Lynne Hermanssen
Special to The Gardner News
Edgerton Mayor Don Roberts presented the Edgerton State of the City Address last Feb. 20.
Roberts and the City of Edgerton have big plans for 2020.
He began by giving a celebratory nod to the Chiefs Super Bowl win and joking that he can be long-winded at times.
Roberts recapped the progress Edgerton made over 2019.
He highlighted the Logistics Park Kansas City projects with Kubota’s new facility opening last August, and Hostess’s 765,000 sq foot warehouse in November.
Approximately 13 million square feet were built at LPKC with 4,500 new jobs according to the city’s report eport.
Roberts said Northpoint Development had started working on their new warehouse that will be the region’s largest spec building creating an inland port.
“We are beating historical KC trends,” he said.
Roberts shared a short video highlighting the press coverage Edgerton has received over the year with national press from CNBC and more.
“We hit media of all types,” he said. “We often get confused with Edgerton, Mo., but we have solidified ourselves worldwide now.”
He said there has also been more and more residential street reconstruction, and it was the largest ever in Edgerton’s history.
Roberts said 2.6 lane miles were completed in three months.
“It is pretty remarkable,” he said.
Roberts highlighted the Sunflower Road Bridge construction completed December 23 with new shoulders and lighting added and the 2.2 miles of connecting walkable trails from 8th street through Big Bull Creek Park.
He spoke on the parks and recreation improvements for the Edgerton and the various community events from art and cooking classes, July 3rd fireworks, game days at city hall, trivia nights and the Princess Tea Party that brought people in from outside Edgerton.
Roberts said the number of people at events continues to grow.
He said the city’s launch of a social media page in 2019 also had a positive impact for the community.
“It is new for us to be on Facebook,” Roberts said. “It is a useful tool to be able to notify folks about the great things our community does.”
The city’s focus in 2020 will be continuing to drive progress.
Roberts said they were going full speed ahead with more construction projects. The main focus is the 207th grade separation and building a bridge to circumvent the trains.
“I always talked about a way to do this as a kid with my Dad,” he said.
Roberts said they want to improve the transit time to help public safety and get people to their residences faster.
“And lessen the time to drive bumpy roads in Gardner,” he said.
Roberts said more free space projects will begin this year starting with the Glendell Acres renovation.
“Residents will help plan the park’s future,” he said.
Roberts said most of the dangerous equipment had been removed, and a teenage boy had helped get a skate park built. The project will include new equipment, a sidewalk system and updated landscaping.
“We have the opportunity to make it the park it can be,” he said.
Roberts said Edgerton is partnering with KDOT to have improvements and turn lanes out in at Highway 56 and 199th streets and Sunflower Road to be completed by December 2020. He said another KDOT partnership project is the 199th Street bridge reconstruction and widening to be completed by December 2021. Roberts said they will also be add shoulders at Homestead Lane and Gardner Roads.
Edgerton is getting a new retail project with the TA Express Truckstop at the Northeast side of I-35 and Homestead Lane. Roberts said it was tentatively scheduled to start construction for March and Phase 1 to be completed by the end of 2020.
Dot’s Pretzels will open in LPKC in September. Roberts said the excellent incentives Edgerton offered is what brought the North Dakota company to LPKC and Edgerton.
Roberts recognized the housing shortage and challenges in Edgerton created by the new LPKC developments.
“It is a realistic dream to covering gaps we don’t cover,” he said. “It is not as cheap as it used to be.”
Roberts said countless seniors had left the community. “We would like to partner with developers and tenacious partners,” he said. “But there are none at this time.”
Roberts said the new community policing contract for new Brad Johnson, master deputy, has been a positive asset for the community. He said Johnson was a ray of sunshine who had increased communication with the Sheriff’s department.
“I’ve seen Brad wave with all his fingers,” Roberts said. “He is a true asset to our community.”
Roberts closed his address with a slide picture of the awards the city has won over the last few years.
“I don’t brag about our true work success,” he said. “The driving force for Edgerton and the KC Area is the due to pride, hard work and diligence.”