Smaller, older cities in northeast Johnson County have to work extra hard to attract investment and maintain their infrastructure.
And even when progress comes knocking, success can be tough to achieve.
▪ In Prairie Village, city officials are trying to work out complicated details that could result in a large park plus new housing on the grounds of the former Meadowbrook Golf and Country Club.
Some good, pointed questions are being asked at public meetings, most notably about how the city intends to pay for the bonds used to finance construction of the park and its amenities.
City Council members so far are sticking to the answer given when this project first came along: The city does not plan to use current tax revenues for the bonds.
Instead, it hopes that the property being developed by VanTrust Real Estate on the old golf course will create enough new revenue to fund the park.
That’s an excellent goal. Prairie Village leaders need to focus on attaining it in the coming months.
▪ In Mission, some city officials were dismayed last week when the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled that the city’s transportation utility fee was illegal.
The novel user-pays fee — commonly called a “driveway tax” — was an attempt by Mission to charge property owners for the traffic they create. Single-family homeowners pay $72 a year; large businesses pay more.
Without a successful appeal, the city could lose the $800,000 a year the fee creates for street improvements.
That would be a big blow to a Mission, which in the last few years has made upgrading roads a high priority.