News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Temporary parking for the Howard Brown Public Safety Building

clock May 28, 2010 14:29 by author Jeff Quibell

Blue Springs, Mo. – The Blue Springs water tower located at 1100 SW Smith Street is currently undergoing cellular communications mounting upgrades and repainting resulting in the loss of 21 parking spaces.  The primary parking lot at the Howard Brown Public Safety Building will be closed until the project is completed in September.

Temporary parking will be available to visitors of the Blue Springs Public Safety and the Community and Youth Outreach Buildings, Municipal Court, Planning Commission, and City Council meetings on the east side of 11th Street.  Handicap accessible parking will be available in the municipal parking lot at 200 SW 11th Street.  Signs are posted at the entrance of the temporary lot for ease of identification.

The parking lot is also used for the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings and Tuesday afternoons and will be unavailable for parking.  Visitors will need to use on-street parking when the Farmers Market is in session.

For more information, contact Chris Sandie, Assistant Director of Public Works at (816) 228-0195.
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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

 


Economic group pushes ahead

clock May 19, 2010 10:32 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 When I began my term on the City Council in 2005, I quickly discovered I had a lot to learn about many diverse subjects. The Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation was just beginning to take shape, and one of the most challenging issues we faced at that time was how to improve the economic development environment in Blue Springs, effectively and efficiently.

The city examined ways to shift the function of economic development from a city department into a public/private partnership that would engage the business community. Business and development leaders worked collaboratively with city staff and elected officials to focus on finding solutions to the issues that were holding back our city.

As the EDC officially structured its organization, private businesses became investing partners by pledging financial support and leadership resources. Founding members included business leaders from all over the area. A complete listing of the current investors of the Blue Springs EDC is available at http://bit.ly/bsedcinvestors.

Wanda and I discussed the opportunity of investing and decided to make a three-year commitment to the organization through our company, CPros. We have since renewed our investment for a second three-year commitment, in support of the EDC and recognition of the success it is achieving as our city restores the focus on positive development, and the quality of life in our city continues to improve.

My business, CPros, is a local company, but over the years, I have learned that my business is not easy to understand. CPros was begun in 1987 by Glenn Beasley, providing custom computer programs for businesses. I joined Glenn in 1994, and our mission has always been to help businesses increase their profitability through computer automation. For example, if you take a music lesson or rent an instrument from Meyer Music, our software helps them manage that process. If Ryan Lawn & Tree takes care of your yard, our software creates the invoices you receive.

CPros expanded about 10 years ago, adding computer network-support options for our customers. We maintain computers and networks for small- to medium-sized businesses, serving as an IT department. We also sell computers, including desktop systems and servers.

Mayor Ross has appointed me to serve on the EDC board of directors, as a representative of the city. As a local public/private partnership, there is always the possibility of conflicts of interest when serving in such a capacity, and I feel it is important that I disclose my company’s affiliation with the EDC. CPros provides technical support and maintains the EDC’s computer network. I take my representation of the city very seriously and will recuse myself from any discussion or vote that might involve my company’s service to the EDC or any conflict that may arise from our business relationship. I appreciate the opportunity to represent our city in this capacity and for Mayor Ross for appointing me to serve on this board.


Disk Golf Course to open May 22 at Wilbur Young Park

clock May 17, 2010 15:46 by author Jeff Quibell

Disk Golf Course to open May 22 at Wilbur Young Park

Blue Springs, Mo. – Blue Springs’ first disk golf course will officially open May 22 at Wilbur Young Park, 1100 SE Adams Dairy Parkway.

Based on traditional golf, disc golf is a fast-growing sport where players throw a flying disc into a metal basket with catch chains. The player that completes the course making the fewest number of throws of the disc wins. The discs are specially designed for various shots of the game – from drivers to mid-range discs to putters.

The Young Park Disc Golf Course is an 18-hole median length, technically difficult course.  The course is geared for both the family and more skilled players. Located in the woods of the north end of Wilbur Young Park, the course is challenging as players must maneuver their shots around trees and over water.

This course is free to the public and open daily from sun up to 10 p.m.  Blue Springs Parks and Recreation Department will host instructional clinics, lessons and tournaments annually.  Score cards can be downloaded from the City’s website at www.bluespringspringsgov.com/scorecard.

Blue Springs received a $49,500 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund of the National Park Service and $6,500 from the Blue Springs Rotary Club for construction of the course; in addition the City Council approved $18,263 from City funds.  Dr. Brouse of the Blue Springs School District assisted in writing the grant application and the Kansas City Flying Disk Club assisted in the course and signage design.  The Building Trades class of Blue Springs High School helped construct the tee pads and the Boy Scouts of America Troop # 58 and Blue Elk District helped in the construction of a bridge and mulching the paths.  Parks Maintenance staff provided labor for general construction.  Special thanks goes to Blue Springs resident John Theiss, who volunteered countless hours in the planning and layout of the course and City of Blue Springs employee, Randy Cooper for coordinating volunteer efforts with the Boy Scouts of America.

The disc fling and unveiling of the entry sign will officially open the Wilbur Young Park Disk Golf Course at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, at Wilbur Young Park.  Souvenir disks will be given to attendees of the dedication.

The first tournament, “The Eastern Front” will be held Sunday, May 23.  The tournament is a double-round and each participant will get a special collector disc.  Check in is at 8:30 am with event beginning at 9:45. To register for the tournament or for information, visit www.kcfdc.org or call (816) 471-3472 (Disc Golf World).  

For more information on this new facility, contact Roscoe Righter, Director of Parks and Recreation at (816) 228-0137 or email to rrighter@bluespringsgov.com.

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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 http://bit.ly/bscc2010 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.


Get familiar with candidates, and go vote

clock March 17, 2010 16:25 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 Candidate forums provide opportunities for those seeking elected positions to speak to the voters and to answer questions on issues and positions.

The Blue Springs Business Association hosted a candidate forum at Clancy’s last week, the first of several organizations to host such an event. Each City Council candidate and the two Board of Education candidates had the opportunity to speak regarding their goals to serve our community. I found the predominantly positive outlook among the candidates encouraging. I have a tremendous amount of respect for those who seek to serve their community, and I understand the commitment and dedication that campaigning involves.

We each have the opportunity and responsibility to influence the direction of our city through those we select to represent us. Blue Springs has three districts; each elects two councilmen on alternating years for three-year terms. District 1 includes the northern section of the city, District 2 covers the central part of the city, and District 3 covers everything south of District 2. To determine exactly which district you live in, go to http://bit.ly/bsccmap for a map.

Each district will be electing one council person on April 6. Take the time to learn about the candidates and their positions on various issues facing our city.:


District 1
Dale Carter – www.ElectDaleCarter.com
James May – www.ElectJamesMay.com

District 2
Sissy Reed – www.SissyReed.com
Chris Lievsay – www.VoteChrisLievsay.com

District 3
Grant Bowerman – www.GrantBowerman.com
Michael W Freeman – www.MichaelWFreeman.com

Review the information on each candidate’s Web site, and contact them if you have additional questions. Talk to them about what is important to you and how you would like them to represent you. Voting is a sacred responsibility. Vote for the candidate you believe will best serve our city.

On Thursday, the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce will host a lunch-hour forum at Adams Pointe Conference Center. Call  816-229-8558 to make reservations. The Eastern Jackson County Builders and Developers Association forum is also Thursday at the Blue Springs Country Club. The social hour begins at 6 p.m. with a dinner for $15 served at 7 p.m. The program follows dinner, during which the candidates will introduce themselves and answer questions from the audience.

Louis L’Amour said “To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.” April 6, vote!


Eastern Jackson County Builders Association – Candidate Forum

clock March 15, 2010 17:12 by author Jeff Quibell

Following is information regarding another candidate forum for the upcoming April 6th city council election in Blue Springs.

 

Jeff,

Below is a reminder I mailed out to all of our members about the upcoming Candidates Forum we will be holding at our next meeting, this Thursday. If you think your readers would like to attend, please feel free to pass it along. Make sure it is clear that dinner at the meeting will cost $15, so no one is caught off guard.

The March Meeting of the Eastern Jackson County Builders and Developers Association will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at the Elks Lodge at 100 NE Brizendine Road in Blue Springs.
Social Hour will begin at 6:00 pm, with Dinner at 7:00 pm.
Association business and an industry related program will follow dinner. This month we will be holding a Candidates Forum for those running for City Council positions in the Cities of Blue Springs and Grain Valley. Each candidate will have a few minutes to introduce themselves and explain their stance on major issues of their election. A Question & Answer session will follow.
Feel free to pass this invitation along to friends, neighbors, and business acquaintances so they can join us to hear the candidates speak.
The cost of Dinner is $15, the Social Hour will be sponsored by:
Kansas City Power & Light - Kristin Riggins
Midwest Lumber - Ray Mager
Reece Nichols - Lakewood - Renee Ryan-Edwards
Stewart Title Company - Cindy Hood
We will also be holding our Annual Election of Directors, so plan to attend.
The next regular meeting will be held on Thursday, April 15, 2010.

Fred Byam
Secretary-Treasurer
Eastern Jackson County
Builders & Developers Assn.
3501-G S. Sterling Ave.
Independence, MO 64052
816-252-3519


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!


Innovation Park plans advancing

clock January 13, 2010 10:50 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQ Photo There is a lot of talk around town regarding the Missouri Innovation Park, a development that is sure to change the face of the future of Blue Springs. A “Show Me” attitude is part of the culture in Missouri, and some need to see dirt moving and buildings under construction to truly believe that the Innovation Park, bringing with it the desired growth of quality jobs, is a reality.

Community leaders in Blue Springs laid a path many years ago, putting in place the key components to support the development of the Innovation Park by establishing the vision for Adams Dairy Parkway. As that vision has evolved, we have seen the addition of retail and restaurants, which add another component necessary to the realization of the original vision for Adams Dairy Parkway.

Two and a half years ago, as the first details regarding the park began to emerge, Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation President Brien Starner and I had long conversations about the potential the park brought to our community. It was clear that the stars were aligning for success. A project of this type normally takes, on average, approximately five years to develop the support of all the various organizations necessary for success.

In this instance, the Missouri Innovation Park has the support of the City of Blue Springs, the University of Missouri, the Blue Springs School District, the Central Jackson Country Fire Protection District, the Blue Springs Economic Development Corp., the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Kansas City Area Development Council, Jackson County, the Mid-Continent Public Library system, and many other entities in the region and state in just two short years.

This support by so many public and private organizations is vital to the success of the project and is a direct result of the passion and commitment of current and past mayors and councils, Brien Starner, and the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation members.
Despite the current national economy, the project has continued to move forward. New legislation, referred to as “Jobs for the Future,” has been filed and would enable projects like the Missouri in Innovation Park not only for Blue Springs, but also for progressive communities all over Missouri. This legislation would allow cities more control over their own economic destiny, with the intent of attracting high-quality public and private jobs.

Our city now stands at a precipice of key decisions and actions. As citizens, we need to join with our elected leaders and the leaders of these supporting organizations to see the fulfillment of this vision for our city. In the coming weeks there will be announcements that will show visible progress and the beginning of construction of the Mizzou Innovation Center which will anchor the project and provide the intellectual property that will spur the creation of high-tech jobs in the park. The possibilities are endless, and I am excited to see this vision come to fruition.