Marion County to contribute $2,000 annually for next three years to Monroe County Industrial Development Authority

Regardless of the sport, there's always a little extra edge when a team from Monroe County squares off against one from Marion County. However, when it comes to economic development, there was more of a spirit of partnership than competition evident Monday when the Marion County commissioners agreed to contribute $2,000 in each of the next three years to the Monroe County Industrial Development Authority (MCIDA).

“What helps one part of the county, or another surrounding county, helps us all,” said Lyndon Bode, Marion County's presiding commissioner, regarding the unanimous decision. “It's good to work together.”

According to Bode, Marion County already contributes $9,000 annually to the Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council.

Making the funding request in behalf of the MCIDA were Neal Minor, Monroe City mayor, and Glenn Turner, MCIDA treasurer.

The MCIDA was formed a “little over six years ago,” reported Minor. The MCIDA then entered into a contract with the Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDC) to “provide economic development services to everyone in Monroe County.”

Minor has no regrets about joining the MAEDC.

“From my point of view in Monroe City it has worked out very well. We couldn't do the things on our own that they (MAEDC) have been doing for us. Over the course of six years we've had 300 new jobs in town related to the work they (MAEDC) have done for us,” he said.

“A big part of this is retaining the businesses we have, as well as when they are ready to expand, or if they have a problem, Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation has stepped up and devoted their time and energy. That's what we pay them for, yet they do a great job at it,” added Turner.

The MCIDA's contract for MAEDC services costs $80,000 a year. That amount has become more formidable recently.

“We still have all the same partners who were funding this agreement with the Moberly group, but a few have decided to give less money toward the contract than what they have given in the past,” said Minor. “The city of Monroe City pays $40,000. The Monroe County Commission pays $12,000. Paris had been paying $5,000 and they cut that in half this year. We have some private partners and different companies that kick in different amounts from year to year.”

Not all contributors reside in Monroe County. It was reported that the Ralls County Commission contributes $5,000. According to Wiley Hibbard, Ralls County presiding commissioner, that amount had been contributed in the past. After cutting all funding to the MCIDA the Ralls County Commission came back on board this year with a payment of $2,000.

Minor told the Marion County commissioners that a contribution “somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 to $5,000 would be great.”

“We would like to see it be a three-year commitment because that is what our contract is with Moberly,” said Minor.

Monroe City's mayor advised that the MAEDC currently has a “half dozen projects underway,” a couple of which might bear fruit “before the end of this year.” Minor added that in economic development there are no guarantees.

“As you all know economic development takes a long time to develop,” he said. “Everyone wants the big, outside company to move into town, put up bricks and mortar, and hire 100 people. Those kinds of things are never going to happen if you are not doing economic development, but even if you are they still might not happen.”

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