We have often heard the phrase “You have to crawl before you walk,” and in the NorthWest Community Development Corp. housing program we have followed this advice. Getting it right was the first priority. By doing one project and then overlapping with a second, we have seen progress and success in rebuilding homes within western Independence.

We have often heard the phrase “You have to crawl before you walk,” and in the NorthWest Community Development Corp. housing program we have followed this advice. Getting it right was the first priority. By doing one project and then overlapping with a second, we have seen progress and success in rebuilding homes within western Independence.

We have been blessed that each of the properties has been sold and now new families call the area home. Realizing the need to pick up the pace and build on the momentum for the area, we worked to develop designs for seven new homes that “fit” the character of the neighborhood. We wanted homes that didn’t look out of place or have a cookie-cutter pattern. The designs have their own identity but blend into the neighborhood, and include all the modern technology available to make them low maintenance and energy efficient, with space to expand for a growing family. We are working to maintain that sense of neighborhood and that old can be good.

The designs were completed, the competitive bid process for the construction of the homes was conducted, and now we are ready to get to work on projects that will have a dramatic impact on the positive changes that have already occurred in the area.

A ribbon cutting/groundbreaking ceremony – 2 p.m. next Tuesday at 210 N. Hardy – will mark the beginning of the construction for the new homes and the public improvement project for Ash and Hardy streets. (You can’t miss the big white tent where the event will be held.)

Building new homes and coordinating this work is the Independence Public Works Department, which has contracted for new curbs, gutters, sidewalks, streetlights and under-grounding of the electrical service. This work will be conducted at the same time to ensure the new curbs are correctly aligned and water/sewer services are in place before the new street overlay is completed; this is a true cooperative effort.

We hope you can join us and see the site where the homes will be constructed, and what it will look like when completed in the spring.

This project is also a testimonial of what happens when you work together. The support this project has received from the Community Development Department, the Public Works Department, Independence Power and Light, BP Amoco, HUD, Bank of Grain Valley, The Gamble Company, James Pollard Construction once again demonstrates good things can and do happen when you work together.

It’s somewhat ironic, but truly fitting that this event takes place one hour after another ceremony is ending across town. At the Truman Memorial Building, the memorial service for Mayor Ron Stewart will have just ended, and we will begin one of the largest housing projects to revitalize neighborhoods in western Independence. Taking from the celebration of his work, this project is another way to honor him. The many hats he wore as Captain Ron or as Mayor Stewart, either way I know he is proud of what is happening to his community, and is smiling to see his vision for Independence will continue.

We hope you can join us as we celebrate the new chapter in the legacy of those who believed you can make a difference.