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Last Published: 10/8/2007 2:37:50 PM
KANSAS CITY COUNCIL RECORD
 
Upon Roll Call the following members were present:
Present:3 - DEB HERMANN, BECKY SCHUMACHER, JIM GLOVER
Excused:1 - TROY NASH
 

051131
Authorizing a cooperative agreement with Jackson County in the amount of $74,462.00 for the STOP Violence Against Women Program; reestimating revenue in the amount of $10,632.00; and appropriating it to the 05 STOP Violence Grant account of the General Fund.


NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING COMMITTEE recommends "ADVANCE AND DO PASS, DEBATE"
Staff from the Domestic Violence Victim Assistance Program in the Kansas City Municipal Court for the City Prosecutor's Office explained the purpose of the ordinance. The staff person stated that this grant is paying for one full time advocate and two part time prosecutors to specifically focus on City appeals. It also funds the lease of the program's copy machine. No public testimony.
Ayes: 2 - Hermann, Schumacher
Nays: 0

051135
Accepting and approving a one year $2,786,392.00 grant award with the Department of Health and Human Services, whereby Health and Human Services will provide funding for Ryan White Title I Services; reducing revenue in the amount of $1,679,715.60 in the Special Revenue Grants Fund; estimating revenue in the amount of $2,786,392.00 in the Special Revenue Grants Fund; reducing appropriations in the amount of 783,637.78 in the Special Revenue Grants Fund; and authorizing the Director of Health to expend $2,786,392.00 for the contract.


NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING COMMITTEE recommends "ADVANCE AND DO PASS, DEBATE"
Burt Malone, Health Department, explained the purpose of the ordinance. This ordinance is a budget adjustment; adjusting the funding that became available through the Federal government for the Ryan White Title I Services for individuals with HIV. Councilwoman Hermann stated that she asked Mr. Malone for a presentation on the Planning Council which is mayoral appointees. Mr. Malone stated he was getting this arranged for the month of October. No public testimony.
Ayes: 3 - Hermann, Schumacher, Glover
Nays: 0

051137
Accepting and approving a 5 year $578,865.00 contract with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services that provides funding for HIV case management services for persons living with HIV/AIDS within the Kansas City, Missouri HIV region; reducing appropriations in the amount of $59,110.00 in the Governmental Grants Fund; estimating revenue in the amount of $578,865.00 in the Governmental Grants Fund; increasing appropriations in the amount of $59,110.00 in the Governmental Grants Fund; and authorizing the Director of Health to expend $578,865.00 for the contract.


NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING COMMITTEE recommends "ADVANCE AND DO PASS, DEBATE"
Burt Malone, Health Department, explained the purpose of the ordinance. This is a budget adjustment ordinance to allow the Health Department to receive an approximately $3,000,000 contract over a five year period, about $578,000 per year. This provides the ability to support case management services for individuals with HIV related disease and it allows the Health Department the ability support them to achieve the fullest potential they have. No public testimony.
Ayes: 3 - Hermann, Schumacher, Glover
Nays: 0

051139
Amending the 2005 CDBG Consolidated Plan; reducing appropriations in the Community Development Block Grant Fund in the amount of $29,131.00; reducing the General Fund Contingent Appropriation in the amount of $300,000.00; and appropriating it from the General Fund Balance.


NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING COMMITTEE recommends "ADVANCE AND DO PASS, DEBATE"
David Parks, Neighborhood and Community Services Department, explained the purpose of the ordinance. This ordinance essentially switches the funding source for dangerous building demolition from CDBG to the General Fund which enables Neighborhood and Community Services Department to move forward with some demolition activity the department was unable to afford due to lack of funding. Nathon Perry, Dangerous Buildings, explained how the funds will be utilized. Forty-five to fifty demolitions will be completed with this money. Councilman Glover asked for an update on the building reuse program. Mr. Parks stated that the building reuse program is currently evaluating abandoned structures in neighborhood and continue to develop the database. The owner compliance rate has gone up since the database has been compiled and there has been a reduction in demolition costs. No public testimony.
Ayes: 3 - Hermann, Schumacher, Glover
Nays: 0
 
 Staff from Neighborhood Services will present the Neighborhood Advisory Council. Les Washington and David Reynolds, Neighborhood Services Department, distributed an informative brochure about the Neighborhood Advisory Council to the committee.The Neighborhood Advisory Council deals with policies that impact neighborhoods and reports back to the Director of Neighborhood and Community Services, the City Council and the Mayor in reference to those issues that deal with the fabric of neighborhoods. David Reynolds who worked with the advisory council, walked the committee through the processes, bylaws and an election process to expand the board. He explained that the advisory council is functionally set up to be elected by the neighborhoods it represents and brings their voice to the City. He listed some the projects it has currently has involvement in with City departments. Following comments from committee members, Mr. Reynolds explained the tracking and recording of neighborhood associations and neighborhood groups in their various stages of organization. Northland Neighborhoods Inc. will give a presentation on the Neighborhood Solutions Program. Jim Rice, Northland Neighborhoods Incorporated (NNI), and James Cianciaruso, Director of Planning and Development for NNI, presented the Neighborhood Solutions Program and the Custom Solutions Program. Mr. Rice distributed a summary of the programs with a sampling of cases to the committee. The context of the program is NNI's mission which is: To improve the quality of life in the Northland by collaborating with residences, businesses and institutions to empower neighborhoods to build and maintain their own healthy communities. We join them in absolute dedication to finding solutions and, in that collective spirit, we will leave no neighborhood behind. Components of the Neighborhood Solutions Program are: The Neighborhood Solutions Problem Solving Philosophy; The Neighborhood Information Center; Custom Solutions; and Emergency Solutions. Custom Solutions was created to find solutions for problems not addressed by established governmental or social service programs and to help individuals and neighborhoods not included in the geographic boundaries mandated by government funding. The program is restricted to low-income recipients and deals primarily with emergency home repairs. Committee members commented in support of the programs. Staff will present a status report on the implementation of the Housing Task Force recommendations. Tom Coyle, City Planning and Development, gave and Les Washington, Neighborhood Services,and Stacia Johnson,Housing Administrator, augmented the powerpoint presentation. Mr. Coyle explained the recommendations as follows: 1.) Refers to revitalization policy, the pools programs and resources. It functionally represents the desire to integrate housing within the broader context of other community development activities, land use and neighborhood health as well. 2.) Refers to the issue of competitive proposal process as it relates to selection of housing services and contractors. 3.) Addresses the issue of how that process is going to be evaluated. 4.) Refers to the issue of leveraging resources and is reflective of the interest to not only housing in and of itself, but in the broader of context which is presented here today. 5.) Encourages focus of available resources on blight caused by fraudulent lending practices, absentee landlords, vacant lots and land, vacant buildings; that was an issue that came up earlier that was discussed. 6.) Refers to a sensible balance between not only new housing but existing housing as well. 7.) Encourages looking at alternatives solutions that is reflective of the sensitivities associated with the existing neighborhood framework. 8.) Encourages support, acknowledge the role of community-based organizations. 9.) A shift to performance management and some very specific direction to the Housing Administrator regarding the specific outputs associated with the housing activities forward. 10.) A commitment by the Mayor, Council, and the Policy Board to convene an annual Housing Forum to ensure ongoing processing and monitoring of these programs as we go forward in the out years. Mr. Coyle stated that in his opinion the major themes of these recommendations are culpability, transparency, strategic use of resources and most importantly integration of the housing activities into the broader context; not only of neighborhoods but also the issue of land use and codes administration. Les Washington stated that his department has annually toured the city and has seen how his department impacts the fabric of neighborhoods. He has noticed some housing that has occurred on certain blocks and saw other issues on the block. His department began realize that housing cannot be done in isolation. it has to be done in a more systematic way, but it really has an impact upon the entire fabric of the neighborhood and it has to be done in conjunction with a neighborhood development type plan. His department has taken some of the recommendations from the Housing Task Force and have begun to put some things in place to address some of the issues that the Task Force came up with. His department has focused in on leveraging opportunities, some of the ordinances that had some direct impact such absentee landlords, and neighborhood capacity building. He spoke about the Rental Property Regulation Task Force which examines the level of substandard rental housing that exists in the city and will make recommendations to improve the situation. The members will study 24 comparable sized cities to determine what programs are used elsewhere and whether those programs are effective. The task force will report to the Council at the end of October. Mr. Washington gave examples of leveraging opportunities, e.i. the municipal court fund and minor home repair programs to leverage resources by working with other agencies and joint projects. He gave some examples of what his department is doing with capacity building: The Center for Community Solutions staff works with organized boards of the Kansas City Advisory Council and have talked about working to expand that process. The capacity building contracts with NNI, Old Norhteast and KCNA have included definitions for neighborhood capacity building. Those definitions deal with training and other methods of engagement with citizens performed to increase human, social and financial capital for identified areas. The contracts of capacity building services give focus to three primary areas. They are: 1) The improved and sustained community quality of life; 2) Promote civic engagement and 3) Enhance social networks. Mr. Washington spoke about the responsibility to deal with the human services side of things. He gave the following example: Under the Emergency Shelter Grant, as supported in the task force recommendations, the Human Resource Division's goal is to maximize distribution of supplemental financial support to area social service providers through a community driven process. They will facilitate an expansion of the governance process to the community by continuing to convene an independent review panel for the review of the consolidated plan emergency grant program funds which will include staff, community peer, non-recipient agencies and the formerly homeless. The review panel currently consists of nine members inclusive of the Executive Director of the Homeless Service Coalition, three not-for-profit application, one former homeless person, and one citizen representative, and a graduate of the social services and two Neighborhood Community Services staff. One of the other things the report talked about was a sense of safety in the neighborhoods. The department has been working closely with the Safe Cities Initiative to do several initiatives; one being the Safe City School Zone Initiatve. From that came the Safe School Zone pilot which actually brings resources and assets to seven school sites added to those resources and assets and they are coupled with the LINK Caring Community Projects. The goal of the initiative is to eliminate safety threats mapped and identified within a 2,000 foot radius of each school. Site councils will participate on the Safe School Zone site teams along with members of the Safe City Coalition, Police and Criminal Justice System, City staff and school staff. They have actually identified all of those issues within the 2,000 foot radius of those schools. They have gotten the County Prosecutor's Office to participate in heightening the level of adjudication on those cases that happen within that school zone. The Police Department has done their part and the Community Services Department is actually identifying dangerous buildings and abating issues within that 2,000 foot radius. Safe City has also committed the Community Scouts Program. That particular program works with neighborhood leaders, codes enforcement and police officers to get neighborhood volunteers trained to look at things like code issues, crime watch and expanding those services. The community scouts will be within specific neighborhoods to be the department's eyes and ears to strengthen the sense of safety with the neighborhoods. There are several future initiatives planned, e.i. to hire five inspectors and a supervisor to handle inspections in eligible areas in conjunction with the comprehensive healthy neighborhood initiative; the property maintenance code allowing properties to be ordered vacated for noncompliance; looking at abandoned houses that are test cases involving the Kansas City, MO Homesteading Authority. Stacia Johnson reported that housing goals are in line with the task force and the resolution that was put before the Council. Ms. Johnson's activities have been focused on the resolution and the task force recommendations which gets to that comprehensive targeted neighborhood approach. She has been working with several agencies and departments to accomplish that approach. She reported that the housing division is in the rebuilding mode. Ms. Johnson has hired three additional staff persons to help her with the rebuilding. She will be making recommendations to the City Manager in regard to restructuring and reorganizing. Ms. Johnson reported in regard to the receivership that her division is now at the stage with the receiver of having cleaned up a lot of issues with the portfolio; they are transferring titles back to the City which will allow Housing to move forward in clearing up a lot o noncompliance issues with the Federal regulations. The receivership has put a claims process in place with a deadline of November 1. She has established a RFQ process in keeping with the Task Force recommendations to RFQ items out to keep it transparent, moving forward and diversed. The following neighborhood representatives commented on the abovementioned Neighborhood Services Department reports and neighborhood issues: Rosemary Lowe, SanteFe Neighborhood Associaition Margaret May, Ivanhoe Neighborhood Association