Business View Civil & Municipal - May 2023

116 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL VOLUME 4, ISSUE 5 fees and tuition costs, encouraging more of them to pursue training and certifications. In 2023, the primary focus for Liberal is addressing the pressing need for housing. Svaty underscores the critical importance of this issue, stating, “We need to show that we can house workers and employees, and we’ve got some catching up to do on that front before we’re capable.” Varnado echoes his sentiment, adding that housing is the primary driver for businesses looking to expand or relocate to the area. Varnado shares the mayor’s vision of making Liberal the residential hub of the region, saying, “You come live here, and you can work wherever you want.” Construction of new streets and housing developments around town indicates that they’re well on their way to accomplishing that goal. Not everything in southwest Kansas involves agriculture and industry. Speaking about Liberal’s connection to the famous story of Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz, Svaty acknowledges the whimsical aspect of the town’s claim to fame. “Although it still surprises me, people come to Liberal from all parts of the country, some from other parts of the world, to visit Dorothy’s house and take pictures with Dorothy.” Despite its lighthearted nature, this link to the classic tale continues to attract visitors and contribute to Liberal’s unique charm. PREFERRED VENDOR/PARTNER n Liberal Convention & Visitors Bureau Why have an ordinary meeting? Inspire creativity, and decompress in a town known for hospitality, stunning sunsets, wide open spaces and fantastic food options! will guide you through the variety of venue options, including Liberal Conference Center with over 14,000 square feet of meeting space!