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River bank project moving forward

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

Platte City is one step closer to getting the eroding Platte River bank problem fixed.

On Tuesday, the board of aldermen officially signed a contract with the Army Corps of Engineers showing a commitment to move forward with what will be known as the Dave Brooks River Bank Stabilization Project.

The contract presented before the board says the city is willing to contribute at least 35 percent of the total cost for the project. The cost to the city is estimated at $155,000.

The total cost of the project will be more than $400,000 and will include installing rock along the eastern bank of the river north of Settler's Park. The project will also create about three rock dikes in the river to slow the river's flow and reduce erosion.

The project will cover more than 300 feet of river bank just north of the concrete pad for a shelter house at Settler's Park.

Access to the work site is shown on the plans to be from the end of Main Street to the work site. According to the provided drawings, there is only one tree larger than 18-inches that will need to be removed.

Eric Lynn, corps project manager for the river project, said the approval of the contract by the corps will take no more than two weeks. Afterward, they will move immediately to get bids on the project and have a contract in place by early fall.

“We'd prefer to work in the winter,” said Lynn. “It's not a large project; it'll take no more than a few weeks to be in and out.”

Lynn said the winter was preferable because the river level would be lower. Because of a lower flow the river is steadier.

Before the contract was approved, Mayor Frank Offutt asked Lynn whether the name listed for the project was special, or if it could be changed.

Lynn responded that the contract listed the name as a reference to where the project is located and that it could be changed.

Offutt then suggested the name be changed to the Dave Brooks River Bank Stabilization Project in honor of former mayor Brooks, who worked on the project during his terms in office.

Brooks had previously stressed the importance of the project because it was eroding near a city sewer line which could break, dumping sewage into the river. According to Brooks previously, the leak would then cause a number of large fines to be levied against the city by the Environmental Protection Agency for not preventing the situation.

“I'd just like to pause and give recognition to Mr. Brooks,” said Offutt.

The contract was then approved with the name change with a unanimous vote.

The board also heard a report about a proposed partnership between the city and the Platte County Convention and Visitor's Bureau, CVB.

Cheryl Thorp, CVB director, explained that the specialized partnership with Platte City would focus on attracting sports events to the city because of the football facility at the Platte County R-3 High School and the fields at Platte Ridge Park.

The proposed agreement with the CVB would run for 23 months from August 2008 to June 2010 and would cost the city $9,580.

The benefit for the city would be advertising in various sports organization magazines and other publications to attract sports events to the area.

The board approved a resolution to allocate $311 from the city's festival fund to help with advertising for when the Tour of Missouri comes through Platte City on Monday, Sept. 8. The advertising includes brochures and flyers to tell residents about the activities in Platte City, Weston, Parkville, and Riverside.

The fund still has a balance of $13,575 to spend on other projects.

The board will have an open meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. to have a tax hearing. The board will then set a tax rate for the 2009 budget year.




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