Alliance is doing well in county

Wednesday, June 2, 2004

BENTON - The Southeast Missouri Economic Development Alliance is on the right track, according to economic development experts.

Scott County Economic Developer Jim Schwaninger reported during the regular Scott County Commission meeting Tuesday on the regional economic development forum and training seminar he attended May 25 in Cape Girardeau.

The bottom line, according to Schwaninger, is that "regionalism is good."

As economic development entities need a plan and measurable goals to reach them, Schwaninger continued, the Alliance needs to set objectives.

"They're kind of ambitious," Schwaninger said regarding proposed goals for the Alliance. The primary objective should be to create and maintain jobs at twice the average, Schwaninger said.

Efforts should also be made to increase business between area businesses.

The steering committee for the Southeast Missouri Economic Development Alliance is to meet June 18 in Bloomfield.

Schwaninger said other topics discussed at the forum included exploring opportunities to participate in car manufacturing by producing primary and secondary parts, adding that Scott County is within range to supply parts to car plants in Memphis.

He said it was also pointed out during the forum that for economic development to succeed, it will take leadership from the private sector as elected officials come and go with elections.

In other Scott County news:

* Commissioners plan on inviting Ed Dust, who was recently named the director of economic development for Sikeston, to the regular county mayor-school superintendent meeting scheduled for noon June 10 at Morley.

* John Chittenden of Waters Engineering in Sikeston updated commissioners on the progress of the feasibility study for a rural water district in the county. He predicted he would have the study done in about two weeks.

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