What is a "No-Tax Increase" General Obligation Bond?
A "No-Tax Increase" bond issue is made possible when existing bond issues are paid off. As the debt decreases, the City can issue new bonds, with voter approval, and pay them off over time within the current property tax levy. Thus, there is no need to increase the current property tax levy to pay the debt.
QUESTION NO. 1
Shall the City of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, issue its general obligation bonds in the amount of $10,000,000 for the purpose of constructing road improvements and acquiring necessary rights-of-way including improvements to the U.S. Highway 50 and Missouri State Route 291 intersection and bridge system?
"No-Tax Increase" General Obligation Bond Improvement Project
U.S. Hwy 50 & Route 291 South Interchange Improvements
On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, voters in Lee's Summit were asked to consider a $10-million "No-Tax Increase" General Obligation Bond improvement project. The "No-Tax Increase" bond project is to address improvements to the interchange at U.S. Highway 50 and Route 291 South.
The existing interchange consists of a four-lane bridge that crosses over U.S. Highway 50, connecting Jefferson Street to the north with Missouri Route 291 (M-291 South) to the south, as well as the outer roads, Blue Parkway and Oldham Parkway. The proposed new interchange is estimated to cost $16 million. The City would seek the remaining funds through federal or state funding opportunities.
Built in the late 1960's, the bridge itself is now nearly 50 years old and at the end of its expected design life. The bridge has been rated by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) as in "serious" condition, the concrete has deteriorated and is exposing rebar, thus reducing its structural capacity.
The overall interchange is no longer functional. The intersection of the two outer roads are too close to the on/off ramps of U.S. Highway 50. This creates four signalized intersections within just a few hundred feet. Recent traffic studies show the following daily motorists: 40,000 on M-291, 70,000 on U.S. Highway 50, 4,000 on SW Blue Parkway 7,000 on SE Blue Parkway and 9,000 on Oldham Parkway. In addition, the studies show that most traffic through the interchange consist of motorists traveling northbound M-291 to westbound U.S. Highway 50 or westbound U.S. Highway 50 to southbound M-291.
This high level of traffic making left turn movements creates conflicts at the interchange and relates to traffic congestion, long queues and delays. High traffic volume and congestion have been contributing factors in hundreds of crashes in this area over the last several years.
Businesses to the south of the interchange such as Billy Goat Industries, Inc., Plastic Enterprises Co, Inc., and Reinhart Foodservice have expressed frustration with the inability for employees, suppliers, and carriers to travel to and from their operations.
The bond project would provide the following improvements:
Replace the aging bridge that is at the end of its design life and provide dedicated pedestrian/bike access. The proposed improvements are designed to reduce current congestion, delays and associated vehicular crashes to create a more efficient interchange.
The proposed improvements would enhance the north/south connection and provide a gateway to the heart of downtown Lee's Summit.
Access and visibility to vacant commercial properties and existing businesses in the surrounding vicinity will increase.
The "No-Tax Increase" General Bond Election project would fund road improvements and acquire necessary right-of-ways for the improvements to the 50 Highway and Route 291 South interchange and outer roads.
The proposed configuration can be viewed by clicking on the image or here: Conceptual Design. It is anticipated that the design will reduce delays, provide a gateway to the heart of downtown, provide alternate access to schools and parks, and provide access and visibility to current and prospective businesses.