Economic Growth Discussion Topic At Anderson Betterment Club
Economic development and rural business trends were the hot topics during the recent meeting of the Anderson Betterment Club.
Director Ken Schutten noted that one business in town is being remodeled and another two businesses have opened up shop.
Casey’s General Store on Missouri Highway 59 is scheduled to be completely rebuilt by mid-September. Applications for the Anderson location are currently being accepted at surrounding franchises.
Whitehead Farm Supply and Link Farms have recently joined the local economy.
Schutten said that Whitehead Farm Supply is filling a demand left when the town’s previous feed store closed its doors. It is currently located in the former State Farm Insurance building, but the owners are actively seeking a new, more permanent location in town.
Link Farms is a new produce farm on Missouri Highway 59, between Anderson and Goodman, operated by James Link.
His stand is set up outside during the weekends. Schutten said fresh, local pumpkins, watermelons and cantaloupes should soon be ripe.
Members also discussed rising rural business trends — most notably, the increase in local food trucks.
Food trucks have gained popularity in the last few years, and McDonald County and Anderson are home to a number of these innovative business models.
While the equipment is a hefty investment, entrepreneurs are able to forego the rent of a brick-and-mortar location and bring their businesses to the people rather than making the people come to the businesses.
“Keep an eye on the small start-ups, that is the future of the area,” Schutten said.
He then updated the club regarding notable events on the horizon.
Anderson Betterment Club will be hosting Movies In The Park on Saturday, Aug. 26. “Captain Underpants” will be the feature film. Ironworks Church will entertain guests with activities and games before the show, and Honey’s Ice will be serving cold treats throughout the evening. The movie begins at dark in Town Hole.
Delivery of fitness equipment the club ordered for City Hall Park has been delayed. The supplier states installation is slated for mid-September. Schutten said there is an ongoing discussion about erecting an additional pavilion at the park.
Kansas City Southern has confirmed a Holiday Express stop in Anderson this year. From 4 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11. The public is welcome to tour the festive train cars. Members discussed a street fair on Main Street prior to the event.
Schutten commented that a city Christmas tree in Town Hole might also be a pleasant addition to the tradition.
• Members discussed the History Trail located at the Visitor’s Center in Merriam, Kan. Schutten noted that a similar trail would be an interesting addition to downtown — with markers highlighting historical buildings and momentous events in Anderson.
• Schutten relayed public interest in a BMX/skateboard park for the youth. He spoke about possible locations for the park.
• The club received a donation of $5,000 from an anonymous source. The funds are to be used to continue expanding the playground at City Hall Park.
• Schutten reminded members of the ongoing improvements to the city’s walking trail near the ball fields. He said the next step is installing signage and mile markers.