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