When pioneers came through the portion of eastern Kansas Territory to the place where the California, Santa Fe, and Oregon Trails divided, they established a stagecoach stop, an armory, and other conveniences to prepare for their journey further westward. That place eventually grew to become what is today known as Gardner, Kan.
We have always been a place where new trails have been blazed, where pioneers and innovators have taken risks, and from where the West was remade. And we are doing it again.
Over the last five years, Gardner has been working diligently to prepare for the next wave of pioneers to come to our community and innovate. We have rewritten our Comprehensive Plan and development codes, revamped our economic development and incentive policies, completed utility studies, and published our Capital Improvement Element (CIE) – strategically looking at infrastructure needs over the next 20 years. We’ve been stocking up on firewood, so to speak, and the efforts have begun to bear fruit.
In just the last year, Gardner has:
• Begun construction on a new 80 room Hampton Inn and 200 seat Conference Center, $14 million investment
• Opened a new Dairy Queen $1.5 million business creating 15 new jobs
• Expanded Ground House coffee into a second location – a $500,000 investment, creating 5 new jobs
• Broke ground for Excelligence Learning Corporation, adding approximately 250 jobs and $38 million in new investment
• Announced two new subdivisions, totaling over 400 housing units
At my first State of the City Address as mayor on March 6, I will be making a couple of game-changing, monumental announcements that will affect the lives of every citizen of Gardner.
The last five years, we have been preparing for this moment. Now the next generation of pioneers are ready to “Blaze New Trails” into the future. Let’s light the fire and get started.
Gardner still blazing new trails