by Ray Maloney
A new boat ramp at Platte Landing Park took one step closer to becoming a reality after the Platte County Commission heard reports on Monday during the board's regular meeting.
Platte Landing Park is perhaps better known as being part of the expansion of English Landing Park in downtown Parkville.
The commission was informed by Platte County Parks and Recreation Director Jim Kunce that $300,000 has been allocated toward the project by the federal Homeland Security Department.
Kunce added that other sources of funding are being determined that could help toward the estimated $700,000 cost of the project, and that an agreement for the project is currently being reviewed by the county attorney.
Kunce added the final cost of the project will be contingent upon final engineering designs for the ramp, along with any infrastructure needs associated with the project, and that a cooperative agreement must be in place before construction of the project begins.
The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking a ramp that will allow for water access by the Coast Guard and other emergency responders in the event of catastrophies or other emergencies at nearby Kansas City International Airport. The project will also allow public access to the Missouri River for boating and fishing purposes.
The current ramp at English Landing Park, according to county officials, has been largely unfunctionable for nearly 10 years and not ideal for easy navigation into the river. The commission was told the proposed new ramp would be placed north and west of the current ramp and in an area that has enough current to allow the new ramp to remain clean, while not having too much current that would make water access difficult.
The commission agreed to continue with the exploration of other funding sources for the project while also giving itself the possibility of withdrawing support if not enough sources are found instead of handing county taxpayers a larger burden for the project.