American Royal builds on KCK’s success!

Mark Holland BannerDepending on who you ask, it was either the best kept secret or the worst. Either way, the news is now official: the American Royal has announced plans to build a $160 million complex north of Kansas Speedway!

First, let me thank the American Royal for choosing KCK as its new home. We have every reason to believe that the Royal will join the growing list of high-profile attractions that have made the development surrounding the Speedway the state’s top tourist attraction.

And that’s what excites me about bringing the Royal to KCK: It builds on the UG’s entrepreneurial vision of adding to an already booming tourist destination. Just as important, it stands to create a year-round attraction that would drive additional traffic. As great as it is to have the T-Bones, Sporting KC, and the Speedway, none of those venues generates tourism during winter months. The American Royal’s proposal for an arena, exhibit space, a museum and an agricultural education center would bring tourists to the area at a time when traffic typically lags.

Last night, the UG’s Board of Commissioners took the first step toward making this vision a reality when it set a Dec. 15 public hearing to consider the creation of a STAR bond district to support the American Royal development. As you probably know, STAR bonds have been used to boost development near the Speedway. Sales tax revenue collected within a STAR bond district is used to pay off bonds that finance some of the construction expenses related to the development.

It’s important to know that the American Royal project will not have any impact on the $12 million in sales tax revenue we are now collecting since the retirement of STAR bonds at Village West. This money will continue to come to the UG’s budget as planned.

That said, the new STAR bond district for the American Royal will require new retail, new restaurants and new hotels to pay off the bonds. The details of that development will be worked out in the coming months and won’t be available for some time after the STAR bond district is created. So stay tuned. I’m just as excited to know those details as you are!

Mayor Mark Holland

MODOT Missouri River Bridge Update: Lane Closure and Traffic Switch on Monday, October 31

missouri-river-bridgeThe northbound lane of U.S. 69 across the Platte Purchase Bridge will be closed at 6:00 p.m. on Halloween night, Monday, October 31. The northbound lane will reopen and shift to the new bridge around midnight. Southbound traffic will be unaffected.

The ramp to Argosy Casino Parkway from U.S. 69 will also be closed at 6:00 p.m. on October 31 and will remain closed until the new ramp is constructed. See the detour map below and follow the detour signage that will be in place during the ramp closure. This traffic pattern will allow the last stages of northbound U.S. 69, north and south of the bridge, to be completed. The ramp will reopen in December 2016, weather permitting.

Helping Couples in Conflict: Two Interventions to Transform High Conflict into a Compassionate Conversation

Mental Health America of the Heartland

Jim Roberts is a social worker in private practice with Madison Avenue Psychological Services. He graduated from the University of Kansas in Social Welfare in 1978 and is licensed in Missouri and Kansas. He has received training in marriage and family therapy from the Family Institute of Kansas City and advanced training in couples therapy from the Menninger Foundation. He has been a commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and is the author of Deliberate Love: How Couples Can Deepen and Sustain Intimacy with the Mindful Use of Attention, published in 2004.

Overview: This workshop combines principles of mindfulness and solution-oriented therapy to create a compassionate conversation that replaces the conflict that prompted couples to seek professional help. This strategy offers a powerful alternative to the special problems of couples in high conflict in a highly efficient use of clinical time.

After attending this program, the participant will be able to:

  • Discuss two essential guidelines for compassionate communication that include concrete steps for converting adversarial communication into a therapeutic dialogue.
  • Identify the three forms of communication involved in dispute resolution.
  • Describe specific techniques for de-polarizing power struggles in intimate relationships.

Who Should Attend: This professional continuing education workshop is designed for nurses, healthcare workers, social workers, psychologists and other mental health professionals.

Registration: $40.00. 3.0 CEU’s(Certificate of Attendance)
Pre-register only. Contact Stacy Davis to obtain registration form or go to click onto “Events“. If you have any questions and/or need translation or other accommodation, please contact Stacy Davis by emai or call (913) 281-2221 ext. 112 at least 5 days prior to the workshop. Registration deadline Nov. 13, 2016. Make checks payable to MHAH. Accepts VISA.

Location: First Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City, 11811 State Line Rd., Kansas City, MO 64114

When: Friday, November 18, 2016, 9 AM – 12 PM

Continuing Education: B.E. Education Group, LLC is approved as a provider of continuing nursing education by the Kansas State Board of Nursing. This course offering is approved for 3 contact hours applicable for RN, LPN, and LMHT re-licensure. Kansas State Board of Nursing Provider Number LT0258-0310. B.E. Education Group, LLC is a pre-approved provider for social workers through the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB) Provider Number 14-002. Pre-approval by (BSRB) for continuing education credit is not required for mental health professionals. However (BSRB) approved providership for social workers is accepted for psychologists, professional counselors, masters prepared psychologists, marriage and family therapists and addiction counselors. This workshop meets BSRB criteria for diagnosis and treatment. For licensed professionals, please bring license # to the workshop to receive your CEU Certificate of Attendance.

Sponsored by: Mental Health America of the Heartland

BPU and the UG Convene for Joint Session on October 27, 2016

BPU Board to Attend Full Commission Meeting on Same Day

The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will be meeting with the Board of Commissioners for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS (UG) on Thursday, October 27th at 4:30 PM in the 5th Floor Conference Room in City Hall located at 701 N. 7th Street, KCK.

The purpose of this joint session is to discuss right-of-way and infrastructure issues.

BPU has also been invited to attend the 7:00 PM full Commission meeting that evening and may have a quorum present.

Still Time to Register before Deadline for BPU’s Energy Efficiency Workshop at KCK Public Library

2016 BPU Fall Efficieny Workshop
The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is hosting a free Energy Efficiency Workshop on Tuesday, November 1st. This event will demonstrate easy and effective weatherization and energy efficiency strategies that help customers save electricity, water, and money in their homes.

The workshop will take place at the West Wyandotte Public Library at 1737 N. 82nd Street in Kansas City, KS. Two sessions will be available from 2:30 – 4:30 PM and from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. Light refreshments will be served.
Seating is limited. To register for the afternoon or evening session, contact David Allen at (913) 573-9922 or email by Friday, October 28th.

Guests can look forward to learning about these topics:

  • How to use Energy Engage, BPU’s newest online tool that allows customers to track energy and water use in their home
  • The Wonderful World of Energy Efficiency – How being energy efficient pays you back with monthly and yearly savings
  • A look ahead at the BPU Community Solar Pilot Program

Bob Millbyer of Westlake Ace Hardware will also be on-hand with low-and moderate-cost energy efficient products for the home that help customers save during the winter months.

These events encourage customers to discover ways to reduce energy consumption and benefit the environment while saving money.

BPU Recognized for Water System Management Excellence

Corporate and Commercial Photography by Mark Skalny 1-888-658-3686 #MSP1207The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) recently honored the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) with a top water utility management award. BPU was recognized with the “Platinum Award” for Utility Excellence for exceeding the industry association’s Attributes of Effective Utility Management.

The AMWA awards spotlight advances and substantial achievements of public drinking water utilities like BPU that lead the nation in their efforts toward sustainability through innovative management practices, executive leadership and employee engagement. “Communities count on their drinking water systems for reliable and adequate supplies of clean, safe water, and those served by these award winners can take pride in their outstanding accomplishments,” said AMWA President Scott Potter.

BPU was recognized specifically for several water improvement initiatives including: valve, hydrant and customer leak detection programs; water treatment plant filter upgrades; water distribution facility maintenance and its Geographic Information Systems; water main and fire hydrant replacement projects; a new four-million gallon water reservoir; and a Maximo asset work order management program.

BPU has initiated a number of programs to ensure industry leading training and understanding of work processes and standards throughout the organization. Moreover, it works continually to improve water services to Wyandotte County and measures overall customer satisfaction by reviewing data from customer satisfaction studies, customer inquiry reports, a cost-of-service study and AEGIS risk assessment.

Project Warmth KC 2016

Project Warmth KC 2016Project Warmth concentrates on coats and blankets. We will gladly accept gloves, mittens, winter hats and scarves. The greatest need continues to be in coat sizes for toddlers through teenagers.

Donated items do not have to be new. We gladly accept “gently used” coats (no hangers please) and blankets, we only ask that they be clean and in good condition. Items donated will not be cleaned before distribution. Clothing items will be given to our Project Warmth partners, the Salvation Army, for re-sale in their thrift stores and/or shared with other local agencies.

Cash donations are always much appreciated and are used to help pay utility costs for both heating and cooling throughout the year. All items collected are distributed free of charge to recipients by The Salvation Army. All financial donations are managed and distributed to more than 65 qualifying agencies in the eight-county metropolitan area through the Mid America Assistance Coalition.

City-wide collection date is Saturday, November 5, 2016, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. All drop-off sites have a parked Star truck with signage directing donors to each location.


  • Rental City (KCK)
  • Rental City (Independence)
  • CrossRoads District/KC Star (KCMO)
  • Zona Rosa (NKC)
  • Summit Fair Shopping Center (Lee’s Summit)
  • Independence Center (KCMO)
  • Ward Parkway Shopping Center (KCMO)
  • Nebraska Furniture Mart at the Legends (KCK)
  • Oak Barry Shopping Center (NKC)
  • Oak Park Mall (JOCO)
  • Town Center Plaza (JOCO)
  • KCTV 5 (JOCO)

2015 Collection Results

  • 14, 400 + Coats
  • 3,100 + Blankets
  • 4,000+ Hats, Gloves, Scarves

Volunteer for the Downtown KCK Holiday Lighting Festival

christmas-161316Please share and help our friends at the United Way of Wyandotte County recruit volunteers for the annual KCK Downtown Holiday Lighting Festival on Friday, November 18th. Shifts are available during a variety of times between 3:00 and 7:00 PM.

Click HERE to sign up or contact Cathi Hahner by email or (913) 371-3674 ext 1324. This is a great group volunteer opportunity for youth, faith, civic groups, businesses, and families!

  • Help with the Santa Line
  • Direct Visitors through the Halls
  • Hand out Popcorn at the Movies
  • Help with Arts & Crafts for Kids
  • Dress as Costumed Characters (costumes provided)
  • Assist and Guide the Characters

Lots of fun for everyone!

The Best of KCK and Wyandotte County Business Expo

best-of-kck_kck-chamber_2The Kansas City Kansas Area Chamber of Commerce presents The Best of KCK & WYCO Business Expo, on Wednesday, Nov. 2, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Children’s Mercy Park. The Boulevard Members Club will be filled with regional businesses of all categories and sizes showcasing their personality and regional flavor for hundreds of attendees all while gaining exposure and access to the area’s leading business professionals. “We have more than 70 vendors registered and we are anticipating more than 300 attendees for this event,” said Daniel Silva, President & CEO of the KCK Chamber of Commerce. “We encourage the public to join us and celebrate all the great businesses impacting KCK and Wyandotte County, and to sample the unique ‘flavor’ of our business community.”

Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for non-members and $20 the day of the event. A ticket includes two drinks, heavy hor d’ oeuvres, and the opportunity to get a “taste” for our diverse and collaborative business community. Businesses represented range from large corporations to local non-for-profits of varying industries including local restaurants, health care providers, media companies, artists, and banks, among many others. This year, the KCK Chamber is adding an award component for both booth participants and attendees. The booths will compete to win in three categories – Most Innovative Booth, Most Interactive Booth, and Tastiest Booth. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite booths in each category and will be entered in a raffle for a large prize (to be announced)! To register visit or contact the KCK Chamber at (913) 371-3070.

The mission of the Kansas City Kansas Area Chamber of Commerce is to enhance and create opportunities in Wyandotte County which build a quality community to live, work and conduct business. A vital part of the community since 1898, the Chamber works in four core areas – Legislative, Information, Networking and Community.

For more information, please visit the KCK Chamber’s event page.

This Weekend in KCK: October 15-16

If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family this weekend, look no further.  We have you covered!  Check out these great events:

International Lineman’s Rodeo

October 15 | 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
National Agricultural Hall of Fame
630 North 126th
Bonner Springs, KS 66012

Three linemen from the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) will compete against hundreds of other utility workers from across the nation and as far away as Canada, Hawaii and Jamaica at the 33rd Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo in Bonner Springs, KS, testing their professional and trade skills in a unique competition that is open to the public. Thousands of utility professionals are in town for an annual trade show and expo in Overland Park, KS, with the highlight being the “Lineman’s Rodeo,” a series of competitions testing various lineman skills and safety techniques.

The rodeo competition will occur on Saturday, October 15, 2016, at the Agricultural Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, kicking off at 7:00 am. Team and apprentice events will include The Hurtman Rescue, the Pole Climb, and several mystery events. An Awards Banquet will be held at the Overland Park Convention Center at 7:00 p.m. that evening.

BPU will be represented by Matt Campion, Jeremiah Waldeck and Paul Howell this year, competing against more than 200 teams from various private and municipal utilities. In 2015, BPU’s team scored 392 out of 400 possible points, placing 16th out of all the teams in the Municipality Group.

The International Lineman’s Rodeo was first held in 1984, and was created to maintain a focus on safety and safe work practices and to recognize the technical craft skills of utility lineman. One other purpose has always been for the participants to have fun while sharing work knowledge with others in their trade from different companies and different parts of the country. Go to for more information about this event.

Argentine Health Fair

October 15 | 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Argentine Community Center
2810 Metropolitan Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66106


For additional information, visit the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association’s Facebook page.