City of Mission seeks savings in streetlight purchase

These lights along Johnson Drive are already owned by the city, but 805 non-decorative lights are leased from KCP&L.

The Mission City Council Wednesday night moved forward on two fronts that could make a difference in city finances down the road.

In the first, the council approved a resolution to continue working toward a purchase of street lights that it now leases from KCP&L. The utility owns 805 street lights in Mission that the city can acquire for an estimated $668,475. Annual operating costs for the lights is approximately $83,000. The city is now paying $280,000 per year on the street light lease. The debt service on bonds to buy the lights and the maintenance costs are expected to be around $160,000 per year, resulting in an annual savings of $120,000 to the city.

The city would plan to take over the lights early next year after they had inspection and maintenance performed by the utility. The resolution and a related charter ordinance passed Wednesday night set the stage for moving forward with the purchase. The city does own some of its lights, such as the new installations on Johnson Drive.

The council also moved the Gateway project forward with a resolution that established the parameters for public funding assistance for the development between Johnson Drive and Shawnee Mission Parkway at Roe. The resolution provides for a mix of bonds primarily paid by property and sales tax revenue generated by business at the site. It anticipates a Tax Increment Finance district and a Community Improvement District. The first channel sales and property tax revenue would go toward bond payment and the second would impose an additional one percent sales tax on Gateway merchants — with the exceptions of Walmart — to pay for bonds.

Public hearings on the plans are scheduled for October 17. The city has pledged to hold several public information meetings about the project before the council approves a development financing plan.