Stand up for libraries; communities need them

Marlene Tipton

Moscow Mills, Lincoln County, Missouri

To the editor:

I grew up in Blue Springs. My daughter withdrew 20 to 30 books at a time from Jackson County libraries. She was read to from 2 years old. She recited her alphabet at 2 years. Now she is a teacher.

Why am I living in a town and county that has no library but a school library with maybe 500 books? I learned there have been two large elections to vote in a library but people believe they don’t need a real library. Vote last was 7,000 for and 8,000 against, so I pay $80 per year to use St. Charles County libraries.

There are three counties in Missouri – Lincoln County is one – with no library. Please tell people what they are missing in not having one, ’cause they just don’t know. Please don’t let libraries become extinct.

 

Industrial development in the wrong location

Irene Baltrusaitis

Independence

To the editor:

We built our home on Mohican Avenue in 1990, knowing business development would eventually happen along R.D. Mize Road.

The construction of Jackson Drive and Little Blue Expressway brought renewed development interest. A mixed-use plan was developed to be anchored on the south at R.D. Mize Road with a business park, and moving north included townhomes, walking trails, ponds, parks and ending with single-family homes at Castle Drive.

For years the city has held countless stakeholder meetings in western Independence to allow citizen input into redevelopment along Truman Road, U.S. 24, 23rd Street and Noland Road.

Now comes Van Trust with plans to construct speculative semi-truck warehouses. Because our property is not within 185 feet of the project, the city did not notify us of the changes. Neither were any of our neighbors notified. We are all in direct sight, earshot and smell of the project area. No one asked us what we thought of this semi-truck industrial park.

This project raises serious concerns for us:

• There is no mention of semi-truck parking in the Planning Commission support documents. Looking at the Van Trust drawings, there are 432 truck dock spaces and 978 personal vehicle spaces. In a 24-hour period that is 1,728 to 2,592 truck movements per day (numbers supplied by a local manufacturing company).

• Air pollution: The diesel fumes from semi-trucks will create air quality issues and a health hazard.

• Noise pollution from the trucks coming and going, and those left idling 24/7.

• Light Pollution from the extremely tall lighting around the facility will beam into our homes at night.

• Traffic is already a nightmare driving south on Little Blue Parkway from R.D. Mize Road to I-70. What will that be like with hundreds of semi-trucks thrown into the mix? How will that affect the businesses already there?

Drive Missouri 210 between M-291 and I-435 and look at the cross dock warehouses. Is that what you want for the Little Blue Valley? The city already has an industrial park near Lake City. That is where this project belongs, not in amongst our neighborhoods.

In the almost 48 years I have lived in Independence, there has been angst over what the city can do to improve the gateways into the city. The Van Trust Project sits next to one of only two single-family home subdivisions where homes are being built in Independence. Do you really want to ruin the only attractive gateway into our community?