Raytown residents speak out for, against 2 bond issues on November ballot

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Oct 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 12:47:07-04

RAYTOWN, Mo. — Raytown residents will have the opportunity to vote again on bond issues for improvements to the city’s roads and storm sewer system Nov. 8.

  • Question One is a 20-year bond for $30 million of road improvements
  • Question Two is a 20-year bond for $7.2 million for a new storm sewer system

Mitty Tooke is an 80-year-old resident who has lived in Raytown for 43 years and has owned her home for 25 years. She has poured in hours of work to make it her own.

As a senior citizen, she says every dollar counts when living on a fixed income, which is why she voted "no" on the two bond issues in August.

“We voted it down, so it’s sort of irritating to be voting again on it after three months,” Tooke said. “I’m concerned about the monetary impact of too many taxes on me at my age.”

Tooke’s neighbor, Mark McAllister, says something has to give if the community wants change.

“The money's just not keeping up with the need for repairs," McAllister said. "And our streets are in very, very bad need of repair. And the only way you’re gonna get there is to come up with some money.

When the bond is paid off in 20 years, McAllister will be in his 80s.

He believes it is an investment for future generations in a city that has been good to him.

“The tax increases and stuff isn’t gonna go so much that we can’t afford it,” McAllister said. “I don’t enjoy buying new tires, so if you don’t pay for it now, you’re gonna pay for it for repairs on your vehicles.”

Raytown Ward 3 Alderman Ryan Meyers says the last major street construction in the city was over 20 years ago.

The city’s storm sewer systems are still made of original pipes from 1950.

“Really, the revenue that we’re currently taking in cannot cover the expenses for our infrastructure and our capital programs,” Meyers said.

Meyers believes now is as good a time as any because interest rates are relatively low for municipal bonds. Thus, it ultimately means less burden on taxpayers.

“For a $200,000 home, it’s gonna range between about $40 and a little over $200 per year increase,” Meyers said.