Small Business Resources for April 2017

DTSKCK’s Small Business Grant Program
Description: Our grant program assists the small business owner or entrepreneur with “gap filling,” something our research indicates is greatly needed. Follow the link to learn more and apply.

Pop-Up! Downtown KCK
Description: The goal of Pop-Up! Downtown KCK is to create a vibrant downtown that serves as a destination for Wyandotte County and Greater Kansas City. Downtown Shareholders will achieve this goal by facilitating the short-term lease of vacant storefronts in Downtown KCK. Downtown Shareholders matches entrepreneurs looking to launch their business or test the downtown market on a short-term basis with property owners who have street-level, storefront and office space available for occupancy.

Urban Predevelopment Funding
Description: The Catalytic Predevelopment Fund provides low-interest, flexible predevelopment loans for projects in the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas. The fund acts as a catalyst to spur development in low to moderate income neighborhoods by providing the critical capital necessary in the early phases of real estate development projects.

Meet the Lenders
Description: The U.S. Small Business Administration Kansas City District Office, Springfield Branch, will host a “Meet the Lenders” matchmaking event. Lenders will be available to meet with startups and existing small businesses. This event gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to connect with several financial institutions in one location and to find the right lender for their financial needs.

How to Start a Business
Description: Starting a business is an exciting proposition, but it’s also an incredibly challenging undertaking. The resources in this section will help you learn about what it takes to start a business.

How to Write a Business Plan
Description: A business plan is an essential road map for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues.

Business Licenses & Permits
Description: To run your business legally, there are certain federal and state licenses and permits you will need to obtain. These resources will help you understand the requirements for your small business.

Business Financials
Description: Improve your odds of business success by understanding your financing needs as well as the options that are available to help you start, manage and grow your business.

Filing & Paying Taxes
Description: Find out if your business needs to obtain a tax ID and what the benefits and requirements are.

Hire & Retain Employees
Description: Ready to hire employees for your business? Learn about employment and labor laws to make sure your business is in compliance.

Additional Online Resources from DTSKCK
Description: More of the good stuff, but with a local focus.


Walking School Bus Season Kick-off

The Safe Routes to School team in Wyandotte County is gearing up for a fun and active semester. School champions have been hard at work planning walking programs and getting students excited to walk to school. We are looking forward to launching walking programs after spring break. Walking School Bus Spring Season kick off the week of

Sign up your school, today! Read below for more details.

The Safe Routes to School program in Wyandotte County is growing!

We are kicking off walking programs at 5 new schools this spring. This means that nearly 250 students at 11 schools are participating in walking programs! We have also expanded our partner organizations and are thankful for their help in creating safer, more active, and connected neighborhoods.

Did you know that a 1-mile walk to school and back is two-thirds of the daily recommended 60 minutes of physical activity for kids? Additionally, when children get physical activity before class, they perform better in the classroom, are more on task, and fidget less. This is one of the many reasons why Wyandotte County invests in Safe Routes to School!

Visit Safe Routes to School National Partnership website for more information.

Interested in volunteering for a Walking School Bus? Want to sign your school up for a walking program? Have questions for the Safe Routes team?

Contact program coordinator, Maggie Priesmeyer for details at (816) 205-7056 ext. 7.


MoDOT Celebrates Opening of New Bridge

Fairfax Bridge Opening & Ribbon CuttingIt’s finished!  The Missouri Department of Transportation held a special ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday to celebrate the completion of the new U.S. 69 River Bridge over the Missouri River between Platte County, Mo. and Wyandotte County, KS.

“Driving over a bridge is easy, building one is not,” said Kathy Rose, Mayor of Riverside, Missouri.

Construction on the new bridge began in fall 2014 and the project was completed in March 2017. Vehicle traffic began in December 2016. The bridge replacement project cost $79 million and came under budget by 0.5%. MoDOT and KDOT split the cost of the bridges.

Kathy Rose, Mayor of Riverside, Missouri, took a moment to reflect on the bridges past. The southbound Route 69 Bridge, commonly referred to as the historic Fairfax Bridge, was built in 1933. The northbound Route 69 Bridge, commonly referred to as the Platte Purchase Bridge, was built in 1957.

“Those beautiful truss bridges helped build this region by moving people, materials and goods for decades,” Rose said. “I believe in celebrating successes big and small. This bridge, and what it means for our communities, is a big success.”

In addition to the nearly 200 people in attendance for the special occasion, there were several classic cars lined across the new bridge with some antique models representing the time period when the old bridges were constructed. It was a great turnout for an infrastructure project coordinated through multiple government agencies, two levees, the Fairfax Industrial Association, a railroad, organizations, businesses and of course, the Mighty MO.

“Two states, two cities – we knew this project would be a big one,” says Catherine Patrick, KDOT’s State Transportation Engineer. “Our state depends on infrastructure and our goal was to replace the two bridges with one. It’s a great project and I thank you all for the team work.”

MoDOT says the designer-build contractor, American Bridge Company and Garver, had to obtain more than 70 environmental and construction permits based on their design.

“This is one of the best partnerships I’ve ever seen,” says Gregg Smith, Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission Chair. “This job was without conflict. We developed a relationship that started all the way to this ribbon cutting.”

The Fairfax and Platte Purchase bridges were built to accommodate the type, size, and weight of vehicles at the time of construction, and were not designed for the high volume and heavy weight limits of truck traffic that you typically find today within the heavy industrial zone where these bridges are located. Narrow lanes and load limitations restrict the use of each bridge by overweight and oversized vehicles. Because of their age, both structures require frequent maintenance and costly repairs, causing motorists further delay.

“Today, there are approximately 150 businesses in Fairfax. The opening of this newly constructed bridge will continue to play a vital role in connecting residents throughout the metro area, like it did in the past, to employment opportunities that ultimately help improve the quality of life for families like mine,” said Unified Government Commissioner, Melissa Bynum.

Commissioner Gayle Townsend couldn’t have agreed more. The new U.S. 69 Missouri River bridge will continue to provide access to more than 10,000 jobs for employees who commute on a daily basis to work their shifts in the history Fairfax District at plants like the GM Fairfax Assembly Plant, Kellogg’s, Exxon Mobil, Magellan Pipe Line and the CertainTeed Fiberglass to name just a few. The newly constructed bridge also has an added feature. There’s a 4,580 foot pedestrian bike trail that travels from Kindleberger Road to the Argosy Casino Parkway Roundabout. It connects to the Missouri Riverfront Trail and the Line Creek Trail on the Missouri side.

“When you look up the word bridge in the dictionary, it’s defined as a structure carrying a road, path, railroad, or canal across a river, ravine, or other obstacle. While this newly completed US 69 Missouri River bridge definitely fits into this definition, I see it even more than that. You see to me, bridges bring people and communities together. They play a vital role in improving the quality of life for us all. Bridges allow us to reach schools, health facilities, airports, jobs and new markets for our products.”

MoDOT plans to donate the plaques that identified each bridge to the City of Riverside and to the City of Kansas City, Kansas. The old bridges were both demolished in January 2016.

You can watch the demo of the structures here.
Watch a video of the Fairfax Bridge demolition or check out the photos on our flickr site.


Real Estate Valuation Notices, Wyandotte County

The 2017 real estate notice of values will be mailed on Friday, March 24th, 2017 (extension granted pursuant to K.S.A. 79-1404, Seventeenth). Once a property owner receives their new valuation, if the appraised value is more than they feel that they would reasonably get if the property was sold, then one should consider an appeal.

The Appraiser’s Office is required to value property at a fair market value, which means that values should reflect what’s happening in the real estate market. Wyandotte County, as well as surrounding areas, has been experiencing an appreciating market. Therefore some areas of the county will see this represented in their new valuation, resulting in higher appraisals.

Property owners who feel that their valuation or classification is incorrect will have until April 24th, 2017 to appeal. If an owner wishes to appeal their value, they can do so by filling out the appeal form on the back of the valuation notice and mailing or bringing it to the Appraiser’s Office located at 8200 State Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas 66112. Once the informal appeal deadline has expired, and a property owner did not appeal at time of notice, the next opportunity is when the 2017 tax bills are due on or before December 20, 2017.

Once an appeal is initiated, the Wyandotte County Appraiser’s Office will schedule an informal meeting to discuss the property’s value. It is important to bring in documentation to support the appeal. Documentation can include such items as a recent fee appraisal, pictures of the condition that cannot be seen from the exterior of the property, comparable properties that have sold that the property owner feels more closely represents the value of the property, etc.

Property owners are encouraged to visit the Wyandotte County Appraiser’s Office website at www.wycokck.org/appraiser by clicking on the “Parcel Search”, where the most current property value information will be made available.


UG Launches New Site to Help Businesses Looking to Relocate

The UG announced the launch of a new online management system that provides easier access to information pertaining to zoning ordinances, land development regulations, and municipal and county codes.

Choosing a business location is one of the most important decisions to make for a small business owner or startup company. EnCode Plus is a new internet cloud-based editing and presentation system that makes it easier for a business to find zoned property that is currently for sale and properties that are available for lease. The user has easy access to sale and leasing documentation on all commercially listed properties in Kansas City, Kansas to help them choose the right property and business location for their purpose.

“Awesome site!,” says Scott Warren, who is looking to relocate his business to KCK and is a first user of the UG’s new planning and development codes system. “I spent some time poking around this afternoon. Your assistant called me and scheduled a meeting for Thursday with you and George. I’m looking forward to it! See you then.”

EnCode Plus is used by many municipalities throughout the country. The Unified Government planners and code writers will now have complete control to:

  • Draft
  • Edit
  • Amend
  • Archive
  • Codify
  • Publish
  • And Display

All aspects of our zoning ordinances and code regulations in-house, which improves transparency and reduces the time between an amendment is adopted and then published.

“We are the First community in the Metro Area and one of a handful in the Nation to provide the entire system for our community. I think this will revolutionize how businesses are able to make location decisions within our community with the ability to better inform themselves and make better decisions for their businesses!,” says Director of Planning, Rob Richardson.

The Code plays a vital role in the Unified Government’s efforts to continue the current economic growth as well as encourage new development and renovation that helps improve the overall quality of life for residents choosing to live in Wyandotte County.

Richardson also emphasizes, “This site follows the Unified government Commission initiative to pursue innovation within our local government.”

The user can quickly access the desired information through the new format. Any section of the entire Code of Ordinances can be read by clicking on the View button at the top of the page and navigating to the section using the folders displayed on the interactive right side. You can also search for a particular item by clicking on the Search button. The Favorite Links and Favorite Tables buttons have portions of the Code that are frequently used.

The implementation of EnCode Plus is also part of the government’s mission to improve customer service and access to city and county services.

Additional features include:

  • Historical Archiving
  • GIS Interactive mapping

The Maps button provides access to City and County GIS-based map with map layers that include zoning, parcels and Commission districts, and for individual parcels, links to the zoning district regulations and owner/parcel information for the selected property.
The Planning and Development tool ENCODE is now available on the Unified Government’s website at www.wycokck.org/planning then selecting the Looking to Start a New Business link or at http://online.encodeplus.com/regs/kansascity-ks/.


Stress-Busting with Profound Self-Care, MHAH

Overview:
Go beyond the basics—and the buzzwords—to harness the power of profound self-care in your life to eliminate stress. During this practical, interactive, hands-on presentation you will:

  • Learn what stress actually is
  • Identify how to “hack” your stress response system
  • Discover how your perceptions directly, and indirectly, affect stress and resilience…and thus the rest of your life
  • Connect to your Big Why for self-care
  • Learn ways to shift into a self-care mindset

You will be exposed to new self-care strategies that go beyond the basics and given a framework to help you actually apply these strategies in your own life (because isn’t that the point of participating in presentations like this?). Finally—and most importantly—together Dr. Clark and you will practice specific stress-busting profound self-care strategies.

Praised for her easy to understand and authentic, accessible style, Dr. Clark will provide you with practical, actionable knowledge and tools that you can use in your life right away.

About Dr. Clark: Dr. Heather Clark, PharmD, is an intuitive coach, speaker, author, certified functional medicine specialist, and creator of The Burnout Cure. After her own recovery from severe burnout, she has helped many others recover quickly, safely, and permanently. Dr. Clark awakened to her purpose when she realized that the root cause of burnout isn’t ‘just’ stress–it is the stress of being someone you aren’t. Dr. Clark was a National Merit Scholar, earned her doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Iowa in 1997, was adjunct faculty at University of Missouri-Kansas City, and has practiced in a variety of settings including community, long term care, consulting, and hospital clinical pharmacy. Clarity is her superpower; she helps creative, caring professionals shift their reality and powerfully create their desires.

As a result of participation, you will be able to:

  • Discern how perception may be contributing to stress in your life (and how to change this).
  • Apply specific strategies to reduce and eliminate stress in your life.
  • Engage in the radical act of profound self-care.

Who Should Attend: This workshop is designed for social workers, psychologists, therapists, nurses, mental health counselors and the community.

Continuing Education: Certificate of Attendance (1.5 CEU’s).

Location: Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th Street, Overland Park, KS 66212

Time: Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Registration: Workshop is FREE.

Pre-register only. Contact Stacy Davis to obtain registration form or visit www.mhah.org. If you have any questions and/or need translation or other accommodation, please contact Stacy Davis at by email or (913) 281-2221 ext. 112 at least 5 days prior to the workshop. Registration deadline is April 21, 2017.

Sponsored by: Mental Health America of the Heartland.


Mayor Holland Joins Community to Celebrate Bethel’s Bright Future

Unified Government Mayor/CEO Mark Holland will join the Bethel Neighborhood Center at 11:00 AM Saturday, April 8th for a special groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the successful fundraising campaign that will help renovate the center.

Bethel, a non-profit organization located at 14 S. 7th Street in Kansas City, Kansas, will be able to serve more children and families in need, thanks to many generous donors who recognized the positive impact of improving and expanding the existing building.

The Bethel board launched the capital campaign in July 2014 to raise $2 million dollars. The purpose is to renovate the aging building, address safety concerns and expand the campus to provide additional social services and educational programs for children, their families and senior citizens.

The Unified Government contributed $131,000 for the new driveway and $28,000 for an environmental survey through a Brownfield Grant. Bethel is grateful to the churches, businesses, foundations, public, and private donors who came together and actually surpassed the capital campaign goal raising a grand total of $2,275,114 million dollars.

“This groundbreaking is a great reminder of what our community can do when it comes together to address a critical need,” Mayor/CEO Mark Holland said. “The Bethel Neighborhood Center has played an essential role in our community for more than a century. Its steadfast commitment to serving our more vulnerable residents is an inspiration and cause enough for celebration. I’m thrilled that this expansion will guarantee that Bethel will have the tools it needs to continue that service for many years and decades to come.”

Reverend Mang Sonna, Executive Director of the 105-year-old Bethel Neighborhood Center says, “Over the years, the ethnic makeup of our neighborhood has changed but our mission has not. We are improving the lives of more than 10-thousand participants annually. Bethel Center has always been known as a safe and fun place for all ages. We are so grateful to our donors for believing in our ministry and our dedicated staff who play a very important role in changing lives, one at a time. God is faithful in answering our prayers and in supplying ALL of our needs.”

The construction will be completed within 10 to 12 months and will include upgrades such as a new driveway enabling a safe drop-off and pick-up point for children and Seniors, more educational spaces to double the participation of students, expanded food pantry, upgraded restrooms, kitchen, heating and cooling systems and a new multipurpose center. We invite the community to join us for this celebration from 11 AM– 1 PM. Food served will feature delicacies from some of the ethnic groups helped at the center with Burmese, Bhutanese, Latin-American, Iraqi, Hmong, and Somali food.

Honorary Campaign co-chairwoman, Sandra Olivas of Bank of Labor also comments, “It was a blessing to work as a team with amazing volunteers who spent countless hours reaching out to local and regional donors. During the capital campaign, we were moved to tears by the selfless acts of donors who embraced a message of love and hope.”

“Many of our donors are new to Bethel including the Hall Family Foundation, W.T. Kemper Foundation, Mabee Foundation, the Sunderland Foundation, Jr. League of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties, numerous Corporate partners, and individual donors, says Marylou Reiter, Bethel Board Chair, “we can’t thank you enough for making this groundbreaking day possible for Bethel. Now it’s time to celebrate this extraordinary collaboration!”

About Bethel Neighborhood Center: Bethel opened its doors on April 1, 1911, as a mission center of the Women’s Baptist Home Mission Societies. The primary mission is to serve needy families living in Kansas City, Kansas. Today, more than 10,000 people in Wyandotte County are served annually with Bethel Services.


Information Concerning Appraisal Staff In The Field, UG PSA

Public Service announcement from the Unified Government:

We would like to make the public aware of recent reports of false identity. The reports state that there are individuals who give the impression that they are staff from the Unified Government’s Appraiser’s Office and have been seen taking photos of property. When asked to identify themselves, the individuals have driven off.

We want residents and the public to know that the Appraiser’s Office has staff in the field all year conducting property inspections and will always wear a badge identifying their employment with the Unified Government. Our personnel’s ID badge will have the UG logo present and they will most often be in a marked city/county vehicle.

Upon arrival at each home, staff is required to knock on the front door, identify themselves and ask permission to measure and photograph the exterior of the home along with any other structures located on the property. If no one is home, a yellow door hanger/questionnaire is left on the front door of the residence and staff will then proceed with collecting exterior data.
While on the property, they will be checking characteristic data, measurements, and condition of the property. An interview will be conducted with the property owner or resident, if available. For safety purposes, staff is NOT ALLOWED to enter the interior of a property except by appointment only.

We want to thank the residents for sharing their concerns with us. By working together, we can help ensure the safety of our community as much as possible. If there is any cause for concern, please do not hesitate to contact the Appraiser’s Office directly at (913) 573-8400. Remember, if there’s an emergency, please call 911

View the original note on Facebook.


WyCo Yard Waste Center to Begin Accepting Recycling Again

Beginning Thursday, April 6, 2017, the Wyandotte County Yard Waste Center will once again begin accepting recyclable items, including glass. Located at 3241 Park Drive, the hours of operation for the center will be from 10 AM to 3 PM on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The center will be closed on holidays.

Clear, brown, and colored glass will be accepted at the center. The glass does not have to be separated by color and will be placed in the same container. In addition, other recyclables do not need to be separated and will be placed in one container. Other recyclable items accepted include newspapers, magazines, mixed office paper, cardboard, paperboard, food & beverage cans and plastics.

Items that will not be accepted include: plastic bags, plastic toys, motor oil or other auto product, herbicide or pesticide containers. No Styrofoam materials such as peanuts, packaging blocks/sheets or cups, plastic cereal or cake box liner bags and six-pack holders. Also, no plastic pipe, PVC pipe, or plastic building or sheet materials.

In addition, residents may continue to take grass clippings, garden trimmings, leaves and branches to the center. The center cannot accept stumps and logs larger than 12 inches in diameter or items more than four feet in length. Commercially generated yard waste material will not be accepted.

The center is only open for Wyandotte County residents and must provide valid proof of residency.

For more information about the Recycling & Yard Waste Center, during hours of operation, you can call (913) 371-2034. During other hours please call (913) 573-8318 or (913) 573-5400.


UG Seeking to Build on Village West’s Momentum

Village West is the top tourist draw in Kansas and a boom to our economy. It attracts 10 million visitors and generates more than $25 million in property and sales tax revenue every year.

But Mayor/CEO Mark Holland wants to expand on this progress and believes we can make Village West an even bigger draw. Holland says he is encouraged about Request for Proposals (RFP) for a 30,000 to 50,000 square foot convention center and 225-room hotel that staff recently released to development firms to solicit ideas for the project.

“The time is right to build a new hotel and convention center in Village West. As successful as Village West is, I am confident that it has plenty of room for growth,” says Mayor Holland. “Sporting KC, Kansas Speedway, and the T-Bones bring visitors in from March to October, but we do not yet have the capacity to equal those crowds during the winter months. A convention center would do that.”

The vision for a convention center and hotel dates to the mid-2000s when the UG and Hollywood Casino entered an agreement that called for the casino to build one. The agreement stipulated that if the casino did not break ground on a convention center and hotel, it would give the UG $1.3 to $1.5 million a year until it did. The UG has been collecting that money for the last two years.

“As nice as it is to have that revenue source, I’d rather have a convention center!” Holland says.

You can read more about the RFP in this Kansas City Star article. Proposals are due March 16.