The Parkville Board of Aldermen held the first reading of an ordinance authorizing a ballot question on the April 2, 2019, general municipal election to collect a sales tax for Parkville parks. If approved by the voters, the City would begin collecting a sales tax of one-half of one percent, or one-half of one cent per one dollar, on all retail sales spent within the city for the next 10 years beginning in October 2019. The sales tax would provide long-term self-funding to improve park facilities and to help ensure the sustainability of the Parkville parks system. All revenue collected from the sales tax would only be used for funding Parkville parks and related activities and improvements.
The Board of Aldermen adopted the 2016 Parks Master Plan that established a long-term vision that preserves and enhances the quality of life for residents, and includes an action plan for the city park system. The city enjoys a premiere network of parks and open spaces including the riverfront parks, nature trails, neighborhood park and nature sanctuaries. The Plan provides a road map for maintenance and improvement of the parks system and operations. Also included were recommendations regarding department organization, how to increase funding for maintenance and amenities, closing the maintenance gap, ideas for programming and promoting citywide connectivity to parks and open space. An emphasis on the riverfront parks was included in the plan. The park planning process involved several workshops and forums where hundreds of citizens participated and were given the opportunity to provide comments and feedback on their vision for parks and recreation in Parkville.
The large-scale projects listed in the Plan are part of the City’s capital improvement program as future unfunded projects until funding becomes available. A local parks sales tax was identified in the Plan as the principal funding mechanism for park facility improvements and long-term maintenance of the parks, trails and nature areas.
The Community Land and Recreation Board is in the process of refining and prioritizing projects for improvements to the City’s park system. The top three priorities include 1) trail connectivity; 2) completion of the ballfields and multipurpose fields in Platte Landing Park; and 3) upgrade to and maintenance of smaller neighborhood parks and trails that have a more direct impact to community members in the area. Other projects identified in the Parkville Parks Master Plan would also be considered for improvement.
If the ballot question is approved by the voters in April, the City anticipates receiving an estimated $500,000 annually. The revenue collected will only be used to improve and maintain Parkville’s local parks by adding new amenities to recreation areas, trail and nature sanctuaries, and to fund major repairs, renovations and replacements of existing facilities. At the end of the 10-year period, the sales tax will expire and can be renewed only by voter approval.
A second reading will be held at the regular Board of Aldermen meeting on January 2, 2019. For more information, contact City Administrator Joe Parente at (816) 741-7676.
For more information visit http://parkvillemo.gov/community/parks/park-sales-tax/.