Employees of the River Market Community Improvement District took time out recently to celebrate a major milestone in the life of Downtown Kansas City.
The Downtown CID celebrated its 10 anniversary in April — a decade of clean and safe leadership in Downtown. The Downtown and River Market CID Ambassadors celebrated in style on Friday, April 19, as board members and Downtown Council colleagues acknowledged the accomplishments of both CIDs at the Annual Party at the Central Public Library.
“Downtown – both the Central Business District and the River Market – is definitely a different place from 10 years ago when the first yellow barrel hit the streets, the first graffiti tag came down and the first Bumblebee greeted that lonely Downtown employee with a friendly smile. And Downtown is definitely a better place,” said Mark Rowlands, CID director.
The CID Ambassadors are widely acknowledged for serving as the start of Downtown’s revitalization, as they began working daily to make Downtown clean and safe for residents, employees and visitors.
That work continues to accelerate in the River Market. Just last year, the TIF Commission named the RMCID as its developer for public improvements in the River Market District. The RMCID will manage the use of $825,000 over the next 10 years to make improvements.
“The TIF funds will prove to be a great investment in the health and vitality of the River Market,” Rowlands said. “The public improvements that will stem from these dollars will make the district even more attractive for business and residential growth.”
In January, the RMCID sought proposals from contractors to repair approximately 1,500 linear feet of damaged curbs, 7,200 square feet of concrete sidewalks and 6,400 square feet of paver sidewalks from 3rd Street to Independence Avenue and Grand Avenue to Wyandotte Street.
Rowlands said that Musselman and Hall Contractors have been selected as the contractor. Work will begin in June on the selected areas, once the permitting process has been completed with the City.
“The RMCID has met with the City to coordinate repair work so as to not conflict with utility relocation and track construction for the new Downtown streetcar, which is due to begin operations in about two years,” Rowlands said.
The RMCID is also in the process of working with Pro Circuit Incorporated on a proposal to retrofit all 176 high-intensity discharge, or tungsten, pedestrian lights in the River Market to LED. The total cost for the retrofit will cost approximately $47,000, but will be eligible for about $23,000 in rebates from KCP&L. The LED retrofit will result in close to $10,000 in energy savings annually. The LED lamps have a 100,000-hour life which will also reduce maintenance costs.
And, while the TIF funds will provide the RMCID with a lengthy list of projects, that will not impede the Ambassadors’ daily duties to keep the River Market clean, safe and green.
“The River Market CID Public Safety Ambassadors continue to be on the front lines to ensure a safe Downtown community, while the Public Maintenance Ambassadors remain dedicated to making our streets clean and inviting,” Rowlands said.