816 North

Some assessments go unpaid in Parkville

It appears that the city of Parkville may be left paying for a substantial portion of this year’s costs for infrastructure installed near Interstate 435 and Missouri 45, because some landowners did not pay assessments that were due Dec. 31.

In 2006, a group of people voted to form special districts to pay for roads and sewers in that area, so they could develop their land. The work was financed over 20 years through limited general obligation bonds backed by the city.

However, the recession stalled the anticipated development, and much of the land is now owned by banks. The first of these 20-year annual assessment payments came due at the end of last year.

If the property owners can’t or won’t pay, the city will be liable.

The payments due exceeded $660,000. But as of Friday, according to records provided by the Platte County collector’s office, about $463,000 had not been paid.

Parkville City Administrator Lauren Palmer said the debt payment obligation for this year is just under $432,000. What the city might have to pay depends on interest income and whether more money comes in, but Palmer’s estimate in early January was more than $200,000.

“I must reiterate that this is preliminary information,” Palmer said. “I have no way to predict” if additional payments will be made.

The city has set aside money for debt payments, if needed.

The county collector’s records show that 45 Park Place LLC, owned by the Overland Park-based Peoples Bank, had paid none of its assessments amounting to about $360,000. Another entity, Brinkmeyer Investors LLC, had paid nothing on the more than $44,700 it owes.

The Bank of Blue Valley, also based in Overland Park, paid nearly $169,000 but still owed all of the nearly $59,000 billed to Vertical Ventures III LLC. City officials say the Bank of Blue Valley is responsible for those payments.

Other property owners have paid their respective assessments, Palmer said. She said last week that the city continues to work with the property owners and the Parkville Economic Development Council on this issue.

The city is interested in speaking with any commercial property owners interested in developing the properties, she said.

Parkville officials also have indicated they would be willing to consider financial incentives to help the land develop.

Bank officials have said the steep assessments are impeding development.

Bob Regnier, president of the Bank of Blue Valley, said late last week that the properties will probably not get “developed very soon without some help from the city,” referring to assistance with paying the assessments.

“It depends on how quickly the city wants to see something (developed) there,” Regnier said.

Peoples Bank did not return a call last week requesting comment, but a company vice-president told The Star in late December that the bank has asked the city to reduce the assessments.