Friday, Jun. 15, 2012
Molendorp shares perspective on redistricting, economic development opportunities
Representive hopeful of future development within Cass County
Rep. Chris Molendorp (R-Belton) recapped the state’s official redistricting plan to members of the Belton Chamber of Commerce during their monthly membership luncheon at Calvary Bible College, as part of a legislative update June 12.
The redistricting plans are the result of population shifts throughout the state reported in the 2010 census.
“Cass County got cut up pretty good,” Molendorp said. “Missouri is not growing very much. We’re a stagnant state, right at 6 million people, however, inside the boundaries of the state of Missouri, there are dramatic population shifts.”
For the first time in 20 years, the House apportionment plan separates Belton and Raymore from the same district.
Among the changes, Molendorp will run for re-election in November to a new 56th District, which follows the state line from Blue Hills Country Club located north of Martin City, to Merwin, a small community northwest of Butler. The district includes all Belton addresses.
Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City), who represents the 36th District, will cover the ground north of M-58 Highway in Raymore. Rep. Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville) will join the 55th District, which has been built in center of the county, surrounding Harrisonville, and includes anything south of M-58 Highway in Raymore.
But for Harrisonville residents, a new 33rd District will acquire Harrisonville proper, and areas of East Lynne, Gunn City, Strasburg, Pleasant Hill, Lone Jack, Lake Lotawana and parts of Blue Springs, Grain Valley and Oak Grove. The area surrounding Archie and Creighton in southeastern Cass County will be served by a new 57th District.
Detailed maps of House and Senate redistricting lines across the state can accessed at www.oa.mo.gov.
Molendorp also gave an update about major road projects developing in Cass County, one of those being the conversion of U.S. 71 Highway becoming Interstate 49, which is a nearly completed transition.
The I-49 corridor will follow the existing U.S. 71 route from I-435 at the Grandview Triangle in Kansas City to I-44 at Fidelity in Jasper County, which will further connect through Arkansas and Louisiana.
“It’s huge for this community,” Molendorp said of the changes. “This is big deal. Real estate scouts want to know what communities sit along interstates -- more housing, distribution, trucking -- those are good, viable jobs.It’s going to be great for our economic development folks that are looking to attract businesses with close proximity to Kansas City, with a direct shot to places like Ft. Smith, Ark. and on south into Louisiana.”
Molendorp said I-49 signs along the highway are currently being added.
On the issue of roads, Molendorp also mentioned that nine bridges throughout the county have been replaced as part of the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Safe and Sound bridge project to improve 800 of the poorest bridges in the state.
He also shared plans for a new interchange to be built north of Peculiar at 211th Street. The interchange will allow easier access to Raymore-Peculiar High School to the east.
“MoDOT has been pretty responsive to our needs,” Molendorp said.
Molendorp also addressed the issues of gas taxes and national health care and the deep impact they continue to have on Missouri’s budget.