Updates and outcomes from MARC's January Board meetings

Feb 02, 2023
| Posted in
A Parade of Hearts sculpture sits near a sidewalk.
  • New Board leadership: MARC Board officers are elected annually, although officers typically serve for two terms. At the meeting, Board members elected a new chair: Carson Ross, mayor of Blue Springs, Missouri. He replaces Harold Johnson Jr., commissioner for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, who served as chair for the past two years. Other officers elected at the meeting include:
    • First Vice Chair — Commissioner Janeé Hanzlick, Johnson County, Kansas
    • Second Vice Chair — Mayor Pro Tem Beto Lopez, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
    • Treasurer — Mayor Damien Boley, Smithville, Missouri
    • Secretary — Councilmember Holly Grummert, Overland Park, Kansas

Thank you to the officers for their service to the Board and the region.

  • Infrastructure updates: Board members heard updates on two major regional infrastructure projects:
    • Buck O’Neil Bridge: James Pflum, project director of the Buck O’Neil Bridge project, shared an update on the ongoing construction, including upcoming closures of U.S. Highway 169 southbound lanes. The project is progressing on time with an expected completion date of December 2024.
    • Airport: With the new Kansas City International airport terminal opening in a few weeks, Martin Rivarola, MARC staff, and Tyler Means, KCATA staff, presented to Board members on efforts to enhance transit to and from the airport. A six-month collaborative process is under way to assess market opportunities and design new services to and from the airport. View the presentation.
  • Regional Leadership Awards: Each year, MARC recognizes individuals, organizations and initiatives that have made outstanding contributions to the region with Regional Leadership Awards. The nomination period for the 2023 awards opens Feb. 1. Please visit marc.org on Feb. 1 to submit a nomination.

At the MARC Budget and Personnel Committee meeting on Jan. 24, attendees took the following actions:

  • Planning Sustainable Places: Committee members advanced agreements to support Planning Sustainable Places projects in Grandview and Kansas City, Missouri. The project in Grandview will enhance Harry Truman Drive and Presidential Trail through improved safety and connections to nearby destinations. The Kansas City, Missouri, project will generate a plan to transform the Vine Street corridor from a wide, five-lane section into a complete street that is enhanced by trees, streetscaping and sidewalks.
  • Traffic signal timing: The committee approved a $600,000 contract with two firms to provide traffic signal timing and engineering support for the region’s  Operation Green Light program, which improves regional traffic flow, air quality and fuel consumption. The firms will help ensure peak performance for more than 750 traffic signals supported by OGL, as well as over 1,500 traffic signals supported by regional software.
  • Energy efficiency for schools: MARC is working with three school district partners – Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools; Kansas City, Missouri, Public Schools; and the Independence School District – to pursue a federal grant that will improve energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative-fueled vehicle upgrades at facilities in and around the Bi-State Sustainable Reinvestment Corridor. The grant allows for applications of up to $15 million with a 5% match.
  • 911 improvements: Committee members supported the region’s 911 network by approving:
    • A $407,349 agreement with Motorola to upgrade equipment for nine public safety answering points across the metro area.
    • A $1,029,600 contract with RapidDeploy Eclipse Analytics to collect and analyze statistics, such as call volumes and answer times.
    • The continuation of cybersecurity monitoring and risk assessment services customized for public safety. The vendor, Seculore Solutions, identifies threats that are often missed by other layers of security. The cost of these services is $138,000 per year.
  • Local dues: Local government dues represent less than 3% of MARC’s overall budget, but they are unrestricted funds that provide a foundation for a broad range of regional programs and initiatives. B&P Committee members approved a 2% increase in dues for 2024, similar to previous years, to continue supporting regional programming.