Recently I read that the Morningside Neighborhood Association plans to create a CID (Community Improvement District) to generate revenue for improvements to their Brookside neighborhood. The story in the Kansas City Star implied the proposed CID could be connected with bringing the streetcar route into Brookside. This sounded odd to me, so I met with association Vice President Ryan Loehr to learn more.
Morningside is a beautiful area of Brookside, with boundaries that run from 59th St to 65th St and Oak to Brookside Boulevard. Currently the $35 annual dues are voluntary, and Ryan says less than half the households pay the fee. The monies collected pay for regular neighborhood events, such as the September Sunset Supper and monthly Fly The Flag gatherings. However, the Association wants to have a reliable source of income to fund several other services that would benefit homeowners. The $125 fee per household would be collected by Jackson County and raise about $67,000 per year. In order for the CID to go into effect, a majority of homeowners need to sign a petition in favor of tax and each signature must be notarized. Ryan assured me there is absolutely no connection with their proposed CID and the possible future routes of the streetcar.
Checking the association’s website posting of the Spring 2014 newsletter, you’ll find an outline of how the money would be spent. Most of it -$33,000-would go towards regular yard waste pick up. About $10,000 would pay for landscaping and signage. (and of course the City of KCMO would collect earnings tax on this CID fee–sounds like double taxation to me). Overall, the $125 charge seems reasonable to keep up appearances in the nieghborhood, which helps keep property values up. The Morningside Neighborhood Association leaders are all volunterrs, and as a board member of the Armour Hills HOA, I know how much time and money it takes to maintain an older neighborhood with various islands and markers. Residents should be thankful the board has the foresight and initiative to create a CID in order to maintain the area with a more reliable funding source.
The Morningside CID is not a confirmed tax. Ryan says they are planning to invite homeowners to sign the petition at specific upcoming events yet to be determined. There will also be at least one public meeting later this summer. Watch the association’s website for details.