Support shown for Highway 87 corridor annexation

Overwhelming support was shown towards annexation during the annexation hearing Monday evening at the Boonville City Council Chambers.
After a description of the proposed annexation area was presented by Boonville City Counselor and City Planner Megan McGuire Darryl Towers of the Skogman Commercial Group in Iowa took center stage and described the future development being planned for the Highway 87 corridor.
"There is an awful lot of nice things about Boonville, which I did a lot of research about," Towers said.
He found the corridor in question boasted an average high school diploma rate of 93 percent, 50 percent with a college degree and 23 percent with a graduate degree.
"This is way higher than the national average than for any other corridor on the interstate," Towers said. "When I looked at that I saw there might be some exciting things potentially happening here."
Towers was very astonished of the location.
"With the property located right in the middle of the state, its proximity to Columbia and the proximity as a transportation corridor it has between St. Louis and Kansas City, the city intrigued me," he said.
"Ed Rapp asked me to evaluate the property. I contacted a man by the name of Steve Smyers who is a golf course architect with community planners on his staff. He came here all the way from Florida and said this is a fabulous piece of property," Towers said.
Smyers, who has designed golf courses around the world, saw the potential of the property.
"The plan is a mixed use development with a total redevelopment of the golf course, adds 250 homes to the area, a boutique hotel, an event center and hiking trails," Towers said.
Once the development is completed Towers estimated up to 3.6 million dollars could be brought in per year in property taxes alone.
Bill Rapp said the golf course is a huge asset for the community and contributed the 18 hole golf course as visionary work by the Gann family. He added development must be done to further the economic viability of the course.
Kenny Hirlinger who serves on the board of the Moberly Economic Development read an endorsement letter from the economic group of the annexation. The letter stated this annexation gives Boonville an opportunity to expand on development, which is needed for the city.
Dr. Wiley McVicker showed support for the annexation.
"For Boonville to grow it needs this annexation," McVicker said.
McVicker said this is the perfect direction to grow because it is on the side of Columbia.
Cooper County Eastern District Commissioner Paul Davis said on behalf of his fellow commissioners they endorse the annexation measure as well.
Jerry Quinlan said the city needs to keep growing.
"This is one chance we have of making a better Boonville and I hope we do it," Quinlan said.
In other news the Boonville city council approved establishing the tax levy for fiscal year 2013-14 and authorized a contract with the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for a partial parallel taxiway at Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport.
In new business the council heard the first readings of bills considering approval of recommendations of local agency funding committee, authorizing and approving MECO Engineering for engineering services for the MoDOT sidewalk improvement. THey also heard the first reading authorizing and approving HDR Engineering Inc. for engineering services for the MoDOT Katy Bridge pedestrian conversion-phase I and approving the imposition of an increased sales tax on hotel room rentals (Bed Tax).