Public works project stirs up controversy in neighborhood - KCTV5

Public works project stirs up controversy in Northland neighborhood

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(Brett Hacker/KCTV) (Brett Hacker/KCTV)

A public works project is stirring up some controversy in one Northland neighborhood.

Neighbors say the project is unsightly and dangerous, but the city says residents missed out on their chance to stop it.

Residents who live near the drainage ditch said they don't like the way it looks and they are concerned about safety, especially for children. But the city said they are halfway through the project and it will be difficult to find extra funds to change it.

"This whole thing is ugly and dangerous," one resident said.

The retention area on North Brighton Road, just north of Highway 210 has some town house residents concerned. Earnest Strickland would like to see the pipes extended and covered with dirt instead of open and with rocks.

"When I was first questioned about this, they told me to watch my children and teach them better. Why not teach the adults to not put dangerous things in our neighborhood where kids can play," he said.

Strickland called his Kansas City Councilman, Scott Wagner and Wagner paid a visit Thursday morning.

Wagner said the city opened the floor at least a year ago for public comment, and the residents who did attend turned down the suggestion of placing a concrete retaining wall there. Neighborhood meetings began two years ago and the Corps of Engineers worked with residents to design the area.

Karen Carroll said she understands that the retention ditch is needed to control storm water and flooding.

"I've been pretty satisfied. I can't say I haven't learned anything than what I already knew," she said.

But now city crews are midway through a year of construction and Wagner said funding will be hard to find to change it.

"When you have something that's gone through a public process and you begin to do work after it's been done, now there is an issue that makes it a little more difficult," he said.

"That's their problem. Our problem is we have to make sure our children don't get in here," Strickland said.

Officials said the project will wrap up in about six months.

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