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Missouri’s new Opportunity Zones allows incentives to Maryville

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Nodaway News Leader
April 21, 2018

 Governor Eric Greitens and Senator Roy Blunt announced the locations of 161 Opportunity Zones in Missouri including Maryville.

These zones are known to be low-income areas that will see added incentives for investment. The locations of the Opportunity Zones were determined by the state and made possible by the tax cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Areas with high poverty rates and slow job growth will get a boost as they compete for jobs, with additional state and federal tax incentives for businesses that invest in these communities.

“We’ve already seen jobs coming back to Missouri as a result of strong conservative reforms. Now I’m proud to share that, because of tax reform, we have a new tool to bring businesses back to the areas that need it most. The communities that need quality jobs, areas with a lot of poverty and not a lot of opportunity, will get a leg up as they compete for jobs. I’m grateful to everyone who worked on this issue, and proud to announce these Opportunity Zones today,” Greitens said.

“The Opportunity Zones program will help spur new investments in communities where they’re needed most. By bringing investment incentives to under-served areas, the program will help create more jobs, drive economic growth and improve the quality of life for families across our state. The Opportunity Zones program is another example of how tax reform is directly benefitting Missourians and turning the page on years of slow growth and stagnant wages. I’m proud to support this program and I’ll keep working to advance pro-growth policies that will help more hardworking families get ahead,” Blunt said.

Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Opportunity Zones program provides investors with a treasury-certified capital-gains tax deferral, based on their investment in the designated areas. The program seeks to revitalize and create jobs in areas that otherwise may not be considered by investors.

The two census tracts that were approved are in the city limits of Maryville. Nodaway County Economic Development Director Josh McKim noted the reason those two tracts were approved is based on the number of Northwest students who live in the area, which would fall into a higher poverty rate and lower income level.

He said,“It’s another tool in our tool box to enhance our community. I have had one project interested in this.”

Under the law, each state could nominate up to 25 percent of census tracks that met the eligibility requirements for the program, to be designated by the Secretary of the Treasury. In Missouri, the state could nominate up to 161 census tracks to be designated as Opportunity Zones.

To determine which zones were chosen, Missouri relied extensively on local input. Local governments were asked to nominate areas for inclusion in the program by sending a written proposal to the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED).

The communities prioritized their selections and provided DED with information about development plans and descriptions of recent and future investments. In addition to local recommendations, the state considered the Opportunity Zone’s potential to address need and generate investment impact.

The Opportunity Zones are in these other Missouri communities: Bolivar, Branson, Butler County, Cameron, Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Dallas County, Excelsior Springs, Hannibal, Independence, Jackson County, Jefferson City, Jennings, Joplin, Kansas City, Kennett, Kirksville, Laclede County, Lafayette County, Lebanon, Mexico, Monett, Montgomery County, Neosho, New Madrid County, Newton County, Pemiscot County, Potosi, Pulaski County, Randolph County, Ripley County, Saline County, Sikeston, Springfield, St. Joseph, St. Louis, St. Louis County, Sugar Creek, Sullivan County, Sunrise Beach, Warren County, Warrensburg, Warsaw, Wayne County and West Plains.

 

Love of number crunching serves McKim in NCED role

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By TOM PINNEY The Forum

Josh McKim originally wanted to be the stereotypical version of the number cruncher.

“My first thought of what I wanted to be was that I imagined myself as the guy in a basement with one working light bulb right above me, just crunching data,” McKim said. “I love data and numbers because they help me understand what’s actually going on past how the rhetoric tries to twist it.”

McKim received his bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University in 2000, but interestingly enough, he did so in history.

“I had enough credits to have a bachelor’s degree in economics, but I chose to do history instead,” McKim said. “Back then you couldn’t double because it would be a bachelor of arts in history and a bachelor of science in economics.”

McKim then went to Oklahoma State University to get his master’s degree in economics, which he received in 2004. After that, he applied for “any job with ‘economics’ in the title.” His career began at the Regional Council of Governments in Maryville, but when his wife became pregnant with their second child, he said he needed to find something with good health insurance.

From there, he spent some time in Kansas before returning to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to serve as the executive director of their economic development efforts. After five years, McKim spent some time working in the private sector doing logistics and bidding until he found something to bring him back to Maryville.

“When they announced that the Energizer plant was closing, I knew I wanted to come back and try to help the area recover,” McKim said. “I had experience with that sort of thing, as it had happened before with me, (in Stillwater).

“I knew how to work to try to help the area recover after losing a major employer like that, and when this job opened up, I applied. I figured it would be a great way to give back to my hometown.”

McKim started his current position on Jan. 1, 2014, and immediately began working to help fill the void that was left by the Energizer plant. He said the important thing to remember when trying to replace something like that is to fill the space with another major job creator.

“Unfortunately, though we filled the space, they haven’t created nearly as many jobs as Energizer had,” McKim said. “When you don’t have that home-run job creator, you have to single and double your way to making up for those jobs.

“That’s what we ended up doing, and as a result, we’ve created 450-500 more jobs than we had at our lowest point after Energizer’s closing. That’s an entire warehouse worth of jobs, and we did it by creating 10, 15, 20 jobs at a time. Other plants opened up extensions and new lines for manufacturing and some of our other employers in town added positions and people to their staff as they could afford.”

Now, McKim said, the problem has become filling those jobs. He said Nodaway County Economic Development has been hard at work trying to recruit people from other areas to come to Maryville to fill those jobs.

“We’ve started a whole marketing campaign around coming to Maryville as an individual and as a family,” McKim said. “We talk about how the area’s quality of life is great, the different things that Maryville and Nodaway County have to offer, and do our best to sell Maryville to individuals as much as we do to other businesses.

“We looked at major layoffs and closures throughout the region, and that’s where we’re targeting this advertising. We’re trying to convey the message that this is a community where they can rebuild their lives with new opportunities.”

Outside of the office, McKim is involved in the Maryville community by serving on the Maryville R-II Board of Education, the new Maryville tourism committee, Downtown Maryville, the Missouri Economic Development Council Board and the Northwest Roundtable for Economic Development.

When asked for advice, McKim had two main areas to focus on.

“The first one was when I was younger and early in my working career, and I corrected my boss in a meeting,” McKim said. “He pulled me aside later and told me to wait until after the meeting to correct him, and it taught me that it’s just as important to be considerate of others and respectful as it is to be right.

“The second is one I wish I had learned earlier, and that is to never discount any of your experience. I did a lot of things in the private sector that are easily transferrable to my current job, and it gives me a lot of perspective that some others don’t have. Just because you switch jobs, careers or industries doesn’t discount your past.”

New Mozingo hotel cuts ceremonial ribbon

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By TOM PINNEY Staff writer
Maryville Daily Forum

 

The process of opening a new hotel at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park is mostly complete.

Tuesday morning, surrounded by various members of the Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce, city officials, and other community members, Boulders Inn and Suites general manager Sharlet Dumke cut the ceremonial ribbon to announce the completion and opening of the 40-room hotel.

The hotel has been open for a couple of weeks, according to Dumke, and has reached full capacity each weekend it’s been open.

“There’s been lots of events to keep us filled up on the weekends,” Dumke said. “This weekend, for instance, we have the track meet, and we were able to book the officials and one of the teams.

“There’s lots going on around here, like the extreme cowboy competition at Mozingo last weekend, so we’re not really hurting for business. During the week we aren’t filling up, but over the weekend we’re full.”

This is Dumke’s first foray into hotel management, but it’s not a new area for her.

“I needed a change, I was in catering since 1999 and I needed to do something new,” Dumke said. “I wanted to stay in hospitality, and I had done internships at places like Tan-Tar-A, so I felt this would be a good transition for me.

“It’s familiar enough that I didn’t need to do too much to come into the hotel business. I’m still planning events, working with brides and other event planners, but instead of planning the food, I’m planning the lodging.”

Dumke said there were still things in the hotel being worked on and finished up, and that there are three rooms she can’t rent out yet because of minor issues, but she commended the people working on the hotel for their ability to “get stuff done.”

The ribbon cutting was attended by a large amount of people, ranging from Chamber members to community legends, and included representatives from Boulders’ corporate team. Chamber executive director Lily White said it was the biggest ribbon cutting in her tenure as director.

“We had so many people here that we couldn’t go around and introduce everyone because it would’ve taken too much time,” White said. “It’s exciting to see that the community supports the hotel so much and wants to see it succeed.

“It’s also great to see the amount of business the hotel is receiving. Usually it would take awhile to start talking about expansion, but we’re already discussing expanding the hotel.”

Maryville mayor Jason McDowell added that the fact Boulders is frequently full speaks to the quality of the hotel chain and the value Maryville has as a destination.

“There’s lots of things going on in Maryville,” McDowell said. “We hope that we can attract even more people to come up here.”

4th of July Spectacular

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Are you ready to have fun!?!? Please join us at Mozingo for the 4th of July Spectacular presented by Kawasaki Maryville Plant. The event is free to the public & will feature a FREE Human Foosball Tournament, inflatables & games, mechanical riding bull, FREE Kool Kats, live music from The Mixtapes & DOUBLE THE FIREWORKS!!! You don’t want to miss out! Special thanks to our additional sponsors Hy-Vee, PeopleService, Inc, Pizza Ranch Maryville, United Electric Cooperative, Oak Pointe of Maryville, & the City of Maryville, Missouri.

2016 June - 4th of July poster

High hopes: Lettuce Dream breaks ground

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By TONY BROWN Staff writer
Maryville Daily Forum

Maryville’s business and civic leaders turned out in force Friday for a groundbreaking ceremony marking the recent start of construction for Lettuce Dream, a community-based effort to create a hydroponic greenhouse complex that is to provide vocational training for people with developmental and cognitive disabilities.

When phase one is completed this summer, the three-acre campus will consist of two 35-by-96-foot greenhouses and a 32-foot-by-62-foot operations building.

If all goes as scheduled, said Lettuce Dream board member Wayne Pierson, the first crop of lettuce, which is to be sold to area markets, restaurants, and dining services operations, will be planted shortly thereafter.

Production is to continue on a year-round basis.

Pierson said that two horticulture students at Northwest Missouri State University have been engaged as interns to help set up the hydroponic cultivation system once the greenhouse exteriors are completed.

Hydroponics is an alternative agriculture technology in which crops are grown in nutrient-enriched water instead of tilled earth.

Lettuce Dream President Diane Francis, who founded the organization three years ago, said the initiative began with a group of individuals and families who felt area young people coping with developmental disabilities had too few opportunities for job-focused training after leaving high school.

After several meetings, Francis said, members of the budding organization began asking, “Why just talk about this. Let’s do something about it.”

Since then, through a combination of private donations, trust and foundation gifts, government grants, and the sale of Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits through the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the organization has raised more than $600,000.

The ultimate goal is construction of up to 16 greenhouses and support facilities on the Lettuce Dream property, which was donated by Mark and Myles Burnsides, a local father-son business team whose Maryville East Side Development is behind the emergence of an adjoining retail district near the intersection of East First Street and the Highway 71 bypass.

“The only thing limiting us is our imagination,” Pierson said during Friday’s ceremony.

While Lettuce Dream is a non-profit enterprise likely to create, at most, a handful of jobs, both Nodaway County Economic Development Director Josh McKim and City Manager Greg McDanel said the initiative’s potential goes well beyond its humanitarian impact.

McKim said that, aside from highlighting the community’s willingness to meet local needs with local solutions, Lettuce Dream, if successful, could serve as a pilot project demonstrating the viability of alternative agriculture enterprises generally.

Any project, McKim said, that brings more “value-added agriculture” to the Maryville region should be regarded as a positive in terms of economic growth.

For his part, McDanel said Lettuce Dream will provide restaurants and food retailers with fresh, locally grown produce while, along with the NoCoMo Industries sheltered workshop and other agencies, aiding citizens who face special challenges when it comes to finding and holding a job.

From a planning standpoint, McDanel added that the Lettuce Dream operation provides “a perfect buffer” between a strip of light industry, including Consumers Oil Co. and MFA Agri Services, along Depot Street, and a retail area south of Depot and north of East First that appears poised for more growth.

Francis said Friday that, for the moment, Lettuce Dream remains focused on construction, but that plans are beginning to move forward for accepting the organization’s first class of trainees.

She said the number of clients served at any one time remains to be determined, as does the format for a planned series of vocational modules designed to lead toward employment by area businesses and industries.

The organization probably won’t begin accepting applications until later in the summer. Francis said about 25 families have inquired about enrollment.

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Construction now a reality for Lettuce Dream

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Maryville Daily Forum – Tony Brown

 

Construction of the proposed Lettuce Dream hydroponic greenhouse complex, envisioned as providing vocational training for people with cognitive and developmental disabilities, is under way and on track for completion this summer, according to Wayne Pierson, vice president of the non-profit organization established four years ago by a group of local volunteers.

Pierson said phase one of the initiative, which will consist of two 35-by-96-foot greenhouses and a 32-foot-by-62-foot operations building, could be completed as soon as July 1 with the first crop of lettuce scheduled for planting shortly thereafter.

Maryville builder Jeff Smith is acting as construction manager for the complex, which is going up on three acres of land donated by Maryville East Side Development near the newly constructed intersection of Che and East Second streets.

The greenhouse operation adjoins a new retail district sprouting up just northwest of the junction of East First Street and the Highway 71 bypass.

Pierson estimated the cost of phase-one construction at about $650,000, money that Lettuce Dream has spent more than three years raising through private donations, trust and foundation gifts, the sale of Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits through the Missouri Department of Economic Development, and a Rural Business Development grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In addition to the donated land, Lettuce Dream has received significant in-kind support from local businesses and individuals. Brock Pfost of White Cloud Engineering, for example, is donating installation of water and sewer connections along with associated infrastructure.

The three structures will have concrete pad foundations, and the operations building is to be constructed using pre-fabricated, interlocking poly-acrylic beams filled with insulating foam and concrete. Both greenhouses will consist of a framework covered with translucent acrylic panels containing air cavities for improved insulation.

Pierson said each greenhouse will contain two suspended natural gas heaters that, in the winter, will ensure a minimum growing temperature of 45 degrees.

Lettuce, which thrives in cool weather, will be grown year-round using a no-soil technology known as hydroponics, in which plants are cultivated in nutrient-enriched water instead of tilled earth.

The idea is to sell the produce to area markets, restaurants, and food-service operations in order to cover operating expenses and pay administrative staff.

Lettuce Dream President Diane Francis has compared the initiative to a trade school or college for the developmentally disabled and other handicapped persons, who she said have few educational alternatives following high school.

Though phase one is under way, Pierson said the organization’s fundraising efforts will continue full force in order to prepare for phase two, a plan for two additional greenhouses to be constructed in two or three years.

“A lot of people think, ‘They’ve got the money and they’re done,’” he said. “But we’re not done. This is just the first phase.

Ultimately the organization hopes to build as many as 16 greenhouses at its current location in addition to an office building and a warehouse.

Lettuce Dream was organized using a business model established by Wendie Blanchard, founder of Arthur & Friends, a New Jersey-based non-profit with a greenhouse operation serving wholesale and retail markets across greater New York City.

Blanchard’s organization, which has provided training materials and coaching to similar organizations in various parts of the country, was hired by Lettuce Dream in 2013 under an agreement specifying that it would act as a consultant to the local group over a five-year period.

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NCED to receive $425,000 in small business loan funds

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By TONY BROWN Staff writer
Maryville Daily Forum
March 2, 2016

Nodaway County Economic Development, a non-profit agency that, among other tasks, seeks to help local businesses expand while recruiting new enterprises to the area, offered some good news Tuesday for would-be entrepreneurs and existing small-business owners.

NCED Executive Director Josh McKim said the agency has been approved for $425,000 in low-interest loan funds to be disbursed to borrowers seeking either to grow existing businesses or start new ones across an area embracing Nodaway, Atchison, Gentry, Holt, and Worth counties.

The money, made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its Intermediary Relending Program, is being awarded as one of only six low-interest loan initiatives in five states intended to spur economic development in rural areas.

McKim said NCED will use the money to renew its existing revolving loan fund, which provides financing for small businesses. He said potential borrowers already in the local economic development pipeline have the potential to create up to 50 new jobs.

The initiative is similar to an earlier infusion of cash made available several years ago for startups and small-business expansions through the Neighborhood Assistance Program administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

NAP funds earmarked for no-interest loans, McKim said, totaled $150,000, most of which has been disbursed.

The USDA program differs slightly from NAP, he said, in that borrowers will be charged between 2 and 3 percent interest.

McKim said the length of time over which loans are to be repaid will vary depending on what the money is used for. Businesses borrowing working capital, for instance, will have two to five years to repay their debt. Equipment loans are to be spread out over five to seven years, and real estate acquisition and construction loans can be financed for as long as 10 years.

The maximum loan amount is $250,000. Non-profit organizations are ineligible for the program.

As for the types of enterprises eligible for assistance, McKim said the guidelines are fairly broad so long as the business operates within a rural area, a designation that includes the entire five-county region.

 

In practice, McKim said he expects most of the money to go to retail and service-sector operations in addition to a limited number of small “early stage” manufacturing concerns.

Though loan applications will have to be approved by USDA, McKim said the primary decision-makers will be a local loan committee and the NCED board.

He said one of the attractive features about the program is that it gives NCED local control over who gets the money for what purpose.

While the USDA has approved NCED’s involvement in the program, McKim said a number of administrative steps remain before the money becomes available.

After those are completed, the funds will remain with USDA and be disbursed through NCED to borrowers as individual loans are approved.

Prospective borrowers must submit written applications to the NCED office, which is located at 423 N. Market St. in Maryville. The office’s phone number is 660.582.4490, and the NCED website is located at www.nodaway.biz.

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MARYVILLE BUSINESS COMMUNITY WELCOMES WELLS BANK TO TOWN

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Nodaway News Leader
Thursday, October 15, 2015

Amid local subcontractors pouring concrete footings, officials from Wells Bank of Platte City ramped up their Maryville construction project by hosting a groundbreaking ceremony on October 13 at the 2920 South Main site.

The new bank, a 3,600-square-foot building, is slated to open in the spring of 2016. The facility will be the first business in the new business development park, Fountain Park, located across from Applebee’s. Bill and Bonnie Ingels are the prime partners.

The management of the Maryville Wells Bank facility will be led by Mark Quick, a native of Oregon, as branch manager and loan officer. Quick has eight years of experience in the financial services industry; currently with Bank CBO, formerly The Citizens Bank of Oregon. He and his wife and their four children recently moved to Maryville.

In January 2016, Wells Bank is also scheduled to merge with Bank CBO. With this merger and the new Maryville location, Wells Bank will have banking center in Maryville, Oregon, Savannah, Platte City and Kansas City.

Ground Broken at Retirement Center

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By Dalton Vitt

Developers and local officials officially broke ground Tuesday on a major project in Maryville that is projected both to create jobs and provide an assisted living environment for the community’s elderly.
ARCO Construction Co. crews have already started building the foundation of the Oak Pointe assisted living center. But Tuesday’s ceremony symbolized a cooperative effort between the center’s developer, ClearPath Senior Holdings of St. Louis, and city officials to get the project off the ground.

When completed the $6 million center will provide living facilities for 50 residents along with a memory-care unit, industrial kitchen, private dining, a cafe, lounge areas, a rehabilitation room, a salon and a courtyard.

“Almost three years ago, our team began traveling across the great state of Missouri as we searched for communities that need a quality assisted living option,” said Jim Eisenhart, ClearPath co-principal. “We thought that Maryville would be the perfect place for our location.”

ARCO, also based in St. Louis, has been designing and constructing buildings since 1992. The company has built senior living centers and multi-family dwellings in Webster Groves; St. Petersburg, Fla; and Bradenton, Fla., among other locations.

Once open, Oak Pointe will provide a top-drawer residential location for retirees. But it will also bring significant economic benefits to the community at large.

Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel said the center will bring in about $10,000 a year in revenue for the city’s water/sewer fund in addition to creating an estimated 40 jobs.

“Oak Pointe is one of the monumental projects that are building our city and beautifying our community,” Maryville Mayor Renee Riedel said. “ … The senior living center that we are blessing today impacts citizens in many ways. The facility is an employment generator for Maryville during a challenging time, offering security to some families and inviting new families to make Maryville their home.”

The parcel of land on which the center is being constructed is located on the east side of Country Club Road. It was annexed by the city, which has agreed to compensate Nodaway County Public Water Supply District No. 1 between $60,000 and $80,000 for potential lost customers.
Included in the annexation was a second, larger parcel slated for private development as an upscale single-family subdivision.

In addition to compensating the water district, Maryville is also paying roughly half the cost of a new water main running north and south along County Club Road that will serve both the new subdivision and Oak Pointe.

“When we started ClearPath, we looked at demographics, and we looked at Google Maps, and we tried to find the best location for us to start this endeavor,” said Jeff Binder, also a ClearPath co-principal. “After our first visit, our first few meetings with city officials, it was evident that this was it. It’s a great community.”

Oak Pointe will allow pets and provide restaurant-style meals and religious services. Residents will be served by a nursing staff, housekeeping staff and other specialized personnel. One wing will be specifically designed for residents in need of memory care.

The center will also feature a dining room, private dining areas for families, a wellness center, laundry rooms and free parking.

“(This project) retains talented, educated, experienced people,” Nodaway County Economic Development Director Josh McKim said. “It retains who we have in our community. These types of projects keep people and give people the opportunity to live out their golden years in the town that they love. This is just an ideal type of economic development project that has long-term impacts.”

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RURAL MISSOURI APPLAUDS MOZINGO GOLF

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By TONY BROWN
Maryville Daily Forum, News editor

Recent recognition by a statewide magazine means that the municipal golf course at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park is beginning to meet expectations as a regional recreation destination, Assistant City Manager Ryan Heiland said Monday.

Mozingo was picked this spring as the “Editor’s Choice” for golf courses in a special Best of Rural Missouri Edition of “Rural Missouri,” a widely circulated magazine produced by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

Heiland said the recognition was both welcome and unsolicited, and that the magazine’s editors made their pick after coming to Maryville and playing the course.

The publication chose Bent Creek Golf Course in the southeast Missouri city of Jackson as its premier golfing destination in the state. Its No. 2 pick was the Ste. Genevieve Golf Club.

As the Editor’s Choice, Mozingo was described as an “ award-winning championship course that is fun for the beginner and challenging to the advanced player. Designed by Donald Sechrest, the 18-hole course is nestled among rolling hills, native grasslands and wooded areas and has established itself as a premier golf destination …”

An e-edition of the magazine featuring Mozingo can be viewed at www.ruralmissouri.coop/digitalrm/story1.php.

“This just came about from the editors having golfed here before, and they obviously liked the course and its amenities,” said Heiland, who acts as the city’s point man for golf operations at the 3,000-acre park, where the 1,-000-acre lake also serves as the city’s primary water supply.

“I think it’s a good thing whenever people recognize the quality of the work our staff members do out there and just the quality of the course itself,” Heiland said. “And when you can reach a statewide audience, it certainly improves our ability to become a regional park.”

Heiland said a number of behind-the-scenes changes and improvements have taken place at Mozingo this year in preparation for a new golfing season, including the arrival of GolfNow as the course’s new website host.

Upgrades mean that golfers can now book tee times online and gain access to other information with regard to special outings and clubhouse promotions, he said.

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