Basehor Mayor David Breuer gives state of the city address
Basehor Mayor David Breuer spoke to a large group of Basehor business owners, city staff, educators and citizens last week about Basehor's huge growth in 2013 and hinted that the city's continued expansion could result in several new national businesses such as McDonald's and possibly a grocery store coming to the city.
Breuer's message in the state of the city address at Community National Bank was one of optimism and excitement about the city's future. He said talks with local McDonald's franchise owners and grocery store owners are in preliminary stages, but noted city still has a lot of growing to do before those possibilities can become reality. However, Breuer said, the city is on the right path after his first year as mayor.
"There are two things big businesses like that look for," Breuer said. "One is how much traffic comes through the area, two is how many people live in a 3-mile and 5-mile radius. If you don't fit that template, the businesses move on."
In recapping the past year, Breuer spoke about the record number of residential building permit requests, 87, and said Basehor is the fastest growing city in Leavenworth County. Breuer said Basehor had about double the number of residential permit requests as Lansing, Leavenworth and Tonganoxie.
Breuer also lauded city staff for their work in the past year. The city's public works department, under Superintendent Gene Myracle, received its 11th Workplace Safety award and met the city's plan to restore 7 miles of road per year.
Breuer touched on renovations to the Field of Dreams complex, the multifaceted sports facility the city has put $105,000 into since 2010, and noted the city has implemented its comprehensive plan following a community survey several years ago and is focusing on roads, sidewalks and park improvements based on residents' priorities.
In the next 12 months and beyond, Breuer said, city staff and the city council will be working on a plan to improve connectivity through sidewalks around the city. He said that the council has already designated $55,000 to be spent on a new city park shelter as part of the city park expansion plan. Already for 2014, Breuer said, the city has received 200 rental requests for the current shelters at the park.
The council will meet in April, during its annual budget retreat, to discuss how to implement planned park improvements over the next several years as funds become available, the mayor added.
The $2.9 million Wolfcreek Parkway extension project was one of the major accomplishments of 2013, Breuer noted. The project, connecting 158th Street and 155th Street with a new portion of Wolfcreek Parkway, cost the city just $772,000, with the state matching the rest of the money. The project was also completed several months ahead of schedule.
"We couldn't have asked for anything better in regards to that project," Breuer said.
One of the biggest projects the city faces in coming years is the development of a city campus that would include a new city hall, police department and community center. Breuer said the city is looking at potential plots of land to develop the campus.
"We've got a great board that really understands planning," Breuer said.
The group of more than 50 people attending the state of the city luncheon applauded Breuer and the city after the mayor's address.
"With the completion of the city's comprehensive plan, we now have an overall picture for where Basehor is and wants to be in 10 to 20 years from now," Breuer told the gathering. "The governing body and the planning commission can now plan and prepare for future growth and development of our city.
"We are excited and are looking forward to a great 2014."