Development news

Monday, December 31, 2007

New storage business

Mark Rademaker, owner of the 5 Pines Mobile Home Park (formerly Lamplighter Mobile Home Park) said he's ready to begin building the first phase of what will be a 340-unit storage business on Boutin Road adjacent to the mobile home park. The blueprints are at city hall in Cape Girardeau, he said, and construction will begin as soon as he obtains the necessary approvals.

Rademaker, developer of Coyote Creek Estates Subdivision, said the first phase will include 76 units ranging in size from 50 to 300 square feet. The storage business will eventually include climate-controlled units as it fills in three acres south of the mobile home park.

The mobile home park is in transition as well, he said. The park is now accepting only people 55 and older, and he's cleaned up and removed about seven substandard mobile homes. The park has 96 pads, of which 43 are currently occupied, he said. Current tenants will not be evicted, he said.

"I am not going to kick people out unless they are causing problems," he said.

Grants awarded

The Missouri Research Corporation was awarded two grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program to support entrepreneurship and economic development in Southeast Missouri. The Rural Business Enterprise Grant, $87,500, will allow for expanded outreach to businesses to help with planning, loan packaging and other business challenges. The Rural Business Opportunity Grant of $50,000 will help support leadership and community economic development training.

LCRA sells first properties

SIKESTON, Mo. -- The Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority has sold its first properties for redevelopment.

LCRA officials opened bids on 12 properties Nov. 7, according to David Ziegenhorn, chairman of the LCRA commission.

"The LCRA voted to accept or reject each of the bids on Nov. 13," Ziegenhorn said. "The state statute for Land Clearance Redevelopment Authorities states that even though we are a separate entity, we cannot sell property without first advising and getting the consent of the city council. They had given prior consent on this list." The LCRA also periodically updates the council on acquisitions and properties the LCRA is working to acquire.

Several of these involved lots replanted to combine two 40-foot-wide lots into a single 80-foot-wide lot, "which then restricts it to one structure," according to Ziegenhorn. "That's part of the redevelopment process: making larger, more buildable lots. This also allows for off-street parking which gets cars off of the street and out of front yards."

All of the properties sold in this group were vacant lots except for the old fire station located at 403 W. Malone and a home at 824 William which was sold to McLane Barber for $9,500.

"That was a structure we acquired from a mortgage company under foreclosure," Ziegenhorn said. "We chose to put that property up for sale instead of tearing it down and having a 40-foot lot. We got a good offer on it."

As he explained to the council in a recent letter, this structure is located between two properties "that are in pretty decent shape" and are not likely to be sought for acquisition by the LCRA.

Purchases were made for both residential and commercial use, Ziegenhorn said.

Airport gets makeover

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. -- The airport at Caruthersville has gotten a facelift following the tornado that swept through the town in 2006, and partly from projects that were underway when the tornado hit.

To date, most of the improvements are funded through the Missouri Department of Transportation FAA Enhancement program. Mayor Diane Sayre says the city recently extended the runway 400 feet to allow for larger corporate jets, and that project was just one of many that have been or are nearing completion.

The new access road and additional security fencing were begun three years ago. When the tornado struck in April 2006, the plans were put on hold and restructured. The main terminal hangar was destroyed in the tornado. Insurance funds along wit FEMA and SEMA dollars have paid to replace the hangar at a cost of $497,562 and the city's portion of $34,140. The access road and security fencing are now nearly complete at a cost of $200,000 with $12,000 coming from the city.

Other repairs and improvements are still under way.

MWHO Awarded an EPA Environmental Grant

KENNETT, Mo. -- An $89,000 grant to assess the environmental issues and public health concerns of the J.D. trailer community, an unincorporated area on the southern edge of Kennett, has been awarded to Migrant Whole Health Outreach, or MWHO, by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Community Action for a Renewed Environment, or CARE, program.

The comprehensive assessment will be implemented by the migrant organization with the assistance of Midwest Assistance Program. It will provide all 65 families of the community with a clear understanding of the environmental health issues that affect them.

The residents, through their neighborhood meetings, will prioritize their concerns and, with mentoring assistance from the Midwest Assistance Program and University of Missouri consultants, determine the best solutions to address their identified community concerns involving clean air, clean water, solid waste, and toxic substances.

The grant follows previous endeavors that have been completed by community volunteers with MWHO assistance.

Three years ago several aspiring area families located throughout the J.D. area grew concerned for the safety and health of their children and began meeting and talking and about what they could do about the problems in their neighborhood.

Some of the problems before them included existing damage to their roads, the garbage and waste dumped into their neighborhood and yards, the stray animals roaming in the area, and the waste water spilling out of poorly functioning septic tanks.

By 2006, the residents had gained enough support and assistance to start making progress in their community. Monthly neighborhood meetings were held, and hours of volunteer labor were spent creating improvement through the use of various tools such as hoes, shovels, and wheelbarrows.

Just recently, 35 youths with their adult sponsors from four separate counties, Cape Girardeau, Perry, Jefferson, and Dunklin, joined Migrant Whole Health Outreach (MWHO) staff for a Vincentian Marian weekend mission of community service.

Money will allow Ace Building Systems to

pay higher wages

SIKESTON -- Tax credits have been approved for the first Sikeston business under the Enhanced Enterprise Zone program.

The Missouri Department of Economic Development allowed credits of $239,511 over a five-year period for Ace Building Systems LLC. The plant, which officially came to Sikeston over the summer, is located at 821 Wakefield Ave., and will be a manufacturing facility.

To receive the tax credits, a business must apply for them. Simon Halliday, general manager and owner of the Sikeston plant, said he worked closely with Ed Dust, Sikeston's director of economic development, as well at the state department to fill out the application and receive the funds.

The tax credits are based on Ace Building System's projections for the creation of 29 new jobs, at an average wage of $35,862; and new investment of $4.78 million.

According to the Department of Economic Development, EEZs offer state tax credits, as well as local real property tax abatement, to Enhanced Business Enterprises. The tax credits can be applied to income tax, excluding withholding taxes.

Halliday said the tax credits will allow the company to pay higher wages. "It also helps us to accelerate our investment," he said.

To qualify for some credits, a business doesn't necessarily have to be new. However, new jobs must be created that provide health insurance and pay at or above the county's average salary.

There are now 41 EEZs established in the state, with Sikeston being the 25th to join.

Sikeston store remodeled

SIKESTON -- Save-A-Lot has a new look and a new attitude, all to make their customers' shopping experience the best it can be.

"It's just a new and improved, clean and brightened-up experience," said Eddie Moore, store manager. He said the customer was in mind with all the renovations and changes recently made to the store.

"We've just totally remodeled the whole thing," he said. "It had been 17 years since anything this significant had been done."

"I feel like the public's perception of Save-A-Lot has been that of a crowded, box store," Moore said. "We wanted to really get away from that, and open and clean it up.

There are also new fixtures and wider aisles. Jeff and Brenna Burnett are owners of the business.

The produce department was moved to the front of the store; and variety was increased there, too.

The store also brought Paul Fout, who retired from the meat department a few years ago, out of retirement to work part time as a supervisor there. In other changes, store hours were extended an hour later each night, which Moore said has also helped customers.

Staff hours were also adjusted to have more cashiers there at peak shopping hours to better accommodate customers, Moore said.

Save-A-Lot is located at 601 South Main. Store hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

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