Parks and Recreation Outreach Grants awarded

Platte County awarded its annual Parks and Recreation Outreach Grants this week, with the City of Riverside and Southeast Elementary School in the Park Hill School District coming out as big winners.

The grant awards and agreements were unanimously approved by Platte County commissioners at the Monday, March 19 administrative session. Since its passage by voters in 2000, the half-cent county sales tax for parks, recreation and stormwater management has funded this annual $200,000 grant program. A separate stormwater grant program is also funded by the tax, with those annual awards expected to be announced later this spring.

Municipalities, schools, non-profits and certain other community groups are eligible for the grants, which help fund annual programs such as the popular Wings over Weston birding event and the Northland Ethnic Festival. Grant recipients are expected to match a percentage of funds, either through cash or labor and materials.

Director of parks and recreation Daniel Erickson said this year the county received 28 grant proposals, totaling close to $390,000. Of those projects, 23 were chosen for funding, totaling just over $199,000.

This year’s grant awards winners are: Camden Point Athletic Association for a ball field safety improvement project, $10,300;  City of Edgerton for continuation of a walking path, $9,430; City of Parkville for a playground makeover in English Landing Park, $9,831, and a perimeter trail at the small dog park in Platte Landing Park, $3,285; City of Riverside for a fitness court, $25,000, and trail and interpretive signage, $7,474; Gerner Family Early Education Center at the Park Hill School District for the Think Outside program, $9,522; Southeast Elementary School for a walking trail, $25,105: Union Chapel Elementary School in the Park Hill School District for outdoor musical instruments, $14,539; City of Lake Waukomis for ball field maintenance at South Park, $8,260; North Platte School District for stage upgrades at the junior high school, $16,875; Weatherby Lake Park Board for playground renovation at King and Wayland parks, $4,000; Weston Community Theatre for a portable lighting system, $5,982; Banneker School Foundation for renovation/restoration of Banneker School in Parkville, $15,422; City of Weston for lighting at the Lewis and Clark Museum, $8,992; Museum of Fibre Arts for a two-year Smithsonian affiliate exhibit, $3,000; Platte County Historical Society for reinstallation of a covered bridge historical sign, $1,350; Burroughs Audubon Society for Wings over Weston, $2,228; Midwest Adaptive Sports for the Family Fun tubing event for the disabled at Snow Creek Ski Resort near Weston, $3,000; Northwest Missouri Model A Club for the Dust Bowl Jamboree, $7,250; Park Hill School District for the Northland Ethnic Festival, $1,000; Platte County Sports Commission for the Youth Sports Festival, $6,594; and The Farmer’s House for a summer enrichment camp, $750.

Also at the Commission administrative session, the commissioners approved the Platte County Sheriff’s Office application for funding for the Cyber Crimes Task Force. The task force, which serves a 27-county area in Northwest Missouri, is headquartered in Platte County and staffed by deputies from several area counties. Funded through the state, the application for approximately $323,500 will cover fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Major Erik Holland said the Cyber Crimes Task Force handled around 600 child pornography cases just last year.

Holland also updated the commissioners on Deputy Edward Culver, who was killed in the line of duty in the now-defunct community of Drydale in 1917. Culver’s service was formally memorialized last year by the National Law Enforcement Memorial and an effort is currently underway in the state capital to rename a portion of Highway 45 near Farley in his honor. The bill has passed through the Missouri House of Representatives and is moving on to the Senate.