Parkville honored for budget work; downtown water pressure investigated in wake of fire

Earlier this month, the City of Parkville took some time out at one of its regular meetings of the board of Aldermen to recognize city staff for their accomplishments.

For the third year in a row, the city has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from GFOA, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. Mayor Nan Johnston presented a plaque to Anna Mitchel, city budget officer, at the Tuesday, Aug. 7 meeting.

“The ease with which our citizens are able to look at and understand our budget is one of the factors which plays into it, which is just good government,” Johnston said. “That they’re able to understand what is actually being presented is really important.”

In order to receive the budget award, the city had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device.

To receive the award, a budget document must rate proficient in all four categories, as well as rate proficient in the 14 mandatory criteria within those categories.

GFOA is a major professional association servicing the needs of approximately 19,000 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. The GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.

Also at the meeting, the board approved the renaming of the newest shelter in Platte Landing Park to Friends of Parkville Parks Shelter.

The now-defunct Friends of Parkville Parks group donated the remainder of its funds to the city for construction of new amenities, including a shelter and ball field. The shelter was built in the spring and initially named the Riverview Shelter.

Since English Landing Park already contains a River Shelter, patrons and staff alike got the two shelters confused and the city investigated options. After checking into the original agreement made with Friends of Parkville Parks, the Community Land and Recreation Board (CLARB) last month voted to name the shelter for the group itself, after allowing the public to vote on five name options on the city website. Friends of Parkville Parks Shelter — Friends Shelter for short — came out as the winner.

City administrator Joe Parente also spoke to the board about water pressure concerns in downtown Parkville after a fire on Friday, Aug. 3. The Southern Platte Fire Protection District did encounter some problems, he said, and he has asked the district and Missouri American Water for an after-incident report. The size of the water line may be the culprit instead of water pressure, he said, but an investigation is under way.

A fire in Riss Lake last month attracted concern as well, when rumors of problems with a hydrant arose. Parente said it appears that situation was due to operator error by a Kansas City Fire Department firefighter who incorrectly tapped into the hydrant. Kansas City is known for its non-standard fire hydrants, Parente said.

As the Southern Platte County Fire Protection District is a separate entity from the city, Johnston suggested the district and city coordinate a public forum to update citizens on the fire district’s new bond issue and its upcoming plans for improved fire protection.