Chamber’s Westside Committee Successful in Forming CID

Photo by Jason Cole

Members of the Excelsior Springs Area Chamber of Commerce’s Westside Committee were celebrating on Tuesday when the results from the election to form a Community Improvement District (CID) were called in favor. Out of 50 ballots mailed, the Clay County Election Board Commission received 17 ballots by the deadline, which is a 34% turnout. Results were 16 yes votes and 1 no vote. With its passage, a one-cent sales tax will be allowed to start collecting in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Westside Committee was formed through the Chamber to work on projects dedicated to the westside business district of Excelsior Springs. Earlier attempts to form fell short of making it to election but this go around, the committee members were able to pull together the signatures needed from westside businesses to go to election. Only business owners within the district were included in the election.

In an email to the Chamber of Commerce Board, Chamber Director Brian Rice said, “Thank you to everyone who participated in the work it took us to get to this point. It was years of hard work and development for some, but it took the efforts of all of us to get past the finish line. It was a great team effort and another example of how the businesses and residents of Excelsior Springs can accomplish anything.”

Excelsior Springs Westside Committee members
City leaders gather for a photo in celebration of the formation of the Westside CID. Back Row, Left to Right: Mike Edwards, Brian Rice, Bill Westerheide, Abigail Douglas, Mike Anderson, Stephen Chalmers. Front row, left to right: Melinda Mehaffy, Sonya Morgan, Molly McGovern, and Melissa Simmons. Photo Courtney Cole

Members of the Westside Committee who worked in favor of the CID include: Melissa Simmons, Abi Douglas, Stephen Chalmers, Jesse Harris, Joy Day, and Chamber President Bill Westerheide. Also instrumental in the success has been City Manager Molly McGovern and City Economic Development Director Melinda Mehaffy.

Additionally, the CID’s funds will be used as a match for the US Department of Treasury’s RAISE grant that has been awarded to the City of Excelsior Springs, providing $21.5 million in grant funds that involve constructing roadway and intersection improvements, sidewalks and shared-us paths, and enhancing the streetscapes, all within the CID’s district.

Bill Westerheide, Melissa Simmons, Brian Rice, Abigail Douglas, and Melinda Mehaffy pose for a group pic during a celebration at El Maguey over the establishment of a Westside CID. Photo from Melissa Simmons

Westside Committee Member Melissa Simmons stated the following in a Facebook post announcing the passage, “This committee has been meeting for years! We have been hitting the pavement literally, grinding to pass a community improvement district on the west side of town! Last night was the finale! The results came in from the Clay County Election board… WE DID IT! Years of hard work no one even knew we were doing is going to change the roadmap of ES! We will now have funds to facelift the entry of our community. From Walmart down to Job corp hill is in store for beautiful restoration! This was a big team effort! Everyone in this celebration group helped make this possible! Tears of joy!”

For further details and discussion about possibilities for the use of the funds, see previous reporting.

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