tough to tell when it comes to pocket park
No matter with whom you speak the
board of aldermen, the park board or area businessmen
the man who is given most of the credit for the pocket
park project at the end of Main Street in Platte City
has been Olin Miller.
Miller, owner of Olin Miller Insurance
on Main Street, wrote the grant proposal for the project
and conceptualized most of the plans for building the
park. Miller said that if he is associated with any
group in regards to the park, it is the PCADA.
He told The Landmark that he and Dick
Stephens, Platte City Parks Board president, have met
regarding the park and that the two have gotten along
well. He acknowledged that there is a bit of confusion
over who is taking the lead on the project and that
several unspecified members of the community have been
getting real antsy over the park project.
Miller said he was not privy to the letter
that was written by the mayor and sent to the park board
and had generated controversy (see related story). When
read the letter, Miller opined that he didnt see
where the hard feelings were coming from but if the
writer of the letter wanted something specific it was
Miller, who also serves as the sexton
for the Platte City Cemetery, said that those working
on the park project know what work they need to be done,
and that time is running out: the grant the park received
from the county must be used by Sept. 1.
In the meantime, Miller commended Billy
and Jody Knighton for their work in the park. Miller
also indicated that vandals in the park have slowed
progress by throwing supplies into the river. Platte
City police have stepped up patrols at the park in response
to the complaint.
Specifically, Miller said he wants to
use the grant money to buy supplies and volunteer labor
to pour a four-foot wide by two-foot deep footing for
what would eventually become a support pillar for the
proposed platform in the park. Miller said he is concerned
by the activity of the Platte River and the effect it
is having on erosion of the pier at the park. In addition,
he cant help but wonder how far the $11,000 grant
(The park) is going to cost quite
a bit more, Miller pointed out. The price
of steel has doubled since we began the project.
Miller said that after meeting with Stephens,
he agreed to start getting estimates for the work to
be professionally done. Miller also said he offered
to step aside if Stephens felt that was for the best
a move that nobody involved with the project
seems to think is wise.
Stephens said he wasnt asking Miller
to do that; he just wanted someone to look at the project
and tell his board that it would work.
Stephens said he felt the grant money
should be used to do as much work as possible, then
the parks board would look at using its own funds to
complete the rest of the project.
If you say I think this is
going to work, thats not good enough,
Stephens said. If its not a concept I can
support, I will not authorize $5,000 to pay for it.
I would rather pay a little more, and be assured its
going to be done, then to pay a little less and maybe
not getting the structure that youd want. This
is very important. These footings are very important.
Then well budget the remainder to get it done.