By Dennis Minich
Landlords in the city of Harrisonville will be facing annual fees as well as inspection policies if an ordinance read for the first time Monday night becomes law.
The board heard the first reading of “Harrisonville Rental Ready Program.” The idea was first presented earlier this year at a town hall meeting where many landlords were on hand questioning the need for such a program. Since then, the board has held a work session and staff has devised the plan.
Among the elements of the proposed ordinance is raising the cost of all business licenses to $50. Additionally, each landlord or rental manager will pay $14 per unit annually. Every rental property will receive an exterior inspection, must provide proof of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and a police inspection to look for potential safety concerns.
City Administrator Brad Ratliff noted landlords will benefit from two elements of the program; first the police will offer a free background check on each potential tenant and secondly, landlords will be informed if property they own is on the potential utility shutoff list. Many landlords had complained they were being saddled with unpaid utility bills from their renters.
“State law says we can’t tell them the amount of utility fees due, but we can alert them that they (the renters) are on the shutoff list, so we can make sure they are kept in the loop,” Ratliff said.
If approved, the ordinance will go into effect Aug. 1, 2022.
“It will not happen this August, we want to give everyone time to plan for the change and want to continue to educate both the tenants and the landlords,” Ratliff said.
It was also explained why the outdoor pool will not be open this year. Earlier it had been announced a contractor had been selected and a late-summer opening was planned.
Grant Purkey, parks and recreation di- rector, explained Tripp Construction of Raymore had been selected to do the repair and renovation work.
“We had used them before as contractors for repair work. That’s how this started, as a repair job, but the more we looked it just kept going and going. We finally reached the point we decided to do the renovation as well as the repairs, but before they started they told us they couldn’t get bond insurance, so we had to go out for a new RFP (request for proposals),” Purkey said.
There were four bids turned in, three were in the $700,000 range, the fourth was for $1.2 million. The park board was scheduled to review and accept a bid during its monthly meeting Tuesday night.
Purkey said he understood the disappointment residents feel.
“I wish they would have told us about the issue earlier. But we hope to get the bid and get work started soon so we will be ready for the 2022 season,” Purkey said.
During his report, Ratliff said he could announce a new business coming to the city. Starbucks has purchased the land on M-291 Highway which formerly housed a County Club Bank facility. It closed earlier this year and it was known a new business was coming in, but what business had been secret.
Ratliff said the bank building will be raised and a new structure built.
The board also approved a rezoning and special use permit request for Pro Concrete Design, LLC, to operate a contractor yard at 2501 and 2505 E. Outer Road. The location was zone R-1 residential, but was changed to a commercial zoning to allow for the business.
The board also granted two rezoning requests for changes from commercial to residential. One of the requests was from Kevin Wood for 2510 Burris Ridge Dr. He plans to build a single-family home on the site. The other request was from Larry and Donna Pfautsch for 2507 Burris Ridge Dr. They plan to divide the lot into three lots.
The board also adopted an ordinance expanding on the use of video conferencing for board meetings; appointed Michelle Hart as an alternate member to the board of zoning adjustment and watched as Nathan Davidson and Mike Hiatt received their badges as captains with the fire department.