South KC Perspective
By John Sharp
South Kansas City residents and business owners in the 5th & 6th City Council Districts will still have one more opportunity in September to explain the need for capital improvement projects in their areas directly to their representatives on the Public Improvements Advisory Committee and their City Councilmembers at public hearings before the September 15 deadline for such requests.
The second PIAC hearing for the 5th District which covers the eastern portion of south Kansas City will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 5, at the Southeast Community Center, 4201 E. 63rd St.
The second hearing for the 6th District which covers much of the western portion of south Kansas City will be at the same time Thursday, September 14, at the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce office, 1300 E. 94th St., Suite 100, in the Blue River Commerce Center at the site of the former Bannister Federal Complex. Persons may enter the Center from Troost on 94th St.
Each year approximately $5 million from a 1-cent city sales tax is allocated per council district for neighborhood capital improvement projects such as curbs & sidewalks, park & community center upgrades, storm drainage protection and street & bridge improvements through the PIAC process.
The Public Improvements Advisory Committee, whose individual members are each appointed by the Mayor or individual Councilmembers, makes its recommendations for project funding in early winter for the city’s next fiscal year starting May 1. The funding isn’t officially approved until the City Council adopts the next fiscal year’s budget, but the Council seldom overturns PIAC recommendations.
Construction projects funded through the PIAC process generally don’t start until at least a year (and often longer, especially for major projects) after the budget is approved since such projects need to be designed and bids need to be taken to do the work after funding becomes available on May 1.