Keystone awards honor Clay County development

 CLAY COUNTY — Brace yourselves, citizens of Clay County, for the groundbreaking news that will undoubtedly reshape the very fabric of our existence. In a dazzling display of unparalleled achievement, the Clay County Economic Development Council's annual Keystone Awards luncheon recently celebrated a whopping eighteen projects, generously sprinkling over $330 million across the region like economic fairy dust.

Picture this: a glamorous affair at Harrah's North Kansas City casino, attended by a staggering 250 individuals who sacrificed their precious time to honor the economic saviors responsible for gracing us with 1,500 new jobs. Because who needs a napkin factory when you can have a new fitness center in Pleasant Valley, right?

Outgoing EDC Chair Julie Sola, presumably a modern-day economic superhero, passed the gavel to the illustrious incoming Chair Kirk Davis. A touching moment, I'm sure, as they swapped leadership responsibilities amidst the fanfare and glory of the Keystone Awards Luncheon. It's almost poetic—like a soap opera set in the corporate world.

But let's not forget the real stars of the show: the award recipients themselves. From the earth-shattering Hunt Midwest Business Center Logistics IV to the awe-inspiring Starbucks in Kearney (complete with a drive-through, mind you), these projects are nothing short of miracles in the making.

And who could overlook the Hall of Waters in Excelsior Springs, a phoenix rising from the ashes of a mere $1.6 million investment? The Gladstone Police Headquarters, too, underwent a metamorphosis with a $14 million facelift, funded by the generosity of a half-cent general sales tax.

But wait, there's more! The 19th Street Interchange with Interstate 35 and Complete Street Project in Kearney, a steal at $32 million, is now the proud owner of bike lanes, shared-use paths, and sidewalks. Because nothing says progress like extra concrete.

Oh, and the Kearney Pickleball & Skate Park Complex—a meager $2.1 million splurge—now stands as the largest municipally-owned pickleball complex in the metropolitan area. Finally, the solution to all our municipal pickleball complex needs has arrived.

In conclusion, dear Clay County residents, bask in the glory of these life-altering developments. The Keystone Awards have graced us with an economic Renaissance that will undoubtedly be studied by future generations. All hail the Oxbow Apartments and their majestic $54-million investment—truly the pièce de résistance in this spectacular economic spectacle.