February 20, 2015 – Steve Lauzier, Director of University of Missouri Research Parks, recently spoke to Mid-MO RPC’s Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) about the future of Discovery Ridge Research Park.
The long-term vision for the park focuses on attracting companies specializing in nuclear medicine, information technology, agricultural biotechnology, additive manufacturing and advanced materials. It is believed that as many as 1000 new jobs could be created at Discovery Ridge in these high tech sectors over the next 20 years.
This vision for Discovery Ridge has already begun to materialize. ABC Laboratories and IDEXX BioResearch are already located at Discovery Ridge and employ more than 300 people combined. The University of Missouri and City of Columbia also announced last year that Northwest Medical Isotopes (NWMI) will soon be bringing 68 new jobs to Discovery Ridge.
February 2, 2015 – The Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) held its bi-monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 28th at the Southern Boone Library in Ashland. The meeting focused on a discussion of Missouri’s 325 system and its impact on Missouri’s highways and bridges. Mike Schupp, MoDOT Area Engineer, Steve Engelbrecht, MoDOT District Planning Manager, and Jenny Jones, MoDOT Senior Transportation Planner, provided an overview of the 325 system. They indicated that in 2017, MoDOT’s construction funding will drop to $325 million, and that Missouri will not have enough money to match federal funds.
January 29, 2015 – The Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission held its quarterly luncheon discussion on Wednesday, January 28th at the Masonic Lodge in Ashland. The featured speaker for the luncheon was John Baker, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Central Missouri. Over 20 individuals were in attendance representing local governments, chamber of commerce, or civic organizations.
Baker reviewed with attendees how community foundations work, and the resulting funds that would result to invest for designated purposes. He informed participants that communities can establish an affiliate foundation – where funds can be controlled and directed to local established priorities. The Community Foundation of Central Missouri would serve as the fund manager. Baker also reviewed the significant “transfer of wealth” that will occur within the Region in the next 10 and 20 year time periods, and how if a small portion of that wealth was invested in community foundations could benefit local philanthropic efforts.
A brief Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission meeting was held following the community foundation discussion. Ed Siegmund, Director of the RPC reviewed financial statements and staff activities underway.
January 14, 2015 – On January 9th MoDOT announced the list of communities that have been awarded Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funds. The communities of Ashland, Centralia, Prairie Home, and Russellville were awarded funding to upgrade or construct sidewalks.
TAP is a reimbursement program that provides designated transportation funding for enhancement projects such as sidewalks and safety improvements. All of the Mid-MO RPC communities will be constructing or upgrading sidewalks to provide safer access to community schools and facilities. Click on the links below to see the applications and project descriptions for each of the four communities; Ashland, Centralia, Prairie Home, Russellville.
In all, 14 projects were awarded funding in MoDOT’s Central District totaling a little over $4 Million. Click here to see a list of awarded Central District projects. There was approximately $31.3 Million available statewide for this program which will cover projects over a three year period from 2014 through 2016.
January 9, 2015 – USDA Rural Development is now accepting applications for its Community Connect Grant Program. The program provides grants to establish broadband Internet services in rural communities where it is currently not available. Grant funds may be used to construct, acquire or lease facilities used to deploy service at a minimum speed of 5 megabits per second (mbps) to all residential and business customers.
Eligible applicants include local governments, cooperatives, non-profits and for-profit businesses. Eligibility requirements also dictate that no part of a proposed service territory may already have access to Internet speeds of 3 mbps or higher.
The maximum grant award under the Community Connect Grant Program is $3,000,000, and the deadline for applications to be submitted is February 17, 2015.