Updates and outcomes from MARC’s November Board meetings

The Overland Park arboretum

Thank you to everyone who joined the MARC Board of Directors and Budget and Personnel Committee meetings on Nov. 23. We’re sharing selected highlights from the meetings for your awareness and use in regional conversations.

The MARC Board heard a variety of updates, including reports on:

  • Preparing for federal funding: MARC is involved in multiple cooperative regional initiatives to compete for and strategically invest newly available federal funding. Staff are tracking opportunities for federal funding around early learning, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, environmental stewardship and housing.
  • MARC 2022 Budget and Work Plan: The Board received a draft of the MARC 2022 Budget and Work Plan, which aims to clearly communicate MARC’s financial condition and operations to the public. The proposed 2022 budget includes $85,087,893 in expenditures with 68% of these funds being passed on to partners in the region.
  • Unified Planning Work Program: The 2022 Unified Planning Work Program, presented as a draft, describes the transportation planning activities MARC and other agencies undertake, documents proposed expenditures and manages the scheduling of major transportation planning activities.
  • Public Sector Career Expo: Over 4,000 middle and high school students across the region learned about high-demand public sector careers at the Public Sector Career Expo, held Nov. 3-4. This virtual event featured more than 50 public sector employees representing 17 cities and counties. Videos showcasing local government employees from across the region can be found on www.careerexpokc.org

The MARC Budget and Personnel Committee considers all matters dealing with budget, personnel and bylaw amendments. At its meeting on Nov. 23, the committee:

  • Cooperative purchasing: Helped local governments benefit from collective buying power by renewing a contract for MARC to continue cooperative purchase coordination services for the Kansas City Regional Purchasing Cooperative. Since its inception in 2003, the KCRPC has helped local governments procure $261 million in products and services using cooperative bid contracts, generating savings to local governments of $18.5 million.
  • Community Care Link: Authorized an agreement with Community Care Link, a secure client referral platform, which will be used to help community-based organizations and health care entities seamlessly share information about social health services delivered to clients or patients identified as at-risk for social determinants of health. Implementation costs are $118,000.
  • Pandemic response: Supported the regional response to the pandemic by approving $200,000 for community organizations to assist at-risk clients quarantining or isolating due to COVID-19 by providing help with housing and utility costs (where federal funds are not available), food, medicine, transportation to health care appointments, baby supplies and household supplies.
  • 911 equipment: Took steps to protect the region’s 911 system by authorizing the purchase of uninterruptable power supply systems for two tower sites. The power supply systems will protect against loss of 911 connectivity due to power surges. The Public Safety Communications Board also approved $57,077 for this replacement project in the 2021 regional 911 budget.
  • Event and contact software: Advanced work to improve MARC’s regional outreach, communications and event planning by approving an agreement with GrowthZone to provide MARC with a contact and event management software system.