The City of Grain Valley hosted a community meeting to discuss proposed site plans for a Community Campus at the former Sni-A-Bar Farms property on Tuesday, October 29th. The proposed Community Campus will move city services currently located just south of 1-70 on Buckner Tarsney Road further south to the historic Sni-A-Bar Farm property. The proposed campus includes a new city hall, police department, community center with indoor aquatics, and Mid-Continent Public Library branch. Approximately 200 residents attended the event.
City staff and representatives from Sapp Design Architects began the meeting with a presentation of the three proposed site plans and briefly touched on the timeline and approximate cost of the project, estimated at $37-41 million. A no tax bond issue is planned for April 2020 to fund the project, and $5-8 million in prospective partnership opportunities were mentioned as additional funding for the project.
Residents shared feedback during the presentation through a mobile survey tool, which indicated over 2/3 of respondents were in favor of the project. Following the presentation, City staff and elected officials were stationed throughout the room to discuss plans and receive feedback from residents.
Bonnie Darby and her husband Tom Darby have lived in Grain Valley for 40 years and came away from the presentation with differing opinions. Bonnie was receptive to the idea of a community campus and appreciated the concept of having the library, city services, and community center in one location. Tom was less enthusiastic and voiced a number of concerns, including the isolation of city services further south of the center of the city, concerns regarding the response time for police in a less central location, plans for Armstrong Park, and the lack of detail regarding funding available for maintenance of new facilities.
“This seems like a fait accompli. We were presented their plans without opportunity to give voice or vote,” Tom said.
Responding to this criticism, Mayor Todd emphasized this is just the first of several meetings and opportunities for the public to voice their opinion on the project,
“This is a true democratic process. It will likely be on the ballot in April. Residents will have the chance to learn about the project and vote yes or no. If they vote no, it’s not going to happen. We’ll have more meetings and folks will continue to have opportunities to voice their opinions and shape the project,” Todd said.
For more information on the project and proposed layouts discussed at the October 29th meeting, visit www.envisiongrainvalley.com.