Updates and outcomes from MARC's April Board meetings

May 01, 2024
| Posted in
A sidewalk borders a pond at the Overland Park arboretum.

We’re sharing selected highlights from the meetings for your awareness and use in regional conversations.

Population and employment projections

Population and employment projections form the basis of regional planning work, such as the regional long-range transportation plan, as well as many local, business and institutional planning decisions. MARC staff presented a draft forecast that predicts the region’s population and employment growth rate will be healthy, but is projected to slow over the next 25 years, compared to previous projections, primarily due to falling fertility rates. This forecast will impact expected economic growth as the population grows older and more people age out of the workforce. The draft region-wide forecast will continue to be refined over the next few months as it is reviewed by MARC committees.

Regional solid waste planning

An update to the Comprehensive Regional Solid Waste Management Plan is currently in the works. In collaboration with local governments and stakeholders in Kansas and Missouri, an action agenda will be developed that maps out the infrastructure needed to meet the growing demands for sustainable waste management solutions in the region. Board members and community interests will be involved. 

Regional freight study

Freight transportation and logistics are important to the regional economy and required elements of MARC’s transportation planning responsibilities. Due to rapid changes in freight technology, MARC is updating the regional freight outlook. This three-phase project will take place over 18 months and across 23 counties. The study will include several key issues and trends impacting the region’s freight system, such as safety, economic development and land use. 

Changes to planning boundary

Board members approved changes to the region’s federal Adjusted Urban Area boundaries to reflect the outcome of the 2020 census. The designated urban areas are eligible for certain federal transportation funding programs. The key changes include incorporating Basehor, Leavenworth County and Loch Lloyd into the Kansas City urban area; updating parts of Tonganoxie, Spring Hill and Smithville as urban areas; and other extensions to parts of the current urban area. 

New Board officers

As a result of recent municipal elections, the position of secretary on the MARC Board was vacated. Board Chair and Johnson County Commissioner Janeé Hanzlick designated the MARC Board Executive Committee to nominate a board member to serve the remainder of the year. As a result, the Board confirmed City of Independence Councilmember Dr. Bridget McCandless as the new Board secretary. 

Budget and Personnel Committee

At the MARC Budget and Personnel Committee meeting on April 23, attendees took the following actions:

  • Meal repack facility kitchen equipment — In February, the committee authorized MARC to use state funds to purchase a frozen meal repack facility in North Kansas City. To ensure the facility operates effectively, the committee voted to approve funding for the installation of a walk-in refrigerator and freezer to store meals and maintain safe food temperatures.
  • Amendment to Area Agency on Aging plan and budget — MARC, which serves as the region’s Area Agency on Aging, submitted a 2024 budget to the state of Missouri on March 1. Due to changes in personnel, programs and updated funding numbers, MARC staff developed an amendment to the Area Agency on Aging plan and budget. The committee approved the amendment, which includes a total proposed budget of more than $15 million to serve older adults in the metro.
  • Nutrition program grant application — To help increase access to fresh produce, the committee authorized a grant application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support the Double Up Food Bucks program. The grant requires a 50% non-federal match. If enough match was committed, MARC could apply for up to $12 million. MARC has identified nearly $3 million in matching contributions for a total grant application amount of $6 million.