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Engineering firms donate to pro-park tax effort

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

Engineering firms that have had contracts for services with Platte County are the largest contributors to an organization campaigning in support of the county’s half cent sales tax for parks.

Voters will decide the fate of the tax at a special election next Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Yes for Parks, a group formed to promote the half cent sales tax for parks, lists $1750 in its bank account as of July 23.

The group had not submitted a written report to the Platte County Board of Elections office by Tuesday afternoon, but its deputy treasurer emailed a copy of the report to the election office that day.

The hard copy of the report needed to be postmarked by Saturday. Committee organizers told the board of elections it mailed the report on Saturday, but the election office had not yet received it by Tuesday afternoon, reports Wendy Flanigan, director for the board of elections.

Of the $1750 in its campaign treasure chest, $1,450 of that amount has been donated by three engineering firms who have done business with the county.

The three donators, all from outside of Platte County, and the amount of their donations are:
Transystems Corporation $1,000; Allan B. Cooksey of Shafer, Kline and Warren, Inc., $200; and Larkin Group, $250.

According to information on file in the county clerk’s office, Transystems Corporation has had multiple contracts with Platte County on park projects, including but not necessarily limited to a contract for $106,000 in 2005 for engineering design services for Phase Two construction of the Southern Platte Pass Trail along Hwy. 45; and a 2008 contract in the amount of nearly $60,000 for construction management services dealing with two phases of the Missouri Riverfront Trail.

The county has paid Transystems more than $700,000 since 2003 for work for various departments of the county, including the roads department and parks department, according to information on file in the county clerk’s office.

In addition to the $1450 received from the engineering firms, the Yes for Parks group claims $300 in campaign donations has been received from persons giving $100 or less. An individual breakdown of those donations less than $100 is not required.

The Yes for Parks group in its July 23 report says it has not yet paid any expenditures. But yard signs urging support for the tax have popped up over the past 10 days.

A Twitter account by the Yes for Parks group announced signs were available as of July 17. Many signs appeared in yards the weekend of July 18-19.

Treasurer for the Yes for Parks organization is Karlton Nash, husband of Platte County’s tax collector Donna Nash. Yes for Parks had been late in filing its initial quarterly campaign report.

The proposed half cent park tax would generate an additional $76 to $82 million net over the next ten years. The first 10 years of the tax will have netted $60 million.



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