PARKVILLE, Mo. — Parkville leaders are looking to its growing number of visitors to help make sure the community remains a sought-after destination.
Voters will weigh in on two ballot measures in April: Proposition U would create a local use tax that’s expected to bring in $250,000-$300,000 from online and out-of-state vendors.
Proposition P is a citywide 1/2 cent sales tax that would fund public safety priorities, including hiring more police officers and paying them higher salaries.
“We have a big need for capital improvements and they’re very expensive,” said Parkville Mayor Dean Katerndahl.
Two projects Katerndahl says the city is already focusing on are updates to Bell Road to improve pedestrian safety and continued upgrades to 9 Highway where it meets downtown.
“Oh goodness man, in the wintertime there’s snow everywhere,” said Jacob Drew who lives along Bell Road. “Trying to get out and go up that road is ridiculous.”
That’s why he’s optimistic about Proposition U, which would help match other grants marked for that project.
“The bus stops on the opposite side coming down the hill, so they stop traffic on both sides, but there’s all types of cars flying through here all the time,” Drew said, speaking about the road where there is no sidewalk and a small shoulder. “So sometimes you have to get out here and be like, ‘Hey, stop.”
Theresa Bentley also lives along Bell Road, but also is part of the family-owned Bentley Guitar Studios, which would have to start including the extra Proposition U tax in its online orders.
“We do well a lot online, all around the country,” Bentley said.
But she isn’t worried about the additional cost because online customers expect those kinds of extra costs.
“The majority of items sold online have taxes, so I don’t think anybody cares anymore,” said Bentley. “It’s just the item they want so they buy it.”
Proposition P would help address challenges hiring law enforcement officers that Katerndahl says communities are having across the region.
“[Officer salaries have] increased every year I’m aware of…because we’re in this battle with other communities to get good police officers,” Katerndahl said.
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