14 because of committee action Monday night.

At a UG Neighborhood and Community Development Committee meeting Monday night, Ric Worner told the committee that the developer would like to build two model homes on these lots, then invite everyone to tour the model homes and give input on what they would like to see in the future homes they plan to build on the seven lots.

It is their intent to build homes on all the lots, but they have not had the chance to do environmental inspections on the lots yet, he added.

Beverly Easterwood of the Douglass-Sumner neighborhood group spoke at the committee meeting and said they would like to have more information before endorsing the project.

Commissioners Melissa Bynum and Gayle Townsend were in favor of holding over the approval for this project until the community group could talk with the developer, and also until the district commissioner’s opinion was heard.

Worner said they were trying to expedite the project because they were trying to build two houses this year before the weather changes.

He said his firm also was working on another project, but there was a difference of opinion between the UG and Mt. Carmel as to who had the right to the lots, delaying that project. He has previously developed the Hazelwood project at 114th and Parallel, he said.

Commissioner Townsend withdrew her motion at the committee meeting to hold over the project.

Easterwood at the committee meeting then said she felt there had not been proper time for the neighborhood group to investigate what’s taking place in its neighborhood.

Commissioner Townsend said in February and March, the committee tried to make provisions for neighborhood groups to have enough time to evaluate proposals. She was concerned that the items on Monday were fast-tracked without notifying the neighborhood group early enough.

The committee on Monday night then voted, after Commissioner Townsend’s motion, to move the project to the Oct. 28 UG Commission meeting for full discussion and action, with a meeting required with the neighborhood group in advance of the Oct. 28 meeting.

At the 5 p.m. special session Oct. 14 in the fifth floor conference room at City Hall, the UG Commission will meet in a closed, executive session on the county administrator’s quarterly review and labor negotiations, according to the meeting notice.

The Oct. 14 commission meeting will be on YouTube, on UGTV cable television, on Zoom and telephone.

The Zoom meeting is at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83557310190?pwd=dnBpWCtad1ZkS0p2NW56bDZnZDY5QT09.

The passcode is 456436.

The tolll-free telephone numbers are 877-853-5257 and 888-475-4499.

More information on how to connect to the meetings is at https://www.wycokck.org/Departments/Clerks-Office/BOC-Virtual-Meeting.

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