It took a flood at his family’s business – Custom Truck One Source – to lead a frustrated Chris Ross back to his childhood stomping grounds in the Blue Valley neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri.

Custom Truck’s swamped site was located in the East Bottoms, but Ross knew that city leaders had invested millions in flood control in the industrial area a few miles south, which sits along the Blue River. The area was once home to Armco Steel.

Upon his return in 2005, he looked past the dozens of tires and heaping trash bags littering the sidewalks and hillsides. He wasn’t intimidated by the gritty junkyards, homeless camps, dilapidated houses or lingering crime. Nor was he deterred by the possible environmental headaches he might

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