How to Help Excelsior Springs

I’m often contacted by local citizens asking about ways to get involved. There’s so much happening here that becoming active is relatively easy. Here are some ideas to help get you started:

1. Be an Advocate for Excelsior Springs

I can’t help but get irritated when I see Excelsior citizens talking smack on the town. This is OUR town! We should take pride in it and what happens here. We aren’t doing anything to help by tearing it down publicly, though. If anything, it undoes the work that so many here are doing to make this the best place to be. If there are problems of some kind, get involved by personally meeting with those that you have a problem with. Go to them in person before taking your argument to social media. That’s the respectful thing to do and something you would want your neighbor to do for you.

When someone asks about Excelsior Springs, tell them about all the great things happening here annually now. There are parades/festivals/events every month throughout the year. Invite them to come for a visit and send them our city’s tourism website that gives them all the info they’ll need to play a great stay ——> www.visitexcelsior.com

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2. Shop Local

For every $100 you spend locally, $68 stays local. When you shop at a national chain, only $43 stays locally. By buying local, you are stimulating the local economy, becoming a part of local job growth, and conserve tax dollars by keeping sales tax dollars where you live.

Take a picture and make a post when you’re in a local business or at a local event. Someone that does a great job with this is the Bill Hightower Team. They go out to eat as a company and always give the restaurant they go to a plug online! Perfect example:

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3. Promote the Community

Talk to your friends about what’s happening in the community. When you have an opportunity to recommend Excelsior, do! If your organization is looking to have a work function or your family is having a reunion, ask that they come to Excelsior!

On social media, click “like” on local posts, share info that will be helpful to the community, and leave positive comments that others can see. When you see good things happening in the community, share with the area news organizations. Sharing a post is so easy on Facebook! Help get the word out about what’s going on by giving our community a plug whenever you can! Also, if you’re making a post, use the hashtag #eslocal so that it shows up in a search. Type #eslocal into the search bar on any social media platform to pull up others posts about our town.

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4. Leave Good Reviews

Most businesses are located online in places that you can leave a review. Visit your favorite Excelsior pages at sites like Yelp! or Facebook and leave a positive review. This helps boost their visibility online and works as an endorsement for others that might be considering that shop.

Here are some examples of great reviews left for Dubious Claims downtown:

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5. Volunteer

There are a number of community organizations and events taking place throughout the year that need your help. If you have a place of business or group looking to get involved, there are opportunities for multiple people to get active, too. Check out how to volunteer for organizations within the community:

City of Excelsior Springs

The City has several boards and commissions that citizens are needed to serve on each year. Choose from Board of Zoning Adjustments, Capital Improvements Authority, Community Center Board, Enhanced Enterprise Zone, Hall of Waters Steering Committee, Historic Preservation Commission, Hospital Board, Housing Authority, Parks and Recreation, Planning and Zoning Commission, Public Safety Sales Tax Oversight Committee, Special Road District, and Tax Increment Financing Commission. If you want to serve the city on a board or committee, click here for the volunteer application. 

Excelsior Springs Chamber of Commerce

You don’t have to be a member of the Chamber in order to volunteer for their annual activities! They have a whole list of committees and event planning groups that you can join or be involved in. Examples include the Chamber’s Annual Dinner and Auction, choosing award winners for annual recognitions for both business and the community, Economic Development, Professional Development, Finance, Marketing/Tourism, Membership, Trolley, Waterfest, and the West Side Committee. Click here to learn more and submit your name to volunteer.

Downtown Excelsior Partnership

The Downtown Excelsior Partnership (DEP) is an organization that builds support to our downtown. There are a number of committees that you can get involved in to make a difference to our community’s economy: Design, Economic Vitality, Promotion, Website, and Organization. Click here for more details.

Other organizations that are in need of help throughout the year include the Good Samaritan Center, Excelsior Springs Educational Foundation, Excelsior Springs Parks and Recreation Department, Excelsior Springs Senior Center, Meet the Need, Elementary and Middle School Booster Clubs, After Prom, Excelsior Springs Hospital, and more! Click on each name to find more information.

6. Serve

If you want to go beyond volunteering, there are a number of boards and commissions throughout the city that could use your help! Try serving on a city board. I encourage you to attend meetings of organizations you’re interested in before running for a board position, though. Familiarize yourself not only with the issues that particular board is facing, but also to develop good relationships with those you will be serving with. That’s important so your time spent on the board or commission is most effective.

7. Pay Your Taxes

Something that is expected of us all is to pay our taxes, but it goes beyond just meeting a requirement set. Paying your taxes helps to care for our community’s infrastructure, schools, and public services. Paying your taxes means playing a larger role in a collective good. With all of us working together, we can do great things.

I brag on Excelsior Springs every chance I get. My entire life I have loved this town and the people in it. We have such a unique community. Despite it growing, it still feels small. Those who are outside looking in describe us as a community that cares for each other. We take care of one another when there are hardships like fires or loss of a loved one. Our circles are tight and our hearts are full of love. To me, that’s something worth supporting. I hope you’ll join me!

volunteers

10 Fav Excelsiorite Pics of Snow

Upon asking Excelsiorites to share their pictures of the snow, I never imagined there would be over 280! Loved seeing everyone’s adventures in our winter wonderland! Below are some of the favorites and top rated pics of the thread. Thanks to all who shared:

Connie Parson says: “My daughter, Haley Parson, took this photo this morning. She specializes in macro photography.”

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Angela Liezen-Paul captured this beautiful image in Rocky Hollow…

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Michelle Davis posted this one from the snow at night:

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Catherine Holman captured a beautiful image of the Hall of Waters in the snow…

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Katelyn Curry captured this of an evergreen…

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Tracy Stokes shared her picture of a whole family of deer

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April Graham’s eye for a good shot is never off

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Sherrie Easter McElwee shared a gorgeous image…

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And Amanda R. Nelson didn’t disappoint with this great shot…

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To see more, join our Facebook group: Excelsior Springs News, Events, and Daily Deals!

 

 
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Snow Saturday in Excelsior Springs

Couldn’t resist not getting outside to see Excelsior Springs in what looks like a snow globe today! Of course I took some pics for all those staying in for today.

Jason drove me all through the downtown, where I saw several stores and restaurants open! Some that I noticed open were: Broadway Bar & Grill, Atlas Saloon, Ventana Gourmet Grill, Main Spring Art Gallery, Fishing River Market, Dubious Claims Brewery, and Bluebird Couture.

12 Christmas Events in Excelsior Springs

Christmas in Excelsior Springs
One of the things that Excelsior does best is Christmas! This season, there is a whole list of upcoming Christmas events taking place here in town. See below for a list and click on each for more info!

1. Hall of Trees

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The Hall of Trees inside the historic Hall of Waters, 201 E. Broadway, will be open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 4:45pm. Open throughout the holiday season with beautifully and uniquely decorated Christmas trees on display surrounding the world’s longest mineral water bar.

Click here for more information.

2. Lane of Lights

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The Lane of Lights is located along Lovers Lane in East Valley Park and is open through December 31. The Christmas Committee has created this lighted drive-through holiday display to give families and friends a destination on cold winter evenings. It’s a great way to top off or start an evening out to dinner or the movies, the school holiday performance or your family get-together. Admission by donation. The Christmas Committee partners with local organizations for this fundraising event.

HOURS OF LANE:
November 30-December 31 – Open daily 5:30pm-10:00pm (Fridays and Saturdays) and 5:30pm-9:00pm (Sundays through Thursdays)

Click here for more information.

3. Holiday Homes Tour

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Visit 5 beautifully decorated homes on December 1 from noon to 6:00pm. Regular tickets are $10 in advance and are available here. Tickets that include trolley transportation are $15 in advance and are available here: Noon Tour,  2pm Tour3pm Tour

Click here for more information.

4. Taste of Christmas

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Visit 15 Excelsior Springs businesses to enjoy tasty treats and shopping on December 8 from 1:00-4:30pm! Tickets are $15 in advance and are available here. Tickets that include trolley transportation are $20 and are available here.

Click here for more information.

5. Holly Jolly Lights Tour

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See the lights of Excelsior Springs from the comfort of the Chamber Trolley!

TICKETS FOR HOLLY JOLLY LIGHTS TOURS:
December 8, early tour 6:00pm
December 8, late tour 7:45pm
December 15, early tour 6:00pm
December 15, late tour 7:45pm
December 22, early tour 6:00pm
December 22, late tour 7:45pm
December 24, early tour 6:00pm
December 24, late tour 7:45pm

Click here for more information.

6. Christmastime Tour of Churches

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Get tickets now for the Museum’s 2nd annual Christmastime Tour of Churches — by trolley ($15) or you drive ($10) online at www.exsmo.com/museum. Or call 630-0101 to reserve a spot on the trolley — limited seating!

Click here for more information.

7. Christmas on the Farm

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Please join us for Christmas on the Farm at Watkins Woolen Mill State Park! Admission is free for the event and there will be an open house at the Watkins family home for the duration of the event. Activities at the home will include holiday caroling, reading of family letters, free samples of traditional holiday treats, flaming of the plum pudding demonstrations, and an opportunity for children to visit with Father Christmas. Activities at the visitor center will include kids crafts and live traditional holiday music.

Click here for more information.

8. Mingle and Jingle – Chamber After Hours at Broadway Bar & Grill

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Click here for more information.

9. December Sketchout at Hall of Waters – Hall of Trees

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Saturday, December 1st Sketch Crawl will be at the Hall of Waters, Hall of Trees exhibit in historic downtown Excelsior Springs, MO.

Theme: Holiday Trees at Hall of Trees
Location: Hall of Waters, 201 E Broadway St, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

*10:00 am meet & check-in at Main Spring Arts Gallery & Studios
*10:15-12:15 pm sketch the Hall of Trees exhibit at Hall of Waters
*Around 12:15 pm return to the check-in area to share your work and take a group photo
*Stick around afterwards and eat lunch with the group at Willow Spring Mercantile before heading out to shop or tour other locations, like the Elms Hotel

USkKC collaborated with partner location, Main Spring Arts Gallery & Studios (110 S Main Street, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024) nestled between theaters, antique shops, and boutiques that keep this town bustling.

Click here for more information.

10. Candy Cane Hunt – Excelsior Springs Parks and Recreation

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Click here for more information.

11. Free Pictures with Santa and Ride on the Polar Express

44672379_2235320376540293_1252368710681755648_oClick here for more information.

12. ReeceNichols Santa Event

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Click here for more information!

 

Excelsior Springs Lane of Lights Schedule

Lane of Lights

Our Christmas Committee here in Excelsior Springs does such a fabulous job of making things nice throughout the holiday season! Something that has become quite a tradition for those living here is participating in the Lane of Lights held in Lover’s Lane Park each year. This year, the committee was even able to purchase a lighted tunnel that has been a big hit among locals!

Hours for the Lane
November 30-December 31 – Open daily 5:30pm-10:00pm (Fridays and Saturdays) and 5:30pm-9:00pm (Sundays through Thursdays)

Each night is sponsored by a local club or organization, raising money through donations to go back to their cause. Following is a list of those that we know are participating!

November 30 – Re/Max (ES School District – lunch accounts)
December 1 – 4-H2O
December 2 – Main Spring Art Gallery
December 3 – Excelsior Springs Optimists
December 4 – ESHS Band Boosters
December 5 – Ice Crushers Baseball
December 6 – Boy Scouts Troop 309
December 7 – Westview PAWS
December 8 – Cyclones Softball
December 9 – Good Samaritan Center
December 10 – VCU Youth Group – Missions to Haiti
December 11 – Cub Scout Pack 4313
December 12 – After Prom Committee
December 13 – Girl Scout Troop 3653
December 14 – Girl Scout Troop – Scarbrough
December 15 – Excelsior Springs Chamber of Commerce
December 16 – Lewis PALS
December 17 – Elkhorn SOS
December 18 – ReeceNichols – Claypool Team
December 19 – ReeceNichols – Halberstadt Team (proceeds to Reno Ranch Pet Rescue)
December 20 – SkillsUSA – Excelsior Springs Area Career Center
December 21 – ReeceNichols – Hightower Team (proceeds to Rebuilding Together – Clay County)
December 22 – Advance America (hosting on behalf of the ES Christmas Committee)
December 23 – Excelsior Springs Rotary Club
December 24 – ES Christmas Committee
December 26 – Stealth Baseball
December 27 – MOPS of Excelsior Springs Methodist
December 28 – Small Town Sidekicks
December 29 – Cancerkickers – Relay for Life Team
December 30 – ES Knuckleheadz Baseball

If you have others to add, please message me on Facebook or post details into our community group!

Excelsior Springs Real Estate

RealEstate

Something that I see getting asked a lot is places to buy/rent in Excelsior Springs. If you’re looking for places to rent, you might reach out to Hightower Rental Properties, Re/Max, TNG Property Investments, or Kim Roach McElwee to see about possibilities. Also check the Town & Country paper. Click here to see the latest edition online.

Below is a list of houses that I have found to be for sale right now:

Re/Max Real Estate

ReeceNichols Excelsior Springs Listings:

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What’s On the Ballot – Excelsior Springs – Ray and Clay Counties

OnTheBallot

Are you a last minute decider when it comes to elections? Well, you’re not alone! There are many that begin their search for who to vote for just a few days before the actual election. This post is written to help those living in the Excelsior Springs area know what is on their ballot and where they can go to find more information on each issue or candidate.

Tuesday, November 6th • Polls open from 6:00AM to 7:00AM

What’s on the Ballot?
Information courtesy of Ballotpedia

Ballot measures for both Ray and Clay Counties include:

Missouri Proposition B: $12 Minimum Wage Initiative
• A “yes” vote supports increasing the state’s minimum wage each year until reaching $12 in 2023 and then making increases or decreases based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.
• A “no” vote opposes increasing the state’s minimum wage each year until reaching $12 in 2023 and then making increases or decreases based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.

Missouri Amendment 1, Lobbying, Campaign Finance, Redistricting Initiative
• A “yes” vote support this constitutional amendment to make changes to the state’s lobbying laws, campaign finance limits for state legislative candidates, and legislative redistricting process.
• A “no” vote opposes this constitutional amendment to make changes to the state’s lobbying laws, campaign finance limits for state legislative candidates, and legislative redistricting process.

Missouri Amendment 2, Medical Marijuana and Veteran Healthcare Services Initiative
• A “yes” vote supports this constitutional amendment to: *legalize marijuana for medical purposes; *tax marijuana sales at 4 percent; and *spend tax revenue on healthcare services for veterans.
• A “no” vote opposes this constitutional amendment to: *legalize marijuana for medical purposes; *tax marijuana sales at 4 percent; and *spend tax revenue on healthcare services for veterans.
Missouri Amendment 3, Medical Marijuana and Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute Initiative
• A “yes” vote supports this constitutional amendment to: *legalize marijuana for medical purposes; *tax marijuana sales at 15 percent; and *spend tax revenue on a Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute.
• A “no” vote opposes this constitutional amendment to: *legalize marijuana for medical purposes; *tax marijuana sales at 15 percent; and *spend tax revenue on a Biomedical Research and Drug Development Institute.

Missouri Amendment 4: Management and Advertisement of Bingo Games Amendment
• A “yes” vote supports this amendment to: “lower the time required that someone is a member of an organization to manage a bingo game for that organization from two years to six months and “remove the constitutional ban on organizations advertising bingo games.
• A “no” vote opposes this amendment to: “lower the time required that someone is a member of an organization to manage a bingo game for that organization from two years to six months and “remove the constitutional ban on organizations advertising bingo games.

Missouri Proposition C: Medical Marijuana and Veterans Healthcare Services, Education, Drug Treatment, and Public Safety Initiative
• A “yes” vote supports this initiated statute to: *legalize marijuana for medical purposes; *tax marijuana sales at 2 percent; and *spend tax revenue on veterans’ services, drug treatment, education, and law enforcement.
• A “no” vote opposes this initiated statute to: *legalize marijuana for medical purposes; *tax marijuana sales at 2 percent; and *spend tax revenue on veterans’ services, drug treatment, education, and law enforcement.

Missouri Proposition D: Gas Tax Increase, Olympic Prize Tax Exemption, and Traffic Reduction Fund Measure
• A “yes” vote supports this measure to: increase the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon, with revenue for the state highway patrol and local road funding; exempt prizes for Special Olympics, Paralympics, and Olympics from state taxes; and create a dedicated fund for certain road projects, including those to reduce traffic.
• A “no” vote opposes this measure to: increase the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon, thereby leaving the rate at $0.17; exempt Olympic prizes from state taxes; and create a dedicated fund for road projects, including those to reduce traffic.

Candidates for U.S. Senate Missouri
Claire McCaskill (D) (Incumbent)
Josh Hawley (R)
Japheth Campbell (L)
Craig O’Dear
Jo Crain (G)

Clay County Candidates for U.S. House Missouri District 6
Henry Martin (D)
Sam Graves (R) (Incumbent)
Dan Hogan (L)

Ray County Candidates for U.S. House Missouri District 5
Emanuel Cleaver (D) (Incumbent)
Jacob Turk (R)
Alexander Howell (L)
Maurice Copeland (G)
E.C. Fredland

Candidates for Missouri Auditor
Nicole Galloway (D) (Incumbent)
Saundra McDowell (R)
Sean O’Toole (L)
Don Fitz (G)
Jacob Luetkemeyer

Clay County Missouri State Senate District 12
Terry Richard (D)
Dan Hegeman (R) (Incumbent)

Clay County Missouri House of Representatives District 38
Abby Zavos (D)
Doug Richey (R)

Ray County Missouri House of Representatives District 39
Peggy McGaugh (R) (Incumbent)
Rick Mellon (D)

The following are all county races pertaining to Clay County only:

Candidates for Clay County Auditor
Victor Hurlbert (R)

Candidates for Clay County Recorder of Deeds
Bruce Cantwell (D)
Katee Porter (R) (Incumbent)

Candidates for Clay County Prosecutor
Dan White (D) (Incumbent)

Candidates for Clay County Presiding Commissioner
Wendi Bridges (D)
Jerry Nolte (R) (Incumbent)

Candidates for Clay County Collector
Lydia McEvoy (R) (Incumbent)

Candidates for Clay County Clerk
Tom Brandom (D)
Megan Thompson (R) (Incumbent)

For more information on judges that will be on the ballot, click here.

Mackenzie’s First Cartoon

For those of you who don’t know, our daughter Mackenzie, 11 years old, is destined to be an artist! We got her a Magnadoodle when she was about three and she would sit for hours drawing and erasing, then drawing and erasing again. Always perfecting her work. You can see much of her work by doing a hashtag (#) search for #mackaday, especially on Facebook! It will pull up all kinds of pictures she’s drawn over the years. (Click here to see!)

Recently she’s been practicing with the Animation app through her iPad. Here’s her pilot:

She also did a little short to add to the beginning of each of her cartoons:

Be sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel Mack & Cat Comics to see upcoming shorts!!

Tours through the Hall and Museum

Saturday was the final day that we offered tours through both the Hall of Waters and Museum here in Excelsior Springs. Our hopes were that those who had questions about what was being asked of with the Museum Tax would be answered. Here’s a pictorial walk through of both buildings.

The Hall of Waters is owned by the City, which spends $104,000 annually for utilities, insurance, minor repairs and custodial services. The Museum, owned by a non-profit, spends about $16,000 a year for the same.

Tourists are attracted to our town because we offer unique places and things to see and do. Our Main Street organization, Downtown Excelsior Partnership, reported that in 2017 more than 9,000 people came through our Visitor Center at the Hall of Waters.

Heritage Tourism grows our economy. Tourism is one of our critical industries. It supports our quality of life, as well as many jobs and businesses.

The City of Excelsior Springs prepared a Request for Proposal on the Hall of Waters in 2016 to seek a unique partnership for redevelopment. Discussion with the local towns people made it clear that they did not want the city to sell (or give away) the Hall of Waters for private use. It was important that it remain open to the public and owned by the public.

The Hall of Waters under city ownership enjoys tax support, or it would be just a memory. It competes for funding with all other tax supported city services, and usually does not win when there is need for an ambulance or many other things that cannot be postponed. The City has not raised taxes for general fund operations for over 40 years. Passage of this tax would establish a funding source that protects the building’s future and allows the general fund to fund city services.

Each yellow pin represents a well site in our downtown. There is no other place in the world that has as many mineral water well sites as Excelsior Springs.

This is damage that you can see from the flooding that has occurred over the years. There used to be a spiral stairway that led to the lower floor of the pool.

Hall of Waters goals as established by a Facilities Plan completed in 2016:

• Ensure the building is properly pressurized/ventilated to stop on-going deterioration

• Immediate need for making structural repairs to the building, estimated $1,170,000

• Leasable space, lighting, HVAC, ductwork, pumps, need in 2-5 years, estimated $3,445,000

• Exterior cleaning, windows, concrete, stonework, need in 2-5 years, estimated $2,886,000

• Leasable space, pool balcony, event space, lighting, windows, need in 10 years, estimated $4,180,000

• Siloam Spring Well Room, spa, needed in 10+ years, estimated $1,982,000

Total $13,663,000

The Museum, supported solely by membership and fundraising, believes the tax is necessary toward its works to preserve the historic bank building and adjoining hotel, which houses the documents of our history. The quality exhibits and educational programs are a labor of love from volunteers, there is no paid staff. The Maurer Foundation provides some support to the Museum, formed by Mary Katherine Dickson, who believed our collective history is our collective responsibility.

This is a drainage pipe that has recently busted, draining into one of the Museum’s rooms where items are being stored.

 

 

This is in the basement of the old Prichard’s funeral home where Bross and Spidle is now.

This is the second story of the old Francis Hotel, which sits next to the old Clay County Bank. The museum has been able to extend into that area, but the space above hasn’t been finished out to become a usable space again. If the tax were passed, this space could be built out to offer possible residence apartments, office space, and safe storage space for the Museum.

 

 

 

The floors on the Francis side of the Museum have become warped from moisture over the years.

Excelsior Springs Museum and Archives goals:

• Establish steady income to pay the bills

• Need a Curator to manage day-to-day operation

• Immediate need to repair walkway between buildings, estimated $30,000

• Facility plan for the building, recommendations for making the building last another 50 years

• Energy efficiency improvements, HVAC, LEDs, electrical, solar options

• Make the second floor useful as a potential revenue generator

• Improve displays

• Floor coverings

The assessed valuation in the city limits of Excelsior Springs is approximately $154 million. A 30-cent property tax levy per $100/AV will generate approximately $462,000 annually.

For more information, visit MuseumTax.com

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For more stories on the Hall of Waters visit:

Hall of Waters Tour

Evening Walk Through the Hall of Waters