March 11, 2023
The Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently announced its positions on several important matters affecting the Lee’s Summit community, including its opposition of the proposed landfill in south Kansas City. Several of these items will appear on the April 4, 2023 ballot.
Opposition for proposed landfill in south Kansas City
The board voted unanimously to oppose a proposed landfill in south Kansas City, citing serious concerns over potential detrimental effects the landfill could pose.
The proposed site is bordered by 147th Street to the north, Horridge Road to the east, 155th Street to the south and Peterson Road to the west.
“A landfill at our community’s doorstep would be detrimental not only to our community’s economic environment, but to the attraction of new businesses and residents,” said Matt Baird, president of the Lee’s Summit Chamber. “We feel that there is a higher and better use of the area than the development of a landfill. The proposed landfill would be located near the city limits of Lee’s Summit and less than a mile from an LSR7 elementary school.”
Baird said the state, with support from local communities, has made large investments toward 150 Highway — which could see massive amounts of wear and tear from traffic traveling in and out of the potential landfill.
“Lastly, this goes against the regional process of establishing a development like this,” he said, noting that the project was initiated without the support and consent of the surrounding communities and school districts that will be negatively impacted.
“Our members have invested considerable time, money and energy into choosing this area as a homebase for their businesses and we are committed to protecting their interests and creating an environment in which our business community can prosper,” Baird said. “We are dedicated to enhancing and sustaining the economic vitality and quality of life in our community and will respectfully oppose any future application for a landfill in this location that is so close to thousands of homes and multiple schools and businesses.”
Support for the city’s No-Tax-Increase Bond Projects Ballot Initiatives and 3% sales tax on non-medical marijuana
The board announced its endorsement and support for the City of Lee’s Summit’s no-tax-increase bond projects ballot initiatives appearing on the April 4, 2023, ballot.
The bonds include a no-tax-increase public safety and emergency preparedness bond project and initiative totaling $74 million; a no-tax-increase transportation bond project and initiative totaling $98 million; and a no-tax-increase general municipal bond project and initiative totaling $14 million.
“Lee’s Summit takes great pride in our public safety services, and as a result, one of the main reasons that families are moving to our wonderful community is to enjoy the safety and care provided by our top-rated police and fire departments,” said Matt Baird, president of the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce. “The revenue generated from these bond initiatives will allow for a consolidated public safety operations coordination center between the police and fire departments, ensuring all information is consistent and shared between our public safety sectors.”
Baird said several other key projects will come from the bonds, including fire and police headquarter renovations and facility reinvestment.
“The no-tax-increase transportation bond project will address major road improvements, sidewalk repairs and upgrading, and facility reinvestments,” he said. “The no-tax-increase general municipal bond project addresses City Hall renovations, maintenance facility renovations as well as the replacement of an outdated resource-planning software system.”
The board also announced its support of a city sales tax of 3% on all retail sales of adult-use, non-medical marijuana sold in the city of Lee’s Summit. The funds from this tax will go to the City’s general fund.
“Part of the attraction for businesses to come to Lee’s Summit is all that the city offers — from public safety to our beautiful parks system, the development of our thriving downtown and the developments currently happening across our community” Baird said. “The City will be able to ensure our city is a top attraction for business development and growth by capitalizing on this revenue. We encourage the citizens of Lee’s Summit and our business community to show their support by voting ‘yes’ on April 4.”
Support of LSR7 No-Tax-Increase Levy Transfer
The board announced its endorsement and support for the LSR7 No-Tax-Increase Levy Transfer appearing on the April 4, 2023, ballot.
The LSR7 No-Tax-Increase Levy Transfer is designed as a no tax-rate-increase approach to ensuring the school district can offer competitive staff compensation during a time of high inflation and stagnant state funding for pre-K through K-12 education.
“We believe the No-Tax-Increase Levy Transfer will ensure that the LSR7 School District is staying competitive in the market of hiring quality teachers to our top-rated school district,” said Matt Baird, president of the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce.
Baird said in recent years, neighboring districts have taken voter-approved actions such as levy transfers and increases to invest in salary schedules and LSR7 has fallen behind in starting pay for teachers and other positions. The Chamber Board believes reallocating additional revenue to the operating fund would allow the district to increase staff compensation as part of the district’s goal of recruiting and retaining quality staff.
“This ballot initiative is extremely vital to the growth, development and future of Lee’s Summit,” Baird said. “The LSR7 School District is a key component to the success of the Lee’s Summit community and by approving this transfer we can enable salary increases for LSR7 employees to recruit and retain quality staff and ensure we are staying competitive in the hiring market of regional public school districts.”
Baird said overall, the ballot initiative will ensure the community is still a top-rated destination for business to grow and flourish.
“The Lee’s Summit Chamber supports the LSR7 No-Tax-Increase Levy Transfer and we encourage the citizens of Lee’s Summit and our business community to show their support by voting ‘yes’ on April 4,” Baird said.