LAD luncheon speaker promotes K-7 as freeway
A Kansas City-area developer may have ruffled some feathers at a business awards luncheon Friday.
Hugh Zimmer, the keynote speaker at the Greater Leavenworth Area Business and Industry Recognition and Awards luncheon, and chairman of Zimmer Companies - master developer of Village West in Wyandotte County - shared his thoughts on how Leavenworth County could continue to grow business and industry here.
Zimmer said the three most important factors for growth anywhere were "roads, sewers and schools."
"Those are the most important ingredients to really build a successful community," he said.
To that end, Zimmer said Leavenworth County would benefit most with state transportation officials turning Kansas Highway 7 into a high-speed freeway connecting the county to other areas of the Kansas City metro.
Kansas City, Kan., and Bonner Springs, as well as Basehor, which had representatives at the luncheon, have opposed making K-7 a freeway.
Zimmer said schools set the environment for population growth, and without sewers, there can be no development, he said.
Leavenworth Area Development and Basehor, Tonganoxie and Leavenworth-Lansing Area chambers of commerce cosponsored the luncheon, held at the Riverfront Community Center in Leavenworth. After Zimmer's comments, each of the chambers recognized new or growing local businesses.
Charlie Gregor, executive vice president for Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber recognized businesses for capital investment, job creation and contribution to the community.
"We just try to recognize those businesses we feel are laying it on the line, so to speak," he said.
The Leavenworth-Lansing Area chamber recognized 21 businesses Friday. From Lansing, Oasis Pools, Babe and Grayce's Antiquables, Rock Creek Wellness Center and The Lansing Current were recognized.
LAD recognized Cereal Ingredients of Leavenworth with the Leavenworth Area Development Award. Each business recognized by LAD and the chambers received a plaque.
Lynn McClure, executive director of LAD, announced the Economic Development Volunteer of the Year Award, which went to Chris Donnelly of Tonganoxie. Donnelly, a Tonganoxie banker, is current past president of the LAD executive committee, and McClure said Donnelly was instrumental in keeping LAD functioning while it was without a director in 2003 and 2004.
Donnelly accepted the award humbly.
"There are people who deserve this as much or more than me," Donnelly said Monday.