Community Improvements Amid a Crisis

ES Community Center staff work on various projects throughout the Center while the public is away on quarantine.
ES Community Center staff work on various projects throughout the Center while the public is away on quarantine.

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed daily life for us all, whether you’re an essential worker or not. While work has essentially stopped in a lot of ways, our community leaders are using this as an opportunity to move forward on projects that would otherwise cause citizens to have to be displaced. After checking in on organizations and businesses among the community, the following projects were reported as being underway:

City of Excelsior Springs

According to City Manager Molly McGovern, the following project updates are currently taking place:

  • St. Louis/Shirewood streets will have sewer extended to their homes so neighborhood can abandon failing private septic systems
  • All blocks for building the wall at the pagoda have been received for the Superior Pagoda Wall project
  • Pavement overlay possible along Jesse James Rd from 69 Hwy to 10 Hwy
  • Monitoring erosion and repairing settled trenches as weather permits to the Golf Course Subdivision
  • 40-50% complete with the Tracy Ave. storm drain repair
  • Utility Services crew is doing a chemical clean out at Concrete Clearwell for the Water Treatment Plant
  • Received $400k grant from CDBG and working on final details on $500k grant award from EDA to improve intersection at Jesse James and Meadowlark Lane; widen N. Jesse James and extend the cul-de-sac past Ameren.
  • Golf Course will begin aerating the greens this week and next.

Public Works Director Chad Birdsong also reported that they’ve just started mowing, so expect to see them around the community. The Street Department is continuing to do maintenance on signs, road patching, ditches, etc. all over town. Water and sewer conduct flushing of sewers, and repairs of leaks are taking place weekly. They are also getting fertilizer down on cemeteries and a few other city areas.

Parks and Recreation

According to Parks and Recreation Director Nate Williams, the following projects are underway:

  • Work on the Splash Park continues
  • Mowing around the community will begin soon

Excelsior Springs School District

According to Deputy Superintendent Jaret Tomlinson, “We are trying to utilize our buses and food service for multiple reasons. First is to provide meals for kids, but secondary is to keep local workers employed. Our bus drivers and kitchen staff are almost completely local workers. We’re serving around 600 students a day with lunch and the following day’s breakfast, for a total of 1,200 meals a day, five days a week.”

The district’s teachers have also been busy adapting lesson plans to a virtual platform, where they are working to connect with their students daily throughout the week and continue learning.

Excelsior Springs Community Center

Excelsior Springs Community Center Director Jesse Hall sent the following list of improvements underway there:

Fitness Equipment
– Reupholster all pieces that show wear and tear
– All treadmills will be inspected and updates will be placed on all machines
– Precor pieces will receive inspection and repairs from manufacturer
– Bikes and Ellipticals will receive updates, as well as thorough inspection

– Painting
– Carpets cleaned
– Steam cleaning all tile surfaces

Chamber of Commerce

Excelsior Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Director Elaina Lamley has been busy for weeks planning to put support structures in place for our business community. This week she will be launching a campaign to help give Chamber members financial support as we go through this crisis. She’s looking for donors and has put together a grant application for those seeking assistance.

On top of that, the ES Chamber Trolley is doing a Bunny Bag Drop & Dash and plans for Waterfest will continue! She also mentioned that One Step at a Time’s dance studio is rehabilitated and ready to open for dance lessons once the orders allow! She mentioned, too, that Opportunity Cafe and El Maguey are back open for curbside and to-go pick up. Keep up to date on all the latest in regard to the virus on the Chamber’s website.

Senior Center

Excelsior Springs Senior Center Administrator Jeff Barge reported that they have successfully home-delivered 250 frozen meals, fresh fruit, fresh bread and fresh milk to 25 seniors for the first time this week.

Mid-Continent Public Library

Mid-Continent Public Library Excelsior Spring’s Branch Manager Stephen Chalmers reported that they had planned to repave the driveway between the library and the car wash this summer. They are trying to get JE Dunn to move that project up and complete it while they are closed. They are also establishing a maintenance agreement between themselves, the car wash, and the EZ Quick Lube in order to continue making repairs when needed in the future. They do have some other enhancements to the property planned, but those are on hold for now due to the virus.


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