An effort aimed at cleaning up Truman Road as people enter Independence from the west side has asked the City Council to consider funding the effort in the upcoming fiscal year.

An effort aimed at cleaning up Truman Road as people enter Independence from the west side has asked the City Council to consider funding the effort in the upcoming fiscal year.


Two members of the Truman Gateway Redevelopment Committee asked the council Monday night to possibly fund the three-fold effort that borders River Boulevard on the east and the Stone Arch Bridge (also known as the Blue Ridge Boulevard Arch) on the west.


The Truman Gateway effort, which started about a year ago, has three focus areas – beautification, branding and business development.


“I think we’ve done quite well because as far as branding goes, we already have a logo, which is the Stone Arch Bridge, and it’s quite lovely,” said Donna Pittman, an Independence resident and owner of Curt’s Famous Meats, 10101 E. Truman Road.


The Redevelopment Committee consists of about 30 people, including business owners, property owners, residents, the Independence School District, Jackson County officials, Independence Economic Development, the Chamber of Commerce and city officials from different departments, including the Independence Police Department.


Mayor Don Reimal and members of the City Council also have attended past meetings, “and we’re very appreciative of that,” Pittman said.


Beautification and maintenance of Truman Road, also known as Missouri 12, is the responsibility of the Missouri Department of Transportation, in the area identified through the Truman Gateway.


“They’ve done a great job,” Pittman said. “Usually, there’s an official who attends our meetings, and when we made it aware to them of how much we wanted (Truman Road) improved, they immediately went out and cleaned up brush and picked up trash, so we’re well on our way to making improvements that way.”


Business development, Pittman said, is the most challenging of the three goals.


Gary White, president and CEO of The Groves, said several business owners put together about $2,000 of their own money, and the project also has received a $2,000 Truman Heartland Community Foundation grant.


Truman Gateway members have asked a consultant what is necessary to make Truman Road an improved western gateway into Independence. The Groves Retirement Community is at 1515 W. White Oak St., off of West Truman Road and North Forest Avenue, on the eastern side of the Truman Gateway focus area. It includes about 800 residents and staff members in total.


“When you look at coming into Independence from the west, where Truman Road is the major thoroughfare, there is quite a bit of room for improvement,” White said.


Council members will vote on June 18 for the 2012-13 budget, which takes effect on July 1.