By Leilani Haywood
Tribune Reporter

The Lee’s Summit City Council narrowly defeated substitute bill 18-20 for the second time on April 5, 2018 that would allocate $1.8 million to police; $1.25 million to fire fighters and $500,000 to machinists for pay raises. Councilmembers Dave Mosby, Phyllis Edison, Fred DeMoro, and Diane Seif voted in favor of the bill. Mayor Pro Tem Rob Binney, councilmembers Trish Carlyle and Diane Forte voted against the bill. Mayor Rhoads announced at the meeting that Councilman Craig Faith was absent because of a family emergency. The bill needed five votes to pass.

Mayor Rhoads added substitute bill 18-20 back on the agenda for a final reading even though it was defeated at the March 15, 2018 meeting. In that vote, Mayor Pro Tem Rob Binney, Councilmembers Trish Carlyle, Diane Forte, and Diane Seif voted against the measure. Rhoads cast his dissenting vote and recommended a hiring freeze. Voting in favor of the measure included Councilmembers Phyllis Edson, Craig Faith, Dave Mosby and Fred DeMoro.

At the April 5 meeting, Councilwoman Forte said without funding attached to the bill that she thought the council was at the same place. “I’m at the same place but I also think we have a responsibility to spend the money we do have with the $1.6 million,” she said. She asked Brian Head, city attorney, if the fire fighters had received a raise on the $1.2 million that was set aside. Head said that the firefighters had received a raise.

Forte added that $400,000 was given to core employees for raises. “The next council will have to have a challenge of finding a source of dollars if present council goes with $5 million for raises. But we’re leaving $1.6 million on the table and fighting to find $5 million.”

Mosby suggested taking the $1.6 million to raise employees’ salaries to market level. This is his last term and he said, “I’m trusting a good finance committee to identify funding 13 to 14 months from now to identify with a $70 million budget. If you can’t find five percent you got a real problem. It seems like there are pet projects and other spending out their bringing up other stuff not sustainable. For $70 million, the five percent question is does the city or the council take care of the workers who are assets. Or do they want to take care of others?”

In other business, the council unanimously adopted an ordinance approving the tax increment financing (TIF) development agreement between the City of Lee’s Summit and Parrot Properties LLC for the Village at View High project. Under that agreement, Parrot Properties LLC TIF reimbursement would be capped at $79 million if a grocery store is included or $49 million without the grocery store. Village at View High would be designated as a Community Improvement District which would impose a one percent sales tax within its boundaries. The CID sales tax would be used to fund administrative costs and to pay reimbursable project costs.

Village at View High is a $39 million 312 luxury multi-family project with onsite amenities within the proposed Village at View High mixed use development on 21 acres at View High Drive. Village at View High is part of the Paragon Star project, a projected 210 acre $400 million mixed use development at the intersection of View High Drive and I-470. Paragon Star includes a sports and recreation complex, two hotels, several restaurants and a shopping district.