Pleasant Hill firefighters (above) battle smoke, flames and frigid temperatures at a fire in a rental home at the intersection of Independence and Timber streets shortly after 11:30 a.m. last Friday. The fire started in a carport and spread into the living room and attic of the 1-story home. Firefighters battled the blaze for 1-1/2 hours in frigid weather before finally getting it under control. Harrisonville, Lake Lotawana and Lone Jack fire departments helped Pleasant Hill Fire & Rescue fight the blaze and the Prairie Township Fire Department provided standby. Fire Chief Steve Long said smoke and fire damage was extensive and there was minor damage to the house next door. The occupants had left a half hour before and were not at home when the fire broke out. There were no injuries. The State Fire Marshal was called in and determined the fire was most likely caused by an electrical problem. The staff at the Pleasant Hill Middle School is collecting clothing for a Middle School boy with a 10 to 10-1/2 shoe size, 30-inch by 30-inch jeans and XL shirts; an Elementary School girl with size 12 pants and shirts and 3 shoe size; and a size 0 extra small adult woman with a 10 shoe size. Basic toiletries and hygiene items are also needed. Drop donations off at the Pleasant Hill Middle School this week from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on school days.
City Council meets
City looks at policies on runoff
By F. KIRK POWELL
Editor & Publisher ..The Pleasant Hill City Council reviewed its policies on stormwater runoff at its meeting last week, but took no action to change it. ..City administrator Mark Randall told the mayor and councilmen that with budget time approaching, he thought it would be a good opportunity for them to review Pleasant Hill’s current policies on stormwater system maintenance. ..He said the current policy reflects both city codes and public works operational practices. ..Under the current policies, the city assumes responsibility for the maintenance of stormwater drainage systems on city right-of-way. ..Pleasant Hill and property owners share the cost of stormwater system maintenance on city easements. City Hall takes care of repair and cleaning of conduits, outlets, curb inlets, junction boxes and other drainage facilities and the property owner is responsible for mowing and removal of debris and ob- structions to the flow of water in and through the drainage facilities. ..The city can also provide up to $1,500 worth of culvert pipe on city easement for each housing lot to extend the drainage system with the approval of the director of public works. Improvements costing more than that have to be approved by the City Council. Drainage extensions cannot cause water damage to adjoining property. ..Finally, the city does not maintain stormwater drainage, provide culvert pipe or extend the system on private property. ..The mayor and councilmen appeared comfortable with that policy the way it is and there was no motion to amend it. ..More specifically, Randall asked the mayor and councilmen to review an engineering evaluation of a drainage problem on Hidden Valley Drive and decide if they want it considered for funding in the 2016 budget. ..The engineers told City Hall that a concrete drainage swale on Hidden Valley has deteriorated over the years and needs to be repaired. The estimated cost is $32,000 to $40,000, but less expensive options might be found to address the problem. Nevertheless, the cost will most likely be high enough to require City Council approval. ..After some consideration, the councilmen asked public works director Bob Kee to seek bids to more closely determine the cost of repairs. ..Later in the meeting, the mayor and councilmen had no easy answers for a Pleasant Hill manufacturer asking for a variance from city fire codes requiring a sprinkler system for a 12,500-squarefoot warehouse under construction on Richland Parkway. ..HSC Industrial Coatings owner Gene Land said that the company selected to install the sprinkler said that tests show water pressure and flow are inadequate for the system to work properly. ..He suggested wheeled chemical fire extinguishers and smoke detectors as an a alternative.
..Since construction of the warehouse is three quarters complete, the mayor and councilmen were sympathetic with Land, but appeared uncomfortable with granting a variance from city codes requiring a sprinkler system. ..After lengthy discussion, Mayor John Van Gorkom suggested that Land have an engineer confirm that water flow and pressure at the site are inadequate to support the sprinkler system and they are, to suggest alternatives. ..Earlier in the meeting, the councilmen confirmed the appointment of Clay Hocker and Heather Shore to the Pleasant Hill Parks & Recreation Board. ..Both were recommended by Parks & Recreation director Justin Wieberg. ..Hocker is a 1990 Pleasant Hill High School graduate where he was involved in football, basketball and wrestling. His children participate in soccer, football, baseball, softball and basketball and Hocker has coached youth baseball, basketball and football.
..Shore owns a small business called the Nourish FitClub and serves as a wellness and healthy lifestyle coach. She has provided a location for registration recruiting participants and teams for several 5K runs and has helped sponsor a number of local youth teams. ..The two Park Board appointments were approved by a unanimous vote of the City Council. Wieberg said that he would have two more Park Board appointments for City Council consideration at a later date.