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Examiner
  • Jeff Fox: County's business includes business

  • Although Jackson County expects a significant number of layoffs in its Assessment Department, likely affecting service levels, County Executive Mike Sanders is emphatic on one point for the business community: Day-to-day customer service has to remain a top priority.

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  • Although Jackson County expects a significant number of layoffs in its Assessment Department, likely affecting service levels, County Executive Mike Sanders is emphatic on one point for the business community: Day-to-day customer service has to remain a top priority.
    The county is looking at 35 to 40 layoffs Jan. 1 because of state funding cuts. About half of those will be in the Assessment Department because $1.3 million of that reduced state funding specifically pays for assessment work. Overall county finances are so tight that there’s nothing available to cover the difference.
    “We’re now at a point where we can no longer absorb those” reductions, Sanders said Monday.
    Does that mean the county will be a little slower about reassessing local properties? Won’t some property owners be just fine with that? Could be and could be, said Sanders.
    But businesses looking to locate or expand here need information quickly. Who exactly owns a certain piece of property? Are any back taxes owed? Delays in answering those questions will send business elsewhere, Sanders said, so tending to that remains job one.
    “If we don’t do that, that could have a dramatic effect,” he said.
    Open the doors
    The area’s newest QuikTrip, on the site of the former Stephenson’s Apple Market and Restaurant at U.S. 40 and Lee’s Summit Road, is set to open Oct. 11.
    The company also is replacing its store at Noland Road and Fair Avenue in Independence with a larger store right next door at Noland and 23rd Street. That store opens next April. Both new stores are “Generation 3” stores, like the one on U.S. 24 near Blue Mills Road, meaning they are bigger, with more entrances, easing the busy flow of customers.
    Also opening:
    • Ross Dress for Less holds grand openings at its Blue Springs and Independence locations at 9 a.m. Saturday. The Blue Springs store is at 1320 N.E. Coronado Drive at Adams Dairy Landing. The Independence store is at 18910 E. 39th St. in Independence Commons.
    • Big Lots has cut the ribbon on its store at 603 West U.S. 40 in Blue Springs, replacing the one at 821 S.W. Missouri 7. The company made a $2,500 donation to James Walker Elementary School.
    • Cato, a women’s clothing, shoe and accessories store, is set to open Thursday at 1334 N.E. Coronado Drive, at Adams Dairy Landing. Rachel Cochran of Independence is the store manager. The company, based in Charlotte, N.C., already has 33 Missouri locations and 1,200 stores in 31 states.
    • There was a ribbon-cutting Monday for Alexander Apparel at 115 S.W. Eagles Parkway in the Old Town Market Center in Grain Valley. It actually opened a year ago, but owner Anthony Alexander said he’s been extremely busy getting the business moving ahead. The company does screen printing and embroidery and makes uniforms, among other things.
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    Jeff Fox is The Examiner's business editor. Reach him at 816-350-6313 or jeff.fox@examiner.net. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_Fox.
     

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