board passes tax increase;
It was a meeting to set the tax rate for Platte County
R-3 schools, but board of education members also discussed
the ever-controversial community center proposal during
a special meeting Thursday.
After a brief discussion, the board approved a tax levy
of $4.11 of per $100 assessed valuation. That rate is
up from last year's mark of $4.09.
"I feel confident in our budget. There is still
the unknown. I am skeptical with what we will end up with,"
Dr. Mark Harpst, Platte County R-3 superintendent, said.
Following the passing of the tax rate, board members
continued discussions on the proposed project with Platte
County Commissioners concerning a community center.
Harpst informed the board he had left messages with Steve
Wegner, 2nd District Commissioner, to attend the Sept.
17 board of education meeting to allow both parties discussion
of the issue. Harpst also told board members he had written
a letter inviting the commissioners. At the time of the
meeting no response was made by commissioners.
"Here is a concept. Offer, counter- offer, offer.
Talk to us. If they would respond in some way, it would
let us know where they stand," board member Dick
During the meeting, Harpst told the board he had spent
time generating several ideas for the proposed project
to present to commissioners in hope the two parties could
reach an agreement.
Harpst asked the board members if they wanted to discuss
his ideas during the meeting and they declined. Board
members urged Harpst to continue negotiations with the
When asked by The Landmark if he wanted to comment on
his ideas, Harpst declined.
An 8-lane swimming pool has been the heart of the controversial
issue. Board members said they would agree to the partnership
only if the center contained an 8-lane competitive indoor
cold-water pool, a fitness center, an indoor walking/running
track, a regulation sized practice gym and six outdoor
If agreed upon, the center would be constructed near
the Northland Career Center on the school's main campus
along Hwy. 92 in Platte City.
County officials have announced they will pursue other
land options if necessary. The county has offered $6 million
to the joint project, with that money coming from the
county's half cent sales tax for parks. Commissioners
are concerned the facility R-3 has in mind would be too
The county recently secured an option to purchase a tract
of land in Platte City that could potentially serve as
a site for a center. That piece of land is off Running
Horse Road in Platte City near the Oak Creek subdivision.