• County grants Menards sewer easement

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  • Menards, a large home furnishings retailer, continues to make plans for a store in Independence.
    The company is saying little but now acknowledges those plans. There is no announced timeline for construction or opening.
    “We hope to build a new store in Independence, MO sometime in the future,” the company said in a brief statement Monday in response to an email request for information about when the store would be built, when it would open and how many employees it would have. The company did not answer those questions.
    The query to Menards was in response to Monday’s approval by the Jackson County Legislature of an ordinance to grant Menards an easement across county park property, the park that includes the Little Blue River Trace Trail.
    “ ... Menard Inc., desires to install an underground storm sewer line across park property at its proposed new location at I-70 and Little Blue Parkway in Independence, MO ...” the ordinance says in part.
    That site is tucked in at the northeast corner of I-70 and the parkway. Behind it, to the east, are the Kansas City Southern tracks and the east fork of the Little Blue River. It’s the area where a new QuikTrip is about to open – possibly this week, QuikTrip says.
    Last month, the Independence Planning Commission approved a new, larger plat for Menards, but City Manager Robert Heacock said there was no timeline to announce regarding construction or opening. He has also said those announcements need to come from the company.
    The county ordinance also states that Menards has agreed to pay $3,253 for the easement and county fees, and that money would go toward the extension of the bike trail, which remains a long-term county goal. The Menards site would have a stormwater detention pond, and that pond would empty into the Little Blue River via a five-foot-wide sewer line.
    The bike trail bends away from the Menards site. From the north, it comes down the west side of the Little Blue, then swings west and goes under the railroad tracks in the area where the east fork flows into the Little Blue. That’s a few hundred yards north of the Menards site. The trail then crosses Little Blue Parkway and passes near places such as Saints Pub and Patio, Cold Stone Creamery and the Hilton Garden Inn before running under I-70 and, staying with the river, generally heads to the southwest.
    Although Menards, based in Eau Claire, Wis., has 280 stores across 14 states, it’s been cautious about moving into the Kansas City market. Other sites in the metro area have been reported, but for now the nearest are in Sedalia and St. Joseph.
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