Welcome to the Covering COVID-19 Community Briefing

This weekly digest of information will help keep you up to date as we work together to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. This briefing will provide:

  • state and county health updates and measures the City is taking to keep residents as safe as possible
  • reliable and factual information sources to use when seeking facts about this public health crisis
  • reminders about things happening in our community and ideas to keep you entertained

Jackson County Executive Proposes Emergency Funding Package

Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. announced in a press release yesterday, his recommendation that the County Legislature give half of the $122,669,998.30 received in federal CARES ACT funding to cities within the county.

On March 27, Congress passed and the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which established a new $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for state, county and municipal governments with populations of over 500,000 people to address necessary expenditures incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The funds would be used to pay for expenses incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples include:

  • To meet payroll expenses for public safety, public health, health care, human services and similar employees whose services are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • To provide emergency financial assistance to individuals and families directly impacted by a loss of income due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Food delivery to residents (i.e. senior citizens and other vulnerable populations)
  • Facilitate distance learning (i.e. technological improvements, in connection with school closings)
  • Care for homeless populations provided to mitigate COVID-19 effects

The county executive's proposal would provide the below funding if approved by the County Legislature.

Jackson County Data Dashboard

We are pretty impressed with the additions to the Jackson County COVID-19 Data Dashboard. If you are looking for local information such as testing, current outbreaks, demographics, hospitalizations and cases by zip code, this dashboard is for you.

Access tabs across the top the screen. Below is a brief explanation of each tab.

Summary Profile. A bird’s eye view of the spread, extent, and severity of COVID-19 across Eastern Jackson County as a whole. You will see daily and weekly positive case counts, a timeline of the spread since March, and the number of positive cases zip code.

Testing. The number of positive and negative tests by day, rates by zip code and a 14-day rolling average.

Hospitalizations. This information gives insight into the severity of COVID-19 in the community and the stress placed on medical providers. Hospitalization totals and the number needing ICU care are provided, along with new hospitalizations by day and totals by age range

Demographic Breakdown. Total cases and deaths by age, sex, race and ethnicity helps identify who is most impacted and at risk.

Current Outbreaks. Identifies active outbreaks by facility or location.

KC Region Data. View an external dashboard maintained by MARC which gives totals for our region and COVID-19 information by county.

World Health Organization Confusion

A World Health Organization official sparked a massive debate and caused a great deal of confusion yesterday when she said it’s very rare for asymptomatic people to spread COVID-19. Today, the WHO called the whole situation a misunderstanding and said, “We do know that some people who are asymptomatic, or some people who do not have symptoms, can transmit the virus on.” It is still unclear how frequent asymptomatic transmission occurs. Regardless, it’s still best to practice social distancing and wash your hands often.

The CDC Provides Pool Guidelines

Looking forward to hitting the local public swimming pool for the first time this summer? Prepare to put a face mask in your tote bag, although you won't need to wear it in the water.

"There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas," said the CDC. "Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water."

COVID-19 Testing Clinic

Testing symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.

Water Utilities

On May 19, Water Utilities launched UtilityPay, a new online bill payment system that offers a faster, easier and more convenient customer experience. UtilityPay replaces Utility LINK, the former online payment solution. Below are frequently asked questions about the new system.

Why does Lee’s Summit Water Utilities charge for fees to make payments with debit and credit cards?

In 2019, Water Utilities collected over 160,000 credit card payments through the UtilityLink online system and telephone payment system, which represents approximately 40% of utility payments. While popular, this payment method carries a significant cost much greater than other options with expenses over $370,000 for 2019. Results from a 2019 customer satisfaction survey conducted to gather customer perceptions about how Water Utilities should pay for these services, indicated that card fees should be assigned to the individuals using the service.

How competitive are Lee's Summit Water Utilities' rates compared to surrounding communities?

Through careful planning and commitment to providing clean, safe drinking water, Water Utilities has maintained some of the lowest water and sewer rates in the metropolitan area, while still making strategic investments in water and sewer infrastructure and services.

Lee's Summit Police Department

As part of the national conversation taking place regarding police practices, the police department has received numerous inquiries about policies, training, equipment, transparency and accountability. We appreciate the questions from those individuals who have reached out as they seek to understand more about the police department. Believing dialogue and understanding are important, the department is addressing some of the most commonly asked questions about department practices on the City's website. In addition, Chief Travis Forbes discussed department policies and body-worn cameras on the Green Street Beat podcast yesterday.

Lee's Summit Fire Department

It won’t be much longer before new Fire Station No. 3 is ready and crews are able to move in. Fire Station No. 3 is located off NW Pryor Road and NW Shamrock Ave. The station is set to open in July. Stay tuned for more information!

Stay Weather Aware

Outdoor warning sirens are just one of several methods of notification during severe weather and are NOT intended to be heard indoors. The Lee’s Summit Fire Department stresses that the public have at least two methods of severe weather notification that fit your location and lifestyle.

City Council Update

2021 Fiscal Year Budget. City Council gave initial approval to the proposed budget for the 2021 fiscal year. The City’s budget request for the General Fund, which is the primary fund for financing operations, is $75,898,833. The City is forecasting a 10 percent decline in sales tax revenue as a result of COVID-19. The total budget request for all funds in the City is $234,371,328.

UDO & DCM Changes. City Council adopted an ordinance restructuring the City’s Design and Construction Manual (DCM) to modernize and update requirements and procedures and separate legislative and administrative functions. The Design and Construction Manual will now cover only administrative functions, such as materials, methods and design criteria. Legislative functions will be moved to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). City Council also voted to send an ordinance amending the distance separation requirements between bars, taverns and restaurants that sell alcohol and residential districts to the Community and Economic Development Committee for further review.

Capital Improvement Plan. City Council adopted a resolution approving the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the 2021 fiscal year through the 2025 fiscal year. The CIP is a planning document for infrastructure improvements that is updated annually.

Highway 50 and Todd George Community Improvement District. City Council adopted a resolution authorizing the mayor to appoint successor directors to the Highway 50 and Todd George Community Improvement District. Robin Blum, Rick Taylor and Jim Hand will all serve four-year terms.

Get the Scoop in Two Minutes!

Your weekly flash briefing is here. Get a snapshot of what's to come for the week of June 8. Take a listen!

June 15 is National Elder Abuse Awareness Day

On June 15, Downtown Lee's Summit will be turning purple in observance. Each year, hundreds of thousands of adults over the age of 60 are abused, neglected or financially exploited. This is called elder abuse. It can happen in many places, including an older person’s home, an assisted living facility, nursing home or the home of a caregiver.

The City of Lee's Summit is committed to the prevention of abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly and disabled population. Learn more about the warning signs of abuse and resources available.

Downtown Sculpture Walk Addition

The next sculpture has been installed as part of our Downtown Sculpture Walk! "The Feather," by Maryland artist Kirk Seese is made from welded steel. The colorful panels that make up the abstract feather are designs printed on coated plywood. The panels are then encapsulated in resin giving the sculpture a stained glass appearance.

“The Feather” is exhibited on loan through March 2021. Learn more about the Downtown Sculpture Walk at LSculturalarts.net or download Otocast to your smartphone to view the mobile audio guide.

The City Invites Public Input on Airport Master & Business Plans

We need your input! The Lee's Summit Municipal Airport is developing new Master and Business Plans. The plans will define the airport's goals, objectives and establish a strategy to guide airport development for the next 20 years.

Community input is a vital part of the planning process. The public is invited to provide feedback throughout the process.

Show Me Something Good

Share something good with us and you may be featured in our next newsletter. Send photos with a short description to creativeservices@cityofls.net.

Corona Overload?

Worlds of Fun Plans to Reopen the End of June

It's that summer notification everyone has been waiting for -- Worlds of Fun has set a date for reopening after delaying the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Park officials announced Tuesday morning that Worlds of Fun will open to season pass holders on June 22. Admission with daily tickets will begin in July.

Silver Dollar City Announces Reopening Date

Season ticket holders will get first access to the park beginning Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14. The park will welcome all guests on Monday, June 15.

To comply with appropriate social distancing guidelines, the park will limit daily capacity. Season pass holders and general admission guests will be required to reserve the date they wish to visit. Reservations can be made at SilverDollarCity.com/reservations and on the park's mobile app.

Introducing the New Love Local Summer Passport

Enjoy a summer of savings and loving local in downtown Lee's Summit.

The Love Local Summer Passport program creates the opportunity for shoppers to plan their own day or evening with family and friends. We welcome you to shop and dine safely in one of America’s great neighborhoods all summer long.

For $35, shoppers will receive a Love Local t-shirt and passport. The passport includes special offers from more than 40 locally owned downtown businesses. These offers can be redeemed any time between June 20 and September 21, 2020. Each offer is good for one use per passport holder.

Proceeds benefit Downtown Lee's Summit Main Street, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the heart of our community.

Saturday Farmers Market Layout

Come out this Saturday, June 13 for the third week of the drive-thru Farmers Market. It is encouraged to order ahead from the vendors. Many of the vendors will also be selling limited options on site.

COVID-19 Information Resources

COVID-19 information is rapidly changing and we encourage everyone to visit the following websites to get reliable up-to-date information and guidance.

A 24/7 hotline is available at 877.435.8411 for residents and providers seeking guidance.