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Dedicated 'Old Towne' tax idea gaining support
Parkville alderman swayed by Gangai's presentation

by Nick Dupont
Landmark reporter

Angelo Gangai of Parkville Main Street, Inc. presented proposals to the Parkville Board of Aldermen Tuesday night on how to make the Old Towne Market Community Improvement District (downtown Parkville area) more visible and accessible.

“Our research shows the CID has many strengths,” said Gangai. “It has a quaint friendly atmosphere, close proximity to Kansas City, unique shopping and dining options, and a beautiful historic downtown. But our focus groups tell us we need more public restrooms, a cohesive look and feel, and more historical information available for visitors.

Gangai said in order to make Parkville look a lot bigger than its population of 4,000-plus, the group plans to market the city through print media, radio, and signage. He also said directional signage in surrounding areas like Zona Rosa and other areas north of the river could play a major role bringing people in who don’t know Parkville exists.

“Travelers must be able to quickly and easily identify the way to our town from the major arteries around us,” he said.

Other proposals included burying power lines and installing kiosks to help visitors gain information about stores and services.

If passed, the price tag for the proposals would be a 1% sales tax increase starting in January, 2007. The extra 1% tax would only be charged on retail purchases made within the community improvement district.

Alderman Brian Atkinson said the group’s presentation changed his mind about where he stood on the issue.

“I was a ‘Doubting Thomas’ at first,” said Atkinson. “I was concerned about the increase in public taxes for a private businesses area. But after I saw what their plan can do for the city, it convinced me it’s the only way to go. It’s a tremendous program to get word out about us and do a lot of the things we need to get done.”


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