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JANUARY 2021

REGIONAL NEWS

Kansas City, Missouri, Smart Sewer program celebrates 10-year milestone — KC Water’s 25-year initiative to upgrade the Kansas City, Missouri, wastewater system hit its 10-year milestone in September. The city invested more than $750 million in the last decade on projects to improve water quality, modernize infrastructure and reduce long-term costs.

Criswell retires from the Unified Government — Assistant County Administrator Gordon Criswell retired from the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, on Dec. 23. His career included more than 30 years of service in state and local government administration. Criswell also served as a licensed clinical social worker for more than 15 years. He is recognized for his support of regional efforts, notably the Public Service Career Expo for area youth.

KCATA, Alphapointe and Sensible Innovation create transit app for the visually impaired — The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) partnered with Alphapointe and Sensible Innovation to develop the RideKC Navigator app. This mobile app helps the blind and visually impaired use public transportation. This is the first app of its kind implemented across an entire transit corridor in the United States.

Kansas City, Missouri, receives award for African American Heritage Trail — The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation gave the 2020 McReynolds Award to the Kansas City African American Heritage Trail. The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation gives this award out annually to individuals or groups who have made significant achievements in historic preservation. The Kansas City, Missouri, City Planning and Development Department’s Historic Preservation Office manages the African American Heritage Trail.

Lenexa hires new parks and recreation director and police chief — Beccy Yocham, city manager for Lenexa, Kansas, announced two internal promotions. Logan Wagler will serve as the new parks and recreation director and Dawn Layman will serve as the new chief of police.

Prairie Village hires new finance director — The city of Prairie Village, Kansas, hired Nickie Lee to serve as the city’s new finance director. Lee served as the assistant city administrator for Smithville, Missouri. She will start her new job as finance director in January 2021.

Overland Park receives award for Thompson Park — The Associated Builders and Contractors of America gave the city of Overland Park, Kansas, an Excellence in Construction award for the recently redeveloped Thompson Park. The park improvement project began in 2019. The city of Overland Park won the “Heavy Infrastructure” category, beating out several major infrastructure projects in the Kansas City region.

Four metro cities receive "Leading the Way" award — The cities of Platte City and North Kansas City in Missouri and the cities of Lenexa and Olathe in Kansas were all recipients of the ETC Institute’s “Leading the Way” award. The ETC Institute used its DirectionFinder® Survey to determine the winners. The survey objectively assessed resident satisfaction with local government services.

Unified Government adopts complete streets ordinance — The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, unanimously adopted a complete streets ordinance. The ordinance lays out a comprehensive, integrated transportation network infrastructure policy designed for safe and convenient travel. This ordinance also supports walking and biking activities.

Mission Hills hires new city administrator — The city of Mission Hills, Kansas, hired Jennifer Lee to serve as the new city administrator. Lee currently serves as the assistant city administrator and will start her new job in January 2021. Courtney Christensen, the former city administrator, is retiring in December 2020.

ELGL recognizes leaders across the region — Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) announced its list of 2020 Traeger Award recipients. The award is named for Chris Traeger, the city manager for the fictional Pawnee, Indiana, on the show “Parks and Recreation.” Honorees for this year include Brian Platt, city manager for the city of Kansas City, Missouri; Amanda Graor, chief innovation officer at MARC; Meredith Hauck, assistant city administrator for the city of Merriam, Kansas; Kim Nakahodo, assistant city administrator for the city of North Kansas City, Missouri; and Ruth DeWitt, communications manager for the University of Kansas Public Management Center.


MARC NEWS

New GTI courses for 2021 — MARC’s Government Training Institute is offering updated courses and new trainings in 2021. Updates include virtual trainings through June 2021, on-demand courses and a Data Academy certificate program. More information about new courses and GTI’s 2021 schedule is available online.

MARC Board of Directors — The next MARC Board of Directors meeting is from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. The agenda will be online one week before the meeting.

First Suburbs Coalition — The First Suburbs Coalition will meet between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Register here.

Kansas City Regional Purchasing Cooperative (KCRPC) news — KCRPC renewed the contracts for storm warning sirens, office paper, personal protective equipment (PPE) and contact tracing services. KCRPC also awarded three new contracts for surveillance cameras, access control and under-desk panic alarms. The PPE contracts are available on the award spreadsheet on the PrepareMetroKC page. Wheelchairs and privacy screens are included in the PPE contract. KCRPC rebid and awarded contracts for MARCER medical gases. All KCRPC contracts are available on the CoProcure public database. Any agency can now create individual lists and save relevant information found on CoProcure about contracts and/or suppliers in one place. You can also share information with stakeholders without having to download and share documents via email. For more information and to get started making lists, head to the My Lists page on CoProcure.

CPM program accepting applications — The Heartland Certified Public Managers (CPM) program is accepting applications for the next cohort. The CPM program is a nationally accredited management program that aims to strengthen management skills and understand current management practices. Apply here.

Economic forecast for local officials webinar — MARC is hosting its next installment in a series of webinars that evaluate and forecast economic trends for local elected officials and managers. Speakers will focus on the latest forecasts of regional economic conditions, particularly as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This event will be hosted from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Register here.

MARC creates webpage for COVID-19 testing sites — MARC announced the new Greater Kansas City COVID-19 Testing Calendar, which provides residents in the Kansas City metropolitan area accurate information on COVID-19 testing sites. This webpage compiles information from several agencies in the region including hospitals, public health departments, clinics and free community events. The webpage also includes costs and registration information, when possible.

KC Chamber recognizes David Warm as 2020 Kansas Citian of the Year — The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce named MARC Executive Director David Warm as the 2020 Kansas Citian of the Year. As executive director, Warm facilitates cooperation and collaboration across the nine-county region, including more than 119 separate city governments and a population of more than 2 million residents. Warm has led MARC since July 1990 and consistently promotes cooperation and collaboration in the Kansas City region.

 

STATE & NATIONAL NEWS

Governor of Louisiana announces new Renewable Energy Initiative — Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced a new renewable energy initiative for the Gulf of Mexico. Governor Edwards plans to use the state’s abundance in offshore energy production towards development of wind power. Read more at Louisiana.gov.

Missouri ranks second for highway performance and costs — The Reason Foundation ranked Missouri second in overall highway performance and cost-effectiveness, which is up one ranking from the previous year. Read more about Missouri’s performance at Reason.org.

Governor Laura Kelly announces openings in Kansas Main Street program — Governor Laura Kelly announced that the Kansas Main Street program is accepting applications from three communities in the state. The Main Street program is a technical assistance program that focuses on revitalization and preservation of downtown districts. More information is available at the Kansas Department of Commerce website.

Sandusky County, Ohio, establishes its own building code department — Sandusky County, Ohio, announced a partnership with SAFEbuilt to help establish the county’s own commercial/industrial building code department. Read more at American City & County.

 

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