Dan Wehmer - Publisher's Pen

Dan Wehmer

It’s all engines ahead for the city of Seymour on its economic front.

City Administrator Hillary Gintz gave those present at last Thursday’s regular meeting of the Seymour Board of Aldermen an update on the former Owen property.

Earlier last week, Gintz and City Supervisor Mitch Plummer visited at length with property owner Roger Kjar, whose 13.5 acres at the city’s northeast corner currently holds the Taco Bell restaurant built nearly a year ago.

“Roger has a vision for the property, and I feel it’s one that really benefits the city,” Gintz said. “He was very open and honest with us about his plans at that site.”

Gintz held her cards close when it came to property details.

“We’re establishing a relationship now, and I don’t want to jeopardize that,” she said. “What I feel that I can say is that things are moving forward on the property that will include the new O’Reilly (Auto Parts) south of the Taco Bell, and (Kjar) has plans to build a strip mall holding about four businesses between those two properties.”

She added, “At the end of (the strip mall) there will be a drive-thru window.”

As for the south end of the 13.5 acres, Kjar is in negotiation with a business that will build a retail facility between 20,000 and 25,000 square feet.

“Again, I’m very optimistic,” Gintz said.

 “I feel we’ve got a good relationship with Roger. He’s been very open, very good to talk to about his plans. I see no reason that type of conversation won’t continue.”

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Staying on the business front, we’ve got an update on the building recently sold by the city to Fordland resident (and former Seymour resident) Ben Johnson.

The building most recently played host to Carrie’s Outback Boutique.

Before that, it was Seymour Feed & Fertilizer before the Kleier family opened Kleier Farm & Home.

The new business at 107 North Commercial Street, across from Seymour City Hall, will be the Seymour Tire Shop, co-owned by Johnson and Seymour’s Myron Fann.

Improvements to the building have been ongoing for nearly a month. A new tire-changing bay was built. The old rock building has been extensively renovated.

Kaley Julian, Fann’s niece, said the families hope to open their new business by Sept. 1.

Offered will be new and used tires, as well as many more services.

For the Fann family, it’s a trip down memory lane.

The building was constructed in the 1940s by Benton George, who served more than a decade in the 1950s and early 1960s as Seymour’s mayor.

He sold the business in the early 1960s to Wendell Fann, Myron’s dad and Kaley’s grandfather. Wendell Fann owned and operated the business for nearly two decades before selling it.

Both families, the Fanns and Georges, operated the business as a tire shop.

The building is back to its roots, so to speak.

“Who would of thought that almost 40 years later, we would get the chance to open it back up?” Julian said in a recent Facebook post. “Unfortunately, my grandpa isn’t here to see it, but I’m sure he would be happy to know that his legacy lives on.”

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Assorted Seymour Snippets:

• For the first time we can remember, the Seymour R-II School District will hold a full-scale open house for the public at all three school buildings next Tuesday.

Don’t worry about supper that night, district patrons.

The school is serving free hotdogs, chips and a drink.

All you have to do is show up.

Additional details about the event can be found within this week’s newspaper.

• If you haven’t noticed, city crews are painting all of the  light poles around the Seymour square.

The poles now are bright silver.

If you happen to see Plummer or his fellow electric guru, Lance Davis, thank them for a job well done on a difficult task that certainly brightens the city’s downtown.

Next up is restriping the square, as well as the installation of the “apple lights” in preparation for this year’s Seymour Apple Festival, now in its 47th year, from Sept. 12 through Sept. 14.

• Speaking of the festival, winners in this year’s contest for Seymour Apple Princess have 500 reasons to enter.

That’s because $500 in prize money has been added to the event, beginning with $150 for the top spot.

If you’re a girl between the ages of 13 and 15 and live within the boundaries of the Seymour R-II School District, you’re eligible to enter.

Just call Natalie Sturdefant at 417-935-2888 for more information.

Dan Wehmer is the Citizen’s editor, publisher and owner. You can reach him by calling 417-935-2257 or via e-mail at citizen@webstercountycitizen.com.

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