Parkville is planning to move forward on a newly accepted master parks plan by building a baseball field in 2017.
The city and county both adopted a 2016 Parkville Parks Plan late in the year.
It replaces a 2008 master plan for city parks in Parkville. The city decided to create a new plan because much of the old plan had already been completed. The city has also expanded the parkland it manages with the addition of the 140-acre Platte Landing Park and was looking for public input before developing that space.
Assistant to the City Administrator Tim Blakeslee explains that the new park will include a natural wetland area and an area with ball fields for organized sports. The plan was formed around public feedback on the best uses for the new park space. It already has an off-leash dog park.
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“We found people were looking for a combination of active and passive recreation,” Blakeslee said. “They want to be out on the trails and at the same time have ball fields available.”
The baseball fields have been identified as a top priority on the plan. The fields could allow the city more opportunity for organized sports in the future.
The first baseball field will be funded in part by a $10,000 gift from the Friends of Parkville Parks and a $15,000 match from the city. A total of four baseball fields and six multi-use fields, which could be used for several sports, are on the new master plan.
The current baseball fields in English Landing Park will be replaced by a large field, parking and other amenities. The land could also be used for festivals and large events.
The city does not yet have an adequate source of funding for the $5 million estimated to complete the master plan project. They plan to develop a “donation menu” for large amenities, which would allow individuals or organizations the ability to help with the implementation of an item on the plan.
City staff has still not determined what might be on that “menu,” but Blakeslee said it could be items like a shelter or piece of playground equipment.
Another recommendation of the plan is the consideration of a 10-year half-cent sales tax dedicated to park operations and development of new facilities. Planners estimated a tax like that could generate about $500,000 annually.
Another plan recommendation involves the completion of a loop trail, which would allow walkers, runners or bikers to take a trail from the riverfront west to I-435, north to Missouri Highway 45 and south on Highway 9 back to the riverfront trails.
“The parks are one of the largest attractions in Parkville,” Blakeslee said. “It is important to have a responsible plan as we move forward, with our taxpayers, to create a great parks system.”