Welcome to the official website of the City of Independence, Kansas, the friendliest town in America.
Independence is located in Montgomery County in the southeast corner of Kansas and has a population of 9,483. Independence has a strong industrial base with a "Hometown Atmosphere" and consider ourselves to be, in part, a rural community with many farming sites in the area surrounding the City. Independence also has a historical downtown district and was named one of the first Main Street cities in Kansas.
The 150-year history of our City includes pioneer stories (Little House on the Prairie), oil magnates (Harry Sinclair), stately mansions, the first lighted baseball stadium, the first monkey to go into space (Ms. Able), a presidential candidate (Alf Landon), a Broadway playwright (William Inge) where the community annually celebrates the William Inge Festival honoring a different famous playwright each year in April, a movie star (Vivian Vance), a TV journalist (Bill Kurtis), FDIC Chair (Sheila Bair), an academy award winner (Donald Burt) and one of Kansas' largest celebrations "Neewollah" (Halloween spelled backwards) just to name a few.
Riverside Park & Ralph Mitchell Zoo
When you visit our City be sure to stop by our 124 acre park and zoo. Ralph Mitchell Zoo contains approximately 200 animal species. In addition to the zoo, Riverside Park contains a new aquatic center, new tennis courts, a miniature golf course, a miniature train and a merry-go-round which only cost 5 cents to ride. Riverside Park also contains one of the Sinclair Dinosaurs (Corythosaurus) that was featured at the 1964 World's Fair in New York. In addition, the park has several park buildings which are available for rent. For more information, please visit our Park webpage or call City Hall at 620-332-2500.
Memorial Hall & Civic Center
If you are organizing a convention, meeting, banquet or concert be sure to check out our newly renovated Memorial Hall and Civic Center located at Penn/Locust. The Memorial Hall building is equipped with wireless internet and includes a nearly 2000 seat auditorium with the latest computerized sound, lighting and stage rigging equipment, a large Civic Center suitable for large banquets, a large meeting room equipped with a ceiling mounted projector, built in audio and an automatic screen, plus several other smaller meeting rooms which are all available for rent. For more information, please visit our Memorial Hall webpage or call 620-332-2508.
If you are considering relocating to our City then you may be interested in learning more about Eisenhower Subdivision which is a new subdivision that is being constructed by the City and Independence Housing Authority. This new subdivision will consist of 28 new homes in which 21 of the homes are completed, some of which are currently available. In addition to this subdivision there are also homes available for sale at various price ranges throughout the community to meet your needs. If you would like more information about available housing, please visit our Housing Authority webpage or call April Nutt, Housing Director at 620-332-2536.
Independence has an award-winning public school system which enrolls approximately 1,900 students in grades K-12. The Kansas State Department of Education recently recognized Independence USD 446 for achieving the rigorous Standard of Excellence in 12 categories and The Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force has twice awarded Independence Middle School its prestigious Certificate of Merit for outstanding achievement in mathematics. Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services also recognized USD 446 for significantly narrowing the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged and high-performing students.
In February 2009, Independence USD 446 voters approved a $45.1 million school bond issue to fund construction of a new elementary school for grades 3-5; major renovations to Independence Middle School, and major renovations and upgrades to Independence High School, including a new performing arts center, state-of-the art science wing, library/media center, and a new competition gymnasium. For more information on the Independence public schools, please visit www.indyschools.com or call 620-332-1800.
Independence Public Library
We also offer a relaxing atmosphere and comfortable seating in our new three-story library located at 220 East Maple. There are over 25 public access computers, as well as wireless internet available. You can visit our website at www.iplks.org to view a listing of the fantastic programs which we offer free to our community. We carry the top bestsellers as well as old favorites, books on CD and tape, and books on PlayAway®, (an MP3 device with the book already loaded on it, you just plug in your earphones and enjoy). We subscribe to over 100 magazines and newspapers. Our selection of DVDs includes many current titles as well as classics, documentaries, and children's titles.
Our friendly staff can help you with whatever you need, from finding a book among the 325,000 items available through our SEK-n-Find catalog, to finding information you need online. Our knowledgeable Kansas Room volunteers can help with genealogy questions and research, or you are welcome to use our three microfilm machines to view local newspapers that date back to the early 1800s, or access the International version of Ancestry.com® for free. Children can play with puppets, games, and computers in our Children's library. We have many wonderful children's books for them to browse through, as well as videos and magazines. For more information, contact Julie at 620-331-3030.
If you are considering relocating or expanding your business in Independence, we do have two main industrial parks with available acreage for your business. The Airport Industrial Park is located southwest of the City and is currently home to various businesses including Cessna Aircraft. The West Laurel Industrial Park is located on the west side of the City and plans are underway to construct a new water tower within this industrial park in the near future. If you would like specific industrial site and economic development incentive information, please visit our Economic Development webpage or contact Kelly Passauer, Assistant City Manager at 620-332-2506 or Thomas Simpson, Montgomery County Action Council at 620-331-3830. For other business support, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 620-331-1890 or Independence Main Street at 620-331-2300.
We sincerely appreciate the support of the citizens we serve and look forward to also serving those who wish to visit or relocate to our community. Thank you for visiting our website.
Louis Ysusi, Mayor