WTHA Neighborhood Meeting, March 11 Minutes

March 11, 2017, 10 a.m., Waldo Library
Attendance: 20

Tammy Gay, Vice President of WTHA called the meeting to order and started the meeting with introductions.

Updates:

  1. Three representatives from WTHA are completing a course through UMKC’s Center for Neighborhoods.
  2. WTHA is hosting a Crime Forum March 14 at Research Medical Center.
  3. Spring Dumpster Day is now being planned for the end of April or early May. City funding for the dumpsters is pending. It will continue to be at South Broadland Presbyterian Church.
  4. WTHA Annual Picnic and Movie Night is planned for June 24.
  5. April 4 – VOTE! Find sample ballots on the website for the Kansas City Election Board. The issues include the “1-2-3 GO!” general obligation bonds for infrastructure, Question 4 re: economic development, and Question 5 re: lower sentencing for municipal level marijuana convictions.
  6. 6th District Council Meeting, 2nd Fridays, 7:30 a.m. at the Trail Center.
    1. Awards coming for the Waldo Tower restoration
    2. Alert KC (formerly Nixle) sign up for localized phone text alerts for severe weather, Amber alerts, and silver alerts.
    3. Upgrades to 75th and Wornall planned for 2018 – including turning lanes, new sidewalks 75th to 79th, Trolley Trail connection between 75th and 76th, improvements to the parking lot at the NE corner, and green space improvements.
    4. New Red Bridge Recycling Center, 5200 E. Red Bridge Road (71 Hwy.) Open Wed. – Sat, 9 to 5.
    5. Mid-Continent Library Red Bridge Branch will be building a new facility including a new space for Wonderscope, a children’s museum relocating from Shawnee.
    6. Former DeVry building on 435 will become FEMA office space
    7. KC Water Services is offering free checkups of sewer line connections in designated areas.
  7. 7. Robeson Middle School, 82nd and Holmes: A partnership of local buyers has proposed the redevelopment of the site into a multi-sport community athletic facility. The partnership would purchase the site from the school district. The partnership may include the Rockhill Tennis Club, rugby, soccer, and more. The redevelopment would be privately funded, without tax incentives. The proposal was featured in the KC Star.
  8. South Kansas City Alliance – next meeting includes Cerner updates, Red Bridge updates, and speakers on April 4 ballot issues, Questions 4 and 5.
  9. KC Parks released its Spring and Summer activities guide.
  10. Senior housing is planned as part of the redevelopment of an office tower at 67th and Troost. It is a continuum of care senior community, featured in the KC Star.
  11. A question was raised regarding the next Curb Appeal Grant drawing, which is planned for the May WTHA meeting.

Keynote Speaker: Matt Vander Molen, Kansas City Tree Alliance (affiliated with Bridging the Gap)

  1. Heartland Tree Alliance is under contract with the City of Kansas City for street tree planting to develop a healthier urban forest.
  2. Benefits of an urban forest:
    1. Saves homeowners money (shading and cooling homes, reducing electric bills)
    2. Carbon sequesteration
    3. Wildlife habitat
    4. Decreased erosion, increased storm water infiltration
    5. Increased property values – established shade trees can increase property values by 5-10%

3. Free Street Trees for KCMO residents (within the public right of way)

A. Prioritizing east side, northeast, and midtown neighborhoods

B. Given past problems with very large trees that cause sidewalks to buckle, this program provides for small and mid-sized trees that are native and more resilient (unlike oaks and ash trees that attract disease)

C. Current program is for the free planting of 500 trees. Adjacent property owners sign a two year commitment to water the tree

D. For Waldo to be includes, 20 homeowners would need to be identified

Nuisance properties

  1. Two residents attending the meeting raised concerns about specific properties with extensive code violations. Larry Roth convened with these residents to discuss strategies for dealing with nuisance properties, and possible next steps for the association.
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