Sikeston: Where industry and agriculture mix

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sikeston, in southern Scott County, is a "micropolitan" hub of retailing, manufacturing and supportive services surrounded by a diverse agricultural region of corn, cotton, wheat, rice, soybeans, milo, peaches, potatoes and more. Agriculture and agri-business are important to the Sikeston/Miner areas.

City information

Sikeston/Miner has a population of about 18,000 people. The city sales tax is 2.5 percent.

New residents wanting electric, water and sewer hookups should contact the Board of Municipal Utilities at 138 N. Prairie St., 471-3328. For natural gas contact United Cities Gas Co. at 142 N. Ranney St., 1-800-824-3434. Telephone service is available from Southwestern Bell at 1-800-203-7070. Cable television is provided by Charter Communications at 919 E. Malone, 888-871-4485.

There are about 260 acres in the city that are home to 14 parks.

Businesses

The Sikeston/Miner area is at the junction of Interstate 55 and Interstate 57, and U.S. highways 60, 61 and 62. It is 130 miles south of St. Louis and 130 miles north of Memphis. Union Pacific and Burlington Northern railways intersect at Sikeston, and waterway transportation facilities on the Mississippi River are located north at Scott City and south at New Madrid.

Manufacturers produce agricultural equipment, trailers, wiring, packaging, automotive products, aluminum, steel doors, manufactured homes, milk and juice cartons and a whole lot of ice cream.

The city is national headquarters for long-term residential healthcare companies, a multi-state cable television network and several other notable firms.

The city of Sikeston has its own power and water treatment plants allowing for some of the lowest utility rates in the state, with surrounding utility needs well-serviced by Scott-New Madrid-Mississippi Cooperative and a regional generating plant, Associated Electric Cooperative.

Sikeston is a regional medical center that offers health care in nearly every specialty to more than 80,000 people in and around the city. The 186-bed Missouri Delta Medical Center, Restart Therapy and Rehabilitation Facility, Ferguson Medical Group Clinic, Health Facilities Rehabilitation Services and the Jolly Medical Arts Building form a medical services campus on North Main Street. Additional rehab and physician services can be found throughout the city.

Downtown

The heart of the city of Sikeston is its historic downtown. Along the cobblestone streets, visitors can enjoy the shade and historic ambiance of American Legion Park and tour Sikeston's Historic Depot, which houses an historic museum, an art gallery featuring local artists' work, and a cultural center displaying traveling exhibits from national museums.

Also downtown are century-old structures that house a variety of retail shops, restaurants and service businesses. Downtown Sikeston is also home to the city's oldest park, Malone Park, and the historic Methodist Church columns that date to 1879.

A interesting facet of the heritage of Sikeston/Miner is the story of the land on which the communities are built. This is found on the community monument at the corner of Scott and North streets in the historic district of downtown Sikeston.

History

When the first settlers came to the Sikeston/Miner area, they were greeted by a wild and varied landscape. It was here that rivers once ran free, and cypress swamps, marshes and bayous covered the landscape. Bottomland forests of oak, hickory, gum, cottonwood and sycamore grew wild, and prairies stretched as far as the eye could see. The area was then known as the "Big Prairie."

By order of the king of Spain, an overland route was laid out in 1789 to connect the cities of St. Louis and New Orleans. It was along this early frontier route, known as El Camino Real (King's Highway), that the city of Sikeston was founded in 1860 by John Sikes. Now known as U.S. Highway 61, the Spanish King's Highway serves as Sikeston's Main Street. It is a major roadway in the Sikeston/Miner area and visitors are encouraged to take a drive along this historic thoroughfare. Here you'll find several fine antiques shops, a number of beautiful and historic homes, as well as an El Camino Real Historic Marker identifying the city's bond to Spain.

City government

Voters approved a home-rule system of government in April 2002, which means the city is able to write its own laws, rather than solely be governed by Missouri statutes. Voters also decided to elect their own mayor, rather than have City Council members appoint one of their own members.

The first elections under the home-rule and ward system was in April 2003.

City officials

mayorMike Marshall
city managerDoug Friend
city clerkCarroll Couch
city treasurerKaren Bailey
city collectorVicky Jordan

City Council members

memberJerry Pullen
memberJim Terrell
memberDavid Teachout
memberMichael Harris
member - at-largeSue Rogers
member-at-largeBill Stokes


Welcome to one of the friendliest places on Earth, and a place where people are over-achievers. The people of southern Scott and northern New Madrid counties are among the most productive in the world. Agriculture, industry, transportation, retail and tourism, distribution and health care -- the Sikeston area features a diversified economy. Our transportation system is second to none. We have AAA-rated schools, a strong community of faith, parks and recreation, and neighborhoods that feature friendly, neighborly people. The Sikeston area provides a quality of life that many people long for. Sikeston, its neighbor city Miner, and the surrounding area make up a community of faith, charity and hospitality. Our churches, civic clubs, charitable organizations, recreational groups -- and the thousands of volunteers who support them -- provide a quality of life that few can match. We love our community, we salute our nation with thousands of flags every holiday, and we welcome our visitors with a full dose of southern hospitality.

-- Missy Marshall, executive director of the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce

"The best thing about living in Sikeston is the friendly people. I enjoy getting to know as many people as I can, and I am amazed at how willing folks are to help me in my endeavors to bring new jobs to Sikeston. Our agriculture background keeps us in a small-town atmosphere with a lot of the larger-city amenities. The community has a lot of pride, which is seen in a variety of ways. I enjoy living in Sikeston very much, and I would recommend newcomers to the area consider Sikeston a place to call home."

-- Ed Dust, resident

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