News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Long List of Thanks

clock November 23, 2011 17:52 by author Jeff Quibell

Jeff After 20111121Each year, as we take time to enjoy our national day of Thanksgiving, we stop to consider all the many blessings in our lives. As I reflect on the people in my life, and the community Wanda and I have made our home, the list of blessings is extensive and varied.

On Monday, the city of Blue Springs and the University of Missouri took the next step toward the realization of the Missouri Innovation Park. This is a development that each of us in Blue Springs can be thankful for as it will bring new, quality jobs to our community. I am also thankful for The Examiner’s excellent article on Tuesday. The accurate description of the MIP letter of agreement and the impact on our community was well written and detailed.

Many of our residents are thankful that the long-vacant Kmart building is gone and replaced with a larger Hy-Vee Grocery. The 140 new employees are thankful for the opportunity for employment. While there is still plenty of work to be done, a lot of progress has occurred at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Missouri 7.

I am thrilled with the new QuikTrip on North Missouri 7. Not only did it replace the vacant former gas station on that corner, I can now shop at PriceChopper and use my gasoline rewards on my way to work at the CPros building, next to the Paul Consiglio Center. I am thankful that CPros has this permanent home in which to serve our community’s computer and software needs.

A many of you know this is the first Thanksgiving since the death of my father. I am so thankful for the many years of love, wisdom and humor he shared with me and thankful my mother is here with us and continues to share in my life. Of course, I’m thankful for my wonderful daughters, Ashley and Crystal, and for my amazing wife, Wanda. I am thankful for my brother and sister who shared my childhood and for the five sisters and three brothers in my biological family whom I have had the privilege to meet and love over the last nine years.

The opportunity to meet my biological parents nine years ago, especially my biological mother, ranks very high on my thankful list. When I think of the sacrifices she made to ensure that I had the opportunities she was unable to provide, “thank you” seems so inadequate. This fall, she is undergoing treatment for uterine cancer. I promised her that if she lost her hair during her treatments I would lose mine so she wouldn’t have to go through baldness alone.

This past weekend, the chemotherapy caused her hair to fall out, so first thing Monday morning Mike Courtney of Courtney Bros Barber & Shaving Parlor in Blue Springs graciously shaved the hair from my head. I am thankful for Mike, his business and friendship. I am also thankful for my wool hat!

I hope you each have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving holiday!


Missouri Innovation Park moves forward in Blue Springs

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

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BLUE SPRINGS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

AND THE 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 — www.bluespringsgov.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: November 22, 2011

CONTACT: Sara Freetly-Grubb, Communications Specialist

Phone: 816.820.0916

Email: sara@justbecandid.com

Kim Nakahodo, Communications Manager

Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.651.6449

Email: knakahodo@bluespringsgov.com

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

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CITY OF BLUE SPRINGS, MISSOURI

MEDIA ALERT

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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:              November 21, 2011

CONTACT:      Kim Nakahodo, Communications Manager

                        Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.651.6449

                        Email: knakahodo@bluespringsgov.com

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

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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

Twitter:  bluespringsgov

www.facebook.com/bluespringsgov


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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New Businesses Opening and Personal Achievement are Good for Blue Springs

clock August 17, 2011 01:01 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResGood things continue to happen in Blue Springs, in spite of tough economic times. This past Sunday I had the privilege to attend the Eagle Court of Honor for Riley Kramer of Troop 1058 at First United Methodist Church. Riley’s Eagle Scout project involved placing identifying signposts in Rotary Park at the new Arbor Walk around Railroad Lake. Of all scouts nationwide, only about 5% achieve the highest rank, the rank of Eagle Scout. It is indeed an achievement, and indicative of their commitment, involvement and leadership. Eagle Scouts often grow up to be active in their communities and leaders in industry.

Overlapping with Riley’s Court of Honor was the groundbreaking ceremony for Pointe of Hope Church, which took over the building once used as 84 Lumber, located just North of I-70. The church expects to be open for services in November. I’m sure many of us are excited to see the improvements on this site.

Next to Point of Hope, the new Quik Trip is opening soon, which many in the northern portion of the city have been excited to see. This redevelopment of the former Sinclair station along with the development of Point of Hope church is a significant improvement of this section of 7 Highway.

The City Council will have a work session on the 2011-2012 budget at the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District training facility on 40 Highway on Thursday, August 18 at 6:30pm. The council will discuss options for the allocation of resources, meeting the priorities of our residents, and planning for future projects that will occur as a result of the passage of the Public Safety Tax. The meeting is open to the public, and I encourage you to attend.


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


Back to School for Elected Folks

clock July 7, 2011 08:14 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResThe Missouri Municipal League hosts training sessions for elected officials, providing advice and training to assist us in understanding our roles in city government and to teach us what and even more importantly, what not, to do.

I recently attended this training session in Jefferson City to refresh and update my knowledge. The laws of our state change frequently, and I believe that it is important for elected officials to be as knowledgeable as possible about the position and responsibilities we have accepted.

Topics include the history and structure of Missouri municipal government. There are actually several types or designations of cities in our state, with the Missouri Revised Statutes providing the guidance for each type of city. In the case of Blue Springs, we are a home rule charter city. Cities with a home rule charter are guided by a written charter, approved by a vote of their citizens. Our Charter was adopted on April 5, 1994 and set the rules by which our city is run. You can read a copy of the Charter on the city website at http://bit.ly/BlueSpringsCharter.

Other topics taught include “Revenue Sources and the Hancock Amendment,” “Municipal Budget Process,” “The Missouri Open Meetings and Records Law,” “Parliamentary Procedures, Citizen Dialog and Conflict Resolution.” “Ethics” and “Liability and Risk.”

Exciting stuff.

The “Liability and Risk” class is very important because elected officials who do not fully understand this issue may unwittingly put our residents at risk or cause additional costs to be borne by the taxpayer. Our responsibilities also include enacting ordinances and resolutions as necessary to achieve the objectives of the city and respond to the needs of our residents.

Ministerial decisions are another responsibility of an elected official. A ministerial duty or decision can be defined as one in which a public official is required to perform under a given state of facts, in a prescribed manner, in obedience to the mandate of legal authority.

Basically, if all discretionary precursors to an official act have been completed, and all that remains to be done is the act itself, courts may compel a municipal official to perform such action. In these decisions, there is often little or no room for discretion.

For all these reasons, it is a good policy for councilmen to periodically attend these types of training sessions.

You never know what tidbit of knowledge will help save precious taxpayer dollars.


Representative Jeanie Lauer to chair Truman Heritage Habitat Gala

clock June 14, 2011 17:28 by author Jeff Quibell

Independence, MO – June 10, 2011 – State Representative Jeanie Lauer has been tapped to serve as the Honorary Chairperson for the 2011 Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity American Dream Gala. “We are delighted to have Jeanie’s enthusiasm and leadership for this event,” said Pat Turner, Habitat’s executive director. “This is our major benefit event of the year, and seeks to raise $50,000 toward the cost of building a home for one of our families.”

“I’m proud to be part of Habitat’s efforts to serve eastern Jackson County,” noted Lauer. “The impact that simple, decent, and safe housing has on a family is amazing. For most, homeownership is the most important path out of poverty, and their best opportunity to reach some financial security.”

The 2011 American Dream Gala will be held Saturday, August 20th at the Adams Pointe Conference Center in Blue Springs, MO. Slated to begin at 5:30 p.m., the evening features a silent and live auction, and a program that highlights the mission and celebrates the accomplishments of Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity. Individual tickets are $60, and sponsorship packages begin at $500.

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity office at 816-461-6551 or one of the event co-chairs: Susan Walker, 816-217-2416 or Kathy Nevans, 816-589-4483.

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Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit Christian housing ministry seeking to eliminate poverty housing and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. The affiliate serves Eastern Jackson County, Missouri, USA.

In response to God's love, Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity will expand its housing ministry by building forty homes in the next five years, strengthening community through partnerships that mobilize land, financial, and human resources.