Resident urges Dearborn officials to invest in city's history

DEARBORN, Mo. — One longtime Platte County resident showed up to the regular Dearborn Board of Aldermen meeting Oct. 13 and urged leaders to support an effort to retain some of the city’s history.Nigel Adkins wants the process to start with establishing a new and unique identity for Dearborn but hopes that eventually extends to opening and maintaining a museum within city limits. She wants the movement to start with embracing a rich history of railroad travel.

According to initial research, more train companies might have come through Dearborn than any other spot in Platte County.

Adkins said this marks the third time she has made a presentation to the Dearborn board with the previous two attempts failing to prompt action. Board members and mayor Jamie Morey seemed receptive to her proposals, especially the idea of potentially establishing railroad-themed signage within city limits to promote the new identity.

“Dearborn is sitting on the greatest outreach for this town anyone could have,” said Adkins, a resident between the city limits of Dearborn and Camden Point for the past 60 years. “A sign out here on the road that says, ‘Dearborn, Mo. — Railroad Capital of Platte County,’ gives you something to work with inside the city limits.

“It’s important that the information about all the trains that went through here be claimed by Dearborn.”

The ultimate goal is to attract residents and businesses to the city, which reported a population of just less than 500 in the 2000 census. She plans to keep researching the idea in hopes the movement will gain support from not just city leaders but citizens as well.

“Boy do I hate to admit this, but I’m getting too old to be involved with all of this,” Adkins said. “It’s going to take some younger people in the town to want to support something like this because it takes work.”

Adkins suggested historic downtown homes as a potential future site for a museum, although she admitted building a new structure could be could be more cost effective. She plans to approach Dearborn’s community betterment committee with more ideas because alderman Louis Buntin noted the city likely won’t find itself in financial position to acquire property in the foreseeable future.

“I think the city would support any group that wants to pursue this actively,” he said, “but I know we don’t have the funds.”

The board also continued the process of attempting to standardize trash service for residents within the city limits.

Alderman Sheri Kerns reported results of recent inquiries to citizens yielded certain services desired if Dearborn were to enter into a contract with a company for exclusive rights to trash removal. The focus remained on limiting cost and size of the vehicles used in collection, hoping to limit the damage done to roadways under the current private contract system.

The city voted to seek bids from companies for the desired services in hopes of taking the estimates to the public during later open forums.

Morey suggested seeking bids from Deffenbaugh Industries, Harmers’ General Hauling, Redgate Disposal and All About Trash. The first three are all currently licensed to collect in Dearborn, and All About Trash is expected to complete its licensing process in the near future after a recent acquisition of another company licensed.

Buntin noted an earlier conversation with a resident that indicated Edgerton’s current contract with Deffenbaugh provides many of the services already desired and could offer a savings over the current private contracts many citizens have for their trash service.

“We may be able to save everybody in town some money if we get those kind of comparable bids,” Buntin said, “and if we can improve the possibility of street and alley damage and save people money?”

In more contentious proceedings, former Dearborn alderman Bill Edwards accused city officials of not maintaining codes, specifically citing a laundry list of nuisance complaints that included lack of maintenance to yards and brush piles, dumping violations and improperly licensed vehicles. He specifically noted a recent incident that involved an alleged illegal burning of waste dumped without authorization near Dean Park behind North Platte High School.

Morey said responders to the scene did not find evidence of fire at the site.

“I put in a lot of hours for the city,” he said later in addressing the concerns brought to the board. “I don’t need to hear I’m not doing my job. Do I hear a motion to adjourn?”

The board also heard more on a proposal from Don Sams to complete a project to add protective awning to the bleachers at the baseball/softball field at Dean Park. He wants to purchase supplies and complete the structure, which calls for a treated lumber frame with a yellow steel roof, by early spring.

Sams received an estimate of about $3,500 in materials while hoping volunteer labor can can complete the structure in one to two days. With the city’s assistance, he hopes to recoup much if not all of the cost by applying for a grant from Platte County.

The grant process starts Dec. 1, and the money can not be recouped until completion of the project if approved.

Other news:

The board approved $450 in estimated cost to replace four cracked toilets inside the field’s concession stand building. Fluctuating temperatures have caused issues, and the city plans to attempt adding a shutoff valve to help maintain the facilities and avoid future replacement costs.

The Dearborn Community Center board plans to hold a pancake breakfast on the morning of Nov. 8 with all proceeds going straight back to funding the building’s expenses. Donations are requested.

The city plans to appoint D. Bryant King III out of Kansas City as special prosecutor in the process of resolving a ticket issued to Ron Manville. The current attorneys must recuse themselves because they previously represented Manville in a separate matter.