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County is only one city away from getting an Enhanced Enterprise Zone
County is only one city away from getting an Enhanced Enterprise Zone

Wayne Morgan explains economic development plans at Wednesday's chamber of commerce meeting.
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Feb. 11, 2010) — Only one more city is needed to approve an enhanced enterprise zone ordinance before Pulaski County can apply to Missouri for a designation that could bring special tax and business recruitment incentives to the county and all of its five cities.

That’s what Pulaski County’s economic development official, Wayne Morgan of the Pulaski County Growth Alliance, reported at Wednesday morning’s meeting of the Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re getting closer and closer, folks,” Morgan said. “We’re really moving along on that and we’re really excited about that for the county.”

So far, the county commission and the city councils of Saint Robert, Waynesville, Dixon and Crocker have approved the enhanced enterprise zone concept. The last remaining city needed for approval is Richland, whose city council will consider the ordinance next week on Tuesday.

“In the process itself, it asks you to identify the target industries that your county would be looking at, and one of those, of course, is that we looked at the data communications, technology, the call-center type industries that would be a good fit for our employment,” Morgan said. “There is a trade show that I have been fortunate enough to be able attend with Missouri Partnership … There’s only three other economic development organizations in the state of Missouri that were allowed to be in the booth with Missouri Partnership and we’re one of them so I feel good about that.”

Morgan said he’ll be providing details on the demographics of the Waynesville-St. Robert area during the March 7 to 11 trade show in Nashville as well as details from a labor study of the area’s workforce.

Getting accurate census data to attract developers is crucial, said Waynesville Councilwoman Luge Hardman.

“Remember the census; my goodness, don’t forget it,” Hardman said. “If you have a place for a sign, and I’m sure St. Robert is the same way, if you have a place for a banner on your property, let us know because we need to get this word out about the census.”

Hardman reminded local businessmen that the census forms will be in the mail soon and need to be returned by April 1.

Fort Leonard Wood spokesman Mike Alley said military leaders are making special efforts to help soldiers understand that they need to list Pulaski County, not their hometown or home of record, as their home for the census.

“I’m here to tell you, we understand how important the census is for this community as a whole; we understand it’s huge from an operational standpoint,” Alley said. “I need your help. If you’ve got a neighbor who is military, knock on their door and make sure they understand, ‘Look, it is not where you pay your taxes. It is where you go to sleep at night. We need more businesses.’”

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