Waldo Tower Restoration featured in the Kansas City Star

Kurtis Marinez, founder of the Waldo Tower Historic Society and current president of the Waldo Tower Homes Association, was recently featured in the Kansas City Star in an article entitled, “Waldo Tower makeover is a victory for neighborhood activist.”

The article chronicles his advocacy and partnership building to attract city funding and private donations for the restoration of the Waldo Tower in Tower Park at 75th and Holmes. The tower is major landmark for the neighborhood. We are so proud to see the first phase of this restoration project completed! Thank you, Kurtis, for your deep commitment to the safety and beauty of Tower Park!

<<Read the full article here>>

Kurtis Marinez Tower Restoration

Photo courtesy of Keith Myers, Kansas City Star

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Construction for a sewer improvement project coming to the area

KC Water Services is kicking off construction for an important sewer improvement project in the area.

A public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 21, 2015 for people to learn more. The meeting will be held at 7:00 PM at the Christ the King Church at 8510 Wornall Rd Kansas City, MO 64114.

Properties located within the project boundary should have received a letter in the mail informing them about the project and about the public meeting. However, as neighborhood leaders, we would appreciate your help in promoting this meeting to your friends and neighbors through your regular communication methods (e.g., email, Facebook announcement, newsletter, NextDoor). If you would like additional information about the public meeting, please contact me.

We hope to see you on July 21st

Erin Ollig, AICP

Shockey Consulting Services, LLC

Kansas City Water Services

Overflow Control Program Management Team

Attached please find information about the project, including a project fact sheet (pdf):

MiddleBlue_NSR_NeighNewsletter_Construction_Article_071615 Project_Overview_NSR_Construction_Middle_BlueArea2_070915

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WTHA meeting updates

Waldo Tower Homes Association

General Meeting, July 11, 2015 10:00 a.m.

Waldo Library

Attendance: 14

Tye Zehner, Invent-Development, architect and developer of single family homes. His firm is purchasing lots in Waldo to build new construction homes with progressive building amenities, such as structurally engineered panels. The homes have features that are energy efficient, using 8 inch structurally engineered panels and radiant heated floors. His current project was featured on KCTV 5 (link to the story). He just purchased three lots behind Chipotle for his next stage of development. The homes are in the $210,000 price range.

Residents asked questions about the amenities, design features, and price point. He will set up a time for the neighborhood to tour the home.

Mary Cary, administrator of WTHA, spoke about the membership card, encouraging members to thank businesses for being on the card. WTHA also developed a card with the benefits of membership.

WTHA needs volunteers to write for a blog on the website to replace the newsletter function. Email us at info@towerhomesassociation.org

 

Tower Park Rain Garden: the Parks Department is willing to help cover the costs of new plants in the WTHA rain garden, on the north side of Tower Park. WTHA will need volunteers for a fall planting.

Public Safety: John Bozarth reported from the CPAC committee regarding crime trends. Last December, his home was broken into in the morning by someone who knocked on the door first and then broke through the window. The police caught the 17-year-old burglar later. He advised to be observant about suspicious vehicles or people that seem out of place. There are about two break-ins a month in the neighborhood. Larry recommended the NextDoor site (link) to hear about crime reports and advisories from neighbors.

Karol O’Brian provided a 6th District City Council update: Kevin McManus, former state representative, will be replacing John Sharp, who termed out of his seat. At the 2nd Friday event, he was recognized for his service to the city.

Tuesday, July 14 9:00 a.m. is a ribbon cutting for the completion of the first phase of the Waldo Water Tower restoration. Kurtis Marinez will be speaking at the event, and will be thanking John Sharp for his support of this project. (link for more info)

KCMO Water Department is working on a big water main replace project and will speak at the next meeting. WTHA will post updates to the website. There was a public meeting at Keystone Church. Some of the pipes are from the 1890s, and the work is necessary. Click here for information about  the project, which is from 75th to 89th and State Line to Kenwood.

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Curbside Appeal Grant drawing scheduled for August 20th

Now announcing this year's Curbside Appeal Grant drawing which will happen on August 20, 2015 at our next WTHA Happy…

Posted by Tower Homes Association on Saturday, July 11, 2015

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Join us for our next WTHA Happy Hour

2015-07-11_0749Waldo Tower Homes Association invites you to join us Thursday, August 20th, for a neighborhood happy hour at Walsh’s Corner Cocktails.

Stop by from 6-8 p.m. and get to know your neighbors. Complimentary appetizers will be served.

Be here at 7pm to participate in the Curbside Appeal Grant drawing.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP

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General Meeting THIS Saturday, July 11th

Join the Sign Brigade and help spread awareness about our general meetings!

Join the Sign Brigade and help spread awareness about our general meetings!

Join us this Saturday, July 11th at the Waldo Library, Meeting Room A for our next general meeting. The library opens at 10am, the meeting will start by 10:15am. See you soon!

If you would like to join our “Sign Brigade” and help raise awareness about upcoming general meetings, please email info@towerhomesassociation.org

We’ll send you an email the week before our meetings so you can set out your sign and let your neighbors know. Thanks for helping to spread the word and get more people involved!

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July 4th Information

Happy 4th of July!shutterstock_193425815

Please be aware that fire works are not allowed within the City limits. If you see anyone shooting off fireworks in the park, or on your street, please report them to the Police Department by calling the non-emergency number (816)234-5000.

Following is information regarding Trash Services for the Holiday-

Mark the Calendar: Trash Amnesty Week, City Offices Closed

City of Kansas City, Mo., offices , which include the 311 Call Center, will be closed on July 3, 2015 in observance of the Independence Day holiday on July 4, 2015. Trash and recycling services will not be delayed during the City-observed holiday.

All residents are eligible for trash amnesty the week of July 6-10. City-wide trash amnesty allows residents to place up to 15 bags of trash for collection. This trash will be collected during regularly scheduled trash days. No household hazardous waste, bulky items or leaf and brush will be collected as part of trash amnesty.

 Bulky Item pickups have been suspended for the month of July so that crews can focus on City-wide storm debris removal. Residents that have a previously scheduled July pickup date must call the 311 Call Center to reschedule. Due to large call volumes, residents are encouraged to reschedule bulky pick-ups online, calls to reschedule should be made near the end of July.

For more information about solid waste collection services, visit http://www.kcmo.gov/publicworks/trash or call the 3-1-1 Call Center at 311 or 816-513-1313.

 

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Fun time had by all at the neighborhood picnic!

We had such an AWESOME time today at our annual picnic. I think this time we finally outdid ourselves! 😀 Take a look at…

Posted by Tower Homes Association on Saturday, June 20, 2015

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Neighborhood Picnic scheduled for THIS Saturday!

PicnicTime

Saturday, June 20th from 2pm to 5pm at the Big Shelter in Tower Park!

It’s on and we can’t be much more excited about all the fun stuff we have planned!

  • Free Face Painting for the Kids!
  • Fun activities for the Littles!
  • Live Music!
  • Free Food!
  • Fly a Kite!
  • Pop Corn, Cotton Candy and More!

We’ll see you there!

PS- for live notifications from Facebook, join the event here- https://www.facebook.com/events/1420818618221305/

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Notes from KCMO Water Main Replacement Neighborhood Meeting

2015-06-11_2212June 11, 2015 – 7pm at Keystone United Methodist Church

Notes by Angie Lile

Presenting:

Andy Shively, KC Water Services Engineering Officer

Terry Thomas, Project Manager, KC Water Services

Contact: terry.d.thomas@kcmo.org, 816-513-0262

Sean Allen, Resident Inspector, KC Water Services

Contact: sean.allen@kcmo.org, 816-513-0318

Jim Walker, Superintendent, Blue Nile Contractors, Inc.

Contact: jimw@bluenilecontractors.com, 816-985-7589

Link to KCMO Project Info- https://www.kcwaterservices.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/State-Line-to-Kenwood-75th-St-to-89th-St.pdf

Link to article about the project- https://www.kcwaterservices.org/kc-water-services-to-present-fiscal-year-2016-capital-improvement-plan/

The meeting started with a brief recap of the project and why it needs to be done. No one in the audience disagrees with this.

Andy also explained how the areas are chosen. Each year KCMO will replace 28 miles of pipe, consisting of 70k pipe segments. Each segment is graded on it’s likelihood of failure as well as the cost that failure would incur for the City. This total grade was given the name “Business Risk” and the highest numbers would be replaced first.

Each year will have 18 projects, 28 miles of pipe replaced and after 100 years the project will finally be completed and will start over since the pipes are expected to last 100 years.

Interesting fact: They found a pipe from 1854 when replacing old pipes. That’s pretty old!

Terry Thomas explained further that pipes being replaced are a mix of 6”, 8” and 12” water main pipes.

The project is expected to cost $2.5 million dollars and they have already started marking the streets.

Street Markings (meaning):

Blue lines indicate the existing water line. This line will remain where it is while the new line is being placed across from it. Then houses will be connected to the new main line when it is ready.

Yellow lines indicate gas network and Orange lines indicate Fiber or other Communications

Work Schedule

Work begins on June 22nd on Ward Parkway Plaza and will move onto the Madison area after that. Work could take about 60 days to complete once they start in your area.

A list of areas in the order of which they will be worked on will be posted later or you can contact Terry Thomas for more information about when to expect work in your area.

A letter is supposed to go out two weeks prior to the arrival of equipment in your area.

Accessibility

Driveways and roadways for residents and businesses are to remain accessible. If you have trouble getting in or out, all you need to do is find a worker and let them know you need to leave.

If you have a regular schedule, for coming and going, you can notify Sean Allen.

Business owners should also work directly with Sean Allen especially around water shut off days. Water will not be shut off during business hours in these affected areas.

Notifications of Water Shut Off

It is expected that we will see at a minimum 4 water shut-offs during the work period. Once when they need to tie into the beginning of the main line, once when they need to tie into the end of the main line, once for a transfer of service from the old to the new, and one more “just in case” to account for Murphy’s Law (What can go wrong WILL go wrong).

We are supposed to see a notice the DAY BEFORE when water is to be shut off. Notice will come by door hanger. If for any reason you do not receive notice about water shut off BEFORE they shut it off, we are to contact Sean Allen directly to let him know.

Replacement of Sidewalks, Driveways and Vegetation

Many people asked about existing trees in their yard. The short answer is that if the tree is in the right of way and needs to be replaced, Parks and Rec will be notified and they will work to get the tree replaced.

If you own any trees or vegetation in your yard that need to be replaced, KCMO is responsible.

If KCMO needs to rip up your sidewalks or drive ways, they will be replaced.

For the most part, the new line is going into the center of the street or across the street from the old line, with minimal destruction of existing sidewalks, vegetation or your personal water lines, but if you want to know for sure how your area will be affected, you can contact Terry and talk it through with him.

 

 

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Join us on June 10th for a Neighborhood Happy Hour at The Well

Happy_HourJune2015

Waldo Tower Homes Association invites you to join us Wednesday, June 10 for a neighborhood happy hour on The Well’s rooftop patio! Stop by from 6-8 p.m. and get to know your neighbors. Complimentary appetizers will be served.

RSVP to info@towerhomesassociation.org today!

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RESCHEDULED for June 20th – Neighborhood Picnic – 2-5 p.m.

This has been rescheduled to Saturday, June 20, 2 – 5 p.m. due to rain and muddy conditions at the park.

WTHA Annual Neighborhood Picnic in Tower Park Join your neighbors for free food, live music, and children’s activities at the large shelter of Tower Park, 75th & Holmes Rd.

2015_May_Picnic_Poster

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Spring Dumpster Day rescheduled for May 23rd

IMGP1873The news is that there was a bit of a mixup with the city in reserving dumpsters.

We’ve been doing this for years, but over time the word got out and now there is high demand for the dumpsters at events around the city.

The soonest we could reschedule was for May 23rd.

So, mark your calendars for a work day, bring us your trash, and we’ll look forward to seeing you.

The WTHA volunteers apologize for the delay and appreciate your patience!

Get real-time updates on Facebook by “joining” our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/612100885591489/

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Damien McNearney

 

DamienMcNearney

 

Damien is a long-time Waldo resident who joined the board in 2014. Damien can be found working around his house or playing live music. He advocates for high quality educational institutions as well as events that bring neighbors together.

 

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Catherine Dobson

 

Catherine Dobson

 

Catherine is a relatively new Waldo resident. She jumped right into neighborhood participation by joining the board. Catherine spearheads the distribution of new member welcome bags and coordinates our new and popular neighborhood Happy Hours that occur every other month at locations through the neighborhood.

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Simon Moeller

Simon joined the WTHA board following the 2014 merger of Tower Homes Association and Waldo Homes Association. Simon previously served as the President of Waldo Homes Association, which served neighbors east of Wornall to Oak, and from 79th Street south to 85th StrSimonMoellereet. We are so pleased to have him in a leadership role on the board to ensure that we understand the needs of residents in south Waldo.

Simon is an advocate for neighborhood beautification efforts, including park cleanups and coordination with the City for the planning and upkeep of our neighborhood. He’s also known for being tech-savvy, and an amazing host of block parties!

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Save the Date: Dumpster Day; Annual Picnic

Save the date for these upcoming WTHA neighborhood events:

Saturday, May 9, 8 a.m. – noon Dumpster Day South Broadland Presbyterian Church, 7850 Holmes Road. It’s time for Spring cleaning! Bring your rubbish and yard waste. Must be an active WTHA member. No tires, appliances, tvs, or hazardous chemicals.

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Saturday, May 30, 2 – 5 p.m. WTHA Annual Picnic in Tower Park Join your neighbors for free food, music, and children’s activities at the large shelter of Tower Park, 75th & Holmes Rd.

2015_May_Picnic

 

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March Meeting Recap & Info About the 7540 Washington Apartments Project

Waldo Tower Homes Association Neighborhood Meeting

March 14, 2015, 10:00 a.m.

Karol O’Brian, WTHA Vice President

WTHA board members introduced themselves. There was a reminder about the recent merger with Waldo Homes Association, extending the boundaries of WTHA to include a significant portion of Waldo east of Wornall.

ReStart Transitional Housing Project, Diane Botwin, 7540 Washington Street

Diane Botwin, owner of Botwin Commercial Development, has been a long-time property owner in Waldo. Botwin Commerical Development owns and operates a number of well-known commercial buildings in Waldo, including the Westmoreland Building at 7445 Broadway (Kokoro restaurant), The Botwin Building (Summit Grill and Bar, formerly Kennedy’s), 75 Waldo (Pickleman’s Deli), and the building that houses 75th Street Brewery. Ms. Botwin has been a volunteer for ReStart for more than 30 years. When she learned that HUD had set aside funds for permanent supportive housing, she worked with ReStart to begin this project.

The project is a 14-unit apartment building with 1 bedroom for an in-house program manager and a community room. This property is meant to provide permanent housing for teens aging out of the foster care system. More than 800 young adults aged out of foster care in Jackson County last year alone. The projection is that 20 percent of them will become homeless. Research Medical Center, Rediscover, and Truman Medical Center have partnered to do research and focus groups about the kind of permanent housing that was needed in the area. El Dorado architects and A.L. Huber Construction worked on the garden-style apartment design. There is an open, secured, interior courtyard. The project was awarded a 2.2 million dollar grant for the project, which was the only award of its type in the state of Missouri.

The project was chosen to be in Waldo because Ms. Botwin owned a property that was the right size for the project. Waldo is situated with good access to transportation, a library, a grocery store, and everything that a young person would need to get started. As an urban mixed-used community, Waldo has all the amenities needs in close proximity to the property. Ms. Botwin hopes that the Waldo community will embrace these young people.

This project started as an idea in 2009, but took until 2014 to start construction. Residents will be screened and selected through the Rediscover project and Kim Wilson Housing as the property manager. All of the residents will be seeking work, employed, or going to school. The 18-25 year old residents will likely reside in the property for three to five years. Construction is expected to be complete August 2015, and occupancy complete by September 2015. ReStart Housing Services is the board that will oversee the property.

Questions from the room:

What can be done to address the potential concern for increased crime? Jean with Rediscover noted that they have operated supportive housing for ten years with very few issues. The on-site project managers are able to address issues and ensure that the residents are engaged in work and school activities. One of the units is for a permanent live-in staff member. A staff member will be onsite 24 hours a day. The courtyard allows the residents to spend their outdoor time in a controlled environment.

Do the residents have any income? How do they pay rent? Due to the HUD restrictions, residents will pay no more than 30% of their income from their job or from their college Pell grants.

Have there been discussions with Waldo businesses so the residents could work close to the property?  Ms. Botwin has worked with three different business owners who are interested in providing services or employment to the residents, including free haircuts for job interviews and perhaps even a free bicycle. There are plans for a job fair for the residents.

A resident within a block of the property supported the need for the property, but raised concerns that he was not aware of the development until a sign went up?  What are future communication plans for the property? Until the property received funding from HUD, it was not clear that the project would be moving forward until November 2014. In respect for the privacy of the residents, the programs waited until the project was moving forward. Ms. Botwin apologized for any confusion that may have been caused. A web landing page is being set up for the property to contact the property owner and management firm. The onsite resident manager will have a phone number posted in case there are questions or anyone wants to be involved with the project.

Will this building meet any LEED standards or have green design elements? No, due to the HUD regulations, it will meet the energy regulations but budget restrictions are very strict and don’t allow for the design features needed for LEED certification.

How do the residents move on from the property? What are the milestones for them? As long as residents abide by the rules and regulations of the lease, the lease may be renewed annually in perpetuity. There are no age limits. The owners anticipate residents will stay three to five years due to the size of the unit. The units are not large enough to accommodate families. Due to the high need, it will be highly competitive to be selected for each unit. They expect at least four applications per unit.

What conditions would results in a resident to be dismissed from the property? Each resident signs a lease with program guidelines. The facility will be tobacco and alcohol-free. Each young adult has a case manager.

Is there a plan for a mentorship program? The new website will include information about establishing a mentorship program.

Who is the ongoing property manager? Kim Wilson Housing will be overseeing the property. They are experienced with permanent supportive housing. Diane Botwin will remain the community liaison for the project.

An experienced foster parent commended the project and the experience of strong nonprofits involved in the project.

Will the residents be guaranteed employment? Transportation will allow for access to many jobs, and many residents will be completing school work.

Will the parking be on-street? There is off-street parking, though many residents are unlikely to have a car.

Will there be an open house? Yes

Is the onsite manager a counselor? Yes, the role is a combination property manager and program supervisor.

State Representative Jeremy LaFaver and City Councilman John Sharp spoke briefly in support of the project and to hear the community’s feedback. Councilman Sharp noted that this project did not require rezoning, so there were no public hearings required by the City.

Where does the funding come from to maintain the project? HUD supports the costs of management and maintenance.

Is there a recreational facility? The community room could have yoga classes, but there is not a gym.

Are units inspected? Yes, that is the role of the project manager.

The project is two stories high. The neighbor expressed concern about the safety of the intersection of 76th and Washington, which is currently a two-way stop. The resident encouraged it becoming a 4-way stop due to visibility? The project team will follow up with the City.

Are any of the units handicapped accessible? Yes

Are there concerns about federal funding cuts? This funding will go on 40 years

Any concerns about loitering? The lease will allow for visitors, but they must sign-in and are not allowed to stay. The live-in manger will see what is going on. There will also be electronic security, including cameras and key-fob access.

7540WashingtonApartmentsFactSheet (click to view)

City Council Elections

Ms. O’Brian provided a recap of the 6th District City Council candidate forum co-hosted by the South Kansas City Alliance and Waldo Tower Homes Association March 9. The primary election is April 7. Incumbent Scott Taylor is running unopposed for the 6th District at-large seat. The in-district council member for the 6th District has three candidates: Terrence P. Nash, Henry Klein, and Kevin McManus. The current 6th District Councilman, John Sharp, has reach his term limit.

Waldo Tower Restoration

Ms. O’Brian and the attendees reflected on the progress toward the restoration of the Waldo Tower in Tower Park. The structure is now sound, the antennas removed, and a fresh coat of paint was added. PIAC funded the project again. So far, the Waldo Tower Historic Society has raised $17,000 in private funds for the project. By June, it is expected that construction on Phase II will begin.

The planned lighting would be up-lighting, perhaps with seasonal changes. There were questions regarding the current construction to the water department building.

Other comments and questions

Marty Hatten recognized Councilman Sharp for his eight years of service on the council. He’s has reached his term limit.

A resident suggested that the Association pro-actively establish a committee to work with Rediscovery to serve as mentors.

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Join Us March 14 for the Next Waldo Tower Homes Meeting

THA_General_Meeting_Event_CoverWaldo Tower Neighborhood General Meeting
Saturday, March 14, 10am – 11am
Waldo Library
Agenda
Diane Botwin will be speaking about the new 14-unit transitional housing apartment complex at 7540 Washington.
The City Council primary election will be April 7. We will discuss the candidate forum.
We will also be planning upcoming events, including the Annual Neighborhood Picnic at Tower Park, May 30 and a movie night in Tower Park
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Join us for a 6th (in) District Kansas City Council Candidate Forum

THA_Forum_Event_Cover Monday, March 9, 2015 at 6:00pm

The Crossroads Church at 7917 Main Street, KCMO 64114

The parking lot is behindimage002 the church and on 79th Terrace, just east of Main Street.

All candidates have confirmed their attendance: Henry Klein, Kevin McManus & Terrence Nash.

Geoff Gerling, Moderator & SKCA Government Affairs Committee Chair.

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