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Alderman against
‘slapping signs up’

by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark reporter

Parkville Alderman Marc Sportsman said Tuesday evening that he is against “slapping signs up” in Parkville.

Sean Ackerson, assistant city administrator for the City of Parkville, presented Park University's proposal seeking an amendment to the Park University Master Campus Master Plan. The proposed amendment would allow the university the authority to put up temporary signs on its athletic fields strictly on game days.

Sportsman told Roger Hershey, vice president and general counsel of Park University, that he didn't have a problem with Park University putting their logo on their grass, but he did have “significant reservations” with the potential signage of advertisements, as well as the Park University's logo on billboards and signs along 9 Highway.

“I am very much against billboards,” stated Sportsman. “What are the ramifications associated with leaving the banners up longer than just the day of the game?”

According to Ackerson, the city would treat it like any other sign regulation under city ordinance, subjecting Park University to both notice and fines.

Sportsman stated that it would be left up the city officials to enforce the sign regulations. “So if they’re 24 hours late, then it is our responsibility to notify Park University…It is another enforcement aspect that we would have to take on should there be a delay of the 24 hour time limit,” said Sportsman.

Mayor Gerry Richardson asked for clarification on the exact size of the proposed signage, as well as the amount of signage. Ackerson stated that the size is limited to four feet wide and twelve feet long. He added that there was nothing in the proposal limiting the total number of signs.

“Were not out to hood wink or do something we haven't worked through with the city. We have a great working relationship with the city, commission, and board,” Hershey stated.

Park University's new running track has recently been completed, he added. The track's total cost was $350,000.

“Park University would like to move forward with putting a logo on it,” he said.

The board unanimously approved the amendments excluding section 6 until further restrictions were in place.

In other news, prior to Tuesday evening's board meeting discussions of the 2012 budget were conducted. Shannon Thompson, city administrator, presented the preliminary figures to the board. Thompson stated that she has calculated about a $33,000 increase in revenue next year based on the increase in property tax.

Thompson added year-to-date the city has brought in $678,000 dollars in sales tax. She explained that the sales tax figure is a conservative number given that HyVee recently opened.

“They may fluctuate a little bit, but not a lot from these numbers,” she said.

Additionally, the board adopted the Economic Development Incentives Policy, which is a work plan utilizing incentives to attract favorable economic development to Parkville.

According to the Economic Development Policy, incentives shall only be used when the City of Parkville finds it necessary in order to obtain the kinds of development it would otherwise not obtain. “Incentives should be used in a manner that leverages the most investment from other public and private resources while eliminating or minimizing the risk to the general fund,” the EDI Policy states.