BPU approves economic development project

The Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Public Utilities on Wednesday, Sept. 21, approved $248,000 for the Yards II project in the bottoms area.

The funds will be for a water main extension and waiving connection fees, according to BPU officials.

The apartment project also was referred to as the Helms.

It is the third largest economic development project the BPU has contributed to in the past several years, according to BPU members.

At another recent board meeting, the BPU turned down a request from the Yards II for $500,000 worth of economic development incentives. There was not enough return on investment for the project, the board members said at that time.

The vote was 4-2 Wednesday to approve the project, with those voting yes including Tom Groneman, Bob Milan, Mary Gonzalez and Rose Mulvany-Henry. Voting no were David Haley and Jeff Bryant.

Bryant said the BPU’s economic development fund is not sitting there waiting to be spent. It was earmarked in the budget that it could be spent, he said. Usually the BPU has $500,000 available for economic development projects each year.

“I feel those are dollars more precious than other dollars. We have to be very good stewards of dollars and make sure return on investment for our community is there,” he said.

In other action, the BPU unanimously approved a revolving loan from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The loan was amended from an earlier version.

Costs went up about $14.5 million since the original cost estimate, according to BPU officials.

The projects under the original $25 million loan included the Argentine Reservoir, which increased $4.5 million; replacement of a 24-inch main at 12th and Kansas River, an increase of $4 million; and electrical improvements at the Nearman Water Treatment Plant and pumping stations, an increase of $1 million.

Projects added to the total include a main at 90th and Parallel, an increase of $2 million; and replace aging distribution mains, an increase of $3 million, according to BPU officials.

The KDHE $39.5 million loan is for 30 years at an interest rate of 1.5 percent.

Applefest returns this weekend to Grinter Place

The annual Applefest will return Saturday and Sunday at Grinter Place state historic site, 1420 S. 78th St., Kansas City, Kansas.

The event was last held around three years ago, according to Pam Howe. She is the co-administrator of the site with Bill Nicks.

This year the Grinter Place Friends are partnering with Strawberry Swing to hold the event, Howe said. The group has popup events each weekend, bringing its own following, food trucks and more to events, she added.

The event Saturday and Sunday will include kids’ activities, free tours of the Grinter House by tour guides in period costume, artists and crafters’ displays, music and Grinter Place items for sale such as apple butter, candles and T-shirts. There will be vendors.

Representatives of the Delaware and Wyandotte nations will give presentations on a small stage, she said.

A small pop-up gift shop will be located inside Grinter House, she added.

Admission is free and open to the public for the two days, she added.

Hours of the festival are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25.

Grinter Place is a state museum on the site of a ferry across the Kansas River, on the military road between Ft. Leavenworth and Ft. Scott. The historic Grinter House was completed in 1857 and is furnished in that period.

As with any festival of its kind, a lot depends on the weather. Howe said the current forecast for the weekend is good, with warm temperatures in the afternoon, and no rain.

For more information, see https://www.facebook.com/grinterplace.

The annual Applefest returns Sept. 24-25 at Grinter Place, a state historic museum at 78th and K-32 in Kansas City, Kansas. (File photo)

Piper car show returns on Saturday

The Piper car show will return on Saturday, Sept. 24, after a two-year absence due to COVID.

The Piper Community Festival Car and Truck Show and Shine event will feature cars, trucks and motorcycles on display, said Sean Ziolo, who is working with the car show. It is held in conjunction with the Piper Community Festival on Saturday.

“It feels good, we’re excited,” Ziolo said about the return of the car show. They couldn’t hold the car show in 2020, and in 2021 they had the opportunity but decided not to risk it.

“We’re going to be back, bigger and better,” he said. “We’re looking forward to seeing everybody.”

They’re planning to have 250 to 300 vehicles in the show this year, he added.

Car show registration will be the same day, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at Piper High School, 4400 N. 107th, Kansas City, Kansas. There will be plenty of parking for trucks and trailers.

There will be a $10 entry fee per vehicle.

More than 60 awards will be given out, and the awards will be presented at 3 p.m. Saturday, he added.

One of the vehicles will be named the principal’s choice pick, and will be featured on next year’s T-shirt and banner for the car show, Ziolo said.

The Piper Community Festival, the same day and place, will start with a pancake breakfast by the Boy Scouts from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday.

A 5k run-walk will start at 8 a.m. Online registration ends Sept. 23 but same-day registration will be available for the 5k. Registration for the 5k will be $25 for 19 and over, $20 for 18 and younger.

A silent auction will be held inside Piper school at the same time as the car show.

Also, a carnival will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be family wristbands for $50 per family, or individual wristbands at $20 per person.

Bingo is planned from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the festival, with a value pack offered for $10.

There will be no admission charge to walk through the festival, and food and refreshments will be available.

Proceeds will benefit the Piper Educational Foundation.

For more information about the car show, call Ziolo at 913-515-0417.