Curt Dougherty says the city of Independence hasn't done its part regarding a small subdivision off East Truman Road and needs to make good.
That subdivision, a collection of about 30 duplexes just south and east of Spring Branch Elementary called Peregrine Valley, has had persistent storm drainage issues on its lone access point for several years, and the city's attempt to fix it this summer didn't completely solve the problems.
Dougherty got support from his fellow City Council members Monday to divert funds from another previously planned stormwater project to get plans going for a permanent Peregrine Valley drainage fix.
The cost right now? About $120,000 from emergency funds and diverted from the 9th and Winner project near Van Horn High School. Eventually, Dougherty hopes the city can construct a second entrance – originally planned about 15 years ago – to the subdivision off Truman Road .
“I don't care what it robs to get something done. We've turned our back on these people long enough,” Dougherty said. “There's mud in the summer and ice in the winter, and we can't keep up on that. We've promised all these people we'd have this done.”
“It's really a horrible entryway to a beautiful little subdivision.”
Water tends to pool where Van Maele Road bends into the subdivision, even after city crews installed some fixes this summer, Dougherty says, and the way he sees it should be a simple job.
“There's a storm sewer on one side, which is the highest point, and where it drains to is the lowest point,” he explained. “All they have to do is put a pipe at the street to catch, take it to the storm sewer, or raise the asphalt a few inches to throw it back the other way.”
Council Member Karen DeLuccie wondered if approving the project might delay something more important, as “we only have so much money to go around,” and otherwise the city would have to wait until the next budget cycle.
The city has stabilized slopes at Ninth and Winner, Water Pollution Control Director Lisa Phelps said, and there's no structural flooding there, so “delaying that project shouldn't be an issue.”
“If (we) push funds into a more high-impact area, that would be OK with me,” said Council Member John Perkins, whose district includes the Ninth and Winner area.
Originally, Peregrine Valley was supposed to have a second entrance off Truman Road, but the original developer went bankrupt before constructing all the planned duplexes.
Several years ago, Sallee Homes of Lee's Summit took over the development and offered to build out the final lots if the city would wave the second entrance and drainage requirements that would cost several hundred thousand dollars.
“No other developer in their right mind would've come in and done two entrances – one of them requires a bridge, by the way – to finish four lots.
“We thought, we'd rather have four new homes, people in them and be done with that, OK.”
Van Maele being a narrow road and the lone access point currently, Dougherty said the city should make a second entrance a priority in the next couple budget cycles.
“We need to pass this (drainage fix) and get it done and get it done right,” he said, “and start eschrowing the money back to put the entrance into the subdivision and be done with it.”