Monday was a great day for Blue Springs! Despite objections and two “no” votes from 3rd District Councilmen Fowler and Solon, the City Council supported the next step toward the completion of the Adams Dairy Landing shopping center. This project, a high priority of our citizens for many years, continues to move forward despite the national economic climate. Even more exciting was the announcement of the development of a 500 acre science and technology innovation park on Adams Dairy Parkway, the “Missouri Innovation Park at Blue Springs”!

Anchored by the University of Missouri, the innovation park development will bring high paying jobs to our city and realize a significant portion of the original vision for Adams Dairy Parkway. Each step of progress since the parkway was conceived eighteen years ago was a necessary step to the culmination of this important development. The hard work of many organizations, elected officials and citizens has resulted in a unique opportunity for this exciting addition to the parkway.

Mayor Grounds and the council members that served with him conceived and approved the building of the parkway and its early amenities. Mayor Steiner and the council members that served with him supported the concept of a public/private partnership and formed the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation, recognizing that sometimes progress comes from outside of city hall. With the realization that shopping and dining opportunities would create a climate to encourage office park development and meet the needs of our citizens, our elected officials wisely chose to adapt the plan for the parkway.

The ninety member citizen led “Renew the Blue” visioning effort defined a vision for our city that included an office or research park. Robert Andrew, a member of the group, recently said of the innovation park, “this was truly a product of the vision of the original 90 dedicated people that made up the original Renew the Blue group, the Renew the Blue leadership, that encouraged us to dream big, the Blue Springs EDC, and it's world class talent, for believing that it was possible and then doing the heavy lifting, Aquila, for providing seed money, the University of Missouri, for their buy in, and confidence, and the City staff and elected officials for allowing themselves to be infected by the dream, and provide the necessary support and seed capital.”

Mayor Ross and the current council, through their hard work and collaboration with Brien Starner and the EDC, brought this long sought vision to reality. Many talented people, including volunteers and elected officials, spent long hours over a period of several years bringing our community this much-needed opportunity for professional, quality employment in Blue Springs. We can all be thankful for their hard work.