Kansas City GO Bond

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shaffe
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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby shaffe » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:16 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:why the hell would you vote no on sidewalks but yes on flood control?


Controlling floods seemed like a good thing. I didn't want to have the city issue $600 million in bonds for sidewalks.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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taxi
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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby taxi » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:35 am

DaveKCMO wrote:
why the hell would you vote no on sidewalks but yes on flood control?

While I voted yes for all of those bonds, it was not easy. I walked the 3 blocks to my polling station and that required navigating 4 sections of torn up sidewalks. In this case, navigating meant walking in the street. If I was in a wheelchair, it would have been nearly impossible. Those sections were previously fine and included ramps. I suppose they were not up to current ADA standards, but they were certainly navigable and I've seen people in wheelchairs use them without any problems.

A contractor came in over 2 months ago and busted these sections up and roped off those corners, so no one could pass. About 3 weeks later, another came in and removed the busted up chunks, took another few weeks to prep them, then poured the new ramps with 3 of those bumpy pads that turn into ice sheets when we get cold, wet weather. They apparently did their part, which involved pouring and forming the concrete, but the asphalt has been cut away and there is a huge gap between their new pad and the street. So, now there is a cone there and you better have a 4WD all terrain wheelchair if you want to get across that mess. I have no faith that anyone will come and repair the asphalt and remove the cones.

My point is that there was no reason to do that work. Those sections were fine, while we have plenty of other sections literally within spitting distance that are broken and dangerous. I admit, I don't have a full understanding of how that money will be used, but it's difficult to support public improvements when you witness this type of gross waste, mismanagement and incompetence on the way to vote.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby Eon Blue » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:25 am

taxi wrote:While I voted yes for all of those bonds, it was not easy. I walked the 3 blocks to my polling station and that required navigating 4 sections of torn up sidewalks. In this case, navigating meant walking in the street. If I was in a wheelchair, it would have been nearly impossible. Those sections were previously fine and included ramps. I suppose they were not up to current ADA standards, but they were certainly navigable and I've seen people in wheelchairs use them without any problems.

A contractor came in over 2 months ago and busted these sections up and roped off those corners, so no one could pass. About 3 weeks later, another came in and removed the busted up chunks, took another few weeks to prep them, then poured the new ramps with 3 of those bumpy pads that turn into ice sheets when we get cold, wet weather. They apparently did their part, which involved pouring and forming the concrete, but the asphalt has been cut away and there is a huge gap between their new pad and the street. So, now there is a cone there and you better have a 4WD all terrain wheelchair if you want to get across that mess. I have no faith that anyone will come and repair the asphalt and remove the cones.

My point is that there was no reason to do that work. Those sections were fine, while we have plenty of other sections literally within spitting distance that are broken and dangerous. I admit, I don't have a full understanding of how that money will be used, but it's difficult to support public improvements when you witness this type of gross waste, mismanagement and incompetence on the way to vote.

If this was in Columbus Park, CW Justus would be a receptive ear for these complaints. That's a terrible way to go about the business.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby smh » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:51 am

Eon Blue wrote:
taxi wrote:While I voted yes for all of those bonds, it was not easy. I walked the 3 blocks to my polling station and that required navigating 4 sections of torn up sidewalks. In this case, navigating meant walking in the street. If I was in a wheelchair, it would have been nearly impossible. Those sections were previously fine and included ramps. I suppose they were not up to current ADA standards, but they were certainly navigable and I've seen people in wheelchairs use them without any problems.

A contractor came in over 2 months ago and busted these sections up and roped off those corners, so no one could pass. About 3 weeks later, another came in and removed the busted up chunks, took another few weeks to prep them, then poured the new ramps with 3 of those bumpy pads that turn into ice sheets when we get cold, wet weather. They apparently did their part, which involved pouring and forming the concrete, but the asphalt has been cut away and there is a huge gap between their new pad and the street. So, now there is a cone there and you better have a 4WD all terrain wheelchair if you want to get across that mess. I have no faith that anyone will come and repair the asphalt and remove the cones.

My point is that there was no reason to do that work. Those sections were fine, while we have plenty of other sections literally within spitting distance that are broken and dangerous. I admit, I don't have a full understanding of how that money will be used, but it's difficult to support public improvements when you witness this type of gross waste, mismanagement and incompetence on the way to vote.

If this was in Columbus Park, CW Justus would be a receptive ear for these complaints. That's a terrible way to go about the business.


Exactly what I planned to say. Share this with Jolie--she's all about doing what she can to improve policy and process.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby FangKC » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:52 pm

Are you sure they weren't installing new gas lines? They are doing it all over the Northeast right now, and it requires tearing up sidewalks and curbs, and replacing them once they have installed the new gas lines. They've completed this on my block, and it happened in steps similar to what you described.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby flyingember » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:10 am

The process isn't the issue, it's that it's taking weeks to come back and complete everything and they're doing disruptive work well before they're ready for the next step. Utility work could improve a lot by taking a JIT approach with teams following each other closely. Streetcar construction is a good example of this process working reasonably well.


Taking out the sidewalk and trenching an average block takes 1-2 days.
Installing the new line another 1-2
Repairing the corners is one day
Replacing the sidewalk is one
Repairing the street is one.

That's seven days, leaving two extra weekdays for problems. Maybe it's three weeks but that's not a multi-month process.

The Go bond should take an organized approach like the streetcar and not like this gas line example. Come in, tear up a street, all utility companies are ready for any line replacement, bury conduit for future cabling, etc and then come back and repave with a new design with bike lanes, planters and such. Should be possible to do this all in a matter of weeks per section.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby taxi » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:16 am

Except for one section, it was only the curb corners.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby FangKC » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:43 am

Guest commentary: $800 million bond package is no magic bullet for KC’s infrastructure needs

...

The amount of new funding will definitely make a difference, but $800 million is only a fraction of the funding needed to adequately maintain the massive network of infrastructure we’ve developed. Our city leaders told us as much during the recent campaign.

Even with these additional taxes, the total property tax we pay to maintain our infrastructure is at least five times short of what is needed when you account for the estimated $4 billion price tag to fix the aged combined sewer and stormwater system. It could easily be 10 times short, perhaps much more. On balance, our streets, sidewalks and utilities are going to continue to deteriorate faster than we can afford to repair them.

We’re not likely ever to increase our taxes to the amount necessary to maintain the infrastructure we’ve built. The cost is unreasonable. Perhaps had we known 70 years ago the implications of maintaining the expansive development we have since built, we would have reconsidered. Kansas City is not alone. Every major city in the country is upside down, with commitments and liabilities exceeding the resources needed.

...


http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/readers-opinion/guest-commentary/article145063589.html

Everyone should read this guest column. It illustrates the hole the City has dug itself into with low-density sprawl development. It is why every resident needs to rethink their attitudes about changing density and zoning for single uses.

KCMO is seeing the challenge now. Overland Park, Lee's Summit, Leawood, Shawnee, Lenexa, and Olathe will face the same problem in decades ahead.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:08 am

Kansas City, and others, dug the hole a long time ago by not maintaining the infrastructure it had. Instead of raising the taxes that were needed back then to maintain and fix the past councils decided to let those who follow be the bad guys and raise taxes to fix what was needed to be maintained and fixed.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby flyingember » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:20 am

It's not so much the tax levels, but it's a trio of issues.

1. A percentage wasn't put into a maintenance fund. Imagine if 10% of the tax used on every road project for 50 years had been saved for future repair and legally bound to repair the same work.

2. Incentives not set with a minimum gained. We of course use incentives on the idea a parcel provides way more money than it was before over time. As a result incentives encourage projects that can't earn money without the city taking on the economic risk of a project when the city shouldn't be.
The problem is we don't base incentives on any proven long value a similar project provided but rather the construction cost. If the average shopping center provides 90% of it's tax income in the first 20 years then incentives should last no more than 10. There should be special restrictions that the incentives can not be greater than a number tied to the assessed value of the building so someone can't come in and say the building isn't worth as much as expected.


3. You plan future needs to the average expected future value of the community and this determines what can be approved. You fund lower density suburbs with the tax value of denser areas. So if a teardown is approved this means another project can't be approved without increasing in density. If you approve a new tower downtown you can approve a suburban subdivision
Approving teardowns and low density suburbs was a huge deal for the economic strength of the city by itself. This is a tough one to prove but I bet had the urban core not encouraged teardowns post-war and not approved urban freeways we would have seen less jobs flight and in turn less suburban development plus a more comprehensive transit system today. there would be suburbs but we would be developing 100th St today to the south

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby earthling » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:15 am

I'm with Fang on sprawl being the primary factor. Is easy to understand that city maintenance for utilities of a couple 300 unit hirises covering a couple square blocks or less is significantly lower than 600 suburban homes sprawled throughout. With lower density obviously comes longer roads, sewers, water pipes, power runs, etc. More to maintain per 1000 people.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby Riverite » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:33 am

I'm still trying to learn about all of this so apologies if I come across as ignorant, but isn't this the way almost all US Cities work. Once the majority of our suburbs start hitting post peak, as in they are no longer new enough or dense enough to fix existing infrastructure what happens then. Won't their property taxes lower over time so schools will get worse, will they become essentially low density slums.
It seems to me the us is barreling towards a wake up call. As boomers start retiring and millennials don't have the equity for a down payment will the values plummet? I guess I just don't see this ending well unless we invest in the city and drastically change the way we look at suburban development

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby flyingember » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:45 am

Your point is true, which is why there's people trying to push denser suburban development for the next batch of homes.

People complain about traffic and parking and fail to realize that you can deal with those or you can accept higher taxes. NIMBYs aren't a problem because they aren't right, it's because they expect to always be right.

Property taxes are based on resale value to a large degree.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marymeehan ... 0ad8214fff
This is a few years old, apparently the next decade is going to see a massive housing sell off, it's a little delayed. the 1950s boomers turn 70 in the 2020s, they will be selling their homes soon because they must or their family will be when handling their estate.

There's already a well known thing where an un-renovated home is worth drastically less than one that is and a lot of boomers were hit hardest by the recession because they have had the least time to recover lost value in everything. Repairs for the last decade have been delayed for many reducing value. So expect to see a lot of 1960s and 1970s homes decrease in value as sellers are encouraged to sell and buyers expect a deal because they're going to gut and renovate. JoCo will be hit crazy hard by this because of the 1960s and 70s boom they had though all suburbs have homes this age.

Your point on millennials has value and apparently 1/4 of the 35 and below age wants to live urban. But many will also want good schools like they got but want to be close in (I did this). So places like NKC and Briarcliff that are close in have a lot of value to the city. KC is behind this trend nationally but we'll start to see the oldest neighborhoods in the worst shape be purchased and redeveloped denser than today in much bigger numbers. The Troost corridor projects recently announced is just the first step of this.

The cities that are seeing success are taking the immediate post war suburbs and allowing tear downs with denser development. Houston is a sprawling city where this is happening close in. My brother lives in a neighborhood where single family homes 8-10 to a block are replaced with 10-20x as many homes or apartments. He lived in a detached row home on a tiny lot within walking distance of the train and loves it. They located there because there's a good school nearby.

When you look at the projects underway in KC you can tell who figured this out already. Gladstone building their new dense downtown. OP started doing this around their historic downtown. Fairway (I think) has their new dense development on Rainbow. They're on the forefront of what we'll see happening across cities in the next few decades and historic preservation will come with tradeoffs.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby Riverite » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:05 am

Thank you I appreciate the article and your answer, I will try and read up more on the trends.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:51 pm

Points made above apply to some degree. However I was in KCMO city government for quite a few years and involved in budgeting. Of course for many of those years the city has had to contend with the Hancock Amendment. There was much resistance to the idea of asking voters to raise taxes to reduce the backlog on infrastructure maintenance items, it was easier to sell to the voters building something new instead of we need to fix this or fix that. In the early 00's there was even a program put in place to freeze water/sewer rates for 5 years or so. Of course all that did was delay many of the fixes that needed to be made to water/sewer lines. There were yearly budget presentations to showed annual decreases going to repairs/maintenance, decreases in the amounts that were a joke in the first place. So of course the cost of backlogged items increased year-by-year. Even the special tax money that was annually spent by district for projects was compromised when the program was switched from pay-as-you-go to borrowing funds for a few projects therefore using tax money for interest payments instead of actual projects.

Of course Kansas City was faced with its own suburbs within its city limits but other older cities with smaller, contained footprints suffer much the same with regards to deteriorating infrastructure. They, like KC, ignored their infrastructure needs when times were good and decided to spend their resources expanding city services, among other things, instead of fixing what needed to be fixed at the time.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby Highlander » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:31 pm

flyingember wrote:The cities that are seeing success are taking the immediate post war suburbs and allowing tear downs with denser development. Houston is a sprawling city where this is happening close in. My brother lives in a neighborhood where single family homes 8-10 to a block are replaced with 10-20x as many homes or apartments. He lived in a detached row home on a tiny lot within walking distance of the train and loves it. They located there because there's a good school nearby.


When I moved to Houston, I bought the ubiquitous lie that the western suburbs (and the Woodlands) had the only decent schools. With two kids in high school, I moved to the western burbs. By the time I left, nearly 8 years later, I had to leave at 5 AM to avoid an hour plus commute of the 20 miles into work (and I worked in the Energy Corridor - a long way from DT). With hellish commutes like that, and Houston is among the worst in the country, there is a huge market for anything close in and people will pay the high per sq ft price to avoid the commute. I looked several times more inboard but I was never that impressed by the area inside the 610 loop and it would not have been an upgrade for me in terms of commute.

KC is just too easy. You can be anywhere in the KC metro at a near moment's notice via an automoble. Unlike Houston, where the market for the urban life includes dedicated urbanists and a much larger population of people sick of the long commute in a particularly hostile city and the result is a critical mass of people, many of which have bloated oil company and medical center salaries, more than willing to pay a lot more to make life a bit more simple and interesting, KC's market is limited to those dedicated to a certain lifestyle. Nobody in KC really feels forced into the urban lifestyle, its a choice in KC, and that limits the market. I love KC's urban areas, but I think KC will always have a tough time garnering the same proportion of urban populace because the impetus to force one to want to flee the burbs is just not there for most people.
Last edited by Highlander on Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby Highlander » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:53 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote:Points made above apply to some degree. However I was in KCMO city government for quite a few years and involved in budgeting. Of course for many of those years the city has had to contend with the Hancock Amendment. There was much resistance to the idea of asking voters to raise taxes to reduce the backlog on infrastructure maintenance items, it was easier to sell to the voters building something new instead of we need to fix this or fix that. In the early 00's there was even a program put in place to freeze water/sewer rates for 5 years or so. Of course all that did was delay many of the fixes that needed to be made to water/sewer lines. There were yearly budget presentations to showed annual decreases going to repairs/maintenance, decreases in the amounts that were a joke in the first place. So of course the cost of backlogged items increased year-by-year. Even the special tax money that was annually spent by district for projects was compromised when the program was switched from pay-as-you-go to borrowing funds for a few projects therefore using tax money for interest payments instead of actual projects.

Of course Kansas City was faced with its own suburbs within its city limits but other older cities with smaller, contained footprints suffer much the same with regards to deteriorating infrastructure. They, like KC, ignored their infrastructure needs when times were good and decided to spend their resources expanding city services, among other things, instead of fixing what needed to be fixed at the time.


You are right in a deferral of costs necessary to rehabilitate older infrastructure. It's also the first time I've seen you admit, at least tacitly, that massive expansion of city services and the resulting sprawl was not necessarily a good thing. KC has suffered from having a civic equivalent of an enlarged heart for decades, the strain on the city's wealth in an unsuccessful attempt to maintain a sprawling infrastructure beyond its means. It's unfortunate we keep making the same mistakes - the latest being the ridiculous Cerner complex.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:05 am

The city services I speak of have nothing to do with the sprawl. Was talking about services to the citizens. Of course some of those services were tied to federal and or state grants. Others were tied to trying to appease the different segments of the many communities within the city. Been away from the city for awhile so not sure about the current situation but one could say in the past sometimes when decisions were made the tail was wagging the dog.

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby DaveKCMO » Mon May 01, 2017 1:37 pm

first round of projects announced today: http://kcmo.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017 ... ations.pdf

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Re: Kansas City GO Bond

Postby flyingember » Mon May 01, 2017 2:09 pm

One road widening in the northland, sidewalks and curb cuts and a bunch of projects south of the river.

Good job city for ignoring everything that was said about no new capacity this quickly.


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