Clay County seal

CLAY COUNTY — Commissioners for Clay County will have their next session at 10 a.m. Monday, July 15, in the commission chambers of the County Administration Building, located at 1 Courthouse Square in Liberty. The commission will not meet, as referenced in previous sessions, on Monday, July 8.

Expected to be on the agenda is further discussion and possible action on the future of the county Annex building. Commissioners have been openly debating the possible purchase of land and construction of a new facility at properties in Gladstone and Kansas City in recent weeks.

Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte said commissioners decided to bring the issue back up July 15 instead of July 8 to provide time for other interested parties to submit proposals for land sales and to allow time for county staff to cultivate a list of needed repairs and potential costs for the current Annex.

At least a dozen county residents spoke out against possible land purchases and construction totaling $20 million for a new Clay County Annex, calling the possible move reckless and wasteful spending during Clay County Commission’s June 24 meeting.

In that meeting and previous commission sessions, commissioner opinions on Annex options differed. Western Commissioner Gene Owen said the county is going to have a new annex and it should be with more visibility either in Gladstone or Kansas City. Eastern Commissioner Luann Ridgeway said she wanted to hear from residents but also knows the current aging facility in Kansas City is inadequate for the growing needs of the county. Nolte is opposed to both previously presented contracts for property in Gladstone and Kansas City, saying the current Annex could be improved and expanded upon and that several questions about potential contracts remain.

When completed, an agenda for the July 15 meeting will be published online at www.claycountymo.gov/public-meetings.