to start soon for new Parkville city hall
Parkville Mayor Kathy Dusenbery describes plans for the
new city hall as a win-win situation for citizens
and officials alike, as the new facility looks to increase
productivity while sparing citizens from financial growing
Excavation work is going on at the site of the new city
hall at the intersection of Lewis and Clark streets in
the Parkville Commons. Existing soil at the site is being
replaced with higher quality soil.
All the development in the area has caused a need
for us to expand so we can handle the workload,
The current facility, tucked in next to Park Universitys
baseball diamond, has become insufficient for a town rapidly
growing since the mid 90s.
Before things like Riss Lake were around, we used
to be in the train station, said Alderman Jack Friedman.
"When we passed the bond issue for the building were
in now, we honestly thought it would be enough, considering
our size and where we thought we would be in the near
The turnaround point for Parkvilles progress came
from an unexpected and tragic event.
The flood of 93 was really what revitalized
the city, said Friedman. Before there wasnt
a whole lot going on in the area and the downtown wasnt
much better either. There were a lot of junk shops with
stuff piled up to the ceiling. Most of the shop owners
were retired people happy with where they were at. Then
the flood hit and the majority of them were wiped out.
It was the nail in the coffin for the old Parkville. As
sad as it was, it became the impetus for what we are now.
What Parkville is might be summed up in one
wordprogressive. A revamped downtown filled with
original shops and restaurants has helped draw more people
to the area than ever before. New buildings and businesses
are popping up all over Highway 9. In order to keep things
under control, city leaders realized they have to function
at a more efficient level than in the past.
We had an option to make repairs and add onto the
old location, which I was fighting for in the beginning,
said Friedman. But after the analysis of what the
cost would be to the city, we came to realize that the
new facility would have so much more to offer with the
additional space we need. And the best thing is that it
wont cost our citizens anything extra in taxes.
According to city administrator Joe Turner, the old building
needs repair of the roof, heating/air conditioning system,
plus the addition of an elevator to meet the standards
of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The total cost
was estimated at $940,000.
The facility also needed a 9,000 square foot addition
to the existent 14,000, a measure Turner says wouldve
been necessary for departments to operate smoothly. Adding
the space wouldve cost a staggering $3.28 million.
The new facilitys estimated space is approximately
23,000 square feet, some of which can be converted into
offices if need be. Its lease allows for the building
of any add-ons to the east and west side if expansion
To try and expand the old building on a 30 degree
slope just wasnt that feasible, said Alderman
Dave Rittman. The new place already comes with that
space built in.
Other features of the new facility include better access
and parking, an improved court room set up, and better
resistance to inclement weather.
Rittman says the old building isnt just a liability,
Since the value of land has gone up significantly
in recent years, the appraisal we got for the current
building was significantly high, he said. Were
going to use that value to market it to another non-profit
group and come out ahead.
Were going to pay for the new facility with
the monies from the sale of the old building, said
Dusenbery. Those, plus monies from the capital improvement
election will make our payments in the new facility the
same as what we pay now.
The aldermen also locked in the old buildings interest
rate, a move Rittman says will save a lot of money.
For those who thought we should wait five years
before getting a new place didnt consider how the
rates and property values will go up considerably,
he said. I can look any citizen in the eye and tell
them this is a good investment.
Groundbreaking for the new facility will be in early March,
with completion speculated sometime around next fall or
winter. Although the facility looks to be a symbol of
Parkvilles continuing progress, Rittman says the
building will conform to the citys classic look.
All were waiting on is final construction
bids and the decision of how its going to appear
aesthetically, he said. It might be brick
or half-brick. Either way the goal is to blend into the
Ive been on the board for many years,
said Friedman, and no one couldve ever predicted
the success this city would see between the flood and
now. We want growth, but we want to keep Parkville what
it is. Its a place with an old-time feel and warmth
you can escape to.
We want everybody to come out to the ground-breaking
ceremony, said Dusenbery. We want to let them know
that this building will be something the city can be proud
of for generations to come.