City Administrator Carl Francis is interviewed by Gretchen Bolander Tuesday during the State of the City breakfast.

State of the City is pretty good

Mayor Lynn Ragsdale

City Administrator Carl Francis

On the cusp of big developments; Improvement of existing housing makes up for slowed new housing

Most everything is positive in Webb City. That was the basic assessment presented Tuesday by Mayor Lynn Ragsdale and City Administrator Carl Francis during the Webb City Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the City event at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant.

Ragsdale noted that the population increased from 11,800 in 2010 to 13,000 in 2020.

He also said he finds the trend of building and remodeling houses on existing lots more exciting than creating new subdivisions.

Francis admitted being a little worried about the new housing market, since there were only 27 last year.

But like Ragsdale, he said $960,000 in building permits during 2022 for remodels means established neighborhoods are being improved.

Of course, there’s anticipation for the official announcement of three big projects to start construction in 2023.

Logos for Whataburger, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Cash Saver flashed across the screen. City staff have been working with the developers of those projects, but there have been no building permits issued yet.

Also, there’s dirt work going on for Tee Time, a TopGolf-style facility with pickle ball courts and chicken restaurant. That property angles southeast from Broadway to East Street.

The wait for Flat Creek Restaurant to open on East Street is about over. Francis, who said he had “begged” the owners to come here for five years, said the contractor is supposed to turn the building over to Flat Creek on Feb. 1. He predicted it will open in 30 to 60 days.

Flat Creek, according to Francis, will make East Street a regional destination.

Francis disclosed that a firm is interested in making a private recreation facility north of Sharon Drive on property that was rehabilitated (and leveled for recreational use) by the EPA.

That area is in the vicinity of the 600-acre Cardinal Valley Habitat, which was also rehabilitated as part of the super fund project.

Francis said Randy Haas, the first habitat manager, is due to retire in the middle of the year. His successor has been found, however, Francis said the city must first renew its operating agreement with U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.