News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

City addresses sidewalk repairs

clock June 9, 2011 10:42 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResPatronizing our local businesses is important to helping our local economy grow and prosper.

This morning, I had the pleasure of dining at a new Blue Springs restaurant, Sandy’s Restaurant on U.S. 40. I enjoyed a great, traditional café breakfast; the staff was friendly and provided prompt, outstanding service. This gem of a business was a great way to start my day.

While dining, I contemplated the results of Monday’s City Council meeting. It was the first meeting in my new term that had a substantial number of issues on the agenda. Most importantly, the council approved the city’s 2011-12 capital improvements program. This document provides for planning major improvements over the next six years, as well as those we would like to achieve but don’t currently have funding to complete.

There was considerable discussion on a proposal from Councilman Chris Lievsay to remove $200,000 annually from our street maintenance program and use it to begin repairing the city’s 2,000 sidewalk defects. This potential change in policy would place more of the responsibility of maintaining sidewalks with the city and could significantly improve the condition of our sidewalks over the next 12 years.

My initial concern was the potential impact on our street overlay program. Both sidewalks and streets are high priorities, according to our most recent citizen survey.

The council and city staff determined that we would still be able to continue to meet our goal of at least 15 miles of street overlay per year and the integrity of the program would be maintained. The council unanimously approved the use of these funds for sidewalk repairs and will discuss the modification of our development codes to include maintenance of sidewalks as a city responsibility at the next council meeting.

Also important to our residents, the council approved enhancements to the Woods Chapel and Interstate 70 interchange that are a part of the 2008 voter-approved bond issue. Progress on the redevelopment of Woods Chapel from Duncan Road to Walnut Street continues at a good clip. The project is scheduled for completion in 2013.

This long-awaited redevelopment is vital to the Woods Chapel corridor and will facilitate additional investment and redevelopment, keeping this gateway to our city in balance with other improvements taking place in Blue Springs.


Closings, openings in Blue Springs

clock May 11, 2011 07:50 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResA common topic of conversation over the past several years has been the seemingly endless supply of empty buildings in Blue Springs. It’s a difficult situation, but there are glimmers of progress. The demolition of the old Sinclair station on Highway 7 began this week, making way for a new Quik Trip at the corner of Shaw Parkway and Highway 7. Those of us who do our shopping at Price Chopper will enjoy the convenience when utilizing the benefits of the partnership between Price Chopper and Quik Trip, as we enjoy the savings on our gas purchases.

Hy-Vee at the corner of 40 Hwy and 7 Hwy is well on its way to accomplishing a total remodel of the old K-Mart building with a new state of the art grocery store in the center of Blue Springs. Previously, I thought of the US-40 and Highway 7 intersection as the south end of town, but if you look at a map of our city you will find it is very close to the geographical center. I fully expect this development to be a catalyst for even more exciting enhancements to Blue Springs in the coming years.

Not long ago I realized that the Bua Thai restaurant had closed. I really enjoyed this restaurant and was disappointed to see it closed. Fortunately, a Thailand restaurant is now preparing to open in the Copperleaf Village shopping center across the street. I admit it; I peaked in the window this morning. I don’t know if it is the same owners or not, but some of the pictures and decorations are the same. I’m looking forward to tasting their cuisine!

These changes on our main north-south business corridor are encouraging. In the coming months our City Council will be examining policies that have restricted our existing businesses on Highway 7 and seeking solutions that will help businesses enhance their facilities and continue to improve the appearance of our city!


Progress coming in Blue Springs

clock April 14, 2011 00:11 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @300 ResAnother election day has come and gone, and the voters of Blue Springs have spoken. I am honored to once again represent District 1 residents as their voice on the city council. I will continue to provide information and updates on issues of concern to the residents of Blue Springs through my newsletters on www.AboutBlueSprings.com and articles in our local newspapers. As we work together to make our city the best it can possibly be, interaction and discussion with the citizens is crucial. Please share your thoughts with me; 816-223-2865 or jeffq@cprosinc.com.

I am eager to work with the Mayor and other members of the Council. Significant effort will be required to realize the vision of Missouri Innovation Park, the revitalization of our downtown area and the continued redevelopment on MO-7Hwy and US-40 Hwy. Progress, at times, seems painfully slow. However, I believe that we are moving deliberately and conscientiously forward in the direction of our goals for Blue Springs.

The plan for the expansion and upgrade to the Woods Chapel corridor now includes a 3 million dollar grant that will extend the road improvements from Duncan Road just North of I-70 south to Walnut Street, just past Old Mill Park. The timeline for full completion of this critical project extends into 2013, and includes significant enhancements to the corridor that will encourage quality development of this gateway into our city. We are all anxious to see this project advance as quickly as possible.

In future articles, I will address these and many other issues that are facing the city, along with items of interest as they arise. Thank you for the wonderful support over the years and for the opportunity to again be of service to the citizens of Blue Springs!


Remember to Vote on April 5th

clock April 2, 2011 15:23 by author Jeff Quibell

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Thank you for your support of our community!


City of Blue Springs to consider becoming a Let’s Move! city

clock March 7, 2011 07:55 by author Jeff Quibell

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CITY OF BLUE SPRINGS, MISSOURI

MEDIA ADVISORY

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: March 6, 2011

CONTACT: Kim Nakahodo, Communications Manager

Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.651.6449

Email: knakahodo@bluespringsgov.com

City of Blue Springs to consider becoming a Let’s Move! city

with special guest, Judy Baker, regional director of the US Department of

Health and Human Services (HHS)

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – On Monday, March 7, the Blue Springs City Council will hear a presentation from Judy Baker about First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. This initiative was created by the First Lady and the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the nation’s effort to raise a healthier generation of children. The City Council Meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Howard Brown Public Safety Building, 1100 SW Smith Street, Blue Springs.

Judy Baker is the Region 7 director for the US Department of Health and Human Services. Baker is a former member of the Missouri House of Representatives, representing the 25th District before being appointed as HHS Regional Director in 2009. In the legislature, she was a lead sponsor of several health care reform initiatives and related legislation, and also founded the "Healthy Missourians" Caucus, a bi-partisan caucus that promoted prevention and responsible approaches to health care delivery in the state.

Let’s Move! is driven by principles that will improve the health of children from a young age through good nutrition and physical activity, while giving parents the information they need to make that possible,” said Baker.  “I applaud Blue Springs and their multi-stake holder approach in reducing childhood obesity by including elected officials, schools, faith-based and community-based organization, local businesses and health care professionals.”

Dave Wright, President of StandUp Blue Springs, will then outline the proposed plan for engaging citizens of Blue Springs to develop and implement innovative ideas for improving the health of the children throughout the community. He will recommend two citizen-led summits, June 18 and July 9, facilitated by StandUp, similar to those that helped develop the Dog Park at Grounds Park and the Disc Golf Course at Wilbur Young Park. At the completion of these summits, a prioritized list of projects linked to the Let’s Move! goals, teams committed to seeing these projects through, as well as a plan for implementing the projects will be in place. StandUp will also ensure ongoing communication with key stakeholder groups which are already committed to this important initiative.

“I have always been impressed with the creativity of the citizens of this community,” said Wright.   “We have a history of citizen-led initiatives, focused on making Blue Springs an even better city.  Let’s Move! gives us an opportunity to use the ideas and energy of the people who live here to improve the health of our children and grandchildren.” 

In December 2010, Mayor Ross attended a National League of Cities Conference session where U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Judy Baker discussed the Let’s Move! Program. Mayor Ross and several staff members met with the Board of StandUp Blue Springs to discuss the possibility of becoming a Let’s Move! city. In January 2011, Mayor Ross and staff met with several community leaders to determine their level of interest and commitment for the program. StandUp Blue Springs has agreed to facilitate this initiative.

“The program is designed to encourage communities to adopt a long-term, sustainable, and holistic approach to fight childhood obesity,” said Mayor Ross. “This initiative allows the City to partner with community organizations like StandUp Blue Springs to address this important public health issue, with the overall goal being to develop a healthier city for residents of all ages.”

Let’s Move! is a comprehensive approach to engage the many sectors that reach children, including schools, parents, families, community leaders, governments and businesses. To become a Let’s Move! city, a municipality chooses at least one action to take during a 12-month period in each of the following four pillar areas:

1) Help parents make healthy family choices;

2) Create healthy schools;

3) Provide access to healthy and affordable food; and

4) Promote physical activity.

After the presentation, Mayor Ross will request the City Council to pass a resolution in support of the Let’s Move! initiative and supporting grant applications to be submitted by StandUp to provide funding for the program.

For more information about Let’s Move! Blue Springs, visit www.bluespringsgov.com/letsmove or for information, contact Sheryl Morgan at (816) 655-0495.

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Want to showcase your Chili? Submit your entry form for Jeff Quibell’s Blue Springs Chili Cook-off

clock January 10, 2011 10:42 by author Jeff Quibell

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A fundraiser for Citizens for Jeffrey Quibell
Candidate for Blue Springs City Council, District 1

$25.00 Chili Contestant Entry

Submit your entry form and $25 fee to Citizens for Jeffrey Quibell
by January 19th, 2011

 

Contestants should provide 3 gallons of chili for tasting and judging. Electrical power will be provided, please bring your own crock-pot or chafing dish.
Contestants may arrive with their chili beginning at noon on January 23rd.
Contest will be open to the public from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Questions: Contact Mike Parker at 816-678-9181 or Jeff Quibell at 816-223-2865

Event Location
The Cotillion
1717 Burdett Crossing
Blue Springs, MO 64015

Chef’s Name or Company:______________________________

Address: ____________________________________________

City, State, Zip: ______________________________________

Phone: _____________________________________________

Email: ______________________________________________

Team Name: _________________________________________

Name of Chili: _______________________________________

Category: ___ 4-Alarm Firehouse Chili (spicy-hot)

___People’s Choice Chili (average)

Submit entry form and check to: Citizens for Jeffrey Quibell
601 NW Jefferson, Ste 4, Blue Springs, MO 64014


Setting good policies is important to our community

clock December 17, 2010 14:48 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResElection filing for the April 5th election opened this past Tuesday morning, and I waited eagerly for the doors at City Hall to open. It was good to see familiar faces, people that I had worked closely with during my prior service on the council. Kathy Richardson, the city clerk, verified that I had provided all the proper documentation: voter registration, declaration of candidacy, financial disclosures, and proof of payment of taxes and fees. I am officially a candidate for City Council District 1.

Serving as a councilman is an important part of our local government, as the council sets policy for the city. The economy is showing some signs of improvement in certain areas, but our leaders need to continue to set good policies to keep our city one of the most desirable to live, work, play and raise our families.

One Issue that the council will be addressing in the near future includes primary job creation through efforts like the Missouri Innovation Park. This project will bring more high paying jobs to the community and directly impact other developments in our city. More jobs means more people, more people means new quality homes to be built. The resulting growth of our city will draw attention to our business districts and create opportunities to fill empty buildings and refurbish old existing structures along our business corridors.

The council will also soon address a pressing need created by a mandate of the federal government. It is way past time for the modernization of our public safety communications system. We are blessed to have a great police department in Blue Springs, but we must upgrade our radio systems from analog to digital or our officers will be unable to communicate with dispatch or each other after December 31st, 2012.

Working to solve these issues and helping our city progress in positive ways is very important and my goal will be to work together with the Mayor and the other members of the city council to further the core values of our community.

I will work hard for the residents of District 1 and I am hopeful that they will once again honor me with the opportunity to be of service to them and our entire city. You can reach me by email at jeffq@cprosinc.com or by phone at 816-228-1831.


Annual Citizen Survey Reflects Improvements in Citizen Satisfaction

clock November 16, 2010 11:17 by author Jeff Quibell

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CITY OF BLUE SPRINGS, MISSOURI

PRESS RELEASE

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: November 16, 2010

CONTACT: Kim Nakahodo, Communications Manager

Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.651.6449

Email: knakahodo@bluespringsgov.com

Blue Springs Residents Give High Marks for City Services

Annual Citizen Survey Reflects Improvements in Citizen Satisfaction

Blue Springs, Mo. – Results of Blue Springs’ annual DirectionFinder Citizen Satisfaction Survey are in, and findings reflect significant improvements in citizen satisfaction with City programs and services. According to the most recent survey, which was conducted during the Fall of 2010, Blue Springs residents are pleased with the City overall, particularly in the areas of public safety, parks facilities and the leadership and quality of customer service of the city staff and elected officials.

The DirectionFinder Survey, which is administered by ETC Institute, is designed to assess citizen satisfaction with the delivery of major city services and to help determine priorities for the community as part of the City’s ongoing planning process.

Findings from the survey indicate that a majority of residents (79%) are pleased with the quality of the police services and protection of the Blue Springs Police Department, 73% are satisfied with the quality of the City’s water and sewer utilities, 81% are pleased with the quality of City parks facilities and 81% are satisfied with the City’s primary communication source with residents, the Blue Springs Magazine.

Citizens are also satisfied with the overall customer service the City provides its residents through various programs and services. According to the survey, 82% of residents who had utilized City Services in 2009 and 2010, rated City employees as courteous and polite and indicated employees were easy to contact.

During his presentation of the survey results to the City Council on November 15, Chris Tatham of ETC Institute said, “the City should be very proud of this year’s results, many communities across the nation have experienced significant declines in citizen satisfaction due to the current economic environment, Blue Springs has continued to improve on last year’s results, with several areas improving by at least 10%.”

Tatham also noted that of the 87 areas that were assessed in 2009, the City of Blue Springs improved or stayed the same in 73 of those areas. Some of the more significant increases included:

· Flow of traffic and congestion management (+12%)

· Availability of info about City programs/services (+15%)

· City managing its growth (+10%)

· Availability of bicycle lanes (+17%)

· Availability of walking and biking trails (+17%)

· Maintenance of neighborhood streets (+12%)

· City efforts to keep you informed on local issues (+12%)

“This type of significant improvement in major service areas where communities around the country are generally seeing decline, is commendable” said Tatham. “The City of Blue Springs can be proud of its accomplishments in 2010, and should continue exercising the planning and implementation necessary to maintain quality services for its residents.”

Other major findings show significant increases in citizen satisfaction with the quality of Blue Springs’ leadership, which increased by 20% since 2007. Mayor Carson Ross said he attributes such high marks to a vision that he believes is shared by City Council, staff and many community stakeholders.

“In April 2008, I was elected by the citizens of Blue Springs to create a cohesive vision and direction for our community. Together with staff and the City Council, we established a number of new programs, citizen engagement efforts and new spending priorities to meet citizens’ needs for a quality community. We continue to implement and plan for many of the ideas and priorities set forth in our citizen visioning process and Council strategic planning. We can attribute the success of the 2010 survey to the efforts of our city leaders to listen, plan and act accordingly.”

City Administrator Eric Johnson, while pleased with the results from this year’s survey, said he is focused on the importance of using the annual assessment document for future planning efforts.

“We are pleased to know that residents have become increasingly satisfied with city services,” said Johnson. “Perhaps more important, however, is how we will use the survey as a planning tool to help guide important program and service decisions in the future. Our purpose for conducting the survey is to gauge not only how well we’re doing, but to determine what areas need additional attention in the upcoming year. Our goal is to always understand the expectations and priorities of our residents and customers and use feedback to continuously help us improve everything we do.”

While results reflected significant improvements in several areas, the survey also provided indication where additional focus is warranted. According to the survey, the three major areas that residents thought should receive the most emphasis from the City over the next two years include (1) maintenance of City streets and sidewalks, (2) the flow of traffic and congestion in Blue Springs, and (3) the effectiveness of community planning.

“Each year the City attempts to address these areas of citizen concerns through its annual Operating Budget, Capital Improvements Program (CIP), and best practice implementation,” said Johnson.

“As an example, the City Council has continued to use the DirectionFinder Survey results to develop an aggressive Street Maintenance Program that allocates $2.5 million a year to rehabilitate streets throughout the City. In the future we will continue to utilize the DirectionFinder survey as a mechanism to help align citizens’ service priorities with the policy goals of our City Council,” Johnson added.

Although the City has been conducting regular citizen surveys since 1989, this was the seventh time Blue Springs conducted a DirectionFinder Survey. The first DirectionFinder was administered in 2000. The full report of the 2010 citizen survey results is located on the City’s website at www.bluespringsgov.com/citizensurvey.

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