July 23, 2022
By Ryan Myers
Over the course of the past several years, a small ad hoc committee of Raytown residents has worked with city staff to put together a plan to bring our city back to its competitive seat at the metropolitan area-wide table by targeting our failing infrastructure. Raytown’s Revenue Enhancement Committee, which I chair, researched and planned, and the Raytown Board of Aldermen approved three questions to be placed on the Aug. 2 ballot.
Voters will have three questions to consider: Question 1 is for a $46 million general obligation bond that can be spent only on road improvements and reconstruction. Question 2 is for a $7.2 million general obligation bond that can be spent only on storm sewer improvements and reconstruction. Question 3 is a general 30-cent increase in the city’s mill levy. The reliability of our revenue enhancement committee comes from the fact that data drives our decisions. The committee was provided with asphalt, storm sewer and capital improvement studies to determine how the city can efficiently spend its potential funds with the smallest financial burden to its residents. In finding that more than 40% of Raytown’s roads are considered failing, the committee decided that the solution must be drastic and multigenerational.
Is Raytown’s failing infrastructure a problem that occurred overnight? No. Many past city administrations and aldermen decided to pass the buck, and the city’s current administration has decided to act to bring our city back to a respectable condition. Given that Raytown hasn’t changed its mill levy ceiling since 1978, I think it’s safe to say that our current budget does not allow the city to adequately maintain its infrastructure. Imagine operating your household with a budget nearly half a century old. Of course, residents need to understand that improvements to their community cost money, albeit less than they think. A Raytown home valued at $150,000 by the county can expect an annual average increase of around $230 for if these three initiatives pass. Many people question that in the current economic and political climate, and we understand their concern — but I will say that asphalt lasts much longer than recessions. This is an immediate solution that would benefit not only ourselves, but also our children and grandchildren.
This commonsense ballot initiative is supported by a majority of the Raytown Board of Aldermen and is endorsed by the Heavy Constructors Association of the Greater Kansas City Area, the Raytown Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and the Raytown Main Street Association. At the end of the day, if the people of Raytown want to take pride in their city and infrastructure, increase curb appeal to their homes and attract new businesses, they should vote yes on Questions 1, 2 and 3 on Aug. 2.
Ryan Myers is a Ward 3 Alderman for the City of Raytown, Missouri, and holds a B.S. in Economics from Kansas State University