Business briefs

Monday, April 19, 2010

CHINESE RESTAURANT OPENS IN DEXTER

DEXTER, Mo. -- Peking Chinese Restaurant is now open at 1622 W. Business Highway 60, next to Subway.

PARTY CENTER HOLDS GRAND OPENING

DEXTER, Mo. -- Xtreme Skate & Party Center, 211 N. Walnut St., held a grand opening March 21. The business is owned by Sam and Lisa Sayre.

AD FACILITY HOLDS RIBBON CUTTING

DEXTER, Mo. -- The Dexter Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting at Digital Media Advertising, 3 E. Stoddard St. The business, owned by Jimmy and Lisa Bien and Kathryn and Eric Bien, provides video monitors to more than 30 locations in Southeast Missouri.

AIRPORT SEES FIRST CORPORATE JET

DEXTER, Mo. -- Dexter Municipal Airport accommodated its first-ever commercial jet on March 11. The Falcon 50 EX and similar aircraft now have access to the airport as a result of a $1.5 million expansion project that included a 5,000-foot runway. The expansion, completed in summer 2007, involved lengthening the south end of the runway by 1,000 feet and shortening the north end by 500 feet. In addition, a return taxiway was added, the runway was resealed and the runway strip lighting was refurbished. Funds from the Aviation Branch of the Missouri Department of Transportation helped pay for the expansion, according to Cliff Manlove, who serves as president of the board governing airport activities. The grants were part of a General Aviation Entitlement Grant, he said.

MO. CUTS $125M; MORE PROPOSED

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon cut nearly $126 million in spending March 11 and proposed to dig even deeper by eliminating 1,000 state jobs, half the state's primary vehicle fleet and all state scholarships for students at private colleges. The plan would also ax several state holidays, cut back on employee pension and health benefits, privatize child support collections, curtail state tax credits and merge various government agencies. Nixon has vetoed or cut more than $850 million from this year's $23.7 billion budget for state operations and capital improvements. The $126 million of reductions announced March 11 includes elimination of in-home care services effective April 1 for 2,600 low-income elderly or disabled people; reduced aid for public school buses and community health clinics; and a $1.1 million cut in state subsidies to Amtrak. Budget director Linda Luebbering said Missouri plans to borrow from a $200 million pool of federal stimulus funds to avoid a delay in paying state income tax returns. Nixon said he expected a $500 million shortfall in the 2011 budget that he outlined just two months ago. The governor and legislators have warned that 2012 could be even more difficult.

MODOT SEEKS TO SAVE $200M

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Missouri transportation officials said March 10 they plan to save more than $200 million over the next five years by reducing staff and cutting spending on things such as inventory, vehicles and grass-cutting. The Department of Transportation said part of the savings would come by eliminating 400 salaried positions by July 2013. The agency said it can reduce the workforce without layoffs by not filling 75 percent of the vacancies for salaried positions. The Transportation Department plans to cut its vehicle fleet and the buildings and offices it owns and spend less on information technology and the materials it keeps in inventory. The agency also plans to mow grass, pick up litter and replace signs less frequently and seek cheaper ways to stripe roads. The cuts will not affect transportation projects that are already planned.

The Transportation Department this year has already postponed about $130 million in highway projects because of uncertainty about federal funding. In February, the agency said it was canceling a bid opening for $60 million in road and bridge projects. On March 9, officials said they also canceled the March bid opening. Uncertainly on federal funding exists because the highway bill passed by Congress last year has about a quarter less funding annually than the previous highway program. Congress has not agreed on legislation to boost state highway funding.

CHAMBER NAMES BUSINESS OF THE WEEK

NEW MADRID, Mo. -- The New Madrid Chamber of Commerce announced the New Madrid County Port Authority as its Business of the Week for March 15 through 21. The port was organized in 1978 by the Circuit Court of New Madrid County and is home to many of the county's largest employers. The port's most recent tenant is the new Crop Production Services' fertilizer storage site.

GOODY'S TO RETURN TO POPLAR BLUFF

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Goody's will return to Poplar Bluff nearly a year after it went out of business. The grand opening of the discount clothing store, now under different corporate ownership, is set for April 28 in Mansion Mall. Houston-based Stage Stores purchased the intellectual rights to the Goody's name in August after the retailer -- previously owned by PGDY Lending -- filed for bankruptcy and liquidated its national chain of 287 stores. The retailer hopes to hire 25 to 35 employees and then narrow down to seven to 10, said Andrew Hinz, district manager with the western Tennessee and Missouri division of Stage Stores. Also the parent company of Bealls, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage, Stage opened 15 Goody's stores last year and plans to bring back another 17 by the time the grand opening is held in Poplar Bluff.

PRECISION HEAT AND AIR GETS AWARD

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Precision Heat and Air received an award for being one of Enertech's top GeoComfort dealers in a four-state area. Ed Davis of Enertech presented the award to David Pigg of Precision.

AIRPORT BOARD NOW IN PLACE

CHARLESTON Mo. -- Mississippi County's airport now has an advisory board in place. After being informed that the Missouri Department of Transportation prefers airports to have a board, county commissioners established one during their Feb. 25 meeting. Appointed to the board were Kevin Mainord, Mark Stallings, Elott Raffety, Taylor Burke, Clay Shelby, Nathan Ault and Lee Dunn, who was also appointed manager for the airport.

SHERIFF'S DEPT. RECOGNIZED

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- The Butler County Sheriff's Department was recognized for being in the top counties for methamphetamine lab seizures for 2009 in the Missouri Sheriff's Meth-Amphetamine Relief Team program. The department was in the top six this year and received a similar award in 2007, when it ranked in the top five.

MAGAZINE FEATURES RAY'S of kelso

KELSO, Mo. -- The March issue of Rural Missouri magazine featured Ray's of Kelso. The full-page article describes how Ray Ressel's family expanded the menu and restaurant over the years. Ray's of Kelso, 151 S. Messmer St., began in 1964 as a pizza and steak drive-in but now offers chicken, vegetarian dishes and seafood as well. In late 2009, Ressel leased space from Midamerica Hotels Corp. at Cape Girardeau's Plaza Conference Center for a full-service banquet facility.

COLLEGE RECEIVES TRAINING GRANT

PARK HILLS, Mo. -- Gov. Jay Nixon visited Mineral Area College March 4 to announce a $380,000 Training for Tomorrow grant to prepare Missourians for careers in high-demand fields. The college will use the funds to train additional nurses to meet critical health care needs in the region. Funds will allow the college to develop a "bridge" program for paramedics to boost their skills and earn associates' degrees in nursing. Courses will be offered during evenings and weekends at the Park Hills campus. A pilot course for 10 to 12 students will begin in the spring 2011 semester; the first full class of 20 to 22 students will begin in fall 2013.

On March 18, the college's board of trustees approved the hiring of a general contractor to expand the main campus nursing department to house the program offered by the governor. Brockmiller Construction, based in Farmington, Mo., was the low bidder for the addition. Work should begin within the next few weeks.

GORDONVILLE WOMAN UNVEILS MARINADE

A Gordonville woman has unveiled a marinade that has been a family recipe for more than 35 years. Karen Freeman secured a deal that allows Schnucks in Cape Girardeau to sell Avery's Amazing Marinade.

CHRISTIAN STORE COMING TO CAPE

LifeWay Christian Store will open May 12 at 127 Siemers Drive, Cape Girardeau. The location has been empty since its last tenant, Hollywood Video, closed in late October. LifeWay stores sell music, Bibles and books, with 154 locations nationwide.

NEW MADRID FACILITY TO EMPLOY 50

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Pioneer Hi-Bred will build a new facility on 129 acres in New Madrid County and expects the plant to be operational and employ 50 workers by the fall of 2011. On March 4, Gov. Jay Nixon released the following statement on the announcement by DuPont that its Pioneer Hi-Bred business plans to construct a soybean seed production facility in New Madrid County: "Missouri is already home to many firms that are worldwide leaders in life sciences and plant science, and the construction of a new Pioneer Hi-Bred production facility only enhances our state's reputation as a hub for cutting-edge commerce and research. The expansion in Missouri of companies like Pioneer Hi-Bred will provide good-paying jobs for our highly skilled workforce, and bring precisely the kind of next-generation growth that will help Missouri lead the country's economic recovery."

CAPE CHAMBER HOLDS RIBBON CUTTING

The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting March 5 at Hair Styling for Men, 835 N. Kingshighway, Suite 102.

WINE AND SPIRIT SHOP TO OPEN IN CAPE

Primo Vino will open this April at 1610 N. Kingshighway, Suite 105, in Cape Girardeau's Regents Parc. The store will offer mostly wine, high-end liquor and imported beers, according to general manager Keller Ford. Other items for sale will include sausages, cheeses, glassware and wine bottle openers. Ford was formerly a general manager at River Ridge Winery in Commerce, Mo.

VERIZON 4G RANKS HIGH

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. -- Verizon Wireless' 4G Long Term Evolution network field trials in the United States demonstrated wireless data speeds that are significantly faster than today's 3G network speeds. Trials in Boston and Seattle indicate the network is capable of peak download speeds of 40 to 50 megabits per second and peak upload speeds of 20 to 25 Mbps. The speeds are significantly faster than Verizon Wireless and other wireless providers' current or promised 3G network speeds.

OPERA HOUSE HOLDS GRAND OPENING

KENNETT, Mo. -- The Opera House held a grand opening and ribbon cutting on March 7. The Crafton family is responsible renovating the former James Kahn Department Store in downtown Kennett and transforming it into an elegant banquet hall. According to Frank Crafton, the original Opera House was constructed in 1896 and was used to host entertainment for the residents of Kennett. It later became the James Kahn Department Store before shutting down in January 1998. The building was purchased three years ago by the Crafton family, which includes father, Frank, and son, Jake.

SPORTS STORE OPENS IN MALL

Sappington Pro Outdoor opened a new motor sports apparel store in Cape Girardeau's West Park Mall on March 10. The store carries riding equipment such as goggles, boots, gloves and helmets as well as casual clothing. Brands featured include Fox Racing, Joe Rocket, Kawasaki, Polaris and Shift.

GYRO RESTAURANT OPENS IN CAPE

Gyro King restaurant opened April 1 at 1929 Independence St., Cape Girardeau. Cozmo's Coffee and Cream was previously located at this site. Owner Ahmed Saadi also operates the U Kwick Stop, 1700 Broadway.

FERTILIZER PLANT OPENS IN MARSTON

MARSTON, Mo. -- Agrium Advance Technologies began production in New Madrid County in early February. The company produces a coated, time-release fertilizer called Environmentally Smart Nitrogen. The plant, in the northern area of the St. Jude Industrial Park, is now conducting safety checks and expects to begin shipping in the next few weeks, said Jon Berg, operations manager. He said it appears the product will be available in Southeast Missouri, where it will likely be sold among the Crop Production Systems network and other retailers. Agrium currently employs about 18 workers hired from the local workforce.

4-SIGHT APPROVED FOR TAX CREDITS

The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced that a Cape Girardeau organization offering services to children has been approved for state tax credits under the Youth Opportunities Program. Tax credits for $199,623 have been approved for 4-Sight Counseling Inc. Donations received as part of the YOP project will be used to acquire and renovate a facility that will house 4-Sight's Youth Employment Program. The program provides GED instruction, construction trades training, general employment and life skills education and mental health counseling annually for 50 at-risk young men between ages 16 and 19.

TWO BARS OPEN IN DOWNTOWN CAPE

Roxy's Big Country Saloon opened at 107 N. Main St., Cape Girardeau. The country-themed bar, owned by John Wyman, features bands on Saturday nights, a country DJ on Fridays and country karaoke on Thursdays. Future plans include mechanical bull riding and food service, including barbecue. Additionally, Mixing 10 opened in the former 2 North Bistro, 2 N. Main St. Owners David and Stacy Creech purchased the business from Brad Robi and Jack Rickard. The bar has live music and karaoke every weekend. In the future, Creech hopes to fire up the building's brick oven, serving pizza and other food items.

ACCOUNTING FIRM HOLDS RIBBON CUTTING

A ribbon cutting was held March 31 at Cook & Hamlin, 2820 E. Jackson Blvd., Jackson. The accounting firm offers tax preparation, payroll services and bookkeeping.

ORAN SCHOOL GETS GOLD STAR AWARD

Oran school was chosen as one of six high-performing schools in the state and will now advance to be considered for a national award. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced in mid-March that the school received a Gold Star award, given to schools that perform well while serving disadvantaged students. Superintendent Mitch Wood said the school, which is grades seven through 12, was nominated based on Missouri Assessment Program scores and other data such as teacher turnover and attendance. The school will advance for consideration to be a Blue Ribbon School, which is awarded by the U.S. Department of Education.

ELITE TRAVEL WINS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD

Elite Travel Inc. received the 2009 Best Use of Initiatives from Karisma Hotels during the Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant Awards and Sales & Marketing Forum at El Dorado Royale in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The award is given to one travel agency in North America that has shown partnership with the Karisma brand and dedication to the Gourmet Inclusive program. Elite Travel is the only Gourmet Inclusive agency in the Southeast Missouri region. A GI Vacation Consultant is a travel professional who is well- versed, educated and prepared to provide exceptional service for a tailor-made vacation experience according to the client's needs and expectations at El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels by Karisma. A GI Vacation Consultant provides customers with confidence based on their first hand experience and knowledge after going through rigorous training and property site inspections at the hotels.

DEXTER SCHOOLS GET HEAD START AWARD

DEXTER, Mo. -- On March 23, Dexter School personnel were presented with the 2010 Missouri Head Start Association Community Partner of the Year award for their work with the Head Start Program. The award, presented in recognition of the dedication and service to Missouri Head Start's children and families by the local school system, focuses primarily on the work of the Early Childhood Education Program, with teachers Julie Garner and Tania Reiker heading up that program at Southwest Elementary. Head Start also recognized the early referral process stemming from Dexter's Parents as Teachers Program, headed by Melanie Stoelting.

UNIVERSITY WILL TERMINATE PROGRAM

The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents voted March 25 to approve the termination of a business program. The management information systems program was identified through an academic review process approved by the board in 2003. After a study on the program through the department, it was recommended for removal based on lack of interest among students. Majors dropped by 75 percent from 2004 to 2009. The cost per major, $5,031, exceeds college and university averages by about $3,000. The program cost also exceeds the revenue by $100,000. Regents said the matter was timely because the university is working to cut its budget.

KARATE ACADEMY OPENS

Academy of the Martial Arts opened at 709 William St., Cape Girardeau. Owner Matt Wright of Perryville, Mo., previously taught classes at Perry Park Center. Wright is a fourth-degree black belt who has been practicing martial arts for 35 years. He offers classes in karate and self-defense; the academy also features a retail sales area with books and martial arts supplies.

AMERI-MARKET HOLDS GRAND OPENING

Ameri-Market, 865 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, held a grand opening March 26 and 27. The business offers several items not typically found in gas stations, including a Wine Time wall, espresso bar, and made-to-order drinks using Seattle's Best coffee.

GILSTER-MARY LEE TO ADD 50 JOBS

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- Gilster-Mary Lee, producer of private-label cereals and baked goods, will add two new production lines to keep up with its growing list of orders. About 50 new jobs will be added at its Perry County facilities, including production and trucking positions, said Don Welge, president and general manager of Gilster-Mary Lee, based in Chester, Ill. One new line at the McBride, Mo., plant will produce flake cereals while the second, in Perryville, will make round and O-shaped cereals. In order to free up space in its existing buildings for the new production lines, Gilster-Mary Lee will build a 96,000-square-foot warehouse in the Perryville Industrial Park off Highway 51. Its trucking garage will move from its Main Street location to a new 30,000-square-foot building at the industrial park site. The new trucking facility will be more than three times its current size, allowing 300 trucks to be parked there at once, Welge said.

Perryville will receive a $674,655 federal Community Development Block Grant to cover cost infrastructure improvements at its industrial park to prepare for Gilster-Mary Lee's arrival. The federal funds will pay for new water, sewer and electric lines as well as streets and lighting in what is now an empty field. Crews began moving dirt at the new Gilster-Mary Lee site in the industrial park last week, and Welge said the company hopes to move into the new buildings this fall. Gilster-Mary Lee currently employs 640 people at its Perryville facility.

CAPE SCHOOL DISTRICT WINS AWARDS

A video produced by Cape Girardeau Public Schools received the Award of Excellence from the Missouri School Public Relations Association. The award, the highest available, was presented March 21 at the association's state convention at Lake of the Ozarks. The six-minute video was filmed by students in a video production class at the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center, edited by Randy McWilson and produced by the district's public relations coordinator, Steve Robertson. The association also named Robertson Rookie of the Year, an annual award given to a public relations person who has been on the job less than 18 months. Additionally, the district's newsletter and website were recognized with the Award of Merit. Kris Oliveira is the website coordinator.

TRCC NURSING PROGRAM RANKED HIGHLY

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Ingram's Magazine ranked the Nursing program at Three Rivers Community College among the top nursing programs in Missouri and Kansas. The list includes 25 colleges and universities from the two states, with TRCC ranking in the top 15 alongside Pittsburg State, St. Louis University and University of Missouri-Columbia. Three Rivers Nursing is the only program accredited by the National League for Nursing, the highest accreditation available to community colleges. The program also has one of the lowest student-to-faculty ratios on the list, and the lowest in-state tuition among the top 15.

MCDONALD'S OPENS IN FREDERICKTOWN

FREDERICKTOWN, Mo. -- A new McDonald's Restaurant opened March 23 at the roundabout on Highway 72. A ribbon cutting was held with the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, restaurant owner Michael Gladbach, Mayor Danny Kemp and other local representatives.

FAZOLI'S TO OPEN IN P.B.

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A Fazoli's Italian restaurant is coming to Poplar Bluff. The building that once housed Hardee's North is undergoing renovations to become Fazoli's. Employees are now being trained to work in the facility.

STATESMAN PRESENTS SERVICE AWARD

DEXTER, Mo. -- The Regional Healthcare Foundation's Mother-to-Mother Program is this year's recipient of The Daily Statesman's Community Service Award, presented annually in conjunction with the paper's Community Reflections Edition. The award is presented to an individual or organization for exemplary efforts in the area of service in the community. The Mother-to-Mother Program pairs young mothers with experienced mothers, working to guide young women into the role of responsible parents through education and mentoring.

WALGREENS TO SELL ALCOHOL

The Walgreens in Cape Girardeau will soon sell alcohol. Spokesman Robert Elfinger said the store is one of many in the nation that will begin selling beer and wine in order to meet a growing customer demand. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 138 Missouri Walgreens have applied for liquor licenses, including more than 70 in St. Louis.

OFFICES UNLIMITED OPENS PERRYVILLE LOCATION

After more than 10 years in Cape Girardeau, Offices Unlimited has opened a second location. Owner Sally LeGrand purchased the former Tishers Sales and Service building in Perryville, Mo., remodeled it and opened Offices Unlimited, which specializes in office supplies, janitorial, breakroom supplies and office furniture.

INSURANCE AGENT RELOCATING

This April, State Farm Insurance agent Charlotte Lanpher will move her office from 325 S. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, to 250 S. Mount Auburn Road.

BANK ACQUIRES NEW BRANCHES

FARMINGTON, Mo. -- Farmington, Mo.-based First State Community Bank entered into an agreement to purchase three Premier Bank locations in Columbia, Mo. Announced March 5, the acquisition will bring the increase to 32 branches in 24 communities including Cape Girardeau, Perryville and Sikeston, Mo., pending regulatory approval.

CEDAR STREET RESTAURANT CLOSES TO THE PUBLIC

March 28 was the last day of operations for Cedar Street Restaurant inside Drury Lodge of Cape Girardeau. The restaurant, which opened in 1981, has closed to the public to offer free food and drinks to the hotel's guests, said Alison Casler, director of training and communication in Drury's St. Louis office. In February, all Drury Hotels instituted a new amenity called "The 5:30 Kickback," where hotel guests are served hot appetizers and cold beverages each evening. Cape Girardeau's Drury Lodge was the only property owned by Drury with a restaurant inside and the only property not participating in "The 5:30 Kickback" program. Although the restaurant has closed to the public, Drury will still offer catering services.

PLAZA TIRE BEGINS CONSTRUCTION

Crews have begun moving dirt on the site of the future Plaza Tire Service store in Cape Girardeau. The store at 1638 N. Kingshighway will open by July or August, said owner Scott Rhodes. The current location, 1634 N. Kingshighway, will close once the new store is complete. Rhodes said the 8,800-square-foot store will be much bigger, including 10 bays where vehicles can be serviced.

CRAFT MALL CHANGES NAME

Country Shade Craft Mall, 8 South Plaza Way, Cape Girardeau, changed its name to Garden Gate Inc. A grand reopening was held March 19 and 20. The store now carries more furniture, home decor and decorating accessories.

GROUNDBREAKING HELD FOR REFUGE

DEXTER, Mo. -- A groundbreaking was held April 1 for the new Refuge Office and Visitor Center at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge. Construction is being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2011. At an estimated cost between $3.5 million and $4 million, the new facility will be about 11,000 square feet. Ben Mense, refuge manager, said there are three parts to the new building: a headquarters office where administration will be housed; a visitors center where people can look at exhibits and learn about the refuge; and two multipurpose rooms for school groups to conduct activities while visiting Mingo. The new facility will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, said Mense, and will have geothermal heating and cooling, some solar capacity and a rainwater catchment system. Mense said the existing 10,000-square-foot building is nearly 40 years old and has been deteriorating for several years.

ALLENVILLE AWARDED GRANT

The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced that Allenville has been approved for a $465,000 Community Development Block Grant for a wastewater system project. Allenville will construct a new wastewater collection and treatment system in conjunction with Whitewater. Both are primarily bedroom communities and neither has a central wastewater collection and treatment system. Wastewater is handled in both communities by individual septic tanks which provide poor service.

STE. GENEVIEVE RECEIVES FUNDS

STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. -- Gov. Jay Nixon visited Ste. Genevieve March 4 to announce $2,262,540 in Community Development Block Grant funding for construction at the Port of New Bourbon. Funds will allow the county to build a load-out conveyor at the Port of New Bourbon, granting greater access to unload onto barges and offload to shore. Local businesses and industries will then have a shipping terminal that remains open in times of high water. The CDBG funding is in addition to $1,995,000 the county received from the federal Economic Development Administration, plus $665,000 in local funding, which will be used to construct a dock and harbor.

FOUR COUNTIES SEEK INDUSTRY SITE

PARK HILLS, Mo. -- A megaindustrial site is being sought by a four-county consortium that includes St. Francois, Madison, Iron and Ste. Genevieve counties. The county commissions of each have agreed to work with the St. Francois County IDA and the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission to promote economic development regionally. The plan is to pursue a site of 700 to 1,000 acres that would be suitable for a major developer. The joint effort will begin with a study to identify the most developable mega industrial site within the four-county area. The study is being paid for with some private funds and with funds from the St. Francois County IDA. McCallum Sweeney Consulting has been retained to conduct the study. In addition to identifying at least one site of 700 to 1,000 or more acres for a major developer, the study would provide one or more locations in each county suitable for development on a smaller scale of 100 to 400 acres. Once the study is finished, a firm will be retained to certify the sites for state and national marketing purposes.

CITY OF CAPE TO SEE IMPROVEMENTS

A ceremony was held March 26 at Alliance Water Treatment, Cape Girardeau, to celebrate drinking water improvements to be made as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Those in attendance included Mark N. Templeton, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources; Cape Girardeau Mayor Jay Knudtson; and representatives from the city of Cape Girardeau. The DNR awarded the city with a Recovery Act State Revolving Fund $1,000,000 grant, an $840,721 loan and $159,279 SRF loan to make drinking water improvements to the facility, including installation of a raw water line and appurtenances.

FUNDS ANNOUNCED FOR IMPROVEMENTS

Missouri is one of 20 states to receive funds for water quality and public sanitation projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In Southeast Missouri, Caruthersville was selected to receive a $1.5 million loan for improvements to the wastewater treatment plant and two lift stations. Essex will receive an $845,000 loan and $833,900 grant to renovate the city's lagoon with a new aeration system and a new building to house the controls and compressors. Clarkton will receive a $1.5 million loan and $1.5 million grant to improve wastewater treatment to correct health and sanitary issues; the project will involve installing collection lines, replacing mains, rehabilitating the lift station and constructing a non-discharge lagoon and spray field. Grandin will receive a $364,000 loan and $216,000 grant to build a production well, install 4,000 feet of pipe, repair a well and add 12 fire hydrants. New Madrid County PWSD No. 6 will receive a $1,066,000 loan and $948,600 grant to construct a complete water distribution system to serve 170 households; water will be supplied by the city of Matthews.

BANK COMPLETES ACQUISITION

FARMINGTON, Mo. -- Farmington based First State Community Bank completed the acquisition of two Truman Bank locations, converting the locations March 6. The two new FSCB locations are in Shady Valley, Mo., near State Highway 21, and in Imperial, Mo., near Interstate 55. These locations will help develop the bank's presence in growing Jefferson County. The acquisition also makes FSCB one of few community banks headquartered in Missouri that hold more than $1 billion in assets. With the two new locations and another five added in the last four years, FSCB is now the largest bank headquartered in Southeast Missouri.

STOREFRONT GETTING A MAKEOVER

The shopping center at 1733 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, is being remodeled, according to Ralph Hendrickson of ERA Cape Realty. Its front and part of the sides are being replaced with a new dryvit, a stuccolike exterior. Other improvements include new windows, a new marquee sign and parking lot upgrades. Negotiations are ongoing with several businesses interested in locating there, Hendrickson said. The inside of the building will be remodeled to suit tenants' needs, he added.

NIXON ANNOUNCES ENERGY EFFICIENCY FUNDS

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Gov. Jay Nixon announced March 26 that the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Energize Missouri Communities has offered $847,352 in grants to five Southeast Missouri communities and counties for energy efficiency projects. They include Butler County, $22,745 for installing occupancy sensors and replacing lights at Poplar Bluff R-I School District Junior High School; Cape Girardeau County, $318,724 for replacing light fixtures with high-efficiency lighting; Jackson, $466,275 for installing variable frequency drive motor controls and replacing digestion blowers at the wastewater treatment facility; Parma, $9,608 for retrofitting HVAC system at the community center; and Perry County, $30,000 for installing a 10 kW photovoltaic system and replacing exterior lighting at the sheriff's office.

Nixon also announced $4,660,627 in grants to 21 communities or counties in the St. Louis area and Northeast Missouri. Among them are the Ironton, $15,000 for conducting an energy audit and smoke testing service mains for the water treatment plant; St. Francois County, $65,763 for upgrading lighting and HVAC systems for county buildings; and Ste. Genevieve County, $271,437 for replacing lights with energy efficient lighting and installing occupancy detectors at public buildings.

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