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Belton Mayor delivers 2022 State of the City Address

Belton Mayor Norm Larkey delivered his 2022 State of the City Address to the Belton Chamber of Commerce during its November luncheon meeting at Memorial Station. Following is the address, along with illustrations provided by the City:

Belton Mayor Norm Larkey

Good afternoon,


I want to thank the Belton Chamber of Commerce for hosting this event, with an extra thank you to Executive Director, Diane Huckshorn.


I would like to recognize and thank the elected officials in the room for their attendance today and their dedication and service to our community, including our City Council members and county elected officials.


I would also like to recognize city staff for their dedication and hard work. They are committed to serving the citizens of Belton. Thank you for all that you do.


For those of you who have not had the opportunity to meet our new City Manager, I would like to introduce Joe Warren.


BELTON 150

We can’t talk about 2022 without talking about the 150th Birthday celebration! Thank you again to everyone who pitched in and made it the best birthday party Belton has ever had.

I was happy to see so many people having a great time on Main Street. That is what community is all about! Our goal was to create a sense of community, and we accomplished that!

I asked Diane Huckshorn and Michelle Mellinger-Richardson to be the co-chairs of the committee and Angela Kraft to be the City Council Liason. My requests were to have the events on Main Street and make as much as possible free for the citizens. They pulled it off with great success!


PARK DEPARTMENT

Speaking of community, our park department focuses on families and amenities. Quality of life is one of their top priorities.



The Belton Park Department continues to provide great trails, parks, events for families, youth programs, and provides beautification throughout the city with plants from their greenhouse and trees from their tree farm.


High Blue sported a new name and logo this year to simplify and update its look and they debuted a new app to help build a loyal customer base and create a sense of community.

I am happy to report that the wellness center has rebounded from COVID and has more than 7,000 members.


All youth sports leagues including soccer, flag football, basketball, baseball, and softball are on a steady incline.

Memorial Station continues to be a destination and hosted 215 weddings, anniversaries and other special events.


Memorial Park hosted its 1st annual Car-B-Que in September, which combined a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned backyard contest and the annual Car Show. The partnership was perfect so look for this event to grow next year.


Memorial Park also hosted several free community events, including the Easter Egg Hunt, Summerfest, Theater in the Park, and Pumpkin Palooza. Cleveland Lake hosted several disc golf tournaments throughout the year and the first annual Kids Fishing Derby! Wallace Park hosted Big Bounce America for the second time, which drew several thousand visitors over the July 4th weekend.

The Belton Farmers Market moved to its new location on 58 Highway in the Belton Assembly of God church parking lot that not only increased vendor signups but foot traffic as well.

The Park Department was recently awarded a $40,000 2022 Playground Scrap Tire Material Grant. The grant will be used to replace the surface material at the Memorial Park inclusive playground. Three additional playground pieces also will be added.  


Eagles’ Landing had another great year. Golf’s popularity continues to grow for adults and junior golfers, a record number of rounds were played, and revenues have grown in 2022.

Eagles Landing hosted many events this year:

The “Youth on Course” program participation continues to increase - junior golfers are playing in record numbers this year.


Eagles Landing hosted a record of five “US Kids” local tournaments with over 700 junior participants

and hosted many special events and tournaments this year raising tens of thousands for local charities.


  • The “Girls Golf District Championship” for Belton High School returned for the second consecutive year.


  • The “Belton Chamber Glow in the Dark” Golf Tournament was a huge success again and the weather could not have been more perfect!


  • The Driving Range netting was completely replaced this summer.


BELTON SENIOR CENTER

The Belton Senior Center has been serving those 60 and older in the Belton, Raymore and Peculiar area since 2012. The center is located at the A. Ives Reid Celebration Center (point towards the center’s location). The Senior Center provides daily lunch at no cost to participants. They also offer weekly crafts, exercise classes, special speakers and a fan favorite - Bingo!

2022 was a big year for the Belton Senior Center. The Senior Center building underwent an amazing transformation thanks in part to a Mid America Regional Council grant which funded new lightweight commercial folding tables, high-performance textured flooring, new windows, ADA-compliant restrooms, drywall repair, updated paint, and a new AED machine.


A highlight of the year was celebrating Dick Morris’ 100th birthday in September and the Senior Center went all out! Dick was welcomed by American Legion Riders, Chapter 21, the Belton Fire Department, city manager – Joe Warren, and Councilmember, Dave Clark. Unfortunately, I was out of town and unable to attend. Doc Golden with the Vietnam Veterans of America presented Dick with a special award and recognized him for his service.


PUBLIC SAFETY

Our Public Safety departments provide excellent service to our citizens, and they know how to have a little fun.

In preparation for this school year, our Police Department challenged our Fire Department to a friendly school supply drive competition. Great pranks were pulled on each department and in the end, the Fire department took home the trophy!


Over 16,000 school supplies were collected and donated to children in the Belton School District. So many school supplies were donated that there were leftovers to be handed out, as needed, during the school year and they already have a jump start on next year’s collection!


Public education and professional development continue to be key focuses for the Belton Fire Department.

FIRE DEPARTMENT

Recently, the department conducted a Fire Prevention campaign on Facebook to educate the public and reached 2,000 students with in-school presentations.

The professional development within the department included a Station Captain Development program, HCA Midwest Trauma Society training, and vertical Ventilation/Roof Operations to name a few.


Year to date, our firefighters and paramedics have;

  • responded to over 4,700 calls,

  • completed over 5,700 hours of training, and

  • completed 553 inspections.