The Bounceback: Smithville reopens businesses, playgrounds, campgrounds

Lanna Palmer dances with her son, Austin, 6, to music played by The Overtones of Kansas City during last year's Hot Summer Nights concert series. This event, held annually each Saturday in August in Smithville’s Courtyard Park has yet to be canceled. Summer events are still on the calendar, assuming coronavirus infection numbers don't spike.

SMITHVILLE — Most businesses in the city of Smithville are now back open to some extent, City Administrator Cynthia Wagner said.

“Every business is effected by (coronavirus closures),” Sarah Ulledahl told peers during a Community in Action leadership meeting.

Ulledahl owns Chop’s Barbecue and Catering with her husband in downtown Smithville and serves as a business sector representative for CIA.

“I think everyone has reopened, most places have had to go online if they weren’t online before but I think that is probably a good step that everyone needed to do,” Ulledahl continued. “Everyone has been affected drastically. Even though we stayed with carry-outs and that stayed busy, we lost caterings and weddings and that is a huge chunk. Jean’s Flowers lost funerals ... there’s been a meat shortage. It was devastating, we had to raise prices.”

Ulledahl said she hopes that as things return to normal, meat will become more available and her restaurant will be able to reduce prices to what they were.

“We have had to scramble for about four weeks,” she concluded. “Everyone is struggling.”

As far as city departments, City Hall has reopened its lobby from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

“The phones are still available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Wagner added. “City Hall lobby is open to the public but we do have limited hours because we are providing time at the beginning and end of each day as well as lunchtime for the staff to clean the lobby area so it is safe for people to come in.”

While the lobby is open, Wagner said, the city encourages citizens to use the internet and phone when possible to limit risk to all parties.

Additionally, many park amenities have also been reopened.

“The playgrounds opened back up,” Wagner said. “We have limited access to our restrooms but only because we had planned on doing renovations to the bathrooms already so we have a rolling closure for restrooms in parks.”

Campgrounds in Smith Fork’s Park have reopened and the same goes for some shower houses on campgrounds, Wagner said. As soon as the renovations are complete, and assuming coronavirus doesn’t increase rapidly, the restrooms will be reopened and available for guests.

Additionally, Chop’s Barbecue, Kelly’s Nook and the city are working together to bring back movie night in Courtyard Park. The first screening is scheduled to occur July 18. More details will be released closer to the event.

As the situation with COVID-19 continues, updates related to the city of Smithville, hours and projects can be found at

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