ock and roll.
Plenty of public events are being announced locally as summer approaches. You remember what public events are, right? Me too. I’m ready. I’m sure most of you are, too.
Parkville Old Towne Market Community Improvement District is planning a carnival in downtown Parkville on Memorial Day weekend, pending city approval. The City of Platte City has a public Memorial Day ceremony scheduled, as well as a July 4th daytime event set in its downtown, with fireworks that night. At Weston, there’s a Ben Holladay celebration in early June. And the list goes on.
Feels good, doesn’t it?
Many/most public restrictions are either over or will be over at the end of this month. Even sports stadiums, such as Children’s Mercy Park in KCK, are announcing they’ll be operating at full capacity.
Vaccinations are now widely available, offered on a walk-up basis in many places. If you’re an adult and you haven’t yet been vaccinated, that’s very likely because you’re intentionally choosing not to be vaccinated. At this point it’s not due to a lack of vaccine or a lack of opportunity.
The numbers of COVID cases–in large part thanks to the vaccine, obviously–in the United States are on a rapid decline. Twenty-seven days ago the average number of coronavirus cases per day in the U.S. was 71,234. Today that average is 38,826. And that’s 5,000 fewer than it was just three days ago.
Speaking of things opening up, have you tried to go out to dinner on a weekend evening in Platte or Clay county lately? Many, in fact you might say most, of the restaurants are packed. And many, you might say most, are in need of employees.
Heck, one restaurant in Zona Rosa last Tuesday night–a Tuesday night, mind you–had about a 45-minute wait. And some advice for you if you want to hit any number of restaurants in Liberty on a Friday night: Be prepared to wait. And then wait some more. And then when you’re done, wait some more. I speak from experience on this. Not complaining. The wait is real and it is spectacular, actually.
Folks are ready.
Speaking of the labor shortage, the Dairy Queen in Platte City has been closed the past two Wednesdays, reportedly due to lack of available employees. Listen, I love my occasional ice cream trips to DQ so this craziness must stop before I end up volunteering at DQ and eating up all the profits.
Some of my favorite friends are the ones who initially denied COVID was real and were overly critical of the public restrictions but then were among the first to, quietly in some cases, go get the vaccine.
Hey, being flexible and willing to evolve in your beliefs is an admirable trait. Ain’t nobody mad atcha.
Fight me on this if you want but my position is the “devastating effects” on the local economy that were predicted/continue to be talked about as fact by a couple of county commissioners were drastically overstated. It’s absolutely true that we can pick out individual stories of some industries/businesses that indeed suffered, but keep in mind businesses go out of operation even without a pandemic. Entrepreneurship is a survive-and-advance kind of thing, with no guarantees.
Boosted by gains in use tax collections, the county’s revenue stream did not take a disastrous nosedive. And in the City of Platte City, there has been no drop in sales tax collections at all during the 14 months of this pandemic. Zero.
“We have not seen a drop in any of our sales tax revenue,” said DJ Gehrt, city administrator, this week when I asked him about his city’s revenue stream. Gehrt said Platte City’s sales taxes for general, parks, transportation and capital improvements are all on track to be almost identical to the sales tax results in the previous three years.
“General sales tax revenue is $1 million, parks and capital each generate very close to $500,000 and transportation generates about $375,000. These numbers have only changed slightly since 2016 and appear to be at the same level for this year,” Gehrt said.
It’s fair to say many of Platte City’s largest sales tax producers are in the markets of food, health products, building products, areas that have had gains over the past 12 months.
“And our core businesses serve local residents and are less dependent on travel and less dependent on tourism than other cities,” Gehrt remarked.
Fun fact: Lt. Col. Teresa McCarthy, who will be the featured speaker for the Memorial Day ceremony on May 31 at the Platte City Cemetery, is the wife of DJ Gehrt, city administrator for Platte City.
Landmark Live returns May 20 at Platte County Landmark on Facebook when we’ll have an episode focusing on the DWI Treatment Court operation in Platte County. This will be informative and fun at the same time. Guests will include Prosecutor Eric Zahnd, perhaps a judge and maybe one of the graduates of the treatment court. My ol’ pardner Chris Kamler will join me for this one, and I’m sure our tech man Schneider will have some dazzling special effects on tap.
If you have questions about DWIs, the process that occurs after you’ve been ticketed, the treatment court, etc. and want to shoot them to us in advance please send them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Send us your query, no matter how silly you think it sounds. Nobody is afraid of dumb questions on Landmark Live. We’ve already proven that on a regular basis.
(Catch Ivan Foley desperately hoping DQ never shuts down again. Email email@example.com)