Love’s Travel Stop may be the next big thing in Harrisonville.
A buzz of excitement was in the air during the Harrisonville Board of Aldermen meeting Feb. 3 as Director of Community Development Rick DeLuca presented a visual illustration of the 24-acre preliminary plat, located at the intersection of Commercial Street and Brookhart Drive, near Interstate 49.
Love’s, headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., has 312 stores across the United States. The company estimates to at least 30 more locations this year.
Nationwide, the family-owned travel centers specialize in providing fuel, food, and supplies for drivers.
Love’s Director of Real Estate Development Rick Shuffield, who personally picked the site location for the Harrisonville Love’s, said he is anticipating opening in Harrisonville before the end of the year.
But it won’t come without challenges - something Shuffield and DeLuca can agree on
“In this development, there would be a lot of infrastructure that would be constructed,” DeLuca told the Aldermen. “There’s going to be a lot of earth being moved in this project.”
The noted infrastructure would include adding approximately 2,700 feet of water mains, 1,600 feet of sewer mains, and moving electricity utilities.
There will also be a significant amount of road infrastructure that would need to be done in an effort to move the intersection of Commercial and Brookhart Drive further south in order to increase its distance from the I-49 interchange.
“Right now, the intersection is really close to the interstate,” DeLuca said. “For proper traffic flow, you need to put some space between the new intersection and the off-ramps. If they’re too close, you’re going to bottleneck traffic.”
Shuffield said the development of the designs have taken more than a year to work on.
“This particular project had so many moving pieces - topographical issues, utilities and road realignments,” he said. “There were a lot of different things we had to work on.”
He said that putting the travel center in this location is a complex project.
“We’re trying to put a lot in a relatively small area that is challenged to begin with,” he said. “We have a good set of plans (and) I think we’re to the point where we’re really just working through the fine details now.”
During his visit to Harrisonville this week, Shuffield praised the city’s staff for their involvement in the project.
“Staff has been great from the very beginning,” he said. “Sometimes a little tough, but they’ve kept us moving in the right direction.”
Aldermen voted to approve the preliminary plat agreement 6-0. Ward 3 Alderman Bret Reece and Ward 4 Alderman Bill Mollenhour were absent from the meeting.
If all of the components of the project come to fruition, Shuffield expects to start construction in May or June.
In other meeting business, the BOA took the following actions:
Made a proclamation honoring National FFA Week Feb. 15-22.
Authorized suspending the business license of Mainstream Automotive and Performance.
Approved an ordinance authorizing Mayor Kevin Wood to execute a Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission Municipal agreement with the city of Harrisonville for the public improvement designated as 7 Highway.
Approved event permits for Junk in the Truck and the Harrisonville Farmers Market.
Approved a resolution authorizing the purchase of furniture for the new police station through Scott-Rice Office Works in an amount not to exceed $14,901.09 by a vote of 5-1.
Approved a resolution authorizing city administration to execute a 90 day extension between the city of Harrisonville’s Emergency Services and Cass Regional Medical Center for the transport of patients.
Recognized the individuals who recently city employee awards. City Communications Officer/Dispatcher Pam Franse was recognized as employee of the year. Rick DeLuca, director of community development, was honored with the Steven P. Rauscher Leadership Award. The city’s Finance and Administration departments (combined) received the department of the year award.
Franse was honored for her willingness to take on added responsibilities in keeping databases current, training new communication officers, and filling in where needed, often on short notice.
DeLuca was praised for his professional and personable attitude as well as his ability to foster teamwork and his willingness to share credit for successes.
Wood recognized the Finance and Administration Department for their efforts in implementing the new IQM2 software to handle documents related to public meetings, their work in reviewing employee insurance options, and their willingness to cross-train and work in tandem to improve overall efficiencies.