Fireworks vendors approved

For those vendors who applied to sell fireworks in Blue Springs in July 2014, you have been approved.

The Blue Springs City Council approved 16 fireworks permits for the 2014 license year as part of the Monday, April 7 consent agenda.

Police volunteer time valued at $176,638

Mayor Carson Ross was presented a check valued at $176,638.45 by the Blue Springs Volunteers in Police Service. The symbolic check represented the 7,978 volunteer hours all 44 VIPS members assisted the Blue Springs Police in 2013.

According to Blue Springs Sgt. Allen Kintz, the U.S. Department of Labor determined that the amount of work each VIPS volunteer performed would be valued at $22.14 per hour.

VIPS is a volunteer program that began in Blue Springs in May 2008. Currently a total of 28,892 hours of service have been performed by volunteers since its inception, said Kintz. He also said some of the duties VIPS members assist or coordinate include: the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, Shop with a Cop, 5K Fun Run, March with the Mayor, the Barbeque Blaze-Off and providing traffic control for the annual Youth Triathalon. They also help in verifying all Blue Springs businesses and churches emergency contact information.

“The number of (VIPS) volunteers have quadrupled since 2008,” Kintz said to the Council. “They pick up duties that paid staff do not have time to do.”

New life through art for old tower proposed

Could recycled material from the former downtown Blue Springs water tower and aluminum facade from America’s Community Bank be later used for art projects in Blue Springs?

According to Downtown Alive! president Cindy Miller, the group of concerned citizens wanting to revitalize and improve downtown Blue Springs, along with the Blue Springs Public Art Commission, are currently writing a letter of intent to the Truman Heartland Community Foundation to receive a $10,000 grant for art projects using the recycled material. The works of arts would be displayed at the Seventh and Main streets intersection, Miller told the Council.

City Administrator Eric Johnson also announced that Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce has donated property near the 12th and Main Street intersection in downtown Blue Springs. He said Blue Springs Public Works will construct a parking lot that will provide an additional 18 spots for downtown Blue Springs, and it should be completed by sometime in July.

- Brandon Dumsky