The City of Blue Springs recently announced Amazon plans to open a delivery center in Blue Springs. The delivery center would be located at 2400 NE Coronado Drive, in the former Haldex facility.
“We are thrilled to announce that Amazon is coming to Blue Springs,” said Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross. “This facility will not only bring jobs to Blue Springs but it also fills a vacant industrial building in our community. We are proud to see companies like Amazon investing in our community and creating more opportunities for our residents.”
The existing facility is approximately 70,000 square-feet and is currently being remodeled to accommodate Amazon’s process of receiving and sorting product for final delivery to customers.
A 30,000 square-foot overhead canopy will be constructed to the rear of the building for loading. An additional 357 parking spaces will also be added to the rear and side of the building for van parking.
“We look forward to becoming part of the fabric of the Blue Springs community and are thrilled to be able to expand our operations in Missouri,” said Nikki Wheeler at Amazon. “Amazon is a great place to work and grow professionally. We’re grateful for the support we’ve received from local and state leaders and look forward to creating new, full-time jobs for the local community.”
With its location just outside Grain Valley city limits, traffic impacts on nearby residential areas and wear on Grain Valley roads are a concern.
Reached for comment on the development and projected traffic impacts, Grain Valley Community Development Director Mark Trosen stated the City “did not have any conversations with Blue Springs or have we been a part of any discussions/planning of the Amazon facility.”
Grain Valley Mayor Chuck Johnston commented on the development at the April 12th Board of Aldermen meeting.
“There’s already a lot of people with concerns about traffic. I addressed that with Mr. Murphy (City Administrator Ken Murphy) tonight, and we are going to try to make contact with Amazon to see what we can get them to do, because I’m real concerned (about delivery trucks on R.D. Mize).”
Valley News reached out to the City of Blue Springs for details on projected traffic impacts. Per a study done for project, the following is expected at the site:
34 AM peak hour trips (one truck, 33 passenger) and 36 PM peak hour trips(two trucks, 34 passenger) are projected;
157 total vehicles are projected for the Weekday Average Daily Traffic (46 trucks, 111 passenger);
Line haul truck deliveries are anticipated daily, primarily between the hours of 10:00pm and 8:00am.
Trip distribution is anticipated as follows:
35% to/from the west along I-70;
5% to/from the east along I-70;
10% to/from north along Adams Dairy Parkway;
35% to/from south along Adams Dairy Parkway;
5% to/from west along Coronado;
10% to/from east along Coronado.
The facility will operate 24/7 to support delivery of packages to customer locations between 11:00am and 9:00pm.
Amazon plans to be fully operational by the end of 2021. The company expects to start hiring about two months before the facility opens. Those interested in jobs should visit https://buff.ly/2PIwliY.
Community Blood Center (CBC) is the primary provider of blood and blood components to 70 plus hospitals and medical centers in the Greater Kansas City region. CBC and the Grain Valley Partnership will conduct a blood drive on Wednesday, April 14th from Noon—4:00pm at the Grain Valley Community Center, 713 Main ST.
“When individuals normally think of essential community services, they often think about fire and police departments,” Kim Peck, Senior Executive Director of Community Blood Center said.
“Community Blood Center and its donors are very similar to police officers and fire fighters. We make up a life-saving team that is here to meet the needs of local patients. Our volunteer donors roll up their sleeves and do so without hesitation.”
In the greater Kansas City area, one in three people will need blood at some point in their life and nearly one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion. This means, nearly 600 donations are needed every day to meet hospital demand, and with a limited shelf life, supplies must be continually replenished.
Grain Valley residents can help by donating blood at the blood drive on Wednesday, April 14th from Noon—4:00pm. The drive will be held at Grain Valley Community Center, 713 Main Street.
Donors are encouraged to make an appointment by visiting www.safealifenow.org/group and using group code EH27. For additional details, contact Dawn Eblen at 816-352-2342.
Missouri non-farm payroll employment decreased in February 2021, probably the result of deteriorating weather conditions. However, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percentage point.
Employment, seasonally adjusted, decreased by 11,600 jobs over the month, and over-the year job losses totaled 130,500. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in February 2021, down from 4.3 percent in January 2021.
The labor market still showed substantial losses over the year, but may show improvement in the coming months as vaccines for COVID-19 become available.
Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percentage point in February 2021, dropping to 4.2 percent from the benchmarked January 2021 rate of 4.3 percent. Due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the February 2021 rate was 0.6 percentage points higher than the February 2020 rate. The rate had reached a low of 3.1 percent starting in July 2018, before gradually edging up to 3.5 percent by the end of 2019, and then to 3.7 percent in March 2020.
The COVID-19 effect hit in April 2020, spiking the rate to 12.5 percent for that month. The rate decreased monthly for the rest of 2020, reaching 4.3 percent in January. Missouri’s unemployment rate remained below the national rate.
The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 128,934 in February 2021, down by 1,615 from January’s 130,549.
The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted rate was 5.0 percent in February 2021, also down by a tenth of a percentage point from the January 2021 not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 5.1 percent.
The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for February 2021 was 6.6 percent.
A year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.6 percent, and the not-adjusted rate was 3.8 percent.
With March coming in like a lamb, I guess it's supposed to go out like a lion, according to the saying. Personally, I am ready for Spring weather. I’m ready for life to get back to normal or at least more normal. If we can all continue to be smart and safe until everyone who wants to be is vaccinated is, I think something near normal could be possible by this summer. Fingers crossed and knock on wood.
Spring also brings tax season, which is often met with much less enthusiasm than warmer temperatures and budding flowers. But there have been a few tax changes related to charitable giving that are worth noting. First, for the vast majority of people who can no longer itemize because of the higher standard deduction, there is a 2020 Universal Charitable Deduction available which provides $300 for individuals and $600 for couples. Even if you cannot itemize, you can take this deduction in 2020 and again in 2021 as this provision was extended in the December stimulus plan legislation.
Second, for those of you who are generously supporting your favorite charities and find as you prepare your tax return you still cannot itemize your deductions, now is a good time to do some tax planning for 2021. Charitable Bunching utilizing a Donor Advised Fund is a tax planning tool that is growing in popularity. Like a charitable savings account, a Donor Advised Fund is just like having your own private foundation – only better and much simpler. In addition to allowing you to become more organized and strategic with your charitable giving, a Donor Advised Fund coupled with a "bunching" strategy provides a way for you to maximize your tax benefits.
Gifts to a Donor Advised Fund are immediately tax-deductible. With a "bunching" strategy, you can use your Donor Advised Fund to contribute multiple years' worth of donations in one calendar year, enabling you to exceed the standard deduction in that year. You then can maintain your regular support of your favorite charities through grants from your Donor Advised Fund over several years. You claim the standard deduction in the years you don't bunch your charitable gifts.
Let's look at the example of a couple with state and local tax deductions, plus mortgage interest deductions that total $18,000 per year ($10,000 SALT, $8,000 Mortgage). They are charitably minded and currently generously donate $7,000 to support their church and favorite charities, which gives them $25,000 total in itemized deductions.
However, since the standard deduction is now $25,100, they cannot itemize. If they use a Donor Advised Fund to bunch their charitable giving and put three years' worth of contributions (or $21,000) into their fund, then they would have $39,000 in deductions this year and could itemize and receive the additional tax deduction of $13,900. In the next two years, they would take the standard deduction on their tax return. They would continue to donate their typical $7,000 each year to their favorite charities through grants from their Donor Advised Fund. The Donor Advised Fund resources are invested and will have the opportunity to grow tax-free, resulting in more money available to support both their church and chosen causes.
Additionally, a Donor Advised Fund offers an opportunity to maximize the power of your charitable contributions with gifts of non-cash assets. By donating appreciated securities, such as stocks and mutual funds, directly to your fund (instead of selling the security and donating the cash), you can gain considerable tax advantages. You avoid the capital gains taxes and receive the charitable deduction for your gift's fair market value.
Talk to your financial advisor and do some tax planning now to ensure you have the most effective charitable giving plan to minimize your 2021 taxes and maximize your giving. Waiting until later in the year may keep you from taking full advantage of this tax-saving tool. So, while we may have to wait patiently for spring to arrive, now is the time for your 2021 tax planning.
Phil Hanson is the president and CEO of Truman Heartland Community Foundation. Truman Heartland Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity committed to improving the communities in and around Eastern Jackson County through partnerships with donors and community members.
For more information on charitable giving, visit www.thcf.org or call Truman Heartland at 816-836-8189.
After a soft opening for Founding Members on Saturday, March 14th, Iron Kettle Brewing, located at 508 N Main, opened to the public on Wednesday, March 17th.
The brewery features a number of house-made beers, and a selection of beers from local breweries. The menu includes appetizers, sandwiches, pizzas, twice baked potatoes, and a variety of baked mac and cheese.
In addition to the renovated downstairs space, an event space is located upstairs, and a patio area offers outdoor seating in the alley between the brewery and the Historical Society building.
Jason Fenstermaker, Archduke of Operations, said the team involved in the brewery is thrilled to share their hard work with the community.
“It is exciting to be able to share this dream with the community that has given so much to us. We all have worked so many hours to be able to share this with Grain Valley. We wanted to bring something special to Grain Valley, something they can call their own. This is more than a brewery and a restaurant, it is a true public house,” Fenstermaker said.
Iron Kettle Brewing
508 N Main, Grain Valley
Hours of operation:
Sunday- 11 am-6pm
For more information, visit their Facebook page or their website, www.ironkettlebrew.com.
Governor Mike Parson announced a special cycle of the Department of Economic Development’s Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) and Youth Opportunities Program (YOP), making $21.8 million available to assist nonprofit organizations and other entities providing services to at-risk youth.
“Missouri nonprofits have been a lifeline for many Missourians throughout the COVID-19 crisis, providing critical services during times of uncertainty,” Governor Parson said.
“This program will help ensure that these organizations can continue providing Missouri’s at risk-youth with the support and resources they need throughout the recovery process.”
COVID-19 has had a massive impact on mental health for all citizens, including children. Anxiety, stress, and other negative conditions have been on the rise, and these organizations provide resources and services that help children deal with these issues.
Up to $8 million of NAP tax credits and $6 million of YOP tax credits will be reserved for nonprofit organizations and other entities providing critical services to at-risk youth. Additional NAP and YOP credits are available for nonprofits addressing other pressing community needs with priority for job training programs and services directly resulting in crime prevention.
Nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, Missouri businesses, local governments, and schools are all eligible entities for this program.
“Community organizations have played a huge role in supporting hard working Missouri families throughout the pandemic,” Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon said. “We’re proud to be able to use these funds to bolster these great organizations.”
NAP and YOP are contribution tax credit programs. Approved applicants are awarded state tax credits to help attract eligible donors to fund an approved community development or youth opportunity project. Organizations approved for tax credits engage in fundraising activities and offer tax credits as an incentive to donate, raising the dollars necessary to complete the proposed project and address a critical community need.
The application cycle for the NAP/YOP Special Cycle will be held from March 31 to April 22. There will be an application workshop on April 1, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. to answer applicant questions and help fill out required documentation.
To learn more about the NAP/YOP Special Cycle, visit
Mid-Continent Public Library’s Square One Small Business services will present the following virtual events in April:
Business Model Canvas Workshop
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Virtual via Zoom
Is your business model working? Join Kimberly Beer to learn how to stop the chaos and create meaningful direction in your business while ensuring your business idea is solid. Ideal for new entrepreneurs looking to define their concept and seasoned business owners who want to prevent the dreaded three- and five-year business slumps.
You will leave this experience with a business skill you can apply to current and future growth projects, a better understanding of your customer's pains and gains to use in marketing, and insights on how to improve and expand your current and future business ideas.
Warning: This is a visual workshop style class that requires provided sticky notes and large poster. Registration with email is required. Each student will receive a packet with supplies for the class.
Viewing Format: Zoom (link will be sent to registered students before the class).
Food Trucking 101
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Want to start a food truck? Not sure where to start, or maybe, how to finish what you’ve started? Join us for this 2-hour event designed to give you the groundwork to plan your cuisine, equipment, business model, brand, financials (including funding), and of course, to answer your questions. Your menu can be all about your personal style, but when it comes to running a profitable food truck, make sure you get the facts.
Hosted by Xander Winkel of the Ennovation Center, featured guests include Brandon Simpson of Jazzy B’s Food Truck, Kim Niebaum and Michelle Ferguson of CoffeeCake KC, and August Spallo of CiaoBella.
• Identify your next steps for starting your food truck
• Find out what information you need to gather so that you can take those next steps
• Explore follow up opportunities to build your skills in digital marketing, book keeping, and business strategy
To view this class, visit the Business of Food Trucks Facebook Account at https://www.facebook.com/foodtruckbiz
For more information on Square One events and to register, visit www.mymcpl.org/square-one/events.
Missouri non-farm payroll employment increased in January 2021, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percentage point. Employment, seasonally adjusted, increased by 5,900 jobs over the month, but over-the year job losses were back above 100,000 following benchmark adjustments to 2020 estimates. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in January 2021, down from 4.4 percent in December 2020.
Missouri’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percentage point in January 2021, dropping to 4.3 percent from a benchmarked December 2020 rate of 4.4 percent. Missouri’s unemployment rate was below the national rate of 6.3 percent in January.
Due to the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the January 2021 rate was 0.7 percentage points higher than the January 2020 rate. The rate had reached a low of 3.1 percent starting in July 2018, before gradually edging up to 3.5 percent by the end of 2019, and then to 3.7 percent in March 2020. The COVID-19 effect hit in April 2020, spiking the rate to 12.5 percent for that month. The rate decreased monthly for the rest of 2020, reaching 4.4 percent in December.
Benchmarking revisions caused Missouri’s unemployment rate to be a tenth of a percentage point higher than the national rate in January and February of 2020, so Missouri’s streak of seasonally adjusted unemployment rates below the comparable national rates is now 11 consecutive months.
The estimated number of unemployed Missourians was 130,822 in January 2021, down by 4,290 from December 2020’s 135,112.
The state’s not-seasonally-adjusted rate was 5.1 percent in January 2021, up by 0.5 percentage points from the December 2020 not-seasonally-adjusted rate of 4.6 percent. The corresponding not-seasonally-adjusted national rate for January 2021 was 6.8 percent.
A year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.6 percent, and the not-adjusted rate was 4.0 percent.