quality of life iconFacilities & Infrastructure

Objective: Maintain high-quality infrastructure that supports and entices quality growth and redevelopment.

Objective: Reduce maintenance costs while enhancing infrastructure performance and sustainability.

System Overview

The City services nearly 37,000 customer accounts, more than 600 miles of water mains and over 500 miles of sewer mains—plus nine water towers and storage tanks, 33 pump stations, nearly 5,000 fire hydrants and much more associated water and sewer infrastructure assets.

Water

The City of Lee’s Summit successfully manages sewer back-ups and water main breaks, exceeding most industry standards and benchmarks for these issues. The City provides a wide variety of high-quality services to residents and businesses and receives positive responses in resident satisfaction surveys. The 2019 Lee’s Summit Citizen Satisfaction Report confirmed a high level of satisfaction, with 85 percent of respondents reporting satisfaction with the quality of services provided by the local water utility. This is a huge success and should be utilized as a positive tool and message in public education.

Wastewater Treatment Suppliers

The Little Blue Valley Sewer District (LBVSD) provides treatment for wastewater to the entire region. The City does not provide treatment for water or sewer, while the cities of Independence and Kansas City supply treated drinking water and are working toward emergency interconnection with the Tri-County Water Authority to provide back-up water supplies in case of emergencies. With the capacity to supply 32.5 million gallons per day, and additional water in emergencies, the Water Utilities Department is positioned to meet Lee’s Summit’s anticipated water needs currently and is undergoing a Water Master Plan to determine the water supply needed for the next several decades.

These contracts and relationships are vital to costs and services’ impact on the entire community. City staff regularly attends planning and budget meetings for these providers.

Planning Efforts

Historically, the City utilized Master plans, Comprehensive Plans, Capital Improvement Plans and Strategic Plans to plan for future infrastructure scenarios. Each plan provides a unique perspective and purpose. Master plans for water and wastewater were updated in 2006–2007 and are in the process of undergoing updates to plan for the next 20 years. The specific details of those master plans should coincide with the comprehensive plan update.

Technology & Security

Lee’s Summit uses the latest technology to improve operations and City services. Changes in transportation needs, driverless cars, Internet of Things (IoT) and many more advances are changing how we deliver services or are on the horizon. These items may not directly impact water utilities, but it does impact overall system integration and management. As more and more devices are used to measure, monitor and identify assets, the importance of security increases.

As water utility system components age or fail they are replaced with more advanced systems, such as pumps with temperature sensors and other ways to measure adequate temperature levels and balance. These systems can’t replace personnel who perform the maintenance activities but can provide efficiencies to help personnel make decisions and prioritize needs. These developments contribute to Lee’s Summit’s transformation into a SMART City. Smart water meter systems identify leaks within minutes or hours, rather than waiting for water leaks to show up on bills at the end of the month.

As the City’s network systems become more complex, security is an increasing concern— along with the ability to manage and access data. Lee’s Summit is currently working to implement an Enterprise Content Management System to reduce the amount of physical space needed for document storage.

Regulations are quickly changing for managing the security of water and sewer systems. They will become increasingly stringent as more services are provided online and systems are more widely integrated with the internet, cell systems and more. Several City departments offer the option to conduct business transactions and access services online, practice improves customer experience by providing expanded access to conduct City business remotely and outside of normal business hours. This added convenience has become a necessity as a result of required COVID-19 social distancing.

Interdepartmental Opportunities

City departments typically work independently of each other, managing separate budgets, staff, and software systems. Technology improvements provide more efficient ways to share resources, including strategies that allow the City to cost-share across departments for mutual benefits. Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, video capability, networks that provide data about usage, outages, temperature and much more can be integrated with ways that enhance security, safety, and overall customer satisfaction.

Asset management, technology and Smart applications are all critical topics to consider going forward. Interdepartmental coordination becomes increasingly important as more technology and citizens are involved.

Introduction

water utility maintenancePublic facilities allow for a community to grow and prosper in a sustainable direction. To continue providing the high quality of services our citizens have come to expect, we need to improve the resilience of our current and future facilities.

The past decades brought tremendous growth to Lee’s Summit. While growth continues to create new opportunities, facility and infrastructure planning means future generations are not financially burdened and can experience the finest quality of life. Convenient, reliable, efficient, and resilient public facilities and infrastructure allow for a community’s ability to grow and prosper sustainably.

To continue providing the high quality of services, our community supports strategies to make our facilities and infrastructure more resilient, such as creating smart, innovative infrastructure that is safe, secure, sustainable, and can recover quickly from disruption and accommodate future growth.
 

Download the Facilities & Infrastructure Context section as a PDF


 

Facilities

Goal: Sustain and enhance City services and facilities to protect a high quality of life.

Select to enlarge

Fire & EMS Map

Infrastructure

Goal: Plan and build City services and infrastructure to promote quality growth and resiliency

City Hall

City Hall was built in 2006 and will undergo a space analysis to evaluate best practices and strategies for retrofitting and renovating the building. Water Utilities relocated to a new facility, freeing up space.

Parking The City’s 2016 Downtown Parking Study identified locations for two new parking structures downtown. One structure, located at Fourth and Main Street, and another between Second Street and Third Street along the west side of Market Street. The City has identified funding for one of the two structures as a part of a 15-year CIP sales tax approved in 2017. The City has used a portion of these funds to purchase property at 4th and Main Street along with the construction of a surface parking lot at that location. Additional property at Fourth and Main Street would be necessary to support a parking structure at that location. No funds have been identified for the City to build a second public parking structure downtown.

Driverless vehicles are projected to be in widespread use within ten years. Parking may not be needed at today’s demand level. New parking structure(s) being constructed should be designed as flexible buildings that can be converted to another use when the demand drops.

Public Safety Facilities Underway

On August 6, 2019, voters approved a $19,475,000 no-tax-increase general obligation bond to fund public safety initiatives, including:

  • Police Headquarters and Court facility renovations
  • police in-car video systems and body cameras
  • new Fire Station No. 4 and fire apparatus
  • new Fire Station No. 5
  • network infrastructure

Renovation of the Police Headquarters and Courts Facility is underway, and a substation to serve the southern portion of Lee’s Summit is under consideration as the city continues to grow. The need for this facility is not immediate, but proactive planning and programming will ensure the City is ready to move forward when necessary.

Police

The Lee’s Summit Police Department provides programs and services to residents and businesses intended to prevent crime and develop partnerships with residents and businesses. There are 10 police districts that help Lee’s Summit be a safe place to live, work and raise a family.

In the 2019 Lee’s Summit Citizen Survey, 82 percent of respondents indicated they are satisfied or very satisfied with how quickly the police respond and 75 percent are satisfied or very satisfied with police visibility in neighborhoods. Technologies such as the growing use of public and private security and surveillance equipment and real-time crime alerts are preventing crime, improving response and helping officers solve crimes. To maintain and improve these satisfaction numbers and maintain response times, additional public facilities and technology will be needed as the community grows. A new public safety communications system is needed. The Lee’s Summit Police Department manages a variety of successful programs and services that support crime prevention and a culture of cooperation and partnership. As policing becomes more community-focused, facility needs may be met through collocation and partnerships with other departments and agencies.

Fire and EMS

The Fire Department offers a variety of services to residents and businesses including emergency medical services (EMS), fire suppression and fire investigation, community risk reduction, domestic preparedness planning and response and public fire and life safety education. In the 2019 Lee’s Summit Citizen Survey, 83 percent of respondents indicated they are satisfied or very satisfied with the fire department’s response time. The Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating is 2, one of the highest scores in Missouri. This rating describes how well-equipped a fire department is to put out fires and is on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best. This rating translates to lower insurance rates for residents and businesses served. The Fire Department is a Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) agency. CFAI awards this status to fire departments demonstrating a standard of excellence for service delivery and performance.

There are seven (7) fire stations in Lee’s Summit, and the Fire Department provides emergency services to more than 100,000 people across 72.42 square miles, including Lee’s Summit residents and residents in the neighboring municipalities of Greenwood and Unity Village. The Lee’s Summit Fire Department responds to over 10,000 calls for service each year. The Lee’s Summit airport also offers an air ambulance service. As the community grows calls for service will increase. As the elderly population grows, calls for emergency medical services are predicted to increase. Additional strategically located facilities will be needed to maintain service levels, the ISO rating and satisfaction levels.

The City will replace two existing fire stations (Stations 4 & 5) with plans to start construction in the next two to three years. Plans are also developed for two new fire stations. Station 8 will be in the southern part of town, while Station 9 will be constructed in the northern area. The City will continue to assess the need for new fire stations as the community grows. The map at end of this section displays existing Fire Stations.

Emergency Facilities

Safe communities prepare for extreme storm events with shelters and alert systems. Emergency management is a Fire Department program, and the fire chief serves as the emergency management director. The Department is responsible for the coordination of City services during a declared emergency in accordance with the City’s adopted Local Emergency Operations Plan (LEOP). The Department also collaborates with regional, state and federal agencies to plan, prepare, mitigate, respond and recover from natural and man-made hazards that threaten Lee’s Summit. While no City facility serves as a community-wide tornado shelter, there are 16 emergency shelters located in Lee’s Summit.

The Lee’s Summit Fire Department Headquarters houses the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). During declared emergencies or significant events, the EOC is the coordination point for City departments to plan and mitigate situations that could affect City services and residents’ safety.

Increased frequency of extreme weather events causes risks to property, infrastructure and human safety. Identifying and planning for adverse weather events, is critical for ensuring a community’s long-term quality of life.

Solid Waste

After 37 years of operation, the Lee’s Summit landfill officially reached maximum capacity and closed on April 13, 2019. The Lee’s Summit Resource Recovery Park continues to offer residents convenient public disposal, hazardous materials and recycling drop-off. Residents and businesses contract with private haulers for solid waste and recycling who haul outside the city to regional landfills. Contracting individually for trash with multiple haulers increases the wear and tear on city streets and air pollution due to an increase in the number of trash trucks and trips. By ordinance, haulers are required to provide recycling and yard waste composting with trash service which means three trucks from one hauler are using the same street. Hauling longer distances and fewer landfill options increase costs that are passed along to the customer in monthly fees. The City is looking at converting the closed landfill to a new land use.

Shared Spaces

Cities are designing new public facilities where agencies, departments and services share facilities to stretch lean budgets and meet community needs. Sharing with other government and nongovernmental agencies maximizes the use of community buildings and spaces. Cities, school districts and libraries often manage buildings and outdoor spaces that are under-utilized. Innovative facilities designed (or retrofitted) with shared spaces can address agency needs while also meeting the community’s need for social, recreational and civic areas. Cities are also incorporating community gathering spaces and amenities near municipal buildings, such as fire stations, to increase the public benefit of city-owned facilities.

Aging Facilities

In Lee’s Summit, most City buildings are 15–20 years old, approaching the halfway point for their life expectancy, assuming a 50-year life cycle. The oldest City facility is the Fire Department headquarters, built in the mid-1970s, and renovated in the early 2000s.

Insight & Foresight

Technology

Lee’s Summit uses technology to improve operations and City services. The City is working to identify more intelligent asset management such as Building Information Modeling (B.I.M). Technological advances will impact the amount of public space needed for future facilities.

  • Fewer people will need to access public facilities as more services become available online.
  • Many City employees worked remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. If remote work and socially distanced work areas become long-term standard operating situations, space needs will change.
  • Cyberattacks require data protection and systems security.
  • Physical security enhancements may require building modifications.
  • To improve the ability to manage and readily access data requires an Enterprise Content Management System to reduce the physical space required for document storage.
  • Technological advancements change how facilities are managed and maintained. Digitalization, wireless communication and sensors make it possible to monitor nearly every component of a facility. 
  • A constant flow of data on virtually any component of a facility, means cities use real-time, data-driven actions to predict when maintenance is needed.
  • Artificial intelligence and robotics will replace and augment humans in the workplace over the next 20 years. This will impact space needs and technology required in city facilities.

Accessible, Healthy and Safe Facilities

People expect accessible, healthy and safe city facilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires accessible public facilities. As our population ages, the need for fully accessible public facilities grows.

Public demand for safety features and designs that promote and protect public health is expected to continue following the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthy buildings have a high rate of replacing inside air with air from the outside (using HVAC air return processes) and filtration systems that remove potentially dangerous particles from the inside environment. Touchless technologies will replace processes or actions that traditionally required physical contact. These trends will require future modifications to existing facilities in addition to taking this design approach in new facilities.

Resilient & Efficient Facilities

Energy efficiency and public sheltering facilities are becoming increasingly important as climate changes and weather patterns shift. Lee’s Summit uses technology to leverage cost savings and improve energy efficiency and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. For example, plans are in place for solar panels at 12 public facilities. The City also uses sustainable building and maintenance practices to reduce energy and maintenance costs, such as LED lightbulbs and polished concrete floors. Facilities that rely on more diverse power sources are more resilient and can operate when one source is out of service.

Life Cycle Costs

Using a life cycle cost model encourages cities and developers to make higher initial capital investments in sustainable materials, place a higher value on environmental building practices and innovate to reduce long-term operations and maintenance costs. Evaluating projects from a whole-life perspective helps cities anticipate ongoing facility operations, maintenance and decommissioning costs.

As one of the fastest-growing communities in the region for many years, this demonstrates the resiliency and foresight of community leaders. The water utility needs to achieve a critical balance, not only in managing the existing infrastructure but also in planning for continued growth. Water and sewer services must be extended and updated using sustainable, cost-effective strategies to support continued growth and anticipate future demand.

Growth By Decade

Year Population Land Areas (Acres) Population Per Acre
1950 2,554 10,646 0.24
1960 8,267 35,004 0.24
1970 16,230 36,973 0.44
1980 28,742 37,536 0.77
1990 46,486 37,808 1.23
2000 70,700 40,190 1.76
2010 87,027 40,528 2.15
2018 (estimate) 96,325 40,528 2.38


While fast-paced growth provides new opportunities, experiences and amenities for residents, such as additional restaurants, shopping and parks, it presents a difficult task for the City to plan appropriately and balance the needs for future and existing customers. Lee’s Summit creates infrastructure with the future in mind to enable appropriate infrastructure size. The cost to extend services to sites is generally carried by the developer, however, there are times they can connect directly to the existing systems due to the City’s forethought.

Investing in future development is a tough balance. Presently the City partners with organizations and developers on infrastructure that anticipates future capacity when budgets and planning allow. In the past, development fees and connection fees allowed the City to successfully fund growth amid capacity concerns for the water system, and the sewer system would benefit from a similar model.

It’s been said many times that “the easy properties have been developed,” and remaining properties in the City limits are more difficult to serve. Therefore, Lee’s Summit should explore new funding mechanisms for such efforts. One such example is the downtown area, where the age and condition of existing infrastructure are a concern about long-term sustainability and costs associated with operations and maintenance. Added development impacts capacity and sometimes it impacts downstream infrastructure. While the city is still growing, a new model addressing these concerns is needed to support continued growth in the remaining areas.

Aging Infrastructure Every three years, the American Society of Civil Engineers develops a grade card for infrastructure in Missouri as part of a national effort to raise awareness about conditions of the state’s infrastructure and needs for reinvestment. The grade card recently released gave Missouri infrastructure an overall grade of C-, which is less than mediocre and demonstrated a need for greater attention. The good news is that it surpasses the national average, a D+. The bad news is that Missouri’s grade hasn’t improved over the last several rating cycles—in some categories it has even declined.

Lee’s Summit continues to replace its aging infrastructure with aggressive programs aimed to meet the industry’s best practices. Work is continuously being done on the water and wastewater systems to ensure reliability in the future. Lee’s Summit has much better infrastructure reviews than the state’s, shown by City customer satisfaction surveys.

Public Facilities Support Quality of Life

The City of Lee’s Summit provides a variety of high-quality services to residents and businesses. The 2019 Lee’s Summit Citizen Survey confirms a high level of satisfaction with all city services and departments, with 78 percent of respondents indicating they are satisfied with the quality of services.

Facilities play a major role in citizen satisfaction. Facilities must be accessible, comfortable, and convenient to the public. Quality facilities are a factor in employee recruitment, retention and efficient service delivery. An understanding of the life cycle, cost of design, construction and maintenance of public facilities can save communities substantial resources. Thriving communities efficiently and effectively operate and maintain existing facilities and plan for new facilities that meet the community’s changing needs.

Public facilities are buildings, property, services and technologies that benefit the public. Public facilities owned and operated by community partners such as school districts, public higher education, library district, and counties are not the responsibility of the City. Communication and joint planning will ensure public facilities support community quality of life as Lee’s Summit grows and changes over the next 20 years.

Historically, each of the City of Lee’s Summit’s departments managed the long-range planning for the public facilities. The City’s 2005 Comprehensive Plan marked the first time the Lee’s Summit Departments jointly planned for its facilities. This collaborative practice continues through the Capital Improvement Plan and this document. The purpose of this element is to describe needs for city facilities over the next 20 years.

Objective: Reduce facility costs while enhancing performance and sustainability.

Objective: Maintain high-quality service levels for existing and future customers.

Select to Enlarge

Bridge and Street Conditions Map

Water System Map

Wastewater System Map

Resiliency

Goal: Increase disaster resiliency.

 

Objective: Mitigate impacts from man-made disasters.

Man-made disasters include those that are not caused by a natural disaster and cover a wide range of events. Man-made disasters are often unpredictable but following local and national trends can help the City more closely understand the potential risk. Nationally, man-made disasters such as cyber-attacks and public mass shootings are on the rise, as are events of civil unrest. Given upticks in man-made disasters nationally, as well as the unpredictable nature of these events, it is important for the City to prepare and optimize expedient response and recovery efforts.

Man-made disasters can result in property damage and loss of life, as well as a loss of public confidence in government agencies and institutions that support them. While man-made disasters are difficult to predict, those such as cyberattacks, mass shootings and civil disorder have risen in the U.S. in recent years.

Hazardous materials incidents are most likely to occur along major transportation routes or at facilities storing hazardous materials. In Lee’s Summit, Interstate 470 runs through the northern and western portions of the City, and US Highway 50 runs through the central part. Furthermore, a railway bisects Lee’s Summit from the northeast to the southwest, which includes passenger rail (Amtrak) and freight. Kansas City is ranked first in U.S. freight volume by tonnage and is considered the second largest rail center in the country. Lee’s Summit is within a Kansas City Regional Freight Zone for rail and truck transport, and it is listed in the national freight corridor. In the period 2009– 15, Jackson County experienced 62 hazardous materials spills on highways and 115 on railroads. Hazardous materials incidents can also occur at fixed sites. Federal and state community right-to-know regulations require facilities that meet certain criteria for hazardous materials on-site to report these materials to local emergency management agencies. The EPA’s toxic release inventory program (TRI) tracks these facilities, which indicates five TRI sites within Lee’s Summit.

Incidents involving mass shootings, terrorism, and civic disorder are most likely to occur in busy, populated areas, or at high-risk targets. In Lee’s Summit, the downtown area, Legacy Park Amphitheater and Longview College may be considered higher risks, especially during festivals, concerts, and special events. Other high-risk targets may include police stations and schools. Similarly, cyberattacks are likely to target public agencies and institutions, especially those that may store sensitive personal information or serve critical functions, such as higher education, banks, police, schools, and public utilities.

Like natural hazard events, a man-made disaster can result in environmental, social, and economic losses. Man-made events may be localized and easily contained (such as liquid hazmat spill) or widespread and catastrophic (such as a toxic chemical air release). Man-made events, especially hazardous materials spills, can have detrimental impacts on ecosystems and the environment. Further, man-made disasters can result in property damages and loss of life, as well as a loss of public confidence in government agencies and the institutions that support them. Similarly, civil disorder may arise from a lack of confidence in public institutions.

Cities can develop microgrids to increase the resiliency of a facility’s power source. This is a compressed version of larger electrical grids that power the entire country; it consists of multiple energy sources, such as solar, battery/generator, wind turbine and conventional utilities. Facilities that rely on more than one power source are more resilient and continue to operate when other sources are not available.

Objective: Mitigate impacts from natural disasters.

Like floods, natural hazards pose risks to the community in terms of economic, social, and environmental impacts. Natural hazards can damage and destroy buildings, roads and infrastructure, and in the process can cause injuries and fatalities. Natural hazards can also cause school and office closures or business interruptions. Extreme temperatures and infectious diseases can have public health consequences, including heatstroke, hypothermia and illness, with the potential for loss of life. Severe winter weather increases vehicular crashes and incidents of burst pipes due to freezing. Infectious diseases may overwhelm local health care systems and have widespread economic consequences, as witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, very young or economically distressed, may be disproportionately affected by these hazards.

The community has already taken steps to mitigate the impact of natural hazards—most buildings have basements to shelter against tornadoes, Longview College has a FEMA tornado shelter, and the City designated two heating and cooling centers to provide relief from extreme temperatures. Further, the City has emergency management procedures in place and is well-coordinated with regional entities to prepare, respond and recover from emergency incidents.

In addition to flooding, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, heat/drought and severe winter weather are listed as priority natural hazards in the regional hazard mitigation plan. According to the plan, in the last five years, Lee’s Summit has experienced three tornadoes and 24 severe thunderstorms. Tornadoes are rated on wind speed using the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale, where an EF-0 tornado has winds of at least 65mph, and an EF-5 has winds greater than 200mph. An EF-1 tornado struck Lee’s Summit in 2015, causing structural damages and prompting a federal disaster declaration for the county. Severe thunderstorms, which commonly include wind, hail, heavy rainfall, and lightning, have also caused damages in Lee’s Summit.

While no specific severe winter weather or heat events were reported in the regional hazard mitigation plan for Lee’s Summit, these two hazards are seasonal occurrences for the City. Weather station data indicates that the average daily snowfall in Lee’s Summit can be up to two inches in the winter months and that the maximum daily snowfall can be as much as 11 inches. Snow removal is the largest line item in the City’s Public Works budget. Further, temperature data shows extreme and record minimum temperatures in the negative teens and 20s. Conversely, Lee’s Summit experiences extreme heat in the summer months, with maximum temperatures averaging in the upper 80s, and record temperatures reaching well over 100°F.

In addition, Jackson County has recorded 13 drought occurrences in the last 20 years. Due to the regional nature of drought, it is assumed these drought events also impacted the City.

While the hazards described above are the priority in Lee’s Summit, other natural hazards have the potential to impact the city. Lee’s Summit is in the earthquake impact area for the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The city is unlikely to experience catastrophic losses from an earthquake but could experience significant shaking and an influx of evacuees from the eastern part of the state and Tennessee.

Public health hazards, such as infectious disease, can also impact Lee’s Summit. For instance, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic impacted the way of life in Lee’s Summit as social distancing measures closed many businesses, offices and institutions.

Objective: Reduce flood risk and damage to property.

 

Extreme Weather and Climate Change

Extreme weather increases other risks to societies around the world. The high frequency of extreme weather events causes risks to property, infrastructure and human safety. Extreme weather events can increase biodiversity loss, create water supply issues, impact population migration and economic loss. Resiliency planning and planning for adverse weather events is becoming more critical for ensuring a community’s long-term quality of life.

Climate trends indicate a future increase of flood events in Lee’s Summit. According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, increases to the intensity and frequency of extreme rainfall events in the Midwest Region, where Lee’s Summit resides, are expected to result in increased flood events under both lower (RCP4.5) and higher (RCP8.5) emissions scenarios. Under the higher emissions scenario, winter and spring precipitation is expected to increase 10-20 percent in Missouri by late this century (2071–99) relative to 1971-2005, while changes in summer and fall are not expected to exceed natural variations. Moreover, the frequency of the Midwest’s current daily, 20-year extreme rainfall event is projected to increase by 20 percent by the end of the century.

More Development Means More Stormwater Runoff

Increases in development, and therefore impervious surfaces, may increase the potential for flooding caused by stormwater runoff. When land becomes developed with buildings, roads and other hard surfaces, rainfall cannot infiltrate into the ground. When stormwater infrastructure cannot convey runoff volumes, localized flooding often results. Currently, 71 percent of the City is developed, and more growth is expected.

Flooding

water utility maintenanceFlooding is one of the most widespread natural hazards experienced by communities in the United States and can have devastating consequences on a community including direct physical damage, indirect economic damage (e.g., closed businesses and economic disruptions), psychological trauma, injuries or fatalities. Flooding can also result in public health concerns as flooded structures may mold, complicating recovery and rebuilding efforts. It can also limit access (impeded roadways) which creates numerous issues including emergency response complexities. Lastly, flooding can widen the equality gap, as properties prone to flooding can be in lower-income areas and recovery from flood impacts is more challenging with limited disposable income. Similarly, low-income households may be less able to purchase flood insurance, hindering their ability to recover from flood damages.

Types of flooding include riverine flooding, flash flooding, levee failure and dam failure. The Kansas City region’s 2020 Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Hazard Mitigation Plan, which includes Lee’s Summit, designates flood and dam failure as priority hazards (two out of five), indicating Lee’s Summit has the potential to experience each of these types of flooding.

Flash flooding is the most frequent type of flooding in Lee’s Summit. Flash flooding occurs when heavy rainfall events cause localized, short-duration flooding. Repetitive flash flooding has caused minor damage along Cedar Creek and the East Fork of the Little Blue River. Repetitive flash flooding at 3rd Street and Topaz Drive resulted in the city buying two properties. Flash flooding impacts in the City include basement flooding and occasional roadway flooding.

While less common, Lee’s Summit experiences riverine flooding when rivers and streams rise out of their banks. In recent years, a flood along the Little Blue River damaged several properties. The FEMA National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) develops Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) to determine flood hazard areas. FIRMs depict special flood hazard areas, which have been determined to have an annual chance of 0.1 percent of flooding. This is considered the regulatory floodplain, meaning that flood insurance is typically required for structures within these areas, and it is used for floodplain management. Specifically, development decisions must adhere to determine regulations set forth by FEMA, state, and local policy. The most recent FIRMs for Lee’s Summit became effective in 2017. The City has 386 buildings in FEMA 0.1 percent annual chance flood areas. Further, Lee’s Summit is currently in the process of joining FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS), a program that provides discounts for homeowner NFIP insurance premiums as the city implements certain flood risk reduction measures.

Lastly, 14 dams are located within Lee’s Summit, meaning the City has the potential to experience flooding from dam failure. With no previous occurrences of dam failure reported in the City, it is considered a low-probability event.

Given these trends, implementing actions to reduce future flood risk and potential damages in Lee’s Summit is essential. Focus on reducing the number of structures located in the floodplain and the amount of repetitive flood damage. The Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004 defines severe repetitive loss as 1-4 family residences that have had four or more claims of more than $5,000 or at least two claims that cumulatively exceed the building’s value. Lee’s Summit has over 200 1-4 family residential dwelling units that are currently in flood risk areas.