Two regional economic development organizations spanning northern Missouri work diligently to grow and promote their respective regions of the state: Northwest Missouri Roundtable of Economic Developers and Northeast Missouri Development Partnership. On Thursday, May 25, 2017, 42 group members and partners met in Brookfield at the Linn County Career and Tech Center to brainstorm joint projects and initiatives.
Kathy Morgan, Chair of NWMO Roundtable and Economic Development Director for the City of Albany, and NMDP President Carolyn Chrisman, Kirksville Regional Economic Development, Inc., welcomed the group. Committees then reported on their activities for the past year.
The legislative committee reported on the successes of the 2017 legislative session, including passage of right-to-work legislation, tort reform legislation, and regulations for Uber and Lyft.
The broadband committee reported on the progress made, which included meetings with Lt. Governor Parsons, Speaker Richardson, and many representatives and senators. Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn was ultimately tapped to lead a statewide taskforce regarding broadband which brought in other stakeholders including Farm Bureau and electric coops. Meetings were also held with staff from our federal officeholders including Blunt and McCaskill. The Alliance is continuing work with the taskforce to address possible legislation needed such as easement issues, broadband being regulated as a utility, and efforts that would support municipalities with building out broadband locally. The group is developing a “Broadband 101” presentation that could be shared throughout the regions, creating a common language and understanding for the communities of North Missouri.
Green Hills Regional Planning Commission staff facilitated a conversation about future plans for the Alliance. Three priority committees for 2017-2018 are Broadband, Transportation Funding, and Legislation. A key effort will be working to create an Office of Public Policy in Missouri. This could be a public-private partnership that focuses on rural development planning and strategy.
Lunch was sponsored by Northeast Power (A Touchstone Energy Cooperative) and Brookfield Industrial Development Authority.
Attending this meeting were economic development leaders from Hannibal, Trenton, Nodaway County, Marceline, Atchison County, Brookfield, Lewis County, Kirksville, Worth County, Moberly, Cameron, Macon County, Shelby County, and Albany, along with partners from Cameron, University of Missouri Extension (Northwest Region), Missouri Partnership, Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments, Green Hills Regional Planning Commission, Heartland Foundation, Representative Graves’ office, Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri, Missouri Department of Transportation, MO-KAN Regional Council of Governments, Missouri Division of Workforce Development, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Allstate Consultants, Northwest Missouri Enterprise Facilitation, North Central Missouri Business Facilitation, Ameren Missouri, Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation, Northeast Power, Hannibal-LaGrange University, Senator McCaskill’s office, Missouri Western State University, Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers, KCP&L, Senator Blunt’s office, and Rep. Lindell Shumake.