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!


Open House Public Meeting for Woods Chapel Road Improvements

clock October 20, 2011 17:36 by author Jeff Quibell

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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 — W: www.bluespringsgov.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: October 20, 2011

CONTACT: Kim Nakahodo, Communications Manager

Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.651.6449

Email: knakahodo@bluespringsgov.com

Open House Public Meeting for Woods Chapel Road Improvements

Blue Springs, Mo. – The City of Blue Springs and TranSystems will host an open-house style public meeting on Tuesday, November 15, to share plans for Woods Chapel Road Improvements from NW Castle Dr. to Walnut St. The project team will be on hand to answer questions from 6-9 p.m. at Howard L. Brown Safety Building, Multi-Purpose Room, 1100 SW Smith St., Blue Springs, MO 64015.

The City of Blue Springs and TranSystems encourage anyone who uses this route to stop by, review preliminary plans, share project issues and concerns, and provide written comments at the public meeting. No formal presentations will be made.

For more information, contact the Public Works Department at (816) 228-0121.

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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.


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!


Woods Chapel work is a process

clock May 5, 2010 09:38 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 In 2008 the voters of Blue Springs approved funds to expand and improve Woods Chapel Road from Interstate 70 south to the railroad tracks.

The first step in redeveloping Woods Chapel Road is acquiring the rights of way on both sides of the road. Widening the road cannot occur until this step is complete. This is a time-consuming process that involves properly compensating the property owners and establishing easements for the new sections of roadway.

While right-of-way acquisition is under way, the traffic engineers are creating the plans for the roadway modifications. These activities take time and provide no visible progress to residents in the community. As with most projects and developments, many significant steps are required that lay the groundwork for completion. This important project has progressed normally with completion anticipated in 2013. The current anticipated schedule for each section of the road is:


* I-70 to Castle Drive out for bid in March 2011, substantial completion by December 2012
* I-70 to Duncan out for bid in March 2011, substantial completion by December 2012
* Castle to railroad out for bid in March 2012, substantial completion by December 2013

As the western gateway to our city, Woods Chapel Road is a critical north-south connection for many residents. Improvements to this area are long overdue and are likely to facilitate the retail growth and redevelopment that the residents of this area of the city have long desired.


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.


Keep the city’s momentum going

clock November 18, 2009 18:08 by author Jeff Quibell

Jeff2007 The city is working diligently on the road improvements planned for Woods Chapel Road, and the work is progressing even though it is not yet visible.

Recently the city held a public meeting to provide information and answer questions regarding the current progress and details of the project proposed. Once planning and right-of-way acquisition is complete, utility relocation is scheduled to begin next fall and actual roadway construction is estimated to begin the summer of 2011. Completion of the project is anticipated in 2013. As the westernmost north-south corridor in Blue Springs, Woods Chapel Road improvements are long overdue and will be a welcome enhancement to this area of our community.  This information is available at http://www.bluespringsgov.com/woodschapel.

Wanda and I had the privilege of volunteering at five of the Ararat Shrine Circus shows this past weekend, and we, along with thousands of others, had the pleasure of attending the first two Missouri Mavericks hockey games at the new Independence Events Center. After tailgating with Happy Hour and the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce, we cheered the Mavericks on to their second home victory Saturday evening. What a beautiful facility!

Driving through Coronado Place and Adams Dairy Landing recently, the signs of new shopping and dining opportunities are impossible to miss. The Gap Generations store and Sally Beauty Supply will be open very soon. Chipotle, Mattress Firm and Game Stop are coming along nicely. Furniture Gallery has opened across from Wal-Mart, and the Olive Garden restaurant is beginning to take shape across from Home Depot, joining Texas Roadhouse as another full-service dining option.

Sales tax revenue from all of these projects is already having a positive impact on our city’s revenue. That will continue to improve as more people become aware of the new shopping and dining opportunities in Blue Springs. As these developments continue to attract new retail and restaurant tenants, our local buying choices expand. The success of these new businesses is critical to our community’s economic health, so remember to buy Blue Springs!

Along with all of these new retail opportunities, Missouri Innovation Park continues to be a bright star on the horizon. While this is a complicated project with many technical facets, the positive impact that thousands of new, high-paying, quality jobs will have on the future growth of our community and the region cannot be overestimated.

Progress on these developments will bring new opportunities, for many areas in our community, to consider in the coming months. Now is the time for our city leaders to have a vision beyond the individual projects and continue to have the flexibility to adjust as the market responds to our successes!