Jan. 19 economic development work session planned for area business owners, service club members and educators

Palmyra city officials will team up on with University of Missouri Extension economic development specialists Jan. 19 for the latest step in promoting growth in Warren Head Business Park and beyond.

Palmyra purchased 80 acres of land for $812,000 in January to expand the existing business park and name it Warren Head Business Park. By October, Rack Builders Inc. — doing business as Palmyra Industrial Inc. — had established an 80,000 square-foot expansion facility on one of the new lots, and Mayor Loren Graham said that two or three businesses have expressed interest in moving in during that time. Palmyra City Council and Industrial Development Authority (IDA) members plan to encourage more growth in the business park and discuss other economic development options with the help of Sharon Gulick, State Specialist Associate with ExCEED MU Extension, and Chris Kempke, county engagement specialist in community economic development, during a Jan. 19 training session.

Gulick and Kempke visited with city council and IDA members Oct. 29, laying the framework for an economic development training session from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Sesquicentennial Building in Flower City Park. Graham said the session will provide direction for various goals following the business park's expansion.

“The purchase of this property has prompted the city council and Palmyra Industrial Development Authority to begin work on marketing the site for new development, come up with a long-range development plan for Palmyra and market the Palmyra community as a whole,” Graham said.

Graham invited community business owners, service clubs, educators and other area residents interested in economic development to join the training session.

So far, IDA and city council members approved $4 million in low-interest industrial revenue bonds for the first new business in the expanded business park. Bleigh Construction crews and Palmyra Street Department crews worked together to construct curbs, gutters and the newly-named Warren Head Drive, and Palmyra Board of Public Works officials extended utility services to the area.

When Kempke first met with IDA and city council members in August, he told them he was eager to be part of a team effort to find better ways to market Warren Head Business Park and the community as a whole — including the use of online tools to let prospective businesses and other organizations know about the Flower City and its plans to grow. As Palmyra's bicentennial year begins, that effort will begin to come to fruition.

The economic development training event will include a working lunch, and guests are asked to RSVP by calling city hall at (573) 769-2223 by Thursday Jan. 10.

trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com