by Kathy Crawford
Riverside believes in taking care of its neighbors, and its generosity has generated a ripple effect from which other small towns in Platte and Clay County have benefitted.
“It's a great time to live in Riverside,” said David Hurt, alderman. “It's about the city and neighbors pulling together in a time of need.”
The residents of Houston Lake agree. Mike Hallauer, mayor of Houston Lake, hand-delivered a resolution of gratitude during the Riverside Board of Aldermen meeting Tuesday. The resolution addressed two recent types of assistance from Riverside, including the donation of a fire truck.
“Your donation provided our city the opportunity to donate to the City of Tracy a much-needed police car,” said Hallauer.
Originally, Houston Lake intended to charge Tracy for the used patrol car, according to minutes from Tracy's March budget meeting. That was not looking feasible to Tracy, but with Riverside's donation, Houston Lake was able to offer to donate the vehicle. Tracy's Board of Aldermen voted in March to accept the used patrol car.
Also cited in Houston Lake's resolution of gratitude was the intergovernmental agreement that Riverside entered into with Houston Lake and Southern Platte Fire Protection District last month. Houston Lake was looking at a new assessment rate for fire protection that it could not afford. Riverside agreed to extend fire protection to Houston Lake and keep the cost to Southern Platte Fire Protection District at $19,000 annually, the same rate Houston Lake has been paying.
In exchange, Southern Platte Fire Protection District agreed to cover Riverside and Houston Lake in the event that Riverside does not have any available fire fighters during an emergency.
In other business, city administrator David Blackburn discussed weather radios that Riverside is offering to its residents at cost. Citizens can purchase them for just under $30 at city hall or public safety, said Alderman Ron Super.
“The weather radios are well worth it,” Alderwoman Pam Darata said, in light of recent storms that pelted part of the Northland.
Mayor Kathy Rose said that she looked outside at 2 a.m. the morning of the storm last week and didn't realize how severe it was.
“I was actually fascinated by the high winds and everything that was going on out there,” she said.
Rose said that Riverside was very lucky. The city had some overturned railroad cars and the Argosy Casino lost a canopy. However, Gladstone was not as fortunate.
“There are definitely others who were less fortunate than us,” said Mike Fuller, alderman.
Rose added that she appreciated Chief Greg Mills and the public safety department, who had to direct traffic in Riverside due to a stoplight outage, for going over to Gladstone to help.
“That's what we're supposed to do is help each other,” she said.
City Administrator David Blackburn said that the public works' employees have been busy picking up limbs that residents place at the curb and will continue doing so throughout the week.
Alderman Mike Fuller said that Kansas City Power and Light has been helping with limb clean-up and got power restored quickly. A nearby business also extended a helping hand.
“We were out helping some neighbors with their trees and Van Chevrolet sent a crew up here with water to go around the neighborhood and hand out bottles of water for anybody who was outside working,” said Fuller.