June 17, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Richard Cavender, Bonnie Prigge or Connie Willman, 573-265-2993
MRPC Board Adopts Largest Budget in 42 Years
Brackhahn elected as at-large representative for seniors
||Linda Loughridge, Meramec Regional Planning Commission fiscal officer, presents the FY 2011-12 budget to board members June 9.
ST. JAMES – Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s (MRPC) board approved the largest budget in its 42-year history during its June 9 meeting. The FY 2011-12 budget projects revenues at $2.8 million and expenses at $2.77 million, anticipating a profit of $32,800. The fiscal year runs July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.
Fiscal Officer Linda Loughridge presented the budget, explaining that revenue is expected to increase by some $53,000, despite cut backs in the housing department and the loans department and overall salary decreases of $73,141.
In other business, the board:
• Heard an update on the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Bolder Five-Year Direction that was approved by the highway commission June 8.
The plan decreases the state’s 10 districts to seven, eliminating Districts 2, 7, and 9. Every MRPC county will now be included in the Central District.
Executive Director Richard Cavender added it is the first time MoDOT has followed district boundaries for the regional planning commissions.
Tom Stehn, currently the South Central District engineer, said he would become the assistant district engineer in Willow Springs.
“(The decision) was based on comments we received and the decision our director, Kevin Keith, made,” Stehn said. “Every employee at MoDOT will have to compete for their job.”
Cavender said the district restructuring would provide opportunities for a more unified department.
• Approved the external relations committee’s recommendation for the nomination of Donald Brackhahn, of Rolla, Mo., to serve as at-large representative for seniors, filling the unexpired term held by Frankie Todd.
• Learned that MRPC’s annual dinner is slated Nov. 10 and the external relations committee is scouting site proposals, which are due by July 15. Any city or county in the Meramec Region may submit a proposal to host MRPC’s annual dinner. The committee requested guest speaker suggestions and volunteer nominations, due by July 22.
• Heard T.R. Dudley’s report on the state’s MoBroadbandNow initiative. Dudley focused his discussion on surveys being collected regarding broadband usage.
• Heard the planning committee’s decision to delay action on participating in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program until MRPC can see how other groups and boards are operating – specifically the Jefferson City PACE board, the first organized effort in the state.
• Learned that the Missouri Municipal League will present MRPC’s annual elected officials workshop from 6 to 9 p.m. June 29 with registration beginning at 5:30 p.m. Pre-registration is requested to ensure enough hand outs and food.
• Recognized Cavender for serving 32 years with MRPC before his retirement June 30, 2011.
“I’ve been fortunate to have found a career that I feel passionate about,” Cavender said. “I’m sad to not be able to go forward with you when regionalism becomes even more valuable.”
Sen. Dan Brown and St. James Mayor Dennis Wilson presented proclamations honoring Cavender. MRPC Assistant Director Bonnie Prigge will assume the directorship July 1. The board made the promotion in December.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 30, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.
The MRPC board will meet at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at its office at 4 Industrial Drive in St. James. All meetings are open to the public.