News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Exciting Development in City

clock February 22, 2012 19:29 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResMayor Carson Ross likes to say Blue Springs is a city “on the move,” and it’s obvious throughout our city that his statement is accurate.

With the exceptionally mild winter we’re experiencing, commercial development at Adams Dairy Landing is progressing at a brisk pace. Ulta Beauty is now open and the buildings for TJ-Maxx/Home Goods, Ross Dress for Less and additional lifestyle shops are close to completion.

The city recently began requesting bids on the long anticipated improvements for Woods Chapel Road, continuing to fulfill the promise of redeveloping this important north-south corridor. At the most recent City Council work session, the council agreed to request assistance from the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation regarding recommendations for a strategic plan to redevelop our Missouri 7 and U.S. 40 corridors. We also agreed to complete the formal review of our city’s comprehensive plan, a review that is significantly overdue and will ensure the city is better prepared for future development efforts.

Not all politics were local last week. I had the great pleasure of going to Jefferson City to talk with our state legislators regarding a variety of issues of interest to our city.

I met with many representatives and senators and experienced a great deal of pride as I frequently heard how well our city is represented by District 54 Rep. Jeanie Lauer. Over and over again her colleagues spoke of what an effective, strong leader she is for Blue Springs. Having worked closely with Jeanie in recent years, this confirmed what I already knew about her dedication to the residents of our city and her genuine concern for the best interest of our community. It’s gratifying to know that others recognize her integrity and sincerity. We are fortunate to have her in Jefferson City!

We began interviewing candidate development teams last week, one of which will partner with the city and University of Missouri for the design and development of the 50,000- to 80,000-square foot Mizzou Center building. The Mizzou Center will focus on research, continuing education and community outreach functions in Missouri Innovation Park and will serve as the anchor tenant for this important project.

The land for the first phase of development in the park is now under control of the city, and we are on track for visible development before the end of the year. The location is just south of Adams Dairy Landing, at the corner of R.D. Mize Road and Adams Dairy Parkway.

Jackson County’s regional rail proposal now includes two potential stops in Blue Springs – one downtown and one at the southern edge of the Innovation Park. These two stops will assist Main Street Alive in downtown redevelopment efforts and help to accelerate the development of Missouri Innovation Park. This proposal is likely to be a November ballot issue in Jackson County.

Blue Springs is “on the move?” Yes, mayor, we certainly are!


City Looking At A Year Of Progress

clock January 4, 2012 10:06 by author Jeff Quibell

2011-12-08 10-40-58.261The changing of the calendar to a new year is typically seen as a time for fresh starts and new beginnings.

For Blue Springs, 2012 will be the year in which we see visible progress on the Missouri Innovation Park on Adams Dairy Parkway. As the University of Missouri prepares to break ground at its permanent location in Blue Springs, its involvement and commitment will raise the visibility and viability of MIP to the world’s animal-health-related companies, along with other entities and organizations.

It will take time, but we anticipate the demand for locations within the MIP will result in new, high-quality jobs for Blue Springs residents and those in the surrounding areas.

This year will also see the installation of the new digital radio system for our Police Department. This system, paid for by the public safety tax that Blue Springs voters approved last year, will substantially improve our Police Department’s communication ability and will help make our city safer. The improvements to the public safety building will enhance downtown and provide an improved workplace for our police officers.

Hopefully, 2012 will see progress on the regional transit proposal, which could bring even more activity to our downtown in the coming years.

The redevelopment of Woods Chapel Road continues, and residents will see utilities relocated this spring in preparation for the widening and resurfacing from Duncan Road on the north all the way south to Walnut Street. Right-of-way acquisition is under way, and we should see work on the road begin this year, with scheduled completion scheduled for 2013. The new diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 70 will improve the flow of traffic, especially during rush hour, and the signalized intersection at Duncan Road will make that area safer and less congested.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest appreciation for the many cards, notes, copies of the newspaper and kind words regarding the story of the Christmas ornaments from my birth mother. To Martin Augustine of KMBC Channel 9 News and Lee Hill Kavanaugh of The Kansas City Star, thank you for telling the story in such a wonderful and compassionate manner. The response has been overwhelming and very much appreciated. For those who missed the stories, they can be viewed at http://bit.ly/QuibellOrnaments and http://bit.ly/AnnChristmas.
Happy new year, everyone! I look forward to another year of sharing with you all of the great things happening in Blue Springs!


Transit could transform area–Blue Springs would gain under rail plan

clock December 14, 2011 11:17 by author Jeff Quibell

75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 ResCommunity and elected leaders in Blue Springs are consistently looking for opportunities to provide better services to our residents. Several years ago, as a downtown revitalization plan was developed for Blue Springs, we identified a number of key items that would advance development in the downtown corridor. A rail station that would act as a transit portal to the rest of the Kansas City region was an integral piece of the plan, as it would bring people into downtown Blue Springs and act as a catalyst for new development.

Recently, the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance held a number of public forums to share information about the new Regional Rail initiative supported by County Executive Mike Sanders and many of the Mayors in the Kansas City region. These forums provided an opportunity for the public to view a variety of potential plans for regional transportation, including a rail system that would encompass much of the Kansas City region.

Kansas City has a long history with railroads and has a significant amount of unused or underutilized track all over the metropolitan area. Utilizing these existing rails allow a regional rail system to be constructed quickly and cost-efficiently.

While no final determination has been made on rail stop locations, Blue Springs is anticipating a stop in downtown and hopefully an additional stop near the new Missouri Innovation Park (MIP). This would encourage redevelopment downtown and facilitate the development of MIP.

This regional rail proposal is an exciting development that has the potential to transform public transportation not only for Blue Springs, but the entire Kansas City region, bringing with it enhanced employment and tourism opportunities. The rail infrastructure already exists, which reduces the cost and shortens the implementation timeframe. Many community leaders and elected officials throughout Jackson County are eager to support the proposal including our own Mayor Carson Ross, Kansas City Mayor Sly James, and County Executive Mike Sanders, just to name a few.

I am excited about the opportunities that a regional rail plan can bring to the residents of Eastern Jackson County. I encourage everyone to take the time to examine the proposals and support expanded regional transportation alternatives. As Mayor Ross likes to say, “Blue Springs is On the Move!”

Information about the Kansas City Regional Transit vision can be found at http://bit.ly/kcrtarr