City enacts policy to better cooperate with utility companies

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Mayor Lucas in conversation with KCMO public works. // Screengrab from Lucas’ Twitter.

On October 22, Mayor Quinton Lucas and Councilmembers Andrea Bough and Eric Bunch introduced a resolution that will direct the city manager to create recommendations to enhance communication between the city and private utility companies. The city manager will have 45 days to create these recommendations, which will ideally limit the number of necessary excavations on KC streets.

“Too often, the City spends time, resources, and manpower on resurfacing a street in our city, only to have that same street torn up days later for pre-scheduled utility work,” said Mayor Lucas. “It’s frustrating. It’s wasteful. It’s expensive. Today’s action will create a path to ensuring our Departments can better communicate with each other and with utility companies throughout our city to avoid future costly and embarrassing scenarios, such as on 39th Street just this week.”

This resolution came after Mayor Lucas echoed residents’ frustration with the recent resurfacing of 39th street, scheduled to be impacted by road work in just a few weeks after the fresh pavement was laid. After expressing his feelings in a tweet last week, the city worked quickly to create this resolution so these situations could be avoided in the future.

Conversations began between Mayor Lucas, Councilwoman Bough, Councilman Bunch, current City Manager Earnest Rouse, the Kansas City Public Works Department, the City Planning Department, and utility companies Spire Energy and KC Water, about ways to improve coordination on utility and resurfacing projects.

“It’s time we put forth a concerted effort from City Hall to hold local utility companies accountable and recoup the cost they put on taxpayers,” said Councilman Bunch. “We at the City will also do our part to better coordinate our interdepartmental infrastructure improvements with utilities to alleviate the burden this type of work imposes on our small business community and neighborhoods.”

The resolution, which will be referred to the Transportation, Infrastructure, and Operations Committee, can be found in full here.

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Categories: News