Grain Valley is asking local business people how they’d like to see the rapidly growing city develop over the next 20 years.

“If you were in charge of the city, where would it go?” is how Charlotte Lewin of consulting firm Burns & McDonnell put it Tuesday at the Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon. The comprehensive plan that the company is helping the city develop will address such issues as land use, types of housing and roads and bridges.

Specifically, she asked business owners: What do you like about the city, why are you here – and what will keep you here? To get answers to those kinds of questions, officials are encouraging people to take a survey – it’s at – and offer their ideas. There’s also a link on the city’s website.

Informally, she asked those at the luncheon what they like about the city. The answers ranged from a nice hometown feel to the trick-or-treat event last week. And what does the city need? A sit-down restaurant, health-care providers, something to make the city a destination, came some answers.

Lewin encouraged everyone to have their friends and neighbors to jump in and take the survey.

“We want to make sure we have a good foothold on where we are today,” she said. Three public meetings are planned in the months ahead – no dates yet – and then the plan goes to the Board of Aldermen sometime around next May.

Three elected

Also Tuesday, the Grain Valley chamber voted Christina Caldwell to the board, in a two-year as treasurer, and James Pycioir was elected to a one-year term as secretary. Eddie Saffell was re-elected vice president.

Positive territory

Quick stats: The state of Missouri says sales taxes – a pretty good measure of consumer activity – were up 2.2 percent in October, compared with October 2012. For the first four months of the current fiscal year, sales and use taxes are up 4.4 percent

Overall, state revenues are running 2.5 percent ahead of last year.

Meanwhile, the Creighton Economic Forecasting Group puts Missouri’s October business conditions index at 54.3, which suggests growth in the months ahead, although that’s a decline from 55.6 in September. For the survey, purchasing managers asked about sales, inventories, new orders and other factors, and all of that goes into a score. Anything above 50 is positive territory, and Missouri has been there for some time. Construction is driving growth in the state, the Creighton Group says, while manufacturers are adding hours to the work week rather than adding people to the payroll.

For the nine-state regional overall, the Creighton Group says, the score fell to an even 50 in October, down from 54.8 in September. That’s the lowest reading of the year. Why? The partial government shutdown hurt, and agriculture-related firms are seeing a slowing of business.

Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s business reporter and editor. Reach him at or 816-350-6313. Follow on Twitter @FoxEJC or @Jeff_Fox.