News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Plans Lead to Progress (Woods Chapel & New Stores at ADL)

clock October 19, 2011 17:04 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResThe first six months of my current term in office are now behind me. It’s been an interesting change from my previous term in office just a few years ago.

The Blue Springs City Council is working well together, without the frequent angst that we sometimes experienced in the past. The hard questions are still being asked and we don’t always all agree, but good outcomes are occurring with regularity. Scripted political agendas have disappeared, and a true spirit of cooperation has brought a breath of fresh air to the political climate of our city.

A frequent question lately regards progress on the Woods Chapel Road expansion. This important project is ongoing and actually moving along at a pretty good clip behind the scenes.

Planning and progress at the beginning of a large road project aren’t visible in the first few years. The project is first designed and rights of way purchased from the hundreds of property owners on each side of the road. Construction contracts go out for bid. Significant amounts of work occur before the first shovelful of dirt is turned, but I assure you we are moving forward and are on schedule.

The final steps in acquiring the last few properties needed to construct the road have been set in motion, and an agreement with Kansas City Power & Light is approved to begin moving the utilities in preparation for the new roadway. This will be the first noticeable change that will occur.

A funding agreement is now approved with the Missouri Department of Transportation for the construction of Woods Chapel from Castle Drive to Walnut. This piece of the project is an expansion of the voter-approved improvements from Duncan Road down to the railroad tracks.

This week RED Development provided an update on the Adams Dairy Landing project. This TIF-funded project is paying great dividends for our community. New shopping is available to our residents to buy products at a lower tax rate than they were paying in other retail venues while also saving on the gas they spent to get there. The new tax revenue generated by the project is helping our city maintain services in difficult economic times. Because of a carefully crafted TIF policy and bond issues coinciding with store openings, the project cash flow is positive and paying its own way as expected. It is a benefit for our residents, the city and the people employed at the new stores.

RED Development announced several new stores that will be opening over the next year: Ross Dress for Less, T.J. Max, Home Goods, Charming Charlie, Rue 21, Yogurtini, Ulta Beauty, Arby’s and Chick-Fil-A.


Missouri Innovation Park Receives Short-Term Planning Grant

clock October 5, 2011 17:47 by author Jeff Quibell

Blue Springs EDCPRESS RELEASE
9/27/2011
For Immediate Release
Contact:
Blue Springs EDC
816-228-0208

 
 
Missouri Innovation Park Receives Short-Term Planning Grant
 
BLUE SPRINGS, MISSOURI - Missouri Innovation Park, Inc. (MIP Inc.) based in Blue Springs, Missouri announces the award of an Economic Development Administration (EDA) Planning Grant of $95,000 that will be matched.  Its purpose is to assist in the strategic assessment, planning and growth of the Missouri Innovation Park (MIP).  MIP Inc has worked the past three years to advance the engagement of regional assets and stakeholders to focus on key industry cluster that Blue Springs and MIP may serve, including the KC Animal Health Corridor.

MIP Inc. has worked closely with Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the City of Blue Springs, and the University of Missouri to identify, purchase and master plan the Missouri Innovation Park, located in Blue Springs, Missouri, on the south side of at I-70 and Adams Dairy Parkway. 

Bill Wrisinger, Chairman, MIP, Inc. stated, "I am thrilled to see financial support from the EDA awarded and matched to (in-kind) investment provided by the University of Missouri, Mid-America Regional Council, and a cash match from our EDC."  This new grant investment will build upon the economic strategy of Innovation for all Blue Springs are also strengthen the Adams Dairy Parkway Corridor represented by over one million square feet of retail, restaurant and commercial real estate at I-70 from Adams Dairy Parkway.  The area is already home to Mizzou Center and the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel and adjoining Adams Pointe Conference Center, and nearby Adams Pointe Golf Course.

Brien Starner, President of the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation stated, "The EDA grant will help Blue Springs, the region, and our development team further define needed key resources for the Park, including a business incubator and or accelerator, and how they integrate into the planning asset mix of the Missouri Innovation Park's growth strategy with Eastern Jackson County long-term.  Our goal is to integrate the Park's growth strategy with science, technology and entrepreneurial based growth initiatives that build off our region's industry cluster and research strengths which in  turn create economic leverage and advantage for our workforce, companies and institutions."

Mayor Carson Ross stated, "Despite set-backs created by our economy over the past three years, Blue Springs and numerous stakeholders working with us remain committed to moving MIP from an economic dream to reality that support's high quality regional growth.  Our citizens, children and workforce need 21st century innovation-based jobs now that can provide high quality wages and benefits.  Through the work we will complete with this EDA grant we can move the Missouri Innovation Park closer to our vision."

Starner added, "Game changing investments in our region are needed now more than ever, and the Missouri Innovation Park is such an investment.  The EDA grant is one more value-added step in our vision to create long-term economic value based around innovation, skilled manufacturing, and an education workforce centered economy."
 
 


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Look Good Feel Good Leave an Impression

clock October 5, 2011 17:41 by author Jeff Quibell

imageWednesday
October 5th
5 to 8 pm
Join Us for a Special Night!
704 Main Street Blue Springs, MO
Hosted by:
$10 Pink Hair Extensions *Donations benefit Breast Cancer Research
FREE Breast Cancer Survivor Hat *Quantities limited
Facial Bar Wine
Brow Waxing
Cheese Gallery Showing
Free Chair Massages
Free Posture Analysis Chocolate Fountain
Face Mapping DOOR PRIZES


Fall Fun Festival Makes Our City Better

clock September 22, 2011 12:01 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResFall is community festival time in Eastern Jackson County, with Santa-Cali-Gon and Fall Fun Fest topping the list of annual festivals. I look forward to attending the Blue Springs Fall Fun Festival each year, both as a consumer and as a volunteer.

Those who attend the festival find a wide range of booths and activities. Familiar ones for me include Timothy Lutheran Burgers, St. Peter’s walking tacos and Keck’s root beer. I’m guilty of being just a little too focused on food, but these delicacies only come around once a year! Other booths are more than enough to pique our interest and give each of us the opportunity to spend time with our friends and neighbors while shopping, playing and eating.

The Blue Springs festival is organized by the Chamber of Commerce. For many months, beginning in the middle of winter, committees are meeting and planning the activities for their respective part of the festival. Vendor booths are reserved, sponsors are identified, and entertainment is auditioned and decided upon. Beginning on the Thursday before the festival, the actual setup begins. Dozens of volunteers from the community work together to distribute pop and water to the booth locations, barricades are put up, and stages and tents are assembled.

While stopping to take a breath, a group of volunteers discussed why we all work so hard each year to set up this event for the community. We all agreed that it certainly is a labor of love, and an opportunity for fellowship with other chamber members and volunteers from the community. After working together on the festival for over a decade, strong friendships have evolved.

One of the vendors, seeing my councilman name badge, stopped me on Main Street and complimented me on the festival. He said he does festivals all over the Midwest and always enjoys our Blue Springs Fall Fun Festival. When I asked what made our festival special, he responded that it was the way the community comes together in support of the festival, and the volunteers that work tirelessly to ensure a smooth, well organized festival. We sometimes take it for granted, but those that see other festivals appreciate the extra effort our community gives.

Ours is a growing family of friends and colleagues that pull together, working side by side to make our community a better place to live, play, and work. Get involved with your local chamber, and you can become a part of this growing family of volunteers. Join us, and have fun while making your community a better place!


1st Friday Art Party and End of Summer Sale–Prospero’s Books

clock August 31, 2011 17:58 by author Jeff Quibell

August 24, 2011 Contact: Will Leathem
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Direct) 816.256.7243
Media Advisory
Painting Rottweiler to Headline End-of-Summer 1st Friday Art Party
Charity Tent Sale – 1,000s of Books to benefit Hope House & Write the Future
(Kansas City) TODAY – Prospero’s Parkside Books invites everyone to join us for our End of Summer 1st Friday Art Party & Charity Tent Sale on Friday September 2nd at Prospero’s Parkside Books, 208 N. 7 Highway just south of I-70 in the heart of Blue Springs.
September Art Party
Prospero’s Parkside’s 1st Friday Art Parties are a monthly cultural arts series featuring showings of visual art and live performances of music and literary arts by regional artists. Over the last year, the 1st Friday Art Parties have shown a spotlight on over 50 poets, playwrights, actors, painters and musicians.
The September Art Party will feature visual art from a special Blue Springs artist: Abram. Abram is a 15-month old Rottweiler puppy who loves paw-painting in watercolors. While anthropologists contend that art is one of the things that separates humans from animals, recent years have revealed many art-producing animals. Abram’s work includes brightly-colored rainbows, flowers and ponds. This will be his first showing. Live music will be provided by classically trained guitarist Joe Gameson and special guest from Chicago, Rachel Gaither who will present original music influenced by classical, Latin ambient styles. In addition, a poetry open mic will highlight original work from several regional poets including Eve Brackenbury and Will Leathem.
Charity Tent Sale.
Coinciding with this month’s 1st Friday Art Party, Prospero’s will be hold an End of Summer Tent Sale offering 1,000s of books at bargain Prices.
Pricing: Hardbacks $3
Oversized Paperbacks $2
Pocket Paperbacks $1
Half of all proceeds from sale books will be donated to support two regional charities: Hope House: providing support to more than 10,000 victims of domestic abuse every year. Write the Future: a Missouri nonprofit helping emerging regional writers.
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GAGE Center Grand Re-opening Bash

clock July 27, 2011 16:42 by author Jeff Quibell

imageGage Center’s Grand Re-opening Bash scheduled for July 30, 2011 (Saturday) 2:00PM to 5:00PM in the building at 1101 NW Jefferson.

For a schedule of events and other information go to www.gagecenter.com


Little things lead to big things–Maybe a New Restaurant Coming to Town?

clock July 20, 2011 12:11 by author Jeff Quibell

Maid-Rite restaurantLocation, location, location. We’ve all heard how the right location can make or break a business. So, how does a new business choose where to locate? How does it decide if a city has the right demographic mix to make a business successful? In reality, every situation is different, with a variety of issues to evaluate prior to making any commitments.

As a City Council member, I am always looking for opportunities for the residents of our city. As my wife Wanda and I travel the country, we enjoy dining at new and different restaurants. When we discover a restaurant I think it might be a good business to have in Blue Springs, I simply ask for corporate information and contact their home office to let them know about our great city. Frustratingly, most of the contacts never bear fruit, yet I believe it’s important to continue to try. You never know when a great opportunity may come along.

Recently, an opportunity came to me in an unusual way. Many of you know that I am an active user of a smartphone application called FourSquare.  FourSquare allows you to “check-in” and let your friends know where you are. One feature of this application is to publish your check-ins on Twitter. Twitter is an Internet service that shares 140 character “tweets” with anyone who is out there watching.

Here is where the story begins: Growing up, my parents and I frequently traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to visit family. Along the way, we always stopped at Taylor’s Maid-Rite in Marshalltown, Iowa, to have a Maid-Rite sandwich. If you are unfamiliar with Maid-Rites, you’re missing something wonderful. They may very well be one of the healthiest hamburgers you can eat. Frankly, healthy has nothing to do with it. They are just great.

On a recent drive down I-35, I noticed a sign for a Maid-Rite store along the highway and couldn’t resist. I pulled in and we had a couple of Maid-Rites. Like always, I “checked in” and sat down for dinner. By the time we were back in Blue Springs, I had a tweet from Maid-Rite Corporation thanking me for dining at one of its restaurants. I tweeted back “you’re welcome” and suggested the company locate a store in Blue Springs and provided contact information for the city.

Imagine my surprise when this week’s council packet contained information regarding negotiation for locating a Maid-Rite in Blue Springs. It is seeking a franchise owner to run a Maid-Rite store in our city!

In a struggling economy, with more people looking for work than the number of jobs available, entrepreneurship flourishes. Somewhere in Blue Springs, someone willing and eager to start their own business may be waiting, eager to provide work for themselves, their family and friends. This is an opportunity looking for a connection. If this sounds like the business you are looking for, contact Tania Burt, executive vice president of Maid Rite Corporation at 515-276-5448. She can help you explore the possibility.

Entrepreneurship and small business is the foundation of our economy. Many believe the best solutions to our economic troubles will rise from our entrepreneurial spirit. Could a simple “check-in” actually create jobs for our city? Stranger things have happened.


Waste Disposal Task Force Continues Meetings and Encourages You To Attend

clock July 20, 2011 12:02 by author Jeff Quibell

Hello!

The Waste Disposal Task Force is still in the process of monthly meetings and the next scheduled meeting is August 4, 2011.  This meeting is located on the City’s Events Calendar and can be seen at http://www.bluespringsgov.com/CurrentEvents.aspx?EID=1320.  These meetings are open to the public and we encourage any resident to attend! 

The Waste Disposal Task Force information has been posted to the City’s Home Page since November of last year.  To see who serves as members of the Task Force, I encourage you to visit their Web page:  http://www.bluespringsgov.com/index.aspx?nid=853

You can also see all the Waste Disposal Task Force Minutes on via their page or by clicking here http://www.bluespringsgov.com/index.aspx?NID=909.

To contact all the Waste Disposal Task Force members via email, send a note to wastedisposal@bluespringsgov.com.

If you have any more questions, please let me know!

Kim Nakahodo

Communications Manager

City of Blue Springs, Mo.

903 W. Main Street

Blue Springs, MO  64015

Phone:     (816) 655-0497

               (816) 651-6449

Fax:         (816) 228-7592

Email:      knakahodo@bluespringsgov.com

www.bluespringsgov.com


Blue Springs South FFA Selling Sweet Corn–Support Your Schools & Local Farmers Market

clock July 20, 2011 11:59 by author Jeff Quibell

The Blue Springs South Future Farmers of America will have a stand at the Kansas City VA Medical Facility Farmers Market on Thursday morning, 7/21/11, as well as at the Blue Springs Farmers Market on Saturday morning, 7/23/11. We'll be selling peaches and cream sweet corn.  Cost is $5 a dozen and proceeds go to support the activities and projects of the South FFA Chapter.


2011 Blue Springs Farmer’s Market 1st Annual Farm to Table Dinner–August 27, 2011

clock July 7, 2011 08:22 by author Jeff Quibell

Please Save the Date:  Saturday, August 27th , 2011 Blue Springs Farmer’s Market 1st Annual Farm to Table Dinner.  Watch for details! 

Bernita Cauthon-Volunteer Coordinator
StandUp Blue Springs
P.O. Box 614
Blue Springs, MO  64013
816-478-4500
816-478-4502 fax
Volunteers@StandUpBlueSprings.org