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City debates future of
temporary sign ordinance

Several businesses found to be in violation

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

Should the city enforce its current ordinance pertaining to temporary signs, or change the ordinance?

That question was pondered at a meeting of the Platte City Board of Aldermen Tuesday night at city hall.

The city's building inspector/codes enforcement officer Michael Simenson recently surveyed Platte City for properties with temporary signs without permits and found nine businesses in violation.

Offutt stated that the city's ordinance requires a permit for a temporary sign. The permit, which is good for 21 days, requires a $250 deposit (which the individual will get back if the sign is removed) and only allows a business to be issued one annually.

"The ordinance is already on the books. The question is, do we want to change the ordinance or enforce it?" stated Offutt.

Alderman John Kurtz said the signs serve no appeal to him when driving through Platte City.

"I think they're an eyesore driving down 92 Highway. They don't do anything for me," said Kurtz. Kurtz pointed to examples of the current signage at La Cantina and Nearly New.

The board voted to revisit the issue of the ordinance pending their review in 30 days. Board members agreed to discuss not only possible changes in the ordinance but research the decision to implement the ordinance five years ago.
Offutt said, "The board does not wish for you (Simenson) to enforce the offenses for the next 30 days pending a review by the board."

Board members also voted to approve the purchase of a 1990 International roll off truck from American Equipment for $26,550. The truck was traded to American Equipment from the St. Joseph Landfill, with 40,000 miles on the vehicle.

In City Administrator Keith Moody's report to the board of aldermen he states, "I spoke with the operator of the landfill and he indicated the truck has a rebuilt transmission and clutch, but the truck was always dependable. The reason it has so few miles is that it was only used at the landfill."
The report also stated that while the present condition may not appear very attractive, the price included new tires, repainting the cab , chasis and installing new rear fenders.

The city, which budgeted $20,000 for the purchase of a used truck, has reached a lease agreement with the County Road and Bridge Department that will allow them use of the truck 25 percent of the time for four years and will pay the city $7,500 up front. The cost of repairs will be shared on a 25/75 percent basis. The county will perform regular maintenance, while the city will be responsible for the housing of the vehicle.

After the amendment of the FY2002 budget at the Feb. 26 meeting to include funds for contract mowing verses hiring a seasonal employee, the board voted to enter into agreement with Perfect Cents Lawn Care for the mowing of 11 areas in the city for $285 per mowing.

The only other bid submitted was for $690 from Gipson Lawn Care, who provides mowing services of the cemetery and city hall.

The contracted mowing will include the following locations: island (North & 3rd), welcome sign-east, welcome sign-west, water meter vault (136th Street), detention basin (Platte Valley), orange water tower, tan standpipe, public works (Paxton Street), public works (First Street), water wells (Highway 92 West), and waste water treatment plant. The term of the contract is for a one-year period, effective April 1 and ending March 31, 2003.

Offutt also announced to the board that $12,000 has been given by developer Bill Mann to go toward the planting of 72 trees to start at the west of Highway 92 corridor and continue until the Vo Tech School entrance.

Offutt requested a closed session be held at the next meeting of the board to discuss the Bob Muehlberger Concrete, Inc. lawsuit against the city. According to Offutt, Muehlberger Concrete of Merriam, KS sued the city for breach of contract regarding Phase 2 of the CIP Plan.

"The city objected to the lawsuit based on lack of performance for completing the contract. The matter has been in litigation since the suit was filed last summer," said Offutt. "Now we are working towards an out- of-court settlement. Once the suit is settled, the effect will be the ability to complete the renovation and restoration of Fourth Street.

"A lot of the land not being put back to its original condition during the last phase of the project was the contractor's responsibility," explained Offutt.

In another matter, Offutt announced that Saturday, March 30 the residents of Platte City will begin to see the start of Phase 3 of the CIP Plan.

Offutt informed the board that on Saturday, Seal-O-Matic will be removing 59 mailboxes from 69 homes in the third phase of the project to prepare for the construction. According to Offutt, through the suggestion of Postmaster Mike Barnes, two locations will be established for those residents affected by the project. The two locations designated by Barnes were the intersections of 2nd and Spring and Blake and Todd.

Upon the completion of the project, Seal-O-Matic will return to each residence and replace the mailboxes.