The Lee’s Summit City Council convened Thursday for the final meeting of 2017.
The ongoing improvement at the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport was among the biggest items on the agenda.
The council awarded the first phase of construction for the airport’s planned Northwest Quadrant T-Hangar to Dean Construction.
The $2.1 million dollar hangar project will construct two 14-unit T-Hangar buildings and associated taxi lanes.
According to Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport Manager John Ohrazda, groundbreaking for the hangars is slated for the spring, with completion planned by June 2018.
The council also discussed a new initiative to develop a citizen-based community group whose members would participate and contribute to the city’s long-term planning.
Still in the exploratory phase, the city’s objective would be to engage Lee’s Summit residents in conversations about their goals and vision for the city’s future development, according to Mayor Pro Tem Rob Binney.
Among other agenda items settled at the final meeting of the year were the reappointments of Board of Appeals members Karen Sallee, John Brown and Dana Miller, whose terms now will expire in December 2020.
Additionally, Benjamin Tonga was appointed for his first term on the Human Relations Commission.
A longtime Lee’s Summit resident, Tonga’s career experience includes an array of leadership roles and project management. He is also a lay clergy member at his church and a Boy Scout leader.
“Lee’s Summit is a wonderful community to call home,” Tonga said. “One of my desires is to get more involved in shaping and influencing our community. I care deeply for the long-term success of our city and neighbors.”
In his new role, Tonga’s interests will be focused on serving with the Board of Equalization, the Gamber Center Advisory Board, the Health Education Advisory, and the Human Services Advisory Board.
There also was a change to next month’s initial Rules Committee meeting.
Council member Trish Carlyle recommended the Jan. 2 meeting be rescheduled for Jan. 9, to accommodate residents’ holiday schedules.
Council members agreed to the schedule change and the meeting, which is open to the public, will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 9, 2018, rather than the first Tuesday next month.
Finally, council member Diane Forte concluded the meeting with some reflections on downtown Lee’s Summit businesses during this holiday season — and a familiar lament.
“These past couple of weeks, I’ve shopped in downtown Lee’s Summit,” she said. “What I noticed is that the stores weren’t as busy as usual. These stores are wonderful, the prices are great, and the people are so friendly.
“What I felt strongly is that if we all continue to do all of our shopping online, we might not have these great shops in the future.”