Archive for Monday, November 7, 2011

Subdivision requests city grant for playground in memory of 9-year-old

Basehor City Hall is at 2620 N. 155th St.

Basehor City Hall is at 2620 N. 155th St.

November 7, 2011, 10:51 p.m.

Updated: November 8, 2011, 6:02 p.m.

The Falcon Lakes neighborhood is requesting a $15,000 grant from the city of Basehor to help build a playground in memory of a 9-year-old Basehor boy who died after an asthma attack in 2009.

Since Basehor Elementary School third-grader Jared McDonnell died more than two years ago, the subdivision's homeowners association has raised money for a playground in his name, through an annual memorial golf tournament and other fundraisers, Jared's mother Jeri McDonnell said at the Basehor City Council's work session Monday night.

Now the homeowners association has requested a $15,000 matching-funds grant from the city to help pay for the cost. The city's 2011 budget allows for up to two $15,000 matching grants for community playgrounds out of its Special Parks and Recreation Fund.

At Monday's meeting, Jeri McDonnell said the grant would allow the neighborhood to make the memorial park a reality.

“We couldn't do it without you folks,” McDonnell said.

The homeowners association so far has spent about $38,000 on equipment and other costs for the playground. McDonnell said after the meeting that the three golf tournament fundraisers held in Jared's memory had raised about $26,500.

“It's phenomenal how many people have rallied to get this park put together,” McDonnell said.

The playground is planned for a park area near the subdivision's swimming pool, along Falcon Lakes Drive.

Council member Fred Box said the playground, which would be open to the general public, would be an asset for the entire city.

“To me, it's a no-brainer,” Box said.

Members Dennis Mertz and David Breuer said they would support the project, as well.

Council member Iris Dysart asked that the group prepare a formal application for the grant, outlining the project's costs and other details, before bringing the issue before the council at its regular meeting Nov. 21. Mayor Terry Hill said he supported that requirement, as it would set a precedent for other neighborhoods that might request playground grants in the future.

“It may very well encourage some other additions to ask for matching funds, and we'll see where that goes,” Hill said.

Also at the city council work session Monday:

• Despite calling a special council meeting to approve a tax incentive agreement for the proposed Orscheln Farm and Home store to be located in the former Wolf Creek Marketplace building, the council took no action on the item Monday.

Police chief and interim city administrator Lloyd Martley said the agreement was not yet ready to approve, as it needed to be adjusted to reflect the legal requirement that Orscheln would receive a property tax rebate, rather than an upfront abatement. The agreement would give the store a 95 percent discount on property taxes through 2019.

• The council discussed an operating agreement with Basehor PRIDE for the group's proposed community garden at Basehor City Park, as well as proposed electrical upgrades at the city park.


LightTheDarkCorners 6 years, 5 months ago

Hmm, Let me see here. Falcon Lakes development comes to council asking for a grant the week after a petition to recall two council members was filed by a Falcon Lakes Home Owners Association Board member, the spouse of a board member, and a former board member. Pretty arrogant.


Talisman 6 years, 5 months ago

I don't really see what one has to do with the other. Are you suggesting that requesting funds, which are already built into the budget, to construct a playground in memory of a deceased 9 year old, has anything to do with the recall petition? I'm glad to see Box, Breuer and Mertz state they are in favor. I'm especially glad to see Mertz rise above the fray, which I'm sure, in part, has to do with the recall petition.


LightTheDarkCorners 6 years, 5 months ago

All politics are inter-related. It appears from your post that Mertz is morally the larger person than those who would bring him down.


kbrown 6 years, 5 months ago


Your arrogance dumbfounds me. And I could go on with a litany of phrases on why you, LTDC, dumbfound me. Having said that, let’s do a simple review:

First, as reported, a BASEHOR boy died—that is tragedy enough. Second, the playground is a memorial for Jared and to be shared by the community. Third, your comments are calloused and bitter towards McDonnell Family (because of where they live?) and the lastly, I want to read from you, an apology.

It may be life-changing on your part. You just may become part of the community and a part of this family’s effort to memorialize this boy--I think you should sincerely offer an apology to the community.

Respectfully, Kbrown


MidwestLady 6 years, 5 months ago

Kbrown: I sure hope you don't hold your breath waiting for an apology...


kbrown 6 years, 5 months ago

MwL, I've been periodically returning here with some hope I might read one.


Dennis Mertz 6 years, 5 months ago

Parks are important to the health, happiness, and general welfare of a community. As an elected official of the City of Basehor, I have an obligation to advocate municipal services to the citizens.

The petitioners are still my constituents and I will fulfill my obligation to them equally as any other citizen.

LightTheDark, It was their choice based on their limited knowledge of facts to form a committee and start a recall petition. That does not absolve me of my duties to be the best Council member that I will be.


Dennis Mertz


occupybasehor 6 years, 5 months ago

LightTheDarkCorners You should hang your head in shame. Your continued evil and disgusting comments show you for who and what you really are. And we do know who your are.


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