By Liberal Mayor Joe Denoyer
What an exciting time to be in Liberal. If this weekend proved anything, I would say at a minimum, there is plenty to do in our beautiful community.
In one weekend, there was a Drive-In at Billy’s and Deuce Days at the Yellow Brick Road Car Show, John Conlee Concert, Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Parade, Little Britches Rodeo, Craft Show, Nurses Capping and Pinning, GED Graduation, College Graduation, Dance Recitals, Carnival, and then there was OK Kids Day at Meade State Park.
I understand that this was probably more the exception instead of the rule, but if you step back and look at the big picture, the events of the weekend proved what volunteer groups and organizations can accomplish when they work together.
My hats off to all the volunteers who give of their time, resources, and finances to help make Liberal a little more enjoyable for everyone. It is amazing the number of groups, organizations, and individuals who are willing to step up and are getting things done.
Imagine if we “all” worked together, the possibilities would be endless to what we could accomplish. You have to believe in the community you call home and get involved.
A couple of days ago, I had the privelige of signing contracts ensuring Wilson Trailers commitment to locating a sales and service office in Liberal. Construction should start in the upcoming months.
While I was in the economic development office, I asked if there was a list of businesses that had opened up in Liberal over the last year or so. Do you realize that since January of 2013, in just 16 months, 55 “new” businesses believed in Liberal enough to open their doors to offer goods and services to the community?
That’s right, 56 as of today, and only two are food wagons. Also, that 56 does not include existing businesses that have expanded and grown over that same time period.
These are mostly local people, seeing a need and taking a chance. If you would like a list of the new businesses, contact Jeff Parsons in the economic development office. However I will tell you included on the list is: Peachwave, Factory Connection, rue 21, and Famous Footwear.
During the course of the conversation, it was brought to my attention that the economic development office mkes more than 850 calls a month to perspective businesses, retail, industrial and manufacturing type of businesses, talking to them about the advantages of locating in Liberal.
We should start to see, real soon, the fruits of their labor. Economic development doesn’t happen over night, but I assure you, there is a huge sign, in the form of an attitude, that says, Liberal “Is Open For Business.”
In fact, in the next few weeks, pending approval from the commission, Liberal is set to offer incentives to potential businesses and individuals to build in Liberal, that are unprecedented anywhere in the State of Kansas.
Also, did you know that Liberal has met the qualifications with several franchises to locate in Liberal? These businesses are just needing someone to take that step, invest and make it happen.
For a complete list of these franchises, stop by city hall and talk to the economic development office.
There is an excitement in Liberal right now, so now is the time to come together, work together and leave a legacy for our childrens children.
Like in our lives, our community is what we make of it. As for me, I choose to move forward and try to make Liberal a better place to live, work and raise a family.
How about you?
Are you ready to get involved?
Are you ready to make a difference?