MSDC board discusses requests, junction project
The Marshall-Saline Development Corporation Board discussed Missouri Partnership requests and a number of other projects during its regular meeting Tuesday morning, Nov. 14.
Executive Director Stan Moore stated MSDC receives approximately 20-25 requests per month for information regarding available land and buildings within the county through Missouri Partnership.
“Traditional economic development requests for information pretty much have to do with manufacturing and warehousing; no retail, no commercial development,” he explained. “...We got another (request) for a project, building. Again, their preference is outside the metropolitan area, access to major transportation is important, and we just don’t have anything. You know, our Industrial Park has eight acres back there. We have to compete with private landowners and other communities that have land available.”
MSDC did not submit information due to the lack of available land.
Moore then discussed the Interstate 70, U.S. Highway 65 water project, and the proposed sales tax increase.
“The project, which started out about six months ago as water at the junction of I-70 and 65 Highway, has turned into a totally different project,” he said.
Saline County commissioners recently approved ballot language for a county-wide, one-half of 1 percent sales tax increase proposal for the April election, to fund the entire junction project — projected to cost approximately $7 million. The tax increase, however, would generate more than $20 million if approved.
“If it’s a county-wide sales tax, there has to be a county-wide benefit,” he said. “All of the communities in the county need to benefit from the tax.”
A task force group met earlier this month, and will continue to meet, to discuss possible projects to be addressed with the tax monies.
“The task force plans to meet to talk about what some of the possible projects are that can be part of this,” Moore explained.
If the tax passes, a board of trustees, representing the entire county, would dictate which projects to present to the commission for approval. The board would consist of two county commissioners — Richard Clemens and Monte Fenner, Moore, Greg Swift — representing those living at the junction, Gene Griffith — Slater, Kevin Lawson — Sweet Springs, Kirby McCullough —Arrow Rock, David Haugland — Marshall, and Don Vogelsmeier as treasurer.
“This sales tax is not intended to fund 100 percent of everything,” Moore added.
The only project to be fully funded through the proposed tax increase would be the junction, he said, because there is no money available through the public water district and grants.
The board plans to provide more information about possible projects to be partially funded early next year.
In Moore’s report, he stated the ADA-compliant housing project is nearing completion.
“We started in 2014, so we’ve worked on it for three years to build a total of six houses,” he said. “The total grant amount was $547,000.”
Four houses were built in Slater, with the other two built in Marshall. The city of Slater was the grant application, and MSDC was the sub-applicant.
“I want to thank Slater for their support in the project because it kept jobs in Saline County,” Moore said.
Of the grant, approximately $3,800 remains, and Moore explained a portion of that money will be used to remove a tree on the Grant Street property in Marshall. A bid received for its removal totaled $2,500.
Tourism Coordinator Mary Keller presented final numbers regarding the August total solar eclipse. A total of $6,033.93 was spent in various expenses, mostly toward advertising. Income totaled $8,120, leaving $2,086.07 in profit from the event. T-shirt sales paid for almost all expenses, raising a total of $5,670. Keller said the only item not listed was mural expenses.
In other news, Moore stated he attended a workshop about a new Location One Information system, which lists available property for economic development. An appreciation lunch for MSDC stakeholders and investment groups will be Wednesday, Dec. 6.