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Plans call for bond issue to improve Peculiar parks

By Jenny Allen

Plans are underway for $7 million in improvements to the Peculiar parks system.

The Peculiar Board of Aldermen during its Aug. 3 meeting, accepted the first reading of a bill that calls for a bond issue to fund those improvements to be included on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot.

The $7 million general obligation bond will be to extend and improve the parks system with the first $3 million used immediately go toward parks improvements. The remainder will be used during the next 10 years for improvements as the city grows. The bond does not include a levy increase.

Regarding the second reading of a bill to amend the city’s building code regarding sidewalks in residential areas, Larry Dobson addressed the board asking it to be considerate of the financial impact sidewalk requirements would have an unoccupied lot owners and developers in these current uncertain economic times. “Peculiar isn’t building as fast as places like Raymore,” he said.

If passed, the amendment would do away with requirements for sidewalks on both sides of streets in most single-family residential areas while keeping them on arterial and collector streets and in multifamily complexes.

After discussion, the board passed an amendment to the ordinance to change the requirement from 66 percent occupied to 80 percent occupied. For example, if there are five lots on a street and four of them are developed, the fifth one would
require a sidewalk.

Although the amendment passed with a 3-2 vote, the ordinance itself did not have enough votes to pass. The board will reconsider the amended ordinance at its next meeting.

Jeremy Lattimer, president of the Copper Creek Homes Association, questioned the board regarding the acceptance of the second reading of the ordinance approving the final plat for the Copper Creek subdivision’s third plat.

During its July 20 meeting, the board postponed acceptance of the final plat of Copper Creek subdivision after they were informed the developer needed more time to finish a punch list of incomplete items.

The board was informed during the Aug. 3 meeting, the developer had completed the previously requested punch list, so acceptance of the second reading was the final step prior to lots being able to be sold and building permits issued for the east side of the development.

Lattimer told the board his concern involved the current plans for the walking trail.

Peculiar City Attorney Joseph Lauber told the board while the third plat has been approved by the board, the homeowners can share their opinions regarding the trail with the developer. The developer then has the option to either modify the current plans or proceed with the plans as they currently stand.

The planning and zoning commission was scheduled to hold a special meeting Aug. 12 to discuss the plan prior to presenting it at the board’s Aug. 17 meeting.

In other business:

• The board unanimously passed a resolution allowing the mayor to ratify a contract with Grant Purkey for interim city administrator services.

• The board unanimously accepted the first reading of an ordinance regarding the refinancing of the 2013 and 2014 bond issues. The refinance will allow for a lower interest rate and an additional $5.5 million for planned and approved sewer improvements. The refinance will not increase rates and the current bond payment will stay the same until 2034.

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