News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Mizzou Center Opens in Blue Springs

clock May 19, 2010 10:41 by author Jeff Quibell

Tuesday May 18, 2010 marked the opening of the Mizzou Center in Blue Springs as a part of Missouri Innovation Park.


image EDC Meetings 005


What does Leadership Mean in Blue Springs?

clock April 24, 2010 15:34 by author Jeff Quibell

Press Release by the Blue Springs Chamber (Updated as provided by Lara Vermillion)

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Lara Vermillion, Blue Springs Chamber 229-8558

What does Leadership Mean in Blue Springs?

Chamber Leadership Volunteers 002 Leadership means something in Blue Springs.  The Leadership Blue Springs class of 2009-2010 has taken the word seriously and is putting leadership skills to work

As a part of their class this year, the group has decided to renovate some patios at St. Mary’s Manor.  St. Mary’s Manor is an assisted living facility in Blue Springs.  During one of the class sessions on Health Care group members toured the facility.  They were touched by the residents of the facility and wanted to make things a little brighter for them.

The group began forming a plan.  Group members met with staff members from St. Mary’s Manor and learned that residents enjoy outside planting and gardening, but are sometimes unable to plant because they cannot get their wheelchairs close enough to planters.  They also learned that there are never enough places for residents to sit with family members and enjoy the patio areas. 

With those challenge in mind, the Leadership class started immediately working in the community to secure donations for the facility.  Home Depot offered to help with the project and has been instrumental in selecting and obtaining furniture for the two patios and wood to make the planters.  Not only were they willing to help with materials, but they wanted to beChamber Leadership Volunteers 003 an active part of the project as well. 

Christel Flores, Operations Manager at the Blue Springs Home Depot said, “Community service is one of the core values of Home Depot.  We have Team Depot, which is a group of our employees that are all about giving back.  We have not had a lot of opportunity to be involved with a project in Blue Springs.  We are excited to be doing this”. Haldex and other sponsors including Randy & Jan Castle, MarKirk Construction, Blue Springs School District, Hy-Vee, Betty’s Restaurant, Costco, Adams Dairy Bank, Sonic, Lamar’s, MAC Corporation and Architectural Ornaments have donated money or items to help with the project. 

Other than the Home Depot team, a group of local Webelos from Pack 604 took an interest in the project.   The scouts are working on their Citizenship badge which is a part of the Arrow of Light requirement.  They have been learning about how to be a good citizen and must participate in a service project.  “This seemed like a great way to teach scouts how to be involved in their community”, said Chad Vermillion, Den Leader.  “We are hoping that by teaching them now how to be a good community member, it will carry through for the rest of their lives.”

On April 17th, starting at 8:30 a.m.  the first phase of this project will take place in two different locations.  A group who is building and assembling planters for the residents of St. Mary's Manor will meet at Home Depot.  Another group will also meet at St. Mary's Manor to move bricks and dirt from an existing planter and recreate a garden area with the materials.

Chamber Leadership Volunteers 005 On April 24th the entire group will meet at St. Mary’s Manor.  On that day, group members willChamber Leadership Volunteers 007 power wash all patios, move in the planters and new furniture and spend some time planting to beautify the area.  A formal presentation of the patios to the residents will take place around 2 p.m.

The Leadership Blue Springs Class is a program of the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce.  In 1991 the Blue Springs Chamber established the Leadership Blue Springs program.  The idea of the program is to develop a community leadership pool that will develop skills and knowledge of our community through a series of workshops focusing on business, government, quality of life, volunteer service and local history. 

Class members are Tim Stephenson (Community America Credit Union)  Tom Alderman (Blue Springs High School)   Karen Findora (City of Blue Springs) Cheyanne Reed (Adams Dairy Bank)  Suzanne Dell-St. Clair (St. Mary’s Medical Center)  Charles Weber(Blue Springs R-IV School District)   Sheryl Morgan (City of Blue Springs)   Mark Briscoe (Central Jackson County Fire Protection District)  Ralph Habben (Community Volunteer) Gregg Lehenbauer (Haldex Brake Products)   Lori Turner (City of Blue Springs) Dan Hood (City of Blue Springs)  Steve Decker (Blue Springs Police Department)  Lara Vermillion (Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce)  Amanda Meyers (Blue Springs South High School)  Anna Cole (Blue Springs High School).  They are scheduled to graduate at the June 17th Chamber luncheon.  Call 229-8558 for more details about the project or the Leadership Class.

Chamber Leadership Volunteers 008 Lara Vermillion, IOM


Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce

816.229.8558 Office        

816.204.5048 Cell

1000 W Main Street

Blue Springs, MO 64015

The mission of the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce is to develop, promote and facilitate a strong economic environment in which the business community can grow and prosper.

Share your thoughts with city leaders

clock April 21, 2010 12:19 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 Honored Monday evening for their service to the Blue Springs community, outgoing Councilmen Sheila Solon, Lyle Shaver and Sissy Reed each received a clock commemorating their service, along with proclamations from the city, the county and the state legislature.

Each councilman spoke briefly, remarking on the positive and negative aspects of public service. Sissy Reed, who leaves after 17 years on the council, expressed her gratitude to city staff and to the many friends she made while in office. These transitional City Council meetings are a wonderful opportunity to honor those leaving office, while welcoming the newly elected.

Former Mayor Grounds spoke briefly about each outgoing councilmen, commenting, “Sometimes when you vote, everybody is not going to like you.” It takes special people with a passion for our community to serve, knowing that the decisions they make will not always be popular. I would like to join with Mayor Ross and County Legislator Grounds in thanking former Councilmen Lyle Shaver, Sissy Reed, and Sheila Solon for their service to our community.

The city clerk, Kathy Richardson, then swore in the three new councilmen. They join with the remaining councilmen to represent the citizens as they govern our community’s future. We have an obligation to communicate with them, keeping them informed regarding our thoughts and opinions on important issues they will face. Mayor Ross reminded everyone Monday evening that, “You never learn anything by talking.” Our new councilmen are ready to listen, learn and take action to achieve the desired results.

Following the meeting, I spoke with each of our new councilmen and found them to be excited about their opportunity to serve. Dale Carter spoke of his desire to encourage a pro-business attitude and to continue to work on bringing tax revenue back into the city. Chris Lievsay spoke of his passion to improve public safety and to focus on Woods Chapel and downtown redevelopment. Grant Bowerman spoke about the humbling experience of meeting the citizens in his district and visiting with them at their homes. He is eager to work on developing new business opportunities and ensure that our police officers have the best and most current technology available.

The potential of this new council is exciting. Such a diverse group will bring an expansive range of ideas, while working collaboratively and positively. Contact information for all of the Blue Springs City Councilmen is available at It is an honor to have the opportunity to know these new community leaders, and I encourage you to communicate with them on issues of importance to you.

Agenda of Progress in Blue Springs

clock April 1, 2010 10:43 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, Chipotle, Panera, Sonic, Panda Express, Taco Bell, Planet Sub. The addition of these eight restaurants, along with new retail shops like Petco, Gamestop and Maurices in the developments surrounding Coronado and Adams Dairy Parkway have provided opportunities for residents and visitors alike to have greater options for shopping and dining.

How very different this area looked just five short years ago. The area along R.D. Mize consisted of deteriorating homes, with the majority of the area along the parkway largely undeveloped for well more than a decade.

These developments have not come easily or without conflict. Our District 3 City Councilmen have continued to look for ways to stop these developments from progressing, in spite of the overwhelming support for new retail development in our citizen surveys. As I drove through the area after lunch at Olive Garden, I observed the restaurants and shops, all teeming with customers, and I simply could not comprehend why anyone would want to impede such progress.

Our council members must continue to open their minds to the opportunity inherent in these developments and look for ways to encourage the refurbishment of older shopping and business districts throughout our city.

New restaurants have recently opened in both the northern and southern areas of Blue Springs; we have seen progress in our downtown district; and the redevelopment of Woods Chapel Road is under way from Interstate 70 to the railroad tracks. The majority of our council members are eager to continue the positive momentum of the past several years. They understand the commitment they are making to finish what began and reap the benefits for our community.

Much work remains. On April 6, each district in our city will elect a council member. This is a privilege and a sacred responsibility. Those whom we choose to represent us will influence the future of our city.

Over the past several weeks, I have encouraged each of you to be an informed voter. Citizens willing to serve are a blessing, and we are fortunate to have two candidates to choose between in each district. The following are my endorsements for City Council:

District 1 – Dale Carter will listen to his constituents, consider the facts and ramifications before making a decision, and seek collaborative solutions on the important issues facing our city.

District 2 – Sissy Reed has served our city well for many years and will provide an experienced voice of coherent reasoning. Her calm leadership and respectful decision-making will guide the rest of the council members and facilitate support for continued development of all areas of our city.

District 3 – Grant Bowerman has a clear understanding of the issues facing our city. His positive demeanor, his passion for the community, and his intelligent evaluation of the challenges facing our community will serve the citizens of District 3 well.

Gordman’s to Open in Adams Dairy Landing

clock March 28, 2010 15:23 by author Jeff Quibell

Tom Ryan, Store Manager has announced  the grand opening of Gordman’s at Adam’s Dairy Parkway on Friday, May 7 at 8:30.  You are invited to attend this special occasion for our city.  Tom is hoping that LOTS of people will attend. 

His contact information is: 402.350.5662


clock March 28, 2010 12:07 by author Jeff Quibell


Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation


Blue Springs, MO - March 26, 2010 -

For more information, contact:

Brad Scott




The University of Missouri at Columbia (Mizzou) has signed a lease agreement for space at the Heartland Financial Building in Blue Springs.  The space will provide for a base of operations that will enable Missouri's flagship research institution to provide support for area research initiatives, outreach services, student recruitment and alumni support.  This initial lease is a pre-cursor to a sought after permanent presence in western Missouri in a dedicated facility, the Mizzou Center.

Steve Wyatt (left), Vice Provost of Economic Development from MU, announces lease agreement at Blue Springs EDC Investor's Mtg, 3/26/2010

Mayor Carson Ross said, "We are very pleased with the decision of the Mizzou officials.  Their decision to lease space at the Heartland Financial Building at MIP is evidence of their conviction to have a greater presence in the Kansas City metropolitan area.  We have a shared and complementary vision for the Missouri Innovation Park (MIP) and we plan to partner closely as we see our vision become a reality."

Bill Wrisinger, Chairman of the Blue Springs Growth Initiative (BSGI), said, "Plans for development of the MIP will move forward.  Our land use plan and financial planning will continue as we work to accommodate Mizzou's prospective needs and the needs of other interested tenants.  Mizzou's intention to locate an "advance team" in Blue Springs affords BSGI the time needed to execute a land-use plan and to recruit other prospective tenants."

Brien Starner, President, Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation stated, "Blue Springs and Mizzou officials plan to move forward together to identify opportunities to aid new and existing companies in meeting their research and commercialization needs. We hope to identify those with whom we can partner and those who may be interested in supporting the Mizzou Center or the MIP financially.  Mizzou has affirmed our vision and we have forged a partnership that will bear fruit for both Mizzou and MIP."

Mayor Ross added, "It is no secret that our State Government is experiencing challenging economic times.  Far from retreating in the face of these challenges, Mizzou is making a courageous and strategic decision to invest in the future of Mizzou and of the Kansas City metropolitan area.  We appreciate their confidence in MIP and their commitment to our partnership."


To view MU's Press Release, click MU Press Release_03-26-10


Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

1600 NE Coronado Drive

Blue Springs, MO  64014


“Real Jalisco” Fine Mexican Cuisine – New Restaurant Opens in Blue Springs

clock March 8, 2010 15:35 by author Jeff Quibell

On the recommendation of a friend, Wanda and I had lunch today at a new restaurant that has opened in north Blue Springs.  “Real Jalisco” is located at 1414 NW Highway 7 near Ross Miller Cleaners.  This authentic Mexican fine dining restaurant has some tasty meals available.  The owner is enthusiastic and really wants to showcase the cuisine from his part of Mexico.  The service was excellent and the recommendations he made were excellent.  I am certain we will be visiting this restaurant again.  The restaurant is open Mon-Sun 11am-10pm.  You can reach them at (816) 229-8200.

Proud to be a part of the EDC

clock March 6, 2010 10:33 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 As I observed this past Monday’s City Council meeting, what struck me once again regarding certain members of the City Council is how they repeatedly seem to excel at being an embarrassment to our community. 

At first glance, one might see a thread of logic in some of the questions our District 3 councilmen asked of Blue Springs EDC President Brien Starner regarding Missouri Innovation Park. But when you drill down into the facts several inconsistencies arise that leave one wondering about the nature of their true motives.

Councilman Solon asked whether the EDC had ever paid a sitting councilman for services rendered.

One would hope our EDC would choose, whenever feasible and appropriate, to utilize local business services in Blue Springs.  Several councilmen, current and former, own businesses in our community. It would be no surprise that such activity might have occurred. 

My company has helped the EDC on a number of occasions with computer network issues since my service as a city councilman. Prior to engaging my company, the EDC did its homework to ensure that the services it was purchasing would be delivered at a fair price and at the professional level it required. We participated in a competitive bid process and were awarded the work based on the bid submitted.

I am proud we were able to provide the quality service to meet the needs of the EDC.

Councilman Solon suggested that the city should consider placing Innovation Park on a 100-acre tract north of I-70 on Adams Dairy Parkway.  She seemed puzzled as to why a 250-plus-acre project would not fit on a 100-acre tract.

Why is she so determined to promote that land and so opposed to the current location? Didn’t she state during her campaign for the City Council that she wanted to bring “real jobs” to Blue Springs? Why is she opposing a project that will achieve her own stated objective?

In the fall of 2009 Councilman Solon led a comprehensive plan review task force. Her task force’s recommendation to the council was to amend the comprehensive plan to establish a land use category for Missouri Innovation Park and recommended tracts of land, approximately 250 acres surrounding the Adams Pointe Golf Course, for that designation.

While claiming Monday that she had not received an update on MIP since May 2009, Councilman Solon apparently forgot her Sept. 16, 2009, council briefing prior to her recommendations that were adopted in October 2009. 

In the end, it was exciting to learn that the University of Missouri would be accelerating its entrance into our community by almost two years.

It should come as no surprise that the current economy has slowed capital investment in the project, but by coming to Blue Springs early, MU is demonstrating its commitment to the project and to its eventual success!

MADE In Missouri State Entrepreneurship Competition Will Highlight New Businesses In Missouri

clock March 1, 2010 10:42 by author Jeff Quibell

Missouri - February 22, 2010 - Calling aspiring business people! The Missouri Alliance for the Development of Entrepreneurship (MADE) is proud to present the 2010 MADE in Missouri State Entrepreneurship Competition, an event that will highlight new and aspiring businesses through a competitive and educational business development process.

The competition will provide new and potential business owners in Missouri an opportunity to put their business ideas up against others throughout the state. Participants start by answering a questionnaire about their business idea, and will be provided with tips and suggestions as to how to improve their businesses. Finalists will present their products and services at the Missouri State Fair on August 19, 2010, in Sedalia, Missouri, with cash prizes awarded for startup capital to the winners.

Registration is open to any potential business owner or current business owner in operation three years or less. There are Youth and Open categories for participation, and entrepreneurs considering going into business for the first time are welcomed. Participants do not have to be in business yet to compete.

Submissions for the preliminary level are due April 10, 2010. For more information and to register, go online to, or contact:

Cheryl Zimny

Community Development Manager

Missouri Valley Community Action Agency

1415 S. Odell

Marshall, MO 65340


The Missouri Alliance for the Development of Entrepreneurship (MADE) is a project facilitated by Missouri Valley Community Action Agency of Marshall, Missouri, a not-for-profit organization.




Missouri Valley Community Action Agency

1415 S. Odell, Marshall, MO 65340

660-886-7476; Fx: 660-886-5868