April 25, 2014

Weathering the snow and economic storm

Southwest Johnson County appears to have weathered the storm – in more ways than one. Yes, the latest rounds of the Blizzard of Oz have been harrowing and disconcerting, but we survived.
While grocery store shelves ran almost dry, the people of these communities preserved, and continue to do so as we clean up the much-needed moisture from the streets and sidewalks.
The can-do attitude is reminiscent of the local reaction to stunted growth and economy.
It’s been a tough several years in the local economy. Property values decreased crunching the budgets of the cities, county and school districts. Tax receipts dried up, and paychecks were crunched.
Although the recession has been deemed over for several years now, things are starting to feel a little more spring like.
Tax receipts are up statewide and property values and employment numbers locally seem to be stable or inching higher.
Growth has been a little, well, cold, the past few years, but that appears to be picking up.
The intermodal project has a full head of steam and is set to open, finally, sometime in the second quarter of 2013.
Meanwhile, real estate property is beginning to fly off the shelves.
There were times in the last few days – as snow pelted and pelted the community at a rate of more than an inch per hour – when we weren’t sure just how we were going to dig ourselves out from under Mother Nature’s icy blanket.
So, it was also as we wondered when we would begin the climb out of the economic doldrums.
We worried it might be days before the Kansas City Metro area could dig its way back to its daily business. We feared it may be decades before we dug ourselves out of the economic basement.
Our worries, it turns out, were all for naught.
It’s quickly becoming apparent that business would continue as usual in the face of winter storms and that we will weather the economic storms as well.
We owe a special gratitude to plow trucks which worked tirelessly once the snow ceased to get first main roads and gradually side streets clear and open for business. Many of us also owe special thanks to friends and neighbors tirelessly clearing driveways.
And to small businesses who have stood strong in the face of challenging fiscal times, we also say thanks. Small business owners truly are the backbone of the U.S. economy and they also serve as the backbone locally.
The folks in this area met the challenges the dramatic storm presented with hard work and neighborly concern.
We look forward to this community thriving for years to come.

Written by the editorial staff.

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