At its March 22nd virtual meeting, the Board of Aldermen considered a full slate of agenda items, with a resolution authorizing Food Truck Friday events to be held on City property monopolizing a good portion of the meeting.
The Board reviewed and adopted the 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), outlining a schedule of large-scale improvements and major purchases, which includes several projects slated for 2022. Projects on the schedule for 2022 include a $400,000 project to upgrade playground equipment at Armstrong Park, and $10,000 to resurface the loop trail at the park. $526,830 is slated in 2022 for pavement maintenance, and a $317,000 water extension on Buckner Tarsney is also planned.
Prior to the approval of the CIP, Mayor Johnston raised several concerns regarding a resolution to allow Food Truck Friday events on City property from April – September 2021. The event, held on Friday evenings last year at the lot next to the post office and later on the lot behind the Community Center, is sponsored by the Grain Valley Fair and the Grain Valley Partnership.
Johnston stated that allowing the event on City property is in conflict with City code which prohibits concessions or merchandise sales on City park facilities, and park property. City Administrator Ken Murphy reminded Johnston the Code allows for exceptions to be made by the Board, citing a motion approved earlier in the meeting allowing the Purple Peace Foundation to utilize park property for a charity car show. The City Attorney concurred, stating that there did not appear to be an issue.
Johnston mentioned Valley Speedway had been offered as an alternative to utilizing City property. Tasha Lindsey, Executive Director of the Grain Valley Partnership, attended the meeting by phone and stated the Partnership and Fair committee appreciated the offer, but outlined several reasons why the venue would not be ideal.
Johnston also questioned the cost of insurance for the event, stating he had contacted the Partnership’s insurance agent and was told the cost to insure the food truck events exceeded $8,000.
Lindsey disputed the amount quoted by the mayor, indicating the cost to insure the event was just over $1,000, and expenses such as insurance are covered by sponsorships.
The resolution allowing Food Truck Fridays to be held in the lot behind the Community Center passed 6-0.
Reached for clarification on the insurance premium amount for the food truck event, Grain Valley Partnership Executive Director Tasha Lindsey confirmed the amount she stated in the meeting was correct.
“The insurance amount was misquoted by the Mayor for the Food Truck event. The correct price was the price that I mentioned at the meeting, $1026.00 for the season. We will be presenting that amount at the next Board of Aldermen meeting. Since the amount was released in a public forum, we wanted it to be retracted in the same public forum,” Lindsey said.
“The Grain Valley Partnership and the Grain Valley Fair are very excited about Food Truck Fridays this year. The support we have received over social media has been tremendous. The trucks all see that, and that is what makes Grain Valley one of their favorite places to visit. Right now, we have over 40 different trucks scheduled to come out over the season, with several trucks that were favorites from last year plus several new trucks that have never been out to Grain Valley before. It looks like we will also have some special non-Friday nights as well this year where some trucks will come out because we have some businesses in town who want to have trucks come out to their parking lots,” Grain Valley Fair committee member Mike Todd said.
“Our first Food Truck Friday is April 9th and then they will go every Friday up until Fair weekend, which is September 10th and 11th. The times will be 4:30pm – 7:30pm each Friday until June, and then we will extend it a half hour and go till 8:00pm. We are planning on trying to bring in some live bands once summer gets here.”
The board also approved a resolution renewing an agreement with Ray County to provide secure detention services for adults arrested on municipal charges, and a resolution authorizing the City Administrator to enter into an agreement with Jackson County for distribution of $75,000 in COMBAT funds. Funding will be used to assist the City in defraying costs of its Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program.
In other business, the Board approved the appointment of James Hofstetter to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a four-year term.
The Board plans a workshop in late March to continue discussions regarding facility needs, and its next regularly scheduled board meeting will be held Monday, April 12th at 7:00pm.