News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Exciting Development in City

clock February 22, 2012 19:29 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResMayor Carson Ross likes to say Blue Springs is a city “on the move,” and it’s obvious throughout our city that his statement is accurate.

With the exceptionally mild winter we’re experiencing, commercial development at Adams Dairy Landing is progressing at a brisk pace. Ulta Beauty is now open and the buildings for TJ-Maxx/Home Goods, Ross Dress for Less and additional lifestyle shops are close to completion.

The city recently began requesting bids on the long anticipated improvements for Woods Chapel Road, continuing to fulfill the promise of redeveloping this important north-south corridor. At the most recent City Council work session, the council agreed to request assistance from the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation regarding recommendations for a strategic plan to redevelop our Missouri 7 and U.S. 40 corridors. We also agreed to complete the formal review of our city’s comprehensive plan, a review that is significantly overdue and will ensure the city is better prepared for future development efforts.

Not all politics were local last week. I had the great pleasure of going to Jefferson City to talk with our state legislators regarding a variety of issues of interest to our city.

I met with many representatives and senators and experienced a great deal of pride as I frequently heard how well our city is represented by District 54 Rep. Jeanie Lauer. Over and over again her colleagues spoke of what an effective, strong leader she is for Blue Springs. Having worked closely with Jeanie in recent years, this confirmed what I already knew about her dedication to the residents of our city and her genuine concern for the best interest of our community. It’s gratifying to know that others recognize her integrity and sincerity. We are fortunate to have her in Jefferson City!

We began interviewing candidate development teams last week, one of which will partner with the city and University of Missouri for the design and development of the 50,000- to 80,000-square foot Mizzou Center building. The Mizzou Center will focus on research, continuing education and community outreach functions in Missouri Innovation Park and will serve as the anchor tenant for this important project.

The land for the first phase of development in the park is now under control of the city, and we are on track for visible development before the end of the year. The location is just south of Adams Dairy Landing, at the corner of R.D. Mize Road and Adams Dairy Parkway.

Jackson County’s regional rail proposal now includes two potential stops in Blue Springs – one downtown and one at the southern edge of the Innovation Park. These two stops will assist Main Street Alive in downtown redevelopment efforts and help to accelerate the development of Missouri Innovation Park. This proposal is likely to be a November ballot issue in Jackson County.

Blue Springs is “on the move?” Yes, mayor, we certainly are!

Colburn Road & MO-7 Intersection Ribbon Cutting Pictures

clock February 1, 2012 11:04 by author Jeff Quibell

Colbern Road & Highway 7 intersection


Mayor Ross saying a few words at the ribbon cutting.


MoDot Area Engineer Matt Killion saying a few words at the ribbon cutting.


City Administrator Eric Johnson, Mayor Carson Ross and MoDot Area Engineer Matt Killion cutting the ribbon.


First Alert News about the Missouri Innovation Park

clock January 9, 2012 17:12 by author Jeff Quibell

First Alert News about the Missouri Innovation Park
January 9, 2012

Dear Blue Springs EDC Supporters:
As a news subscriber to Blue Springs EDC you are receiving our news alert news about the Missouri Innovation Park (MIP).

During the past several months the Blue Springs EDC, City of Blue Springs and the University of Missouri (MU) have been working to deliver concrete next steps to advance the Missouri Innovation Park and MU's Mizzou Center.  In November an updated "Letter of Agreement" was signed by MU Chancellor Brady Deaton, City of Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross, Blue Springs EDC Chairman Lyle Shaver, and President Brien Starner, which spelled out specific next steps, responsibilities and timetables to move the MIP and Mizzou Center project forward.

To this end the City acquired 3.5 acres recently and is in contract to close on additional land to enable 24 acres at any time that will be developed as the first Phase of the Missouri Innovation Park, covering 63 acres in Phase I.  The City is the primary investor in the Missouri Innovation Park and is issuing today an RFQseeking a development/design team to respond by January 20th to our proposal to build a 50-80,000 square foot building to house the University of Missouri for their Mizzou Center growth plans within the MIP.  Additional space within the building is intended to support those companies whose growth and research would benefit from the collaboration between MIP and MU's research and development oriented opportunities.  We are also hopeful our current Economic Development Administration grant will establish the "business case" for business incubator/business accelerator space in the same building by 2014, for our study planned to get underway soon.

Stay tuned for more news on Blue Springs, the EDC and Missouri Innovation Park in coming weeks and months.

Read the complete RFQ here.


Brien M. Starner, CEcD
Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation
1600 NE Coronado Drive
Blue Springs, MO   64014
816.228.0209 (O)
816.918.9947 (C)


Blue Springs EDC | 1600 NE Coronado Drive | Blue Springs | MO | 64014

City Looking At A Year Of Progress

clock January 4, 2012 10:06 by author Jeff Quibell

2011-12-08 10-40-58.261The changing of the calendar to a new year is typically seen as a time for fresh starts and new beginnings.

For Blue Springs, 2012 will be the year in which we see visible progress on the Missouri Innovation Park on Adams Dairy Parkway. As the University of Missouri prepares to break ground at its permanent location in Blue Springs, its involvement and commitment will raise the visibility and viability of MIP to the world’s animal-health-related companies, along with other entities and organizations.

It will take time, but we anticipate the demand for locations within the MIP will result in new, high-quality jobs for Blue Springs residents and those in the surrounding areas.

This year will also see the installation of the new digital radio system for our Police Department. This system, paid for by the public safety tax that Blue Springs voters approved last year, will substantially improve our Police Department’s communication ability and will help make our city safer. The improvements to the public safety building will enhance downtown and provide an improved workplace for our police officers.

Hopefully, 2012 will see progress on the regional transit proposal, which could bring even more activity to our downtown in the coming years.

The redevelopment of Woods Chapel Road continues, and residents will see utilities relocated this spring in preparation for the widening and resurfacing from Duncan Road on the north all the way south to Walnut Street. Right-of-way acquisition is under way, and we should see work on the road begin this year, with scheduled completion scheduled for 2013. The new diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 70 will improve the flow of traffic, especially during rush hour, and the signalized intersection at Duncan Road will make that area safer and less congested.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest appreciation for the many cards, notes, copies of the newspaper and kind words regarding the story of the Christmas ornaments from my birth mother. To Martin Augustine of KMBC Channel 9 News and Lee Hill Kavanaugh of The Kansas City Star, thank you for telling the story in such a wonderful and compassionate manner. The response has been overwhelming and very much appreciated. For those who missed the stories, they can be viewed at and
Happy new year, everyone! I look forward to another year of sharing with you all of the great things happening in Blue Springs!

Transit could transform area–Blue Springs would gain under rail plan

clock December 14, 2011 11:17 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResCommunity and elected leaders in Blue Springs are consistently looking for opportunities to provide better services to our residents. Several years ago, as a downtown revitalization plan was developed for Blue Springs, we identified a number of key items that would advance development in the downtown corridor. A rail station that would act as a transit portal to the rest of the Kansas City region was an integral piece of the plan, as it would bring people into downtown Blue Springs and act as a catalyst for new development.

Recently, the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance held a number of public forums to share information about the new Regional Rail initiative supported by County Executive Mike Sanders and many of the Mayors in the Kansas City region. These forums provided an opportunity for the public to view a variety of potential plans for regional transportation, including a rail system that would encompass much of the Kansas City region.

Kansas City has a long history with railroads and has a significant amount of unused or underutilized track all over the metropolitan area. Utilizing these existing rails allow a regional rail system to be constructed quickly and cost-efficiently.

While no final determination has been made on rail stop locations, Blue Springs is anticipating a stop in downtown and hopefully an additional stop near the new Missouri Innovation Park (MIP). This would encourage redevelopment downtown and facilitate the development of MIP.

This regional rail proposal is an exciting development that has the potential to transform public transportation not only for Blue Springs, but the entire Kansas City region, bringing with it enhanced employment and tourism opportunities. The rail infrastructure already exists, which reduces the cost and shortens the implementation timeframe. Many community leaders and elected officials throughout Jackson County are eager to support the proposal including our own Mayor Carson Ross, Kansas City Mayor Sly James, and County Executive Mike Sanders, just to name a few.

I am excited about the opportunities that a regional rail plan can bring to the residents of Eastern Jackson County. I encourage everyone to take the time to examine the proposals and support expanded regional transportation alternatives. As Mayor Ross likes to say, “Blue Springs is On the Move!”

Information about the Kansas City Regional Transit vision can be found at

Missouri Innovation Park moves forward in Blue Springs

clock November 22, 2011 12:28 by author Jeff Quibell






903 W. Main Street, Blue Springs, MO 64015 — P: 816.228.0110 — F: 816.228.7592 —


DATE: November 22, 2011

CONTACT: Sara Freetly-Grubb, Communications Specialist

Phone: 816.820.0916


Kim Nakahodo, Communications Manager

Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.651.6449


Missouri Innovation Park moves forward in Blue Springs

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – On November 21, 2011 representatives from the City of Blue Springs, the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation (BSEDC) and University of Missouri signed a Letter of Agreement to develop the first phase of the Missouri Innovation Park (MIP), which represents 63 acres and an 80,000 to 90,000 square foot building with MU as the anchor tenant. Once fully developed, the MIP is projected to be home to more than 40 companies employing 3,700 employees with an annual payroll of $190 million.

“The Missouri Innovation Park is a multi-party collaboration and partnership that represents a shared strategy to complement the economic opportunities of the region,” said Brien Starner, Blue Springs EDC President. “With this signed agreement, the first phase of EDC’s partnership with the City and MU will come to life — which is what we’ve all been working toward since 2008.”

With the vision to develop a science and technology park that competitively attracts a knowledge-based workforce to Blue Springs, the MIP will employ the best-in-class business and master planning. The goal of the MIP is to attract firms and employees linked to a scientific, research-based higher education institution with an entrepreneurial spirit.

"The City of Blue Springs and our stakeholders have remained committed to moving the MIP from an economic dream to reality that support's high quality regional growth,” said Mayor Carson Ross.   “Thanks to the signing of this Letter of Agreement, we hope to start construction on the new building by September 2012 and be ready to cut the ribbon by the first quarter of 2014.”

Located at the southeast quadrant of I-70 and Adams Dairy Parkway, Phase I of the MIP represents 63 acres fronting the Parkway and Adams Pointe Golf Course, with additional acres planned for future Phases of development. After all phases of development are complete in 15 to 25 years, the MIP will represent $340 million in capital investment.


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City of Blue Springs and MU announce major milestone at tonight’s Council Meeting

clock November 21, 2011 13:24 by author Jeff Quibell





903 W. Main Street, Blue Springs, MO 64015  —  P: 816.228.0110  —  F: 816.228.7592  —


DATE:              November 21, 2011

CONTACT:      Kim Nakahodo, Communications Manager

                        Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.651.6449


Media opportunity – City of Blue Springs and MU announce

major milestone at tonight’s Council Meeting

WHO:              Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton

                        MU Provost Brian Foster

                        MU Vice Provost for Economic Development Steve Wyatt

                        Al Black, Executive Director, MIZZOU Center

                        Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation President Brien Starner

                        Blue Springs City Councilmembers

WHEN:           Today, Monday, November 21, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE:         Howard L. Brown Public Safety Building, Multipurpose Room, 1100 SW Smith Street, Blue Springs, Missouri

WHY:              Chancellor Brady Deaton will be attending the Blue Springs City Council meeting to announce a major milestone in the City’s partnership with MU and the Kansas City region. 

CONTACT:    Kim Nakahodo, Communications Manager, (816) 651-6449


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


Twitter:  bluespringsgov

Was Convention Worth The Cost?

clock November 16, 2011 10:00 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResLast week five of our six members of the Blue Springs City Council traveled to Phoenix for the annual National League of Cities Congress of Cities. Thousands of local officials from across our nation gather each year to discuss issues facing our cities, study solutions to the challenges and share successes.

(Councilman Dale Carter was unable to attend as he was in Indianapolis supporting his youngest son’s final competition as a member of the Blue Springs High School Golden Regiment at the National High School Marching Band Championships. The band placed second in their class and 16th overall!)

Upon returning, a Blue Springs resident asked me: “Do you believe the money the city pays for your week in Arizona to be worth the knowledge?” And “Do you find it difficult to attend these conferences in these tough times?” Sincere thanks to this resident for caring enough to ask this important question and for providing the topic for this week’s article.

To the first question, my response was “Yes, I do believe it to be worth the knowledge.” To the second, I replied, “No, I don’t find it difficult.” The investment is small and the return on that investment can be very significant in terms of knowledge and experience gained.

Elected officials should always seek opportunities to expand their awareness of solutions available to them, and find workable resolutions to the challenges that face us. By participating in these seminars and meeting with fellow leaders from across the country, we develop beneficial relationships that expand our opportunities to learn what works for other cities and share our successes with them. Now, as our economy is beginning to improve, is the best time for these investments.

I believe it is imperative that our City Council work together to discover the best solutions to the challenges that face us, and education and collaboration are tools we use to seek out the best solutions. Conferences such as the one in Arizona forge stronger relationships and cooperation among the council members, while recognizing that discussions and disagreements are normal, appropriate and productive when managed respectfully.

Blue Springs City Council Decides on Waste Hauling Issue

clock November 9, 2011 00:59 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @300 Res

Controversial issues come in all shapes and sizes, with the latest focus on the methods and options for trash removal in our community and the definition of public input. Thursday’s Examiner “Our Opinion” column suggested that “It is simply not good enough [sic] tell them to fill out comments cards and, trust us, your input, will be taken into account”. Permanently recording, by written word, the input of the residents of Blue Springs could, in my humble opinion, be considered superior to the spoken word. Sixty-nine residents completed comment cards and gave detailed responses to the questions before them. In this context, by definition input is a statement that expresses a personal opinion or belief or adds information and a statement is a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts.

The editorial writer suggests that we should have sat through “a couple of hours of grief” because it is part of our job. Frankly, I would never consider communicating with my constituents “grief”. In this instance, there were simply too many people to allow everyone the opportunity to speak in the time available. Chairman Lyle Shaver made a wise decision to insure everyone that wished to share their input was given the opportunity to provide their statements. I sincerely appreciate the residents who took the time to provide us with their detailed comments and recommendations, along with the other four Councilmen who attended and interacted with the residents prior to and immediately following the meeting.

Chairman Shaver began the meeting with an explanation of how public input would be received due to the large number of people attending. What is interesting was the total absence of objection to his approach. Not even a murmur went through the crowd. Normally, if disappointment or disgruntlement were occurring, it would be fairly apparent. Instead, the crowd listened intently to the presentation and immediately following, began completing the comment cards, giving their input in written statements. Following the presentation, many stayed afterward to talk with the councilmen and members of the taskforce one on one or in small groups.

Many people I communicated with were upset about the false and/or misleading information they had heard or received. Once we had discussed their initial concerns and began discussing facts, the message was clear: the residents of Blue Springs are satisfied with the current method of trash hauling in our city and want it to remain the same.

Monday evening, the City Council received the recommendations from the taskforce. The five council members present listened to the input of our residents and agreed. The current system works for Blue Springs. We were not distracted by the misinformation or misdirection that was published, and focused on what was important to our residents.

I am a firm believer that anything worth debating should be debated with facts. Then, and only then, can we focus on and arrive at a consensus. The process works when we allow it to follow through to its proper conclusion.