Warsaw Fitness Grand Opening.
Benton County was the host location for the 2023 Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference! This year's theme was, “All Together Different” with the focus was on inspiring our attendees to imagine economic and community development in new and innovative ways, with the goal of cultivating thriving, sustainable, resilient communities for the next generation. We celebrated accomplishments, shared lessons learned, and laid the groundwork for the future.
The 3 towns (Cole Camp, Lincoln, and Warsaw) were involved in the planning process and hosted events. We began on September 19th with the pre-event which was western themed at the Drenon Ranch Arena in Lincoln with a BBQ meal, shopping, and team roping demonstrations. The next day the conference kicked off in Cole Camp with a German themed lunch, keynote speaker, and various breakout sessions. We finished the day in Warsaw at the Truman Dam Visitors Center with networking, snacks, with a beautiful sunset over Truman Lake. The final day of the conference was in held Warsaw with breakfast, breakout sessions, keynotes, lunch and Senate and House resolutions for 3 Benton County Businesses.
The presence, participation, and enthusiasm were the driving force behind the success of the conference. We were truly inspired by the vibrant exchange of ideas, the connections formed, and the shared commitment to fostering entrepreneurial spirit in our communities.
We want to express our gratitude to all attendees, keynote speakers, breakout speakers, state CEC Team, sponsors, and others who played an important role in making this year’s conference a success!
Photos of the event are linked, please feel free to share and enjoy! CEC Photo Gallery (Click on the 3 dots on the right-hand top corner of the gallery - the drop down will give you the download option. Download the pics onto your computer for best quality. The gallery won't be there forever, so download and save them soon!)
Thank you for joining us at the CEC Conference in Cole Camp. Lincoln, and Warsaw.
Senator Eric Schmidtt has informed the City of Warsaw that the community has received a $24,997,004 RAISE grant. The strength of this grant application is the communities 25-year continuous effort to improve its Drake Harbor Water front park, the revitalized downtown, and combining this with a detailed planning process to develop its three primary roadways into Complete Streets. The grant will provide the funds to link the three roadways, through the downtown, to the waterfront trails with expansion of one of the trails. A unique feature is a stormwater mitigation area on the Town Branch that will also incorporate a park area known as Light Plant Park.
Warsaw sits on the 90-mile marker of the Lake of the Ozarks and is just one mile downstream of Truman Dam and Reservoir. Connecting to U.S. Route 65 (US 65) and Missouri Route 7 (Route 7) in three locations, the roadway segments included in the project span across the city to complete two east-west routes and one north-south route. These improvements will facilitate visitor traffic coming into the city from the major highways as well as local circulation, creating safe links to neighborhoods, schools, retail areas, and recreation and nature nodes. The improvements also extend Warsaw’s natural water amenities from the Marina District into the community by protecting and expanding on natural wetland areas. The map below details the project extents and connecting infrastructure.
The project is intended to improve safety and livability in the community by reconstructing the roadways to accommodate parking, bicycles, ADA-compliant sidewalks, curbing, and pavement striping. Our Complete Streets approach will address current shortcomings in disability access, safe routes to school, and citizen’s health and recreation benefits by providing bike and pedestrian access to the City’s trail system along the waterfront. The current ditch-stormwater collection system will be replaced with integrated green stormwater infrastructure and an enclosed storm sewer system to mitigate street flooding and promote environmental sustainability. Intersection improvements, new drive approaches, and center turn lanes where feasible will address access and intersection safety challenges.
L to R: Cathie Nelson, Lincoln Mayor Glen Nelson, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Diana Throckmorton, Tyler Throckmorton, and Jo Ann Lane.
On Tuesday, I visited many local businesses in Benton County, with the first being the We The People Cattle Company in Lincoln, MO. We The People’s Tyler and Diana Throckmorton shared their vision about their new business and hopes to have their storefront opened next month.
The company will carry locally grown food products and fresh meat from their farm. They hope to also have a monthly subscription service as well, where customers can order cuts of meat and other food boxes. We The People also plans to have a custom finishing program where customers can choose what breed of cattle they want, how they want it fed out, and then how they want it processed and the Throckmortons will custom raise and process their cattle accordingly. Tyler and Diana are truly great people with God guiding their path. I wish them much success on their new venture!
L to R: Wendy Light, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Cyndi Davis, Ron Light, Devyn Davis, Tim Schutt of Regal Rexnord, Cathie Nelson, and Lincoln Mayor Glen Nelson.
My next stop in Lincoln, MO was to EPIC Sheltered Workshop to meet with owners Wendy and Ron Light and their 10 employees. EPIC is a brand-new sheltered workshop started by the Lights to provide meaningful employment for area adults with developmental disabilities. They are in the early stages and already are doing great work! Recently, they partnered with the City of Lincoln to refurbish the town’s Christmas snowflakes that will soon light the streets of Lincoln.
I was able to meet one of EPIC’s workers, Devyn Davis, and his mother, Cyndi Davis, who is so proud of the work he’s doing. Regal Rexnord representative Tim Schutt explained how their company is thrilled EPIC is here. They hope to provide contracts for employees at the shelter to do some packaging work for their products which will be a ‘win-win’ for both Regal Rexnord and EPIC employees. EPIC provides a place where their workers can get a sense of self purpose, do some socialization, and get a paycheck. I’m so thrilled for them and wish them the best as they move forward with compassion and purpose!
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler and Mary Langewisch enjoy a refreshing treat!
Later that afternoon, I made my way to 303 Ice Cream in historic downtown Warsaw to enjoy a scoop of Peanut Butter Blast on a brown sugar and cinnamon waffle cone! The owner, Mary Langewisch, was such a treat to speak with about her business and the great ice cream she provides in downtown Warsaw. Mary also owns Statuary Gardens Boutique, and has started and owned multiple businesses in her lifetime. She is a true entrepreneur whose example is inspiring (and whose ice cream is delicious!). Thanks for welcoming me and my team, Mary!
After my ice cream cone, I stopped by the brand-new Steamboat Playground at Drake Harbor in Warsaw. Warsaw Mayor Eddie Simons and Warsaw City Administrator Randy Pogue met me there and shared more about the development process for the new playground. The city of Warsaw utilized a matching grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Land, Water, and Conservation Fund to build the facility.
As we were leaving, we also saw a young family heading to the playground to have some fun captaining the ”Missouri Belle” for the afternoon! This new playground is a great addition to Warsaw’s waterfront and will be enjoyed by kids (and kids at heart!) for years to come. The city plans on adding additional playgrounds in the future including ones accessible by children with disabilities. I always appreciate the vision and forward-thinking of Warsaw city officials.
Benton County Economic Development, Extension, and Tourism participated in the Creating Entrepreneurial Communities Conference held in Hermann Mo in September. We presented a workshop titled “ABC’s of a Thriving Community” in which we received great feedback.
The exciting new is the 2023 Creating Entrepreneurial Communities Conference will be in Benton County, MO! As Benton County was being announced as the host site for the 2023 Creating Entrepreneurial Conference and we decided to have a Benton County Basket/Bag to generate interest for next year and to show what a REMARKABLE community we are. Even with a very last minute ask, business owners rocked it!
Josh Sater and Marina Shinderuck with Equity Bank in Warsaw presented Benton County Economic Development Director, Jo Ann Lane with a donation from their C.R.A. (Community Reinvestment Act) funds. The funds will be used to assist new businesses with marketing. Josh serves on the Benton County Economic Development Committee. Also pictured is Amie Breshears, Benton County Extension and a member of the Benton County Economic Development Committee. To Equity Bank’s dedication, Josh said, “Equity Bank is please to be a partner and a resource for our customers and we look forward to promoting growth and development for generations to come.” Benton County Economic Development is very appreciative of the support from Equity Bank. Thank you!
Lincoln Mayor John King signed an agreement with Co-Mo Connect to bring high speed internet to the City of Lincoln. This infrastructure improvement will bring positive change to manufacturing and distributing possibilities. Lincoln is ideally located on 4-lane Highway 65 and companies looking to utilize their location for these industries will now enjoy lightning fast internet connection. It will also have an effect on education, work from home professionals, and services looking to do business online.
The City of Warsaw Board of Alderman and Mayor voted unanimously to approve a contract with Co-Mo Connect to install fiber in the entire community. This act continues our effort to move Warsaw forward as a progressive rural community that invests in itself.
Southwest Electric Cooperative and their lender, COBANK, have generously awarded a grant to the Community Association of Regional Enterprises, a 501c3 non-profit administered by Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission for the Benton County Economic Development Program.
“We are excited about this grant opportunity and the good it will do for economic development efforts in our region,” said Kaysinger Executive Director Sheridan Garman-Neeman.
This funding will be used to develop a Benton County Economic Development website to promote its shovel-ready sites for development and help market local businesses in Benton County. “Since taking this position, I have found that the new businesses tend to lack the funding for marketing expertise and a marketing budget. Through this grant, I will be able to assist them with those needs,” says Benton County Economic Development Director Jo Ann Lane. Lane plans to purchase a little extra space for grand openings in newspapers, assist them with getting listed on Google business, and help with better signage. She will also be hosting an online cooperative marketing event where she shows these businesses how to leverage social media and each other’s social media to cross-promote their businesses.
Each year, COBANK matches funds generously donated by Southwest Electric Cooperative for community needs. This year, they chose to give to economic development programs in Benton and Dallas Counties.
Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission serves Bates, Benton, Cedar, St. Clair, Hickory, Cedar, and Vernon counties. Kaysinger is also an EDA-funded Economic Development District (EDD). As an EDD, they pursue economic development projects around the region that support the strategic economic development plans for the region that engage both local governments and stakeholders. Kaysinger has a regional economic development team that serves their counties and has taken on a uniquely aggressive role in economic development since this area has an underserved niche. Kaysinger administers the Benton County program for the county and three cities in the county. For more information, please contact the Executive Director, Sheridan Garman-Neeman at:
Email: Sgarman@kaysinger.com Phone: 660-885-3393
Pictured: Ted Zeugin, manager of Member Services and Communications; Sheridan Garman-Neeman, Kaysinger Executive Director, James Ashworth, CEO/general manager
A community wide water main grant funded by the Department of Natural Resources SRF will replace old water mains throughout the City of Warsaw.
Improvements to Main Street, including widened streets, sidewalks, and bike lanes is being funded through a grant awarded by Community Development Block Grant.
The Missouri Municipal League (MML) held their annual statewide conference in St. Louis from September 27-29, 2021. At their awards luncheon, Warsaw received the MML Innovation award in the small community category. This category is for communities with a population less than 5,000.
The award is for the 2015 Building on Success to Capitalize on the Future - Comprehensive Plan and all the other planning efforts leading up to the revitalization of Warsaw.
The City of Warsaw’s objective was to rebuild the crumbling city infrastructure and reverse the economic distress by making it an inviting place to live, enjoy recreation and conduct business. With limited resources in 1997, the City committed to writing grants and training employees to provide in-kind grant match to construct many of the projects that have received state and national recognition. Today the City is seeing increased sales tax revenues, visitors, businesses and new residences. By investing in the City’s underground utilities, maintenance is decreasing while gaining increased sewer treatment capacity for the future expansion of the city. All of this has been achieved by a 24-year commitment to planning and implementation that addressed decaying infrastructure while developing new infrastructure. By planning a gradual approach to improvements and development, this has allowed the various city fund balances to increase, while also, carefully investing from those funds for the improvements.
The Benton County Economic Development Website has been made possible by a grant from Southwest Electric Cooperative and their lender, COBANK. Thank you for your generous support.
Copyright © 2021 bcedevelopment.com