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Tracts of land targeted for park use at Dearborn
Deal on a second tract should be done this week

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

Thanks to grant money from Platte County, the City of Dearborn is now making major strides in improving its park facilities.

Platte County has offered $300,000 from its half cent park sales tax fund to Dearborn, just as it has done with the cities of Camden Point and Edgerton.

The county last week signed a land acquisition deal for 13 acres of property owned by Mr. and Mrs. Tex Wampler at Dearborn.

In addition, this week a deal is expected to be closed on another six acres of land that will be used as park ground at Dearborn. That six acre tract is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Rick Rawlings.

According to Brian Nowotny, parks and recreation director for Platte County, the 13 acre tract sits on the south side of Z Hwy. in Dearborn.

These 13 acres are in an upland wooded area near the fire station and will have a passive use, such as walking trails, park and picnic areas, Nowotny said.

The six acre tract sits on the north side of Z Hwy. and is adjacent to North Platte High School and Bee Creek, Nowotny said.

The six acres are envisioned by the city for being used as sports fields, such as baseball/softball fields and perhaps a soccer field, Nowotny indicated.

Nowotny praised the efforts of new Dearborn Mayor Delba McAuley for her role in acquiring the land.

"Their mayor has done a tremendous job identifying property and was the lead negotiator. It was all a friendly process. . .she led the way," Nowotny said.

On Tuesday night, McAuley emphasized the deal on the six acres is not yet complete but acknowledged the negotiations are ongoing.

Dearborn will gather community input to come up with firm plans for development of both tracts of land.

"Hopefully we'll have community input. I'd like to see this be a community project," McAuley said.

"It has taken us a long time to get to this point. We haven't done a whole lot of planning beyond acquiring the property."

McAuley said she'd like to see the parks ready for use by next summer, but said she's not yet sure if that's a realistic goal.

Dearborn's current park, which currently sits across the county line into Buchanan County, will eventually be sold by the city.
Purchase price for the 13 acres is $50,000. The land was appraised at $57,000 and the seller agreed to write off the $7,000 difference as a donation.

The six acre tract will bring a price of $42,500. It was appraised at $38,500. Nowotny said the city will cover the $4,000 difference in value with its own funds.

The contract on the six acres is expected to be signed by the county commissioners this week, Nowotny said.

By using only about a third of the county's grant for acquisition costs, Dearborn will have about $200,000 remaining for development of the land, Nowotny pointed out.