by Alan McArthur
A new master plan that includes a recommendation of a dedicated half cent city sales tax for parks has been approved by the Parkville Board of Aldermen.
Last week the aldermen adopted the new parks master plan. The largest focus of the new plan is on improvements in English Landing and Platte Landing Parks.
The plan provides several ideas for changes in the parks to increase utilization of the parks and improve the transition from the downtown to the parks.
The transition area includes turning the current parking lot south of the railroad tracks into a grass plaza and moving the farmer's market roof to the south part of the parking lot between Main and East Streets. The plaza would continue south removing the baseball field and extending East Street with more parking areas.
Grigsby Field would also be moved and a new open green space with stage would be built in the space. A new boardwalk and overlook area could be constructed along the Missouri River.
The ball fields will be moved into Platte Landing Park along with constructing new soccer/multi-purpose fields and a parking lot for those fields.
The board also approved two donations from the Friends of Parkville Parks. The donation includes $10,000 towards a new practice field to be located west of Grigsby Field and $15,000 towards a new shelter house near the field along the river.
Both donations were made under the assumption the city will seek additional grant funding for the rest of the cost. Total cost estimates for the completion of the projects have not been established yet.
Platte Landing Park will also have a wetland area and trails through the natural area.
Changes in English Landing Park include redirecting McAfee Street to the east of the playground areas with new parking spots near the playground and shelter houses.
The parks master plan also recommends considering a dedicated half-cent sales tax for 10 years funding improvements. A possible tax is estimated to generate about $5 million over 10 years.
The cost to redesign the “downtown transition zone” from the railroad tracks to Brush Creek is estimated to be between $1 million and $2 million. A new riverfront park south of Brush Creek would cost between $400,000 and $800,000. Rerouting the roadway through English Landing Park is estimated to be between $500,000 and $800,000.
The proposals in Platte Landing Park are estimated to cost between $2.5 million and $3.3 million for the new fields, roadway, parking lot, and trail connections.
The aldermen wanted to make it clear the master plan is a “planning guide” and not necessarily a document that will be followed in every detail.