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Table Rock Lake and the cost of economic activity

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Kathleen O’Dell’s article about the economic impact of Table Rock Lake in today’s Springfield News-Leader, entitled “Table Rock Dam Gives Much Back to Area,” covers a lot of ground in describing the various kinds of economic activities that are related to the construction and continued existence of Table Rock Lake.

In an economic sense, is the Table Rock Lake area fit (efficient and nimble) or obese (expensive to maintain and subject to falls)? As pointed out below, the two counties most affected by Table Rock Lake have experienced the area’s lowest growth in Read the rest of this entry


Taney County will seek stimulus money

Ken Kline, chair of the Taney County (Missouri) Industrial Development Authority (IDA), persuaded the Taney County Commission yesterday to fund an Office of Economic Development, so that Taney County will have people actively pursuing money dedicated to rural projects in the stimulus package pushed through Congress by the Obama Administration.

Ken’s presentation was well-organized, with detailed descriptions of the duties of the persons that he wanted the county to hire. The request suggested that these county employees report to the IDA, which consists of unpaid appointees.

I spoke in support of Ken’s proposal and pointed out that many of the functions of the proposed Office of Economic Development were within the statutory duties of the county’s planning commission, but were not currently being performed.

Sarah Klinefelter, chair of the planning commission, agreed that the planning commission had been primarily responding to requests for zoning permits, rather than performing its planning function. New county commissioner Jim Strafuss told me after the meeting that the county commission had issued an RFP for a comprehensive plan.

I  hope that rural counties in the Ozarks will take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade roads and bridges, water and sewer facilities, school buildings, and parks and to establish technology facilities. Otherwise, we’ll be faced with doing our part to pay for improvements made elsewhere, putting us even further behind.

Stone County Planning & Zoning Declared Invalid

In MPI v. Stone County, dated December 30, 2008, Associate Circuit Judge Carr Woods ruled that the system of planning and zoning for Stone County (Missouri) was not in compliance with the Missouri statutes that enable counties to adopt planning and zoning regulations after a vote of the citizens. I filed the case, and Springfield attorney Bryan Wade and his associates at Husch Blackwell Sanders carried most of the discovery and trial preparation burden. I assisted Bryan with the trial.

The decision is not final until 30 days after its date. Meanwhile, the Stone County Commission has closed the planning and zoning office while it considers its options, which of course include appealing the decision. Read the rest of this entry

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