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!


Always Leave Your Campsite Just a Little Better Than How You Found It–Remember to Vote on April 5th

clock March 25, 2011 11:06 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 Res“Always leave your campsite just a little better than how you found it.” Adult Scout leaders often shared this fundamental principal with my scout troop. As I completed the requirements for Eagle Scout, it became a foundation for my beliefs and goals as an adult and later as an elected official.

I have visited thousands of homes in Blue Springs and have found residents very consistent in their expectations. They want their elected officials to find ways to make our city just a little better than how they found it. This basic philosophy of improvement is important to the long-term health of our community, and I feel very strongly that it is important for our elected officials to pursue such a worthy goal.

This year, residents are sharing with me their excitement about new shopping and dining opportunities that have come to our city, but they are concerned about the economy and looking to our elected officials, both locally and nationally, to find solutions. They are looking for a return to prosperity in the housing industry, and especially interested in insuring that the housing provided for our citizens is of high quality and yet affordably priced. The hope for older businesses to update their facilities and empty buildings to be better utilized continues, while recognizing that progress has been made in this area, there remains much to be done.

Missouri Innovation Park continues to move forward with small steps of accomplishment. I am committed to assisting with the facilitation of this project and to the quality jobs that will come as a result of its success. With new business and new employees, increased demand for housing and increased revenue for existing business will result in a stronger economy for our city.

Current city policy prevents or limits the renovation of many existing business facilities in Blue Springs. Many years ago, zoning policies were enacted that designated the location of specific industries within certain business corridors; car dealerships placed along the Outer Road, as an example. The unintended consequence of those policies is that existing businesses are prevented or limited in their options to improve their buildings when their location is inconsistent with existing zoning. Fixing the problem will require revised policies that will allow existing businesses to improve their properties, while still requiring new businesses to locate in the appropriate corridors of the city. This is a beginning step in the necessary process of addressing the blight and vacant buildings, and will show support and appreciation of the existing businesses that have sustained our community for many years.

I am excited about the opportunity to assist in finding solutions to all of the issues facing our city. Please remember to vote on April 5th. I will work hard to make our city better than it is today.


New Stores and Restaurants Announced for Adams Dairy Landing

clock January 18, 2011 21:32 by author Jeff Quibell

Miscellaneous 004RED Development announced at tonight’s Blue Springs City Council meeting new stores and restaurants for Adams Dairy landing.  The new Verizon store being constructed next to Olive Garden is scheduled to open in February or March.  Chick-Fil-A is expecting to open in August.  Arby’s is planning to open on the eastern end of the I-70 pad sites in the Fall of 2011.  Michaels is now looking to open on February 4th. 

Ulta, a popular cosmetics store is planning to locate in the shopping center in the former Books-A-Million location.  Projected revenues from this project are double those projected for the former tenant which is an exciting improvement for this project.  If you are unfamiliar with Ulta, their website is located at http://www.ulta.com/.

Ross, a family clothing store, announced their intention to locate in the shopping center.  Their website is located at http://www.rossstores.com/.

Replacing the former Lowe’s store will be 50,000 sq. ft. T.J. Max and Home Goods combination store on the east side of  shopping center.

Finally, Charming Charlie will be opening a store in Adams Dairy Landing.  This highly popular fashion accessory store may open as soon as Fall 2011.  You can learn more about Charming Charlie at http://www.charmingcharlie.com/home.

.


Council Handled Project Respectfully

clock October 27, 2010 09:31 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 One of the most important tasks of a councilman is to weigh the evidence and to evaluate how each project fits the city’s plan. The City Council recently considered and approved a change to a controversial project, Parkway Estates, a housing development originally approved when I was on the council in 2006. As I watched the meeting, I experienced a bit of a déjà vu moment, as many of the same citizens were present to express their opposition to the changes requested by the landowner.


I was proud of the entire council for the respectful manner in which they addressed the developer’s request and the citizen’s concerns. The council members invested significant time studying the issues and history surrounding this development, as well as listening and considering the points of view of the neighbors and constituents throughout the city.


Evaluating a change to an existing development requires familiarity with the city’s comprehensive plan as well as the many development ordinances. It was clear from the meeting that our councilmen did their homework. As each councilman spoke of his reasons for voting either for or against the request, their commitment to their position and to the integrity of their oath of office was apparent. Each drew from their own experience and evaluated the developer’s request based on what they believe is best for the City of Blue Springs, and I applaud their honesty and dedication.


A friend who has lived in Blue Springs longer than I have shared that when the Timber Oaks subdivision was completed, the developer came to the city for approval of an additional street, with the intent of building smaller patio homes. He stated that the neighbors came out in force, concerned that the new smaller homes would destroy property values, along with a variety of negative arguments to attempt to stop the project. Ultimately that project was approved and built. Today you would never know it was a separate project. These well-kept homes have been an excellent addition to the area, adding another choice of homes for buyers.


The Parkway Estates project will bring quality homes to the city that fit the plan for the area. While the neighbors did not get all they asked for, their input into the process was vital to improving the quality of the resulting proposed project. Citizens with concerns should always participate in the process of project review. That is the purpose of public hearings. In the end, the council effectively evaluated the project and achieved a fair conclusion to the process. Watch the meeting at http://bit.ly/cc20101018.


We are blessed to have a diverse and dedicated council in Blue Springs. One of them, Jeanie Lauer, has chosen to seek the office of State Representative in District 54. Jeanie has proven her leadership during her time on the council and will be a great advocate for our city and the other cities in District 54. I encourage each of you to remember to vote on November 2, and if you live in District 54, to cast your ballot for Jeanie Lauer.


Mizzou Reaching Out to Grad Students

clock September 3, 2010 12:21 by author Jeff Quibell

- PRESS RELEASE -

Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

 
 

Blue Springs, MO- Sept 3, 2010-

For more information, contact:

Ann Judd

Blue Springs EDC

816-228-0210

ajudd@bluespringsedc.com

 

Mizzou Reaching Out to Grad Students

The following video story was aired on Kansas City's Fox4News on Thursday, September 2, 2010.

BLUE SPRINGS, MO - More students are looking to stay closer to home to further their education, and as a result the University of Missouri is bringing a unique program to the metro area as specialized graduate classes are now underway at the new Mizzou Center in Blue Springs.
FOX 4's John Pepitone is Working for You with the report.

Click on the following image:

For more information about The Mizzou Center and/or the Missouri Innovation Park, checkout our website at www.bluespringsedc.com/innovation.aspx.

###

 

Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

1600 NE Coronado Drive

Blue Springs, MO  64014

www.ThinkBlueSprings.com

   
 

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


City makes home ownership easier

clock August 12, 2010 15:05 by author Jeff Quibell

jeffqmug Recently, Wanda and I helped our youngest daughter, Ashley, move to Lexington, Mo., into a house she is renting, as she prepares to teach early childhood/special education there this fall.

It surprises me how quickly time passes. It seems only yesterday that Wanda and I moved to Blue Springs. I remember our progression from apartment dwellers to home renters and finally homeowners. My parents were there to help with each move, and Wanda and I are pleased to be able to help our girls as they take their place in the adult world.

For our community to be inviting, we need to provide for the entire cycle of housing choices that most people require as they make the transition from apartment rental to home ownership, and retirement or assisted living choices. As a community, we must ensure that quality housing is accessible at each step along the way.

In Blue Springs, we have an appropriate mix of housing for our citizens to choose from, with rental opportunities, starter homes, move-up housing and retirement options. Last week the City Council expanded the options for qualified buyers by establishing a first-time home buyers program.

District 1 City Councilman Dale Carter ran for office on a platform that included developing this type of program. Just four months later, he succeeded in receiving the unanimous approval of the council to establish a fund for first-time homebuyers using federal Community Development Block Grant funds.

Wanda and I own a rental duplex townhome in Blue Springs, and over the years, we have rented to many young families who simply didn’t have the resources to make a purchase when they first became our tenants. We have found it typical that our tenants will stay for a few years, and then they are able to accomplish their goal of home ownership and purchase their first home. We are always thrilled to see this transition and ready to provide a home for the next family that is just one step away from home ownership.

Dale’s program will make it easier for our city’s renters to take that next step and as a result provide buyers for those wishing to move to their second or third home. Without those first-time buyers, the cycle of home purchasing stagnates and the pool of buyers is reduced, which can cause home values to decline. So while the program provides a direct benefit for a limited number of homebuyers, the indirect benefit is much wider. Soon, with the development of Missouri Innovation Park, it will be possible for even more of our citizens to live, play, and work right here in Blue Springs!

Congratulations to Councilman Carter for demonstrating effective leadership and for working with the mayor and the rest of the council to continue to keep Blue Springs the best place in the nation to raise a family!