The first came from Platte County Second District Commissioner Duane Soper.
“The $500,000 committed to this project by PlatteCounty is a big chunk of money,” Soper said. “But it’s not the biggest chunk.”
The second statement, made by Dearborn resident and recent Powerball Lottery winner Mark Hill, ratcheted up the attention level just a bit.
“My wife and I are committed to this,” Hill said. “We have several million dollars set aside in a special bank account just for this project.”
The project both men referred to is an ambitious plan — sparked by a financial pledge by Hill — to dramatically improve the Camden Point community.
The first phase of the project involves an expansion of the City’s current park at the northwest corner of the Interurban Road and E Highway intersection. Planning for the first phase was actually begun by the City of Camden Point and the Platte County Parks and Recreation Department last year and included building the soccer field and other improvements with a County Partnership Grant of $500,000 funded by the County’s one-half cent parks sales tax. New expansion plans call for an extension of Third Street across Interurban, building a new full-size baseball field, multi-purpose soccer/football field, basketball court, dog park, concession stand/restrooms, community building, parking lots and expanding the current walking trail.
The second phase would consist of building a new fire station/ambulance station at the site of the current ball field, which has stood for decades at the northeast corner of the Interurban/E intersection.
The Camden Point CBC, which includes officials from the City of Camden Point, Camden Point Fire Department, Camden Point Ball Association, Northland Regional Ambulance District (NRAD) and Platte County, was formed earlier this year after Hill said he wanted to pledge some of his family’s lottery winnings to help improve the Camden Point community. The group met last week for the first time since March to discuss plans to move forward with the first phase.
The meeting was called by CBC chair and Camden Point Fire Chief Walt Stubbs after the proposed project’s first major hurdle was cleared — the City of Camden Point’s purchase of just under 10 acres of privately-owned land, adjacent to and north of the current park. Reportedly, the owners of the land wanted nearly double the appraisal price for the land. Because the County’s grant regulations would only allow appraisal price to be paid, Hill paid the difference, allowing the City to officially close on the land last month.
“It is the City’s property now,” Camden Point Alderman Josh Boydston said.