According to the Moberly Area Economic Development of the 70 plus projects they are currently undertaking, over 30 of them include locations in Cooper County. This, along with having sites ready for development was the topic of discussion during a meeting held Tuesday evening between the MAEDC, Boonville City Council, Cooper County Commission and Industrial Development Authority at the Isle of Capri Casino Ballroom.
“We just wanted to have an opportunity to have a joint meeting to give everyone an update,” MAEDC Board President Corey Mehaffy said.
Discussion began after dinner was served on future prospects and what MAEDC was doing to help further area development.
“One of the most important things is community preparedness. We have to sure we have buildings that are ready to go and information that eliminates risk so an individual can make an investment in your area. This makes it possible for them to move forward quickly,” Mehaffy said.
Mehaffy also discussed sites, which have been certified. These certified sites tell a potential developer the area is all ready for development. The closest certified site is in Howard County.
Mehaffy said a good certified site is larger than 10 acres.
MAEDC Vice President David Gaines said when the area is sold collectively, it is much more appealing.
Gaines said the MAEDC spends 60 percent of their time outside the state at trade shows and marketing events telling potential developers about the area.
Discussion also focused on jobs. Mehaffy said the amount of people working in a building is decreasing. A building that once housed 500 employees, now houses 100. He said employers are doing more with less.
MAEDC has been working on certifying Cooper County as 'work ready.' The certification gives credence to the workforce of the area. The county is currently in progress of becoming a 'work ready' county.
“We have had some difficult economic times lately, including the downsizing of many companies. This is why it is important to do, what we do. Some of the projects we are working on may take two to three years to come to fruition,” Mehaffy said.