The citizens of Minneola pride themselves on being primarily an agricultural community. We also serve as a bedroom community for those who are employed in Dodge City. This is an area, too, where big and small game is abundant, and in the fall many hunters easily find public land available for their sport. However, the beauty of Minneola is that it’s a warm, friendly place where one can safely take a stroll in the evening, where neighbors wave, and where kids can be kids.
Although our town may be a slice of Mayberry, two of Minneola’s most important assets are its extended medical facilities and its strong school system. In the fall of 2005 students moved into a new high school, and improvements have been made in the grade school buildings as well. Students and teachers now enjoy larger classrooms, a new gym and stage area, and a state of the art science lab. This has given the school some innovative new possibilities for teaching. Most importantly, the Minneola school system has always been made up of a knowledgeable, caring staff whose greatest accomplishment is the on-going success of Minneola graduates.
The town's extensive medical complex keeps three doctors, four professional associates, and approximately 100 employees busy caring for our community needs. The facility includes an eighteen-bed hospital, a 36-room long-term care unit, ten Housing Authority apartments, and family clinics in the Minneola, Fowler, and Bucklin communities. Our trained Emergency Medical Team and new ambulance facilities further complement the capabilities of the hospital.
Minneola is a progressive community, and our citizens have a history of planning and working together in the last thirty years to complete many projects for our town. One of these is a handsome Civic Center which accommodates a wide variety of activities from senior meals to city council meetings. The local quilt club meets here, too, and leisure activities may include a game of billiards, working a puzzle, or playing cards. The center is also a perfect place for anniversary or wedding receptions.
Our city park is another example of community effort. This began in the forties when farmers hauled rock from the canyon and built the stone shelter to create a unique centerpiece for the park. Forty years later community volunteers totally renovated the park with new plantings and landscaping, all complemented by the donation of an impressive memorial to war heroes. The now mature foliage, new cement tables, and the shelter house make our park a great place for the community and travelers to enjoy.
Our up-to-date city library houses about 14,000 books and provides the public with three computers, wireless Internet access for laptops, and copy and fax services. It is easy to locate any book for pleasure or research with the on-line card catalogue or the Inter-Library Loan service. Children can enjoy the Wednesday story time, and a wonderfully successful summer reading program is also available. The library's comfortable furniture makes for a pleasant place to read, and treats are even available in the back room.
Great summer fun comes with our community's newly renovated pool, which is yet another example of community effort. City planners have put in new slides, umbrellas, cement tables and benches, and other equipment to make swimming even more fun for all. Swimming lessons are available for children, and, occasionally, time is set aside just for adults. As you can imagine, our pool is the perfect place to put a little "cool" back into our Kansas summertime.
The Minneola Housing Authority with three complexes provides rental-housing accommodations. Appleton Plaza’s twelve units may be occupied by people of any age, and Wheatland Plaza is a fourteen-unit complex designed for senior living. The hospital-managed Advance Plaza has ten units, and these are offered with some assisted living services.
Local businesses, such as the Co-op, welding, and implement companies, provide many agricultural services. Minneola has its own fire department, as well as a bank, a grocery store, a mortuary, flower shops, insurance companies, plumbers and electricians, newspapers, insurance agencies, gas stations, and restaurants. Further adding to our local color, the owner of one of the restaurants has combined his extensive collection of birds, and big and small game animals into truly unique dioramas. He has hunted all over the United States and Canada, and many travelers have had the opportunity to see and appreciate this sizeable exhibit.
Buildings and businesses, parks and recreation aside, the best of Minneola is its people. Community and family-oriented, our people care about our town and more importantly, about each other. Kind words are backed by kind actions, and although we are known for our work ethic, there is always time to help a neighbor. Simply put, Minneola is a great place to call home.