Parkville unveils design for city's entryway signage

The City of Parkville will be moving ahead with the final plans for renovation on a section of Highway 9 leading into downtown Parkville after architects’ design renderings were shown during Tuesday’s regular board of aldermen meeting. The plan calls for roadway improvements along with a city entryway sign and improved lighting and landscaping. City administrator Lauren Palmer reported that Kansas City Power and Light (KCP&L) agreed to install decorative street lights at no cost to the city following recent negotiations.

Parkville is required to pay $355 per year, per streetlight to cover an electricity tariff.

While the original plan only called for 10 lights in the immediate area of the bridge over White Alloe Creek and the train depot, the cost savings KCP&L offered by KCP&L gave the city opportunity to install up to eight more lights further east along Hwy. 9, all the way to the entrance of Park University.

During discussions held before the city received the good news from KCP&L, Park officials expressed theoretical interest in such a proposal and in potentially sharing maintenance costs with the city.

The members of the board of aldermen agreed such an arrangement would be mutually beneficial, and directed city staff to make a deal if it was possible.

A portion of the project’s nearly $200,000 estimated cost will come from the city’s Fewson Fund for capital improvements, and entryway designs include an “FF” logo on a stone column to recognize this contribution. However, as there is a state Highway FF nearby, potentials for confusion abound.

“I see it could be cool to have that little icon there but not when we have a real Highway FF,” alderman Diane Driver said.

Parkville mayor Nan Johnston suggested engraving a cornerstone of the marker with a simple dedication, while other aldermen suggested leaving a blank placeholder on the column until a more suitable design for the Fewson Fund could be created.

During the meeting, alderman Gregg Plumb announced he was emailing Park University’s art department chair at that very moment. He said students could potentially design a logo which could then grace all Fewson-related projects.

Aldermen also liked Johnston’s suggestion of a cornerstone inscription recognizing project contributors and half-jokingly suggested adding a time capsule to the project.