by Alan McArthur
Platte City's Mayor Frank Offutt handed out the first W.R. Fox Jr. Citizenship Awards to seven residents on Tuesday at the dedication ceremony for Settler's Crossing Park at the end of Main Street.
The recipients were former Mayor Dave Brooks, Mary Ann Brooks, Bob Edlin, Bill Knighton, Olin Miller, Jim Palmer, and Ron Porter.
During the ceremony, Offutt described the new award, by talking about W.R. Fox, Jr., the 14th mayor of Platte City in 1945. Offutt said Fox was always willing to take on jobs that other people did not want.
“The award is presented to individuals who step forward in service to the city in a manner that improves the quality of life for their fellow citizens while asking for no recognition of their own,” said Offutt.
Offutt recognized the recipients for their work as individuals on the creation of the park.
Also during the ceremony, the Platte County Commission was presented with the Community Spirit Award for their work with the park and donation of the cannon on display at the park.
Betty Knight, presiding commissioner, and Jim Plunkett, second district commissioner, presented a check to Offutt for $15,000 that was awarded to the city through the county's parks outreach grant. The grant is funded through the parks sales tax.
Offutt pointed out that a park at the end of Main Street was originally the idea of the late Carl Donnelli and declared Tuesday Carl Donnelli's Dream Come True Day in Platte City in honor of the late former city treasurer who helped craft the city’s budget for years.
Offutt said the site was originally a trash dumping ground and also the site of a former bridge across the river to Tracy, where the Chicago Rock Island Railroad had a station.
During the ceremony, Jason Brown, state representative and Iraqi war veteran, spoke to the crowd. Brown said that no matter what our political ideals, we are all Americans and should celebrate Veteran's Day.
The Platte City VFW Post #4055 raised the American flag on the new flagpole and also gave a rifle salute in honor of the veterans.
The park features a shelter and overlook of the Platte River. The park will also have walking trails going to the north and east along the river.