Joint efforts bringing growth to community

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Last week, we published a story on the explosion in construction and commercial building permits in Sikeston. If you missed that, you missed an extremely important development that bodes well for our community.

The numbers, quite frankly, are truly amazing.

In 2015, commercial construction in Sikeston was valued at $42 million. Put in perspective, that is more than double the commercial growth in Cape Girardeau and Jackson COMBINED.

Digest those numbers for a moment. Our small community is seeing commercial growth that outpaces our regional competitors by an amazingly wide margin.

And since those figures were released, there's been the announcement of a massive warehouse operation adjacent to Cott Beverage on the south end of town.

Residential construction permits have lagged behind both Cape and Jackson but with the growth of the commercial activity, residential growth is virtually assured to follow.

This growth didn't happen by accident. Economic Development Director Ed Dust has ushered in many of these projects with focused determination that is just now producing substantial benefits.

But to achieve this growth, it takes a combined effort among all resources of the city. When called into action, these resources put together a team effort that is hard to match.

We still have challenges ahead just like any other community. We must continue to focus on housing issues, substandard housing and the need for additional affordable housing.

We still must work on a declining student population in our public schools.

With the recent approval of a sales tax initiative, we now have the full resources to address crime. Rest assured, our Public Safety Department is up to the task.

As we enter this new year, there is a growing sense of excitement and encouragement that Sikeston is on the move.

It's time for the pessimists to drink their coffee in silence. Our growth quite frankly, proves them wrong.

Look for even more changes ahead. And all of those changes will combine to move our community forward.

For a community to prosper it first takes leadership. Once you have leadership in place - and we do - then a plan is devised to assure progress and growth.

Someday long into the future perhaps, I suspect we'll look back at these times and recognize we have reached a turning point.

And all signs point upward.

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