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Dearborn has plans to sell
city park, lake area

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

Dearborn's Dean Park and the city lake near it could be on the market to potential buyers in the not too distant future.

At a meeting of the town's board of aldermen Monday night, Mayor Marvin Landes said the process of selling the city lake and accompanying ground near it would be more complicated than selling the Dean Park.

The lake property consists of 28 acres and will be sold separately from the 2-3 acre tract on which Dean Park sits.

In the sale of the lake property, the city would need to find a willing buyer, agree on a price and present the deal to voters for their approval.

Selling of Dean Park would be less complicated, state officials have told Landes, because there is not a body of water involved in that parcel. The city could strike a deal with a buyer and sell the park ground without voter approval, the mayor said.
"We'll need to get the land appraised," Landes said this week when asked if the city had an idea of an asking price for either property.

The sale of Dean Park would be done after the city has developed a new park using the $300,000 granted to it by Platte County through the county's half cent sales tax for parks.

Alderman Delba McAuley continues to investigate the possible land acquisition for a new park. She has said her goal is to acquire 40-50 acres of land and put in a new ball field, soccer field and walking trails.

Sale of the lake wouldn't be done until the city has completed its connection to the Kansas City water system. Kansas City is expected to have its line to Dearborn completed later this month, then Dearborn will need to have a vault pit installed and finish the connection to its system.

The vault pit is expected to cost $60,000. Landes said he would prefer to take some of the money from the eventual sale of park ground and pay off that $60,000, rather than borrowing that amount from Kansas City and paying interest on it for 20 years.

The city will still be financing more than $700,000 over 20 years from Kansas City to pay for running of the line to connect the town to Kansas City water.

Also at Monday's meeting, it was explained city voters in April will decide the fate of a half cent sales tax question. The half cent tax would be in addition to an existing one cent sales tax that's been in place since 1984.

It is estimated the new half cent tax would raise an additional $15,000 annually. The city has been in a financial crunch and needs the tax "to offset some things," Landes said, including helping to pay for the connection to Kansas City water.

Dearborn's board recently okayed a 50 cent per thousand gallon water rate increase to help pay for the connection. Landes said the government agency that originally financed the city's existing water plant must still OK that rate increase.

Dearborn has experienced problems and high expenses in running its own water plant in recent years, and the city plant will eventually be shut down once the city starts using Kansas City water.

In another matter, the city gave its approval to an animal ordinance that calls for Platte County Animal Control to pick up stray animals within the city. It also sets regulations in regard to vicious animals and different breeds of dogs.

The contract for animal control service still has to be approved by the county, Landes said.