INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The City announced today it has accepted the deed and taken possession of 94.6 acres of property formerly known as Rockwood Golf Course (2400 South Maywood Avenue, Independence, Mo.), ensuring a positive future for this green space in the heart of District 4. Councilmember Tom Van Camp has been interested in this space for years and worked diligently with Mayor Eileen Weir, the immediate-past 4th District Councilmember, to champion the purchase of the property and stabilize the neighborhood for generations to come. The purchase is the culmination of months of negotiations led by Councilmember Van Camp. On October 23, 2017, the City Council voted in executive session to authorize the city manager to purchase the property. The purchase agreement was executed on November 22, 2017.
“Rockwood Golf Course has been vacant for years, and the citizens of my district have long been worried about its future,” 4th District Councilmember Tom Van Camp said. “As such, I came into office three years ago to find a solution to the problem, I am proud that today I can say I made good on my promise. We are working on a green future for this space including solar power and updated walking paths that will benefit all of us in the area. This decision sends a strong message to all Independence residents, letting them know we hear you and are working toward our shared goals.”
The City is partnering with MC Power to install solar panels that will generate an additional 4.5 megawatts of power on the southern half of the existing golf course. MC Power executed a 30-year lease agreement valued at $500,000 to construct the new solar farm. This will help with the planned phase 2 expansion of the solar farm, going from the current 3 megawatts output at the Bundschu location to a total of 11.5 megawatts across the City, cementing the City of Independence’s first-place spot in solar output for the state. The arrangement offset about half of the cost of the land acquisition.
“Rockwood has a special place in the hearts of those of us in the 4th District,” Mayor Weir said. “President Truman is known to have golfed here and thanks to the Council’s decision to purchase the property, the neighborhood will be stabilized for years to come while supporting the City’s expanding focus on solar energy.”
Groundbreaking on the solar expansion is planned within the next year. Citizens will see regular updates on this effort on the City’s social media pages including Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor.