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Commission meeting opens with moment of silence

by Kim Tiefenthaler
Landmark reporter

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America"...these words, which may have seemed routine at a county commissioner's meeting a week and a half ago, took on a new meaning and emotion at the Sept. 13 session.

Just two days after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, Platte County Commissioner's convened last week's administrative session with a moment of silence and the pledge of allegiance.

Following the moment of silence, County Commissioner Steve Wegner stated these strong words, "September 11 is a sad day in our country. But we will be stronger and we will survive."

In recognition of Tuesday's attacks on our nation, the Platte County Commissioners implemented a resolution encouraging Platte County citizens to support relief efforts for the thousands of terrorist victims affected by the tragedy in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.

"The National Association of Counties had requested each county to implement their own resolution in the wake of last week's tragedy," said Doug Noble, public affairs coordinator for Platte County. "Resolutions are used by government officials to recognize people, projects and events."

In other business, the county commissioners contracted the holiday lighting for the courthouse to Diamond K of Kansas City North, MO for $2,500.

They will be responsible for the installation and removal of 800 feet of industrial holiday lights on the south side, as well as on the southern portion of the east and west sides of the Platte County Courthouse. Diamond K will also be responsible for the lighting on the blue spruce tree at the courthouse.

The installation of the lights must be completed no later than Oct. 29 and removed before Jan. 15, 2002.

The commissioners heard a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Department to rescind a grant awarded to Parkville in April of 2001, after receiving a letter stating that Parkville would be unable to complete the project by the end of the year.

The Outreach Grant, awarded to Parkville for $20,800, was intended to extend a trail and parking area at English Landing Park. However, due to questions of property ownership within the area, Parkville was unable to complete the project by the end of the year.

The Parks and Recreation Department received over $500,000 in grant requests and issued $200,000 in grant money to local organizations.

After the recommendation was received from the Parks and Recreation Department to rescind the grant from Parkville, the commissioners voted to extend the grant to the Southern Platte County Athletic Association for a shelter at Tiffany Springs Park for $12,500.

The difference in funds will be returned to the program for next year's applicants.

According to Noble, the Outreach Grant was developed as a part of the Parks Master Plan to develop a source of funding. Voters approved a half cent sales tax over the next ten years, which officials approximate will bring in $60 million in revenue, with a part of the sales tax used for the Outreach Grant Program.

Commissioners appointed John Thomas to the Economic Development Council effective immediately, and appointed Eric Zahnd to the Tri-County Domestic Violence Board effective Oct. 1 to serve a two-year term.

The next county commissioner meeting will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Platte County Administrative Building.