Approval of a half-cent transportation tax in Grandview would go toward improvements such as a new railroad pass over Blue Ridge Blvd along with four-lanes and sidewalks.
Grandview to decide on half cent transportation sales tax
By John Sharp
Grandview voters will decide whether to renew the city’s current half-cent transportation sales tax when they go to the polls Tuesday, June 2.
Revenue from the tax is devoted to funding maintenance and improvements for the city’s 113 miles of streets and for its bridges, trails, curbs, sidewalks and other transportation related infrastructure.
Voters first approved the tax in 1985 and renewed it in 1990, 2000 and 2010. The proposal on the ballot will extend the tax ten years from when it expires on June 30 of next year through June 30, 2031. It takes a simple majority to pass.
The tax is projected to continue to generate about $1.2 million annually.
Besides funding Grandview’s annual street maintenance work, sales tax funded projects that were completed from 2010 to this year include several phases of improvements to Main St., other downtown improvements, Harry Truman Dr. improvements, Botts Rd. widening. Highway 150 upgrades and 155th St. widening.
Projects that are slated to receive funding if the tax is extended include conversion of the I-49 outer roads to two-way traffic, a new Kansas City Southern railroad overpass over Blue Ridge Blvd., Blue Ridge Blvd. upgrades and construction of a new bridge on Raytown Rd. just south of its intersection with Harry Truman Dr. All of these projects are expected to receive matching federal or Missouri Department of Transportation grants.
Converting the one-way access roads to two-way traffic is projected to spur adjacent development along undeveloped or underdeveloped stretches of the outer roads such as the northbound east outer road from 125th St. to Blue Ridge Blvd. The only development along this wooded stretch is a gas station and convenience store on the north side of 125th St. and four billboards. Some retailers have firm policies against locating on one-way streets.
The new railroad overpass will allow Blue Ridge Blvd. to be widened to four lanes with sidewalks on both sides under the new overpass that will carry two tracks. A grant from the Federal Railroad Administration will cover half the cost of the project, and the railroad will contribute a fourth of the cost, according to Grandview Public Works Director Dennis Randolph.
Randolph said the Raytown Rd. bridge will replace two severely deteriorated large metal culverts that now go under the road to connect Longview Lake to an overflow holding area on the west side of the road, forcing the city to restrict truck traffic.
The sales tax extension has been endorsed by the Grandview Chamber of Commerce and Southland Progress. There is no organized opposition to the extension.
For more information, persons may go to www.buildingtomorrowscommunity.com and click on Transportation Sales Tax Renewal.
There will only be two polling places open in Grandview for the June 2 election – Grandview High School, 2300 High Grove Rd., and The View Community Center, 13500 Byars Rd.