Commissioners vote down idea of building Annex on current property

A majority of commissioners voted against a resolution Monday, Aug. 26, to build any additional Annex building on the Annex's current site, 1901 NE 48th St. in Kansas City. A special session of the commission will be held Wednesday, Aug. 28, to decide if the county will purchase property for a future Annex for $ 2million at North Brighton Avenue and Missouri Highway 152 in Kansas City.

CLAY COUNTY — While commissioners voted against building a future Annex on current county-owned property in Kansas City, a special commission session will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, in the Administration Building on the Liberty Square, to determine if the county will buy additional property in Kansas City for a future Annex. The property under consideration, located at North Brighton Avenue and Missouri Highway 152, was one of several purchase options discussed in recent months. The property is owned by Beck-Cal, L.L.C.

Under the proposed contract being voted on Wednesday, the sale price for the roughly 7 acres is $2 million, which would be paid for from certificates of participation debt the county entered into last year.

A resolution from Presiding Clay County Commissioner Jerry Nolte to build any additional Annex building on land already owned by the county at 1901 NE 48th St., failed Monday, Aug. 26, with Nolte voting for his own resolution and Western Commissioner Gene Owen and Eastern Commissioner Luann Ridgeway voting against it.

“If we end up building an Annex building, let's use the property we own,” Nolte said ahead of the vote. “If we build an Annex, it's $2 million to $2.5 million. We have the ability to save that amount of money rather than buy a new piece of property.”

Nolte added the current Annex on Northeast 48th Street in Kansas City is accessible as it is located less than a mile from the Interstates 35 and 29.

“There's significant population density, … it's all very much within the criteria (of what we are looking for).”

Under public comment ahead of commission action on the resolution Monday, Jay Lawson, a former county commissioner, said the Annex debate has gone on far too long.

“You need a committee of nine people, a citizen committee that could review all the facts,” he said. “You can act on the recommendations from citizens."

While Nolte has expressed a desire for the county to not purchase additional property throughout the Annex debate, both Owen and Ridgeway said more space in a more visible area is needed for the needs of the growing county.

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