Whew - we made it through a really cold December and it's time to look forward to 2023.

2022 was a busy year for the city with significant street repairs, new businesses opening, major updates to park facilities, and a big 75th anniversary celebration. It's very exciting and it's a great time to live in Crestwood!

As a reminder, I will continue to add more posts to the website, as events occur and information is available. So be sure to visit shipleyward3.org, or better yet, subscribe to receive weekly/ monthly updates via e-mail.

Click on the topics below to view each article.

In November the Board of Aldermen approved the 2023 budget, which will fund another busy year for the city. Projects included:

Major repairs to the following streets - Buxton Dr., Del Vista Dr., Joshua Dr., Laramie Dr., Lavant Dr., Sun Country Trail, Sun Country Trail Cul-de-sac, and Rusticwood Trail. The city alternates between concrete and asphalt street repairs each year. 2023 will be a concrete street repair year.

Whitecliff Bridge Replacement – After several years of planning and design, 2023 will be the year that the main Whitecliff entrance bridge over Gravois Creek will be removed and replaced. City staff has not released the timeline for this, but we should hear more soon.

Whitecliff Parking Lot Lights – the exterior lighting for the Whitecliff upper lot and the main entrance road are currently traditional wired incandescent technology. Unfortunately, the buried conduits and wiring are failing. Instead of incurring the cost for all new conduits, the city plans to install solar (wireless) lighting. This will save installation and ongoing electric costs and can more easily be relocated in the future if needed. Similar lights were installed at the quarry boardwalk last year.

Sanders Park Pedestrian Bridge – This was scheduled to be replaced in 2022, but the bids came back way too high. This will be bid out again early in 2023. This pedestrian bridge crosses a branch of Gravois Creek and provides residents a walking route between the neighborhoods and Sanders Park.

Ferndale Park Playground Resurfacing – The rubberized surface below the playground will be replaced. You may recall that this same work was performed at Whitecliff last year.

Whitecliff Pedestrian Bridge to Lodgepole – The initial design and planning for a pedestrian bridge over Mulberry Creek, connecting Whitecliff to Sheryl Ann / Lodge Pole started in 2022. Due to flood plan restrictions, this isn’t an easy project and will require lots of design and planning. This design process will continue in 2023 and the city plans to apply for a grant to help cover the costs of the actual bridge, with construction planned for 2024. Fingers crossed – there are still many unknowns on this one.

New Streetlights – About a decade ago for budget reasons, the city paused its program of installing new streetlights. Each new light has an average cost of about $5,000. Annual funding of $20,000 was reinstated in 2022 to allow this program to slowly resume. For various reasons, the program didn’t restart in 2022, so those funds will be carried over and $40,000 will be allocated in 2023. City staff is working through a backlog of streetlight requests and will later announce which lights will be funded in 2023.

New Ambulance – The city will take delivery of a new ambulance soon and is working through the implementation process to begin in-house ambulance service in mid-2023. Until that time, we will continue to partner with Abbott.

Watson Road Median Updates – As part of the redevelopment agreement with Dierbergs, they will provide the city with $625,000 to “beautify” the Watson medians near their property. In 2022 the city developed plans that include native plants that will attract pollinators, attractive raised beds, ornamental trees in selective locations, and irrigation systems. Bids will be requested with plans to complete this work in 2023. MoDOT will be repaving Watson starting in 2024 and recommended that this median work be completed prior to that project.

Work continues at an impressive rate at the old mall site, now called Crestwood Crossing. Dierbergs has been working weekends to finish the grading and site prep needed to pour the asphalt parking lot (which is complete).

Exterior work on the main Dierbergs building is just about complete, with workers now focusing on the interior. The entire project is being completed in phases, with Phase 1 focusing on the main store and attached commercial spaces, the site work for the entire project (including the McBride portion), and installation of the pedestrian bridge to connect to Grants Trail. Early in the construction process, Dierbergs announced that those two out-parcel buildings (closest to Watson) will also be completed as part of Phase 1. The tenants for those buildings have not been announced, but clearly, they must have someone already signed up since the schedule was accelerated.

I don’t have inside information on which stores / restaurants will be there, but the two out-parcel buildings are both set up to support a drive-thru and are also set up to hold two or three tenants in each building. The structures attached to the main Dierbergs store on each side are also planned to support additional businesses – the one on the east (right) side is designed as a sit-down restaurant with outdoor dining.

Here are architectural renderings of each of these buildings:

I haven’t been able to access the McBride portion to check on progress, but I’m pretty sure that the streets are laid out and I suspect the concrete has been poured. As a nod to the old mall, they have named the streets Woolworth Drive, Vandervoot Court, and Exhilarama Court. I’m sure some of the future residents will be spelling Vandervoot or Exhilarama every time they give someone their address.

You can view the site plan showing where the streets and houses will be constructed (HERE):

If you often park a vehicle on the street, then this is for you. For each snowfall event this season, please make sure you park on the EVEN side of the street so that plows and emergency vehicles can get through. If you live on a street that has a NO PARKING zone along either side, then this doesn’t apply to that location.

This is part of a city ordinance (14.159) which was enacted back in 2009. It states:

Whenever there has been an accumulation of snow of one inch or more, or ice or freezing rain, within the City, parking on any street for which the City provides snow removal operations, shall be limited to one side of the street only, until snow removal operations are complete and the weather emergency has ended.

The side of the street on which parking shall be allowed is determined as follows: During the winters which begin in even-numbered years, parking shall be limited to the side of the street immediately adjacent to the even-numbered addresses and during winters which begin in odd-numbered years, parking shall be limited to the side of the street immediately adjacent to the odd-numbered addresses.

For those streets on which parking is already restricted on one side, this section will not apply and parking during snow, ice or freezing rain shall be limited to the side of the street that is not restricted.

As announced on December 6, I submitted paperwork to be listed on the April ballot for Mayor of Crestwood. The filing period for candidates closed on December 27 and no one else filed - so I will be on the ballot unopposed. I will soon begin the process of transition planning to assume that office on April 25, 2023. This will include meetings over the next few months with current and former city leaders – as well as reaching out to other residents for their suggestions and input.

I want to thank everyone for the many offers of support and well wishes. I don’t take this new responsibility lightly and will work hard to earn your continued support and confidence.

I realize that since 1947 every mayor of Crestwood has made decisions that weren’t always popular with everyone, and that someone was probably displeased about nearly everything. I will strive to use my best judgment to help make Crestwood a better place for all of us, keeping in mind that city government doesn’t have the answer to all problems.

As we get closer to April, I’ll provide more information about this transition, and how it will impact my “shipleyward3.org” website and newsletter. I intend to continue this form of communication going forward but will expand the scope to address all of Crestwood.

If you missed any of the previous newsletters, you can find a link to all of them here.