Roeland Park residents who commented on a proposal to invest in the city’s infrastructure by using bonds over the next few years generally supported the plan.
Among those supporting the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) was former council member Marek Gliniecki. “When I first came on the council it was like flying by the seat of our pants,” Gliniecki said. “I can’t fault it (the CIP).”
Jim Haley was another resident who supported the CIP. “It was really well thought out,” he said, after City Administrator Keith Moody presented both the current plan for the city’s budget in 2017 and an analysis of the cost of living in Roeland Park compared to other cities around the metro.
The CIP has been expanded to look out 10 years at the need for projects, buildings and equipment. The first five years “has exceptionally high investment,” Moody said, because of major street and storm water projects.
The first five years also includes the prospect of finding a new location for the public works department. The current facility is located above the old pool site and caves that the city is attempting to redevelop. It is likely that a new development would want to incorporate the space where the public works building sits.
Moody said it would be impossible to do the projects listed in the first five years without doing bond issues that are planned for 2018 and 2021. The analysis, Moody said, shows the bond issues would be needed to accomplish everything on the list, including major street projects. One of the goals of the CIP is to bring street maintenance up to date. Moody said the city had been doing smaller issues more frequently and then refinancing to combine them.
Several city council members had been hesitant to support the bonding idea without taking it to the public forum for citizen comment.