Tasha Lindsey, Executive Director of the Grain Valley Partnership, presented the Partnership’s annual report to the Board of Aldermen during the Board’s October 14th meeting. Lindsey recently celebrated her second anniversary with the Grain Valley Partnership in August.
The Grain Valley Partnership is the result of a merging of the Economic Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce. The organization focuses on networking and professional development, promotion of businesses, business resources to promote growth, and government relations support.
“We want to guide and mentor new businesses as well as providing them with the resources they need. Furthermore, I want new and existing businesses in our community to feel comfortable with asking questions. We have a wealth of people that I can reach out to in finding answers for businesses from start up to exit strategy. I want to be a part of your business journey,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey reported she has started work to become a certified economic development director and highlighted accomplishments and existing challenges for the Grain Valley Partnership. Accomplishments listed by Lindsey included building trust with businesses, creating programs that have added value for partnership members, visibility of the organization within the community, and adding 50 new business partners over the last two years.
“Due to previous struggles and transitions along with the merger of two entities prior to my joining the organization, trust had been lost. Without the trust of the community and business owners, our progress would be stalled. Much work has been done to push out our brand and establish or re-establish relationships within the community,” Lindsey said.
“Programs that have been created offer additional value to partnership businesses. Instead of just having a monthly luncheon that our small businesses may not be able to attend, we have also started doing after hours get togethers and Coffee Connections that have seen great results. Social media has also allowed us to identify who we are and gain exposure to our community.”
Lindsey continued that the Partnership’s relationship with the Missouri Economic Development Council is getting stronger and mentioned the Council has an interest in touring Grain Valley and meeting with city officials. Grain Valley has seen continued population growth and is nestled along one of the busiest interstates in the United States. As the tagline on its website explains, the Partnership bills the city as the “The Gateway of the Kansas City Metro”.
“The Missouri Department of Economic Development serves the entire state, including large communities like Kansas City and St. Louis. If these people are seeing us as someone they want to come meet and a community they want to explore, that means we’re being talked about in Jefferson City. This may be due to promotion through our State Representative Jeff Coleman, as that is a responsibility he has undertaken,” Lindsey said.
Retention of partner businesses and growing the base of business partners were noted as focus areas for the organization.
Lindsey closed her presentation with thanking the board for the current positive rapport between the City of Grain Valley and the Grain Valley Partnership.
“There’s a respect level that is mutual between us and aids approachability for both sides. We understand that we must work together to grow Grain Valley in a beneficial capacity,” Lindsey said.
For additional information on the Grain Valley Partnership and its services for local businesses, visit www.growgrainvalley.org.
In other news, the board unanimously passed the first readings of two ordinances concerning Planning and Zoning. The first ordinance formalizes the appointment, term, roles, and functions of the Planning and Zoning Commission and the appointment of members to the Board of Adjustment. The second ordinance establishes a process for owners of lands adjoining on both sides of a right-of-way or easement to file application for said area to be vacated. The final ordinance establishes an application fee of $250 for vacation of right-of-way and utility easements.
Assistant City Administrator Theresa Osenbaugh also reported on the upcoming Grain Valley Community Campus meeting to be held at Sni-A-Bar Elementary on October 29th from 6:30pm – 7:30pm. Osenbaugh indicated that Sapp Design’s updated master plan would be shared and city staff would be present to answer questions from community members. Childcare will be provided.
“This campus is the community’s campus. The importance of this meeting is to look at the master site plans and give residents the chance to give feedback and help us decide what is most important to them. This is their chance to give that feedback before we move on to designs,” Osenbaugh said.
Residents who are not able to attend the community meeting are welcome to ask questions and share feedback via www.envisiongrainvalley.com.
Flyers regarding the Community Campus meeting will also be handed out at the city’s Trail or Treat event on Friday, October 25th.
The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen will be held Monday, October 28th at 7:00pm.
Tasha Lindsey, Executive Director of the Grain Valley Partnership, presented her organization’s annual report to the Board of Aldermen on October 14th.
Photo credit: Valley News staff
Mayor Mike Todd debuted a seven minute State of the City video at the July 9th Grain Valley Partnership Luncheon, highlighting new business development and upcoming City events.
Residential housing permits are up 20% compared to this point last year, and the City’s population is nearing 13,000. Todd stated the City issued 350 business licenses in the past year, and highlighted recently announced arrivals Temp Stop, Quik Trip, and Taco Bell. The Temp Stop convenience store, which will include two quick service restaurants, will open in 2019.
A date has not been announced for the groundbreaking for the QuikTrip.
“The site plan has been approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission for that, so they are right now working on getting final approval from MO DOT (Missouri Department of Transportation), as the intersection is not City controlled. We expect shortly that we will get the final approval from MO DOT and begin moving forward with that,” Ken Murphy, Deputy City Administrator, said.
In the video, City Administrator Ryan Hunt stated that the city is expected to double in population by 2035. Hunt cites this growth as one of the reasons the City is planning to move City Hall, the police department, and community center from its current location to the old Sni-A-Bar Farm at Buckner Tarsney Road and R.D. Mize Road.
Civic partnerships were highlighted, including the Grain Valley Assistance Council’s recent move to the former Nichols building. The City provides rent free space for the nonprofit, an affiliate of the Community Services League.
Todd explained one of the goals for the remainder of the Nichols building is to develop a combined senior and youth center, featuring senior activities during the day and youth activities in the afternoon and evening.
“I’d like for us to be able to offer a senior lunch two to three days a week at that location,” Todd said.
“We have a lot of seniors in town who would love to be able to share their knowledge, and many kids in town who need a place to go. I think it’s a good combination,” Todd said.
Todd also highlighted the Grain Valley YES program, explaining the mission of the group is to “engage youth in our community, and provide them with positive role models within the community.” The group will hold its first activity, a set of pool parties for area middle school students, at the Community Center pool this July.
Todd highlighted the relationship between the City and the Grain Valley Partnership as an essential part of attracting and retaining businesses.
“We are so excited about the growth that Grain Valley is seeing on the economic development front. Having the opportunity to work along side the elected officials and City staff is a great privilege, witnessing the compassion, vision, and hard work that this team brings to our community is very inspiring.,” Tasha Lindsey, Executive Director of the Grain Valley Partnership, said.
While the video highlighted positive economic development and community partnerships, Todd is mindful of the challenges the City faces.
“One challenge has always been citizen involvement. We have always been labeled as a bedroom community, which makes it difficult. I think we have made great strides in recent years, but we need to continue to improve on it. We have seen events grow in size each year, which is a good indication that we are moving in that direction of increased participation,” Todd said.
“The other area would be infrastructure improvements, in
particular streets. The issue we are facing is that we grew a great deal in a short amount of time. That means that a lot of our streets were installed within a few years of each other. That also means that they start to have issues at the same time and need major repairs at the same time.”
While the State of the City video presentation focused on the highlights and results of efforts of City leadership, staff, and community partners, Lindsey is quick to explain that these efforts do not happen overnight.
“The process of creating an environment that fosters business attraction, retention and community development is a very complicated task. There are so many different elements that must come into consideration so that we create a lasting and prepared atmosphere that allows for the potential growth while not losing the small town feel. The community leaders of Grain Valley with their progressive thinking and innovative ideas allow Grain Valley to be the amazing community that people want to live in, work in, and invest in. The growing population and the new businesses that have committed to come to Grain Valley are all signs that we are doing things right.,” Lindsey said.
In a seven minute video presentation, Mayor Todd highlighted business development highlights and upcoming community events as a part of his State of the City presentation at the Grain Valley Partnership luncheon on Tuesday, July 9th. Todd repeated his presentation at the Senior Citizen Luncheon on July 10th. Image credit: City of Grain Valley