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Aldermen vote against paying for fire district's new sidewalk

by Shana Haines
Landmark reporter

Very little discussion was heard prior to the Platte City Board of Alderman unanimously voting against an ordinance that would have partially funded a new sidewalk in front of the refurbished headquarters of the Central Platte Fire District on Main Street.

Mayor Dave Brooks said the agenda item for the city to enter into a contract with the fire district for the maintenance of sidewalks was his idea.

"In the last few years we have not had a great relationship with the fire department. I am trying to mend fences," Brooks said.

Brooks said the fire department is wanting to finish out the sidewalk, but is strapped for funding. Brooks suggested the city enter into a legal agreement allowing the city to give $2,000 to the fire district for sidewalk improvements.

"This would help us a lot with our relationship with the fire department, which is extremely important," Brooks told aldermen.

This issue was opposed by all aldermen present. Alderman Jim Palmer was absent from the meeting.

"Are we going to get into the position of buying sidewalks all over town?" Alderman Ron Porter asked.

"I don't think of this as a business, but as a protection service," Brooks replied.

Alderman Bill Knighton, a former member of the board of directors for Central Platte Fire Protection District, thought the district had plenty of funding left over from its bond issue for sidewalk maintenance.

"I feel they have the money to support their own remodeling of the sidewalk. I don't think it's fair to other businesses to support a tax entity that has the money to support itself," Knighton said.

There was no motion from alderman to have a second reading of the ordinance.

Brooks said he plans to bring the issue up again to aldermen in December.

"My feeling is the city needs to reach a contracted agreement to help with the cost for the fire department. I am proud of the fire department and the job they do," Brooks added.

In other issues, aldermen voted to allow George McClintock to serve as the city's special event coordinator.

"As we continue to grow we need to market ourselves as a city. One way to do that is to create a position for a special programs coordinator," Brooks said.

The newly created spot is not a paid position.

The duties of the coordinator are to plan, coordinate and administer special events that promote civic and commercial activity to Platte City.

The coordinator will have no voting authority in actions taken by aldermen.

An ordinance accepting public improvements in Platte Valley Plaza and the Estates of Platte Valley was accepted by alderman.

Final plats were approved and filed in phases one, two and three of Platte Valley Plaza.

Aldermen also approved appointing Jennifer Snider as an assistant city attorney.

Amy Hubbard was appointed as deputy city clerk during the meeting. The appointment was made due to the fact only persons authorized by the Board of Alderman can accept election filings. Hubbard was appointed deputy city clerk in the event City Clerk Tanya Bates is absent and can't accept the filings.