News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

City needs to address sign issue

clock September 9, 2009 17:23 by author Jeff Quibell

DSC04409 As you drive through Blue Springs, there continue to be signs of development. The first phase of Adams Dairy Landing is preparing to open Oct. 11. The McDonald’s that has stood on Missouri 7 for more than 36 years has been demolished and will be rebuilt. The shopping center on Woods Chapel is getting a long needed facelift. The first tenant is getting ready to open in the Southridge Shopping Center. Virtually every part of our city is seeing some kind of development.

Still, much work remains to be done to keep our city moving forward. In a work session last week, the City Council began considering changes to our sign code. This important part of our development code is involved in managing how businesses in our city make us aware they are here and open for business.

During my time in office I heard from many business owners who felt our sign code is too restrictive. If you watch our Planning Commission meetings you will see that time and time again business owners run into obstacles that keep them from getting the signs they want and need to advertise.

The codes are strict to help improve the appearance of our business corridors. Yet if they are too strict, businesses can’t get the signs they need. Parkside Books, behind Einstein Bros. on M-7, is a prime example. Our codes keep them from placing a sign near the highway to let customers know they are there. They have been working with the city for several years to find a way to make their business more visible to no avail.

McDonald’s on M-7 had to limit the length of time for the reconstruction of its store to keep its signature golden arches, which don’t meet our current sign code requirements. Panera Bread had to get special permission for its highway-facing signage because it didn’t meet the requirements of our current sign code. These are just a few examples.

My encouragement to our mayor and council is to listen to the needs of our existing and new businesses and find creative ways to make our city more inviting to the businesses we want and need. I am confident the sign code can be modified to accommodate those needs while keeping our business districts attractive. Be sure to speak with your councilmen and give them your guidance on this important issue for our city!


Rainbow Center’s 10th Annual Golf Classic

clock September 8, 2009 12:14 by author Jeff Quibell

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HOW YOU CAN HELP:

MAJOR BENEFACTOR ... $5,000
Sponsorship includes golf for eight, quality golf gifts, complimentary breakfast and lunch. Major sponsorship recognition will be in all published materials, on the welcome banner, your name on one of the holes and special recognition at the awards ceremonies.

HALL OF FAMER ... $2,500
Sponsorship includes golf for eight, quality golf gifts, complimentary breakfast and lunch. Recognition will be in all published materials, on the welcome banner, your name on one of the holes and recognized at the awards ceremonies.

CHAMPION ... $1,500
Sponsorship includes golf for four, quality golf gifts, complimentary breakfast and lunch. Recognition will be in all published materials, your name on one of the holes, and recognized at the awards ceremonies.

INDIVIDUAL GOLFER ... $195
Includes golf for one, quality golf gift, two drawing tickets, and complimentary breakfast and lunch.

DRINK CART SPONSOR ... $500
Recognition in published materials and
name on Welcome Banner.

CART SPONSOR ... $100
Signage on golf cart. Recognition in published materials.

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If Mother Nature interferes with the golf classic, please consider your sponsorship or fee a donation.

SCHEDULE:

Registration / Breakfast - 7:30 AM
Shotgun Start w/ Cart - 8:30 AM
Awards Luncheon - 1:00 PM

$25 MULLIGAN PACKAGES
Two mulligans, drawing prize ticket and putting contest entry.
Mulligan packages may be purchased with your registration form or on morning of the event.

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For information contact:
Rainbow Center:
816-229-3869
2009 Chairman, John Carlson:
816-556-2134

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Thank you for helping make hopes and dreams come true!

Our MISSION is to provide a safe, nurturing and social environment in order to serve persons with special educational and developmental needs.

10th Annual Golf Classic
The Country Club of Blue Springs
1600 NW Circle Drive
Blue Springs, Missouri 64014
A four-person scramble benefiting
Rainbow Center for Communicative Disorders

www.rainbow-center.org

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Business Owner Treated Poorly

clock August 13, 2009 19:04 by author Jeff Quibell

507_DSC_5450 “Why is the city of Blue Springs so difficult to work with?”

During my time on the City Council, that question came up repeatedly. While there are many answers, an example was seen at the Aug. 3 council meeting.

Over the past several years we have seen significant progress in Blue Springs. Coronado Place, Copperleaf Village, the Mall at Fall Creek and Parker Center are all projects that have addressed blighted areas. Despite opposition from our District 3 council members, each of these projects has improved the visual landscape of our community and enhanced quality of life for our citizens.

One project presented to the council in 2006 was the Village Gardens redevelopment. It had several benefits for our city. It eliminated an aging building, and a beautiful new Village Gardens building was constructed. The old lot was cleaned up and marketing began, with the intention of a new restaurant for the corner. The total project will generate additional revenue for our taxing entities, including the school district, which is the primary reason it supported the project in 2006.

Jump now to the present, and last week’s council meeting. Village Gardens asked for a two-year extension of the deadline of when tax abatement for the corner lot must be activated. The original contract with the city allowed for an extension for reasons beyond the owner’s control. Certainly the current economic downturn constituted reasons beyond the owner’s control. When Council Member Sheila Solon said “... it’s a very bad contract that didn’t serve the citizens,” I have to admit I had a hard time understanding her interpretation.

I find it hard to imagine anyone opposing the elimination of the blight at this location in 2006. Monday evening, Council Members Fowler and Solon attempted to justify that opposition. In my opinion, their poor treatment of a local business owner – one who has invested his own funds in this project – was unnecessary but typical. It illuminates the issue expressed by many business owners and developers of their concern about choosing to do business in our city. As I attended various Chamber of Commerce events last week, the council meeting was a frequent topic of conversation.

On the bright side, Kingsridge Center on Woods Chapel is receiving a facelift. This area is long overdue for attention and redevelopment, and it’s encouraging to see owners investing in their property. As our council members continue to disagree on the best direction for our city, I would encourage you to make your voice heard. Whether you agree or disagree with their statements and actions, let them know your thoughts. And remember, the next City Council election is next April.


Don't Miss the Annual Missouri-Kansas All Star High School Football Game

clock June 9, 2009 17:23 by author Jeff Quibell

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All-Star Challenge XVII Slated For June 18

Today’s Date: June 4, 2009

From: Tony Wrisinger, Co Executive Director GKCFCA

The Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association announces the All-Star Challenge XVIII, This year’s High School Football All Star Game featuring teams from Missouri and Kansas will be played on June 18th at Larry Stewart Memorial Stadium on the campus of Blue Springs South High School in Blue Springs Missouri.

“We are really pleased to have the Blue Springs School District host the game this season,” GKCFCA President and Smithville High Head Coach Greg Smith said. “We have had tremendous support from high school football fans over the years and with this year’s game to be played in a city that is well known for its passion for high school football like Blue Springs, is fantastic.. We expect the event to be outstanding this year.”

The team’s rosters are also attached to this e-mail.

The Kansas squad will be head coached by Shawnee Mission West head Coach Tim Callaghan. The Missouri squad will be head coached by Phil Lascuola of Hogan Prep.

Kansas leads the all-time series 10-6, with one rainout.

Practices begin June 8, and are generally 5:30-8 PM Monday through Friday of that week, and Monday through Wednesday of next week. The Missouri team is practicing at Blue Springs South High School. The Kansas squad is practicing at Shawnee Mission West. Practice is open to the media, but not to the public.

The game will be televised on a tape-delayed by Metro Sports on Friday June 19th at 7 PM and 11 PM, as well as on June 20th at 7 AM and June 21st at 7 PM. Tickets are $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students (with student ID). Advance ticket sales are available at Adam’s Dairy Bank in Blue Springs (816-655-3333).

In addition to the game, the McCarthy Auto Group will sponsor one lucky fans field goal kick for a new car at halftime. The GKCFCA will also award the Warren Award and the Dave Bassore Man of the Year Awards.

Contacts: Tony Wrisinger 816-810-6557 Tim Callaghan (Kansas Coach)913-993-7897

Greg Smith (GKCFCA Pres): 816-260-0988 Phil Lascuola (Missouri Coach 816-444-3464

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Don't miss the Blue Springs Rotary Car Raffle!

clock April 18, 2009 08:00 by author Jeff Quibell

clip_image002The first time I attended the Blue Springs Rotary Car Raffle I had no idea what to expect. What I found was an exciting evening of great food, community fellowship, and an opportunity to win a new car.

The car raffle is Blue Springs Rotary’s premier fund raising event of the year. The money raised goes directly back into the community in the form of grants to Rainbow Center, Hope House, Community Services League, The School of Economics, YMCA, and many other projects and organizations. For example, the club recently donated $6,500 towards the development of the new Disc Golf Park at Young Park. Over the years the club has donated $100,000 towards the development of Rotary Park at Railroad Lake.

clip_image004If you have ever taken your children to the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Rotary Park, you will have seen the club members assisting the Easter Bunny putting out eggs and candy for the kids to find. The list goes on and on, suffice it to say that Blue Springs Rotary is an organization that is deeply rooted in Blue Springs and worthy to support.

On April 18, 2009 the Blue Springs Rotary Club will hold its 18th Annual Car Raffle. The event will be at Adams Dairy Conference Center starting at 6pm. A single ticket comes with dinner for two, a chance to win a car, and costs $120. A second chance at winning the car can be bought for an additional $30, bringing the ticket price to $150.

[It is too late now to purchase your tickets in advance.  Just show up at the door to make your purchase, there are 50 tickets left as of April 18, 2009 at 9am when this article was updated!  Please let them know Jeff Quibell sent you!] 

To buy your ticket to the Raffle contact Jeff Quibell at 816-224-2890 or print the flyer off of my web site at http://tinyurl.com/bsrcarraffle and deliver it along with your check for $150 made out to Blue Springs Rotary, 1200 NW South Outer Road, Blue Springs, MO, 64015.

Only 375 tickets will be sold so don’t miss this exciting event. Wanda and I will be there and we look forward to you joining us for all the fun and excitement!


Heritage Philharmonic Performs with Cellist Matt Johnson of the Kansas City Symphony on March 21st

clock March 15, 2009 12:06 by author Jeff Quibell

The Heritage Philharmonic will feature Kansas City Symphony Cellist Matt Johnson performing the Dvorak Cello Concerto on Saturday March 21, 2009 at the Blue Springs High School Performing Arts Center starting at 7:30pm.  The video clip below is from one of the orchestra's Christmas concerts.  If you print a copy of this article and bring it with you to the concert you will get two tickets for the price of one.  I hope to see you there on March 21st!

 


Blue Springs High School PTSA is again sponsoring the annual "Senior Breakfast"

clock February 22, 2009 10:41 by author Jeff Quibell

Sue Beegle asked me to post the following announcement: --Jeff Quibell

Attention:  Blue Springs High School Parents and/or Business Owners:

In honor of our 2009 BSHS graduates, the BSHS PTSA is again sponsoring the annual "Senior Breakfast".  This is a student only event where they get to eat food (a hot breakfast, imagine that!), get prizes via a raffle and in general have a great time to celebrate their final year.

A BIG part of what makes it fun is the prizes that we raffle off.  I am heading up the committee that will be requesting donations.  We have approximately 535 students graduating this year.  Our goal is to provide around 150 prizes.  I need your help either in the form of a monetary donation, gift card, gift basket or an item you think the kids would enjoy.  This does not have to be a huge amount, even $10 would be much appreciated.

If you want to donate an item, please make it unisex, this is such a fast paced event we can't distinguish the prizes between boys and girls.  Our emcee will announce the winner's name and volunteer parents serve as runners, we only have 1-1/2 to get all of this accomplished.  You will be acknowledged in the printed program for this event as a donator.

Please contact me, Sue Beegle at suebeegle@aol.com or phone my cell at 816-365-1949 if you are willing to help out our kids or just want more information on joining one of the committees that make this a successful event.  Go Wildcats!!!


Who Pays For Business Incentives?

clock February 4, 2009 20:56 by author Jeff Quibell

Wanda and I are taking a brief vacation this week, traveling by car around the southeastern part of the nation.  We watched this week’s council meeting on the Internet while relaxing in Florida.

The discussion surrounding the Parkway Place development was again the main topic in the visitors session. Residents and individuals alike again encouraged Councilmen Fowler, Solon or Shaver to bring the project back up for reconsideration, as they are the only ones who can make this request.

Bill Wrisinger, recently named Blue Springs Business Person of the Year by the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce, spoke to the council again, seeking its help and direction in determining how best to proceed with his project. He mentioned that in the negotiations, the council had offered 353 tax abatement in place of the community improvement district financing that he had originally requested.

Use of 353 tax abatement would result in a reduction of funding to other taxing entities, such as the school district and fire district. The community improvement district imposes a sales tax only on the users of the project, including the many people who would stop in to shop or buy gas as they came through the area on the interstate.  The 353 tax abatement funds the infrastructure improvements by taking away from our school district, and other taxing entities. One has to wonder how that is an improvement for our citizens. 

Some may wonder why a tax incentive is requested at all.  Why shouldn’t the developer pay all of the expenses for his project? The council approved the Parkway Place project; why doesn’t Wrisinger just move forward with that approval?

The answer is that the city is requiring him to pay for road improvements and additional infrastructure that will benefit the entire Adams Dairy Parkway and all existing and future developments along the corridor. When those costs are included in the overall project, the cost of developing the currently vacant land is no longer financially feasible.

The council must evaluate if the incentive requested and the development proposed are worth the expense to our taxpayers. In this case, the resulting project will generate hundreds of thousands in new revenue for the city, so the answer may be yes, as it has been for other developments in the vicinity.

Based on this week’s meeting, it appears some members of the council may prefer for the revenue to come from other taxing entities like our school district. I believe the best solution was the one originally proposed that includes revenue from sources outside our city and provides full funding to our school district.