May 19, 2005
For immediate release
For more information, contact:
Bonnie J. Prigge, (573) 265-2993
SALEM MAYOR REELECTED CHAIRMAN OF MRPC
Hears request from Pulaski County to join regional planning commission
ST. JAMES-The board of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission had a full agenda May 13 when they met for their monthly meeting in St. James, including the annual election of officers. At the recommendation of the External Relations Committee, all officers were elected to a second term. Salem Mayor Gary Brown was reelected chairman of the Meramec Regional Planning Commission, and Washington County Presiding Commission Robert Reed was reelected vice president. Other officers reelected include Bourbon Mayor Mary Heywood, who continues as secretary, and At-Large Commissioner for Small Business Laura Cyr, who continues to serve as treasurer.
All total, five at-large positions were up for election this year. Jesse Jarvis, at-large commissioner for education, was reelected to another three-year term as commissioner for education. Janet Walker of Rolla will continue to represent minorities, and Dawn Warren of Gasconade County will continue to represent emergency management on the board.
New to the board is Thomas Klebba of Linn, who was elected to serve a three-year term as at-large commissioner for lending. Klebba is a certified public accountant and is vice president and chief financial officer for Linn State Bank and its nine branches. James Gwyn of Washington County declined reappointment to the position of at-large commissioner for unemployment. The board will solicit nominations for that position. Jarvis was also appointed to another term as the at-large representative on the executive committee.
In other business, the board:
o Heard a presentation from Dr. Bill Ankner, executive director of the newly created Missouri Transportation Institute. Dr. Ankner encouraged board members to view transportation as a means to an end and to start looking at transportation as part of the community.
o Accepted the recommendation of the Operations Committee and awarded a three-year auditing contract to Verkamp and Malone of Rolla. The company will conduct annual audits of MRPC and its related organizations. MRPC hires a new auditor every three years. Four companies were interviewed for the contract this year.
o Learned that MRPC staff will be assisting banks with the packaging of 7a and USDA Guaranteed Loans.
o Heard an initial report of the FY 2005-2006 budget. Board members were asked to review the budget prior to the June meeting when they will be asked to adopt it.
o Heard an update on available grants and projects submitted. The city of Owensville was congratulated for securing a grant to extend a roadway to accommodate the expansion of Grimco, a local manufacturer. MRPC assisted the city in preparing the application.
o Heard a request from the Pulaski County Commission to join the Meramec Regional Planning Commission. Pulaski County is currently part of the Lake Ozark Council of Governments at Camdenton. The county commission believes it would be better served through MRPC and hand-carried a letter requesting permission to join. If the MRPC board approves the request, the question would then be sent to the governor for final decision on changing the RPC boundaries. Staff will research the impact of Pulaski County joining MRPC, and the issue will be considered at the June meeting. Board members asked that the executive director contact Lake Ozark Council of Governments and discuss the issue, making sure that the RPC understands the MRPC is not recruiting Pulaski County.
MRPC is an active, voluntary council of local governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps and Washington counties. The 47-member volunteer board, made up of elected officials and appointed representatives, works to enhance the quality of life in the region. A professional staff assists members communities and counties in the areas of economic and community development, environmental planning, business loans, ordinance codification, transportation planning and housing. The office is located at 4 Industrial Drive in St. James.