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Adjustment will even population in districts
Switching of precincts creates similar numbers

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

After the results of the 2000 Census, the data showed an imbalance in the two commission districts in Platte County.

At Thursday's meeting, county commissioners voted to approve the redistricting of District 1 and District 2 to correct the imbalance of representation in the districts.

State statute says that "Each county shall be districted by the commissions thereof into two districts, of contiguous territory, as nearly equal in population as practicable, without dividing municipal townships."

The Attorney General of the State of Missouri issued an opinion stating county commission districts should be drawn based on data from the last preceding decennial United States census report for that county.

The 2000 census concluded that District 1 in Platte County contained 35,553 persons compared to District 2, which contained 38,228 persons.

After a couple of options, the county commission decided to switch two precincts between the districts, which they stated would be less disruptive and easier to implement.

Precinct No. 36 (Park Hill South) contains 2,326 persons and Precinct No. 9 (Lake Waukomis) contains 917 persons. The Park Hill South precinct has been moved out of the second district into the first, while the Lake Waukomis precinct has been moved from the first district to the second district.

The new districts approved will now leave the first district with 36,962 persons and the second district with 36,819 persons. This narrows the difference between the districts from 2,675 persons to 143 persons.

In other business, Cheryl Thorp, director of the Platte County-KCI Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, spoke regarding the fiscal year 2003 cooperative marketing program.

Thorp reported that this year the Kansas City Convention and Tourism Bureau would be contributing $55,500 to the cooperative marketing program, while Platte County-KCI Convention and Tourism Bureau will contribute 54,500, for a grand total of $110,000. Thorp continued that the state will match the contributions from Platte County and Kansas City with a donation of $110,000, to bring the total campaign to $220,000.

The Kansas City Convention and Tourism Bureau portion will be used to draw conventions to the KCI Expo Center, with the Platte County funds to be used for research and advertising to help draw visitors to Platte County.

Presiding County Commissioner Betty Knight told Thorp the commission is glad to see Platte County and Kansas City work together.

"We're very pleased to see cooperation between our own convention and visitors bureau and Kansas City's Convention and Visitor's Bureau," stated Knight.

The commission approved a $93,139.37 bid for the River Road Bridge project to GC Construction Company of Blue Springs, Mo. The project hopes to begin by March 1, with a completion date by the end of March.

Commissioners also approved the condemnation for the 136th Street Cemetery following last week's request by Frank Offutt, secretary of the Platte City Benefit Assessment Special Road District. The cemetery will be condemned to acquire additional right-of-way along 136th Street for the straightening and re-grading of the road.

The commission also approved a $10,000 contract for services with the Northland Health Care Access and appointed Dick Stephens as a representative of the Platte County Parks and Recreation Commission for a five-year term expiring Jan. 19, 2007.