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Buckner is on the move. And so is City Hall, literally. The ground has been broken and plans have been laid to build a new City Hall in downtown Buckner. The new, 12,500 square foot, $1.2 million facility will include about three building store fronts. The 2,400 square foot court room will be housed alongside City Hall offices and the police department. A lack of ADA access at the current location was one impetus for the move. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Saturday, April 19th. "Our current building is not ADA accessible," said Buckner Mayor Dan Hickson. "When you don't tackle ADA issues, you open yourself up for lawsuits." Another impetus for the move is to draw more people downtown. "I've always had a love for our downtown," Hickson said. "As a child, I grew up visiting my grandpa in Colony, Ks. My uncle was a small town doctor there. I grew a love and appreciation for downtowns." Alderman Darrel Box said he can think of at least two reasons why moving downtown is a good idea. "One, it creates an anchor tenant for the business district," he said. "And two, it creates a destination for people that will draw them downtown. This will be great exposure for other downtown businesses." Hickson added that Buckner's downtown has experienced a steady decline. Moving City Hall is one way to jumpstart revitalization efforts. "I'd hate to see our downtown fall by the wayside," he said. Moving City Hall downtown is just one of several efforts to revitalize the area. Hickson also said that the Fairs and Festivals Committee tries to hold an event every month, with the majority of these events held downtown. Hickson said as a result, participation from businesses and churches have increased. "The community is coming back together," he said. "Even though we don't sell alcohol at these events, we've had very few complaints. We want people to bring their kids and make it a family fun event. April 24, 2014 Vol. 1 Issue 1 City Hall Breaks Ground Buckner Clarion PRSRT STD ECRWSS U.S. POSTAGE PAID EDDM RETAIL Local Postal Customer "We also want to draw people downtown to support the businesses we do have, while encouraging new businesses to come to Buckner." Secretary Darrel Box, who also serves as alderman. The three will guide efforts to establish Believe in Buckner as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The City of Buckner will front the costs for submitting the paperwork. Believe in Buckner expects to learn whether the application was approved in the next 60 to 90 days. The group recently met for a second time to discuss the initiative. Twenty-five people turned out for the meeting, 11 more than the first meeting. "It was a great turnout," Larkin said. "It seems as if there is a genuine desire for downtown to flourish, and it will with the community's help." Believe in Buckner will model its efforts after Missouri Main Street Connection (MMSC), but has opted not to join the organization. MMSC helps communities throughout the state revitalize their economy, appearance, and image of their commercial business districts within the context of historic preservation. Larkin said that an organization like Believe in Buckner encourages business growth and expansion opportunities. "With proper planning, this could be successful," he said. Local entrepreneur Bill Kidd said that in the same manner that Independence is known as the "meth capital of the world," Buckner is also known in negative ways. Kidd added that part of the revitalization efforts should be focused on rebranding Buckner's reputation. To that end, Believe in Buckner has formulated several committees to support branding efforts, among other things. The committees include the following: Organizational – public relations, communications, organizational development, Continued on page 5 The Believe in Buckner Positions to Revitalize Downtown Believe in Buckner, a group of business owners, residents and community members who live and work in Buckner and surrounding areas, have joined forces to revitalize downtown and ultimately rebrand the city. Specifically, the goal of Believe in Buckner is to enhance the social, cultural and environmental well- being of historic downtown and its business districts. Ultimately, the group would like to drive not only more tourists to the city, but spur economic development. The board consists of Chair Michael Larkin, president of Larkin Contracting, Vice Chair Kirk Kellough, owner of Heating & Cooling Service Co. and the city building inspector, and By Tonia Wright Site where new municipal building will be built, 311 South Hudson. Below: Architectural rendering of new facility. The new facility, to be located at 311 South Hudson, is scheduled to open its doors this December. Visit the for ongoing news and information.

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