Vikings Field in Parkville may not be home to the Vikings anymore, but it’s far from idle.
The city board of aldermen approved a use and maintenance agreement with the Northland Defenders youth football team at its Tuesday, July 16 regular meeting. The Northland Defenders program is run by some former Vikings coaches and city staff worked out a schedule to share the field -— located at Highway FF and River Road — with Park Girls Lacrosse.
According to director of public works Alysen Abel, having a home field will allow the Northland Defenders opportunities to apply for large grants. The team hopes to use the grant projects as their contribution to the field in lieu of rental payments. In the case that a grant applied for is not awarded, the Northland Defenders have also provided a list of improvements that will be completed instead. Northland Defenders will pay for utilities used during its season and the agreement is set for a one-year term with the possibility to renew for two more years.
Prior to the two Missouri River floods this summer, Engaged Holdings put nearly $20,000 into improvements at Grigsby Field at English Landing Park. Engaged Holdings rebuilt the pitching mound, leveled out the base paths with new material and replaced the infield sod. After all these improvements, the youth baseball league was never able to use the fields and their work was washed away by the river. The board approved an addendum to their agreement to allow the league to skip planned improvements for next year, as reparation for the work lost to the flood.
The city intends to include the improvements that were destroyed by flooding into the FEMA reimbursement plans.
Also related to the flooding, Abel said the bulk of the upcoming Parkville Days in August will be relocated to Platte Landing Park, due to flood damage in English Landing. The low water crossing bridge replacement project at English Landing was started in the spring, just before flooding started, and has not been able to continue. The project will not be complete before Parkville Days, as was originally planned, and Abel said the parks will likely not fully reopen until sometime in the fall.
Also at the meeting, an amendment to municipal code to allow electronic signs for certain uses in residential areas was approved by a split vote. Earlier this year, Parkville Presbyterian Church requested placing an electronic reader board in their existing sign along Highway 9.
The Parkville planning and zoning commission said while they had no problems with the church’s sign request, they were concerned about the change in ordinance potentially opening up avenues for out-of-place electronic signs in the historic district. The commission eventually approved the amendment, as did the board of aldermen, with alderman Phil Wassmer voting no. Aldermen Marc Sportsman and Dave Rittman abstained due to their affiliation with the church.