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.