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NCED hosting Facebook photo contest

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Maryville Daily Forum www.maryvilledailyforum.com
May 19, 2018 Updated May 19, 2018

 

MARYVILLE, Mo. — Nodaway County Economic Development, in cooperation with the Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce, will be awarding $50 in Chamber Bucks to a person who submits a photo of Nodaway County to the NCED Facebook page and receives the highest number of likes and shares.

The contest is currently underway and will be open to entries through June 21.

“NCED is looking for images that capture the character and beauty of northwest Missouri,” according to a Wednesday morning press release.

Photographers are encouraged to consider “old barns, sunsets/sunrises, animals, nature, sky pictures, kids playing baseball, or anything you want it to be.”

According to the release, “photographs taken in any format an on any photographic tool will be accepted as long as they are appropriate.”

We hope this photo contest will encourage locals to look at the beauty and joy surrounding our great county. We hope that the next time someone sees a beautiful sunset, a child laughing or a deer bounding they will solidify that memory and moment and share with the rest of the county. Contestants have the opportunity to have their photos used in NCED’s efforts to promote the community.” NCED Executive Director Josh McKim said.

“The subject matter of the image could range from a simple shot that speaks to our rural heritage or to the quality of life we enjoy in Nodaway County.”

According to the release, entries will be judged solely on the number of like and shares the Facebook post receives.

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.”

Mozingo hotel manager preps for April opening

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By TONY BROWN Staff writer
Maryville Daily Forum

As the April 1 opening date nears for the new Boulders Inn & Suites Maryville hotel at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park, newly hired General Manager Sharlet Dumke is busy preparing for the lakeside lodge’s first season as electricians, painters, carpenters, and other workers put the finishing touches on interior construction, finishing, and furnishing.

Dumke is no stranger to Maryville, nor is she a hospitality industry novice. After completing a degree in food and beverage management at Northwest Missouri State University in 1999, the Iowa native immediately went to work for Aramark Corp., which served then — and still serves — as the campus’ food-service vendor.

After breaking into the business as the catering director for another Aramark client, Michigan State University in Lansing, Dumke returned to Maryville in the early 2000s, filling a similar position at Northwest.

But when Denison, Iowa-based Boulders Inn & Suites, which is developing the Maryville lodge in conjunction with a group of local investors, started looking for someone to assume responsibility for hotel operations here, Dumke decided the time had come for a change.

On the job since January, she has spent the past month and a half hiring staff and working with a growing list of clients who have been queueing up to reserve rooms for a variety of special events and gatherings.

So far, inquiries and advance bookings have come in from customers seeking lodging for weddings, school and family reunions, anniversaries, golf tournaments, football games, homecomings, and corporate retreats.

Dumke said the “resort” nature of the hotel’s business model is one of the things that attracted her to the job as opposed to managing a typical business-class hotel located on a retail strip or along the side of a highway.

“We’re a little off the main drag,” she said. “So it’s more event based — more than people just looking for a place to stay.”

As the catering director at Northwest, Dumke is used to helping organize large functions and creating an atmosphere in which people can relax and enjoy each other’s company.

“That was one of the big draws for me,” she said. “I still get to be a part of everybody’s special occasion.”

The other reason Dumke decided to go after the Boulder’s job has to do with her affection for her adopted hometown, which she has no intention of leaving.

“We’re going to stay in Maryville,” she said, “and I like the opportunity here (at the Boulders lodge) and the connections I will continue to have with both the university and the town.”

She added that since many of the golf tournaments, reunions, and other events expected to center around the hotel will have at least some connection with Northwest, a lot of her future customers will be people she has worked with before.

Another plus, Dumke said, is the chance to create synergy with a neighboring conference center and golf course clubhouse being built by the City of Maryville that is expected to open early next year.

Among other amenities, the conference center is to include a large banquet hall and a privately operated restaurant, operations that Dumke said dovetail with her food service experience.

“I’m excited about the conference center,” she said, noting that she is looking forward to working with center staff to provide guests with a multi-faceted experience that combines lodging, food, golf, and opportunities for social and business gatherings along with access to fishing, boating, horseback riding, hunting, and other outdoor activities.

Dumke said she first became aware of Mozingo’s possibilities as a recreation, vacation, and event site through her husband, Howard Dumke, who teaches third grade at Eugene Field Elementary School and works security at the lake during the summer.

Talking about Mozingo with Howard, she said, made her more aware of the park’s existing role as well as its potential.

As the hotel’s general manager, Dumke said she will often be responsible for providing the initial round of information to those seeking to find out exactly what the lake and surrounding 3,000-acre park have to offer.

“It’s the whole experience,” she said. “But people tend to book their rooms first and then start planning other activities. So I’m the starting point, and I’ll be able to help guide them to all those other places.”

As for the hotel itself, the facility will offer 40 units with king- or queen-sized beds. The room mix includes four suites as well as two handicap-compliant rooms on the ground floor. At maximum occupancy, the lodge will be able to accommodate about 146 guests.

Other features embrace a large breakfast area equipped with café tables and a sofa and easy chairs arranged in front of a large, stone-faced fireplace.

Besides a complimentary hot breakfast, the hotel will offer patrons a pantry market selling snacks and convenience items, a small fitness center with aerobic machines and free weights, Simmons pillow top mattresses, in-room 43-inch flat-screen televisions, wifi access, and a business center.

So far, Dumke has hired 10 part-time staff to fill housekeeping, front-desk, and other roles. Final staffing numbers, she said, will depend on occupancy rates. The lodge will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On other fronts, Boulders Inn & Suites Project Manager Nate Houston said efforts are moving forward to market the hotel and erect various kinds of signage, including a couple of billboards and a “monument” sign somewhere near the main park entrance at Highway 136 and Liberty Road.

Houston said the lodge will be the 13th hotel opened by Boulders Inn & Suites and the first outside of Iowa. He said a grand-opening is planned for sometime in late April.

 

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Ground broken for Mozingo hotel construction

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By TONY BROWN Staff writer  Maryville Daily Forum

Construction of a long-awaited hotel at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park officially got under way Thursday afternoon as local officials, along with representatives from developer Boulders Inn & Suites, picked up a dozen gold-painted shovels and turned over a few pounds of ceremonial earth.

The 40-room hotel — a key component in the park’s 20-year master plan — is being privately developed by Iowa-based Boulders in conjunction with a group of local investors, Boulders Inn Maryville, and carries an estimated cost of $3.2 million.

Boulders CEO Tim Stuart said that more than half the capital needed for the project was put up by the Maryville investment organization, which is organized as a separate limited liability company.

Stuart said he expects construction to last through the late winter or early spring of 2017, and that the lodge’s opening will coincide with completion of a $4 million publicly financed conference center that is to contain a new golf course clubhouse and pro shop, restaurant, and banquet facilities.

At 19,000 square feet, the hotel will be slightly more than half the size of the 30,000-square-foot center.

As reported earlier, the hotel will be managed by Boulders and, with the exception of some utilities infrastructure, involves no expenditure of tax dollars either for construction or operations. The conference center restaurant will also be run by a private third-party vendor.

Stuart said the Mozingo hotel represents his company’s 13th commercial lodging facility. Eleven of those lodges are operational, and a 12th is currently under construction in Manning, Iowa.

Two of Boulders other properties are also located on golf courses and a third was developed on a lakeshore.

Stuart said the Mozingo project is similar to the company’s first Boulders Inn, which opened in Denison, Iowa, in 2008, and likewise adjoins a municipal conference center.

As with Boulders’ other developments, this one will use Huegerich Construction of Carroll, Iowa, as the general contractor.

In an apparent response to social media posts made a week or so ago criticizing the use of out-of-town subcontractors, City Manager Greg McDanel said a number of local contracting businesses will take part in the project, and that some building materials, such as rebar, are being purchased locally as well.

Tracing the history of the project in a brief speech during Thursday’s ceremony, McDanel said the concept for the lodge grew from a feasibility study commissioned by the City Council and completed by consulting firm IDM in 2012. That report declared that a 70-room hotel at the lake could make money.

However the study also identified a number of downsides, especially an “unprofessional” marketing approach that failed to emphasize Mozingo’s potential as a regional tourist and corporate events destination.

As the hotel proposal gained focus, it was championed by former city councilmen Glenn Jonagan and Jim Fall.

Fall currently serves as executive editor of the Maryville Daily Forum.

McDanel said both men instructed municipal staff to “make it happen,” marching orders that led to the creation of a comprehensive marketing campaign initially designed by a group of students at Northwest Missouri State University.

Another piece in the hotel puzzle, McDanel said, fell into place with the hiring of Assistant City Manager Ryan Heiland, who was put in charge of overall operations at the 3,000-acre park.

Heiland played a key role in streamlining Mozingo’s organizational structure — a move, in part, calculated to integrate development of a hotel/conference center complex with existing park operations.

McDanel said it was Heiland who suggested recruiting Boulders Inn & Suites after seeing a television news report of a Boulders development adjoining a golf course and conference center in Polk City, Iowa.

Thursday’s ceremony, McDanel said, was the “crescendo of a five-year effort” to bring commercial lodging to Mozingo Lake, and especially to the Sechrest 18 and Watson 9 golf courses.

Stuart called the event “an exciting day for our company,” adding that he was eager to “get a shovel in my hands and get this thing going.” He also described his company’s relationship with local government and economic development officials as a “mutual admiration society.”

“The more we looked, the more excited we got about coming to Maryville,” Stuart said.

When completed, the hotel is to offer “upscale lodging” consisting of both single rooms and a limited number of suites. Stuart said that the facility’s modular design means it could be enlarged to 70 or 80 units at the point business volume justifies expansion.

Thursday’s ground-breaking ceremony was hosted by the Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce.

Youth golf camp tees off at Mozingo

Categories: CommunityAuthor:

By KENNY LARABEE Sports Editor Jun 6, 2016
Maryville Daily Forum
With sunny skies and pristine stretches of green awaiting them, area youth took to the Watson 9 at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park to learn about the game of golf Saturday in the first of four youth camps scheduled for this summer.

The three-day camps, open to children ages five through 17, teach players the rules of golf, etiquette and skills such as chipping, putting and teeing off. Designed by golfing legend Tom Watson, the Watson 9 opened earlier this year and is a hybrid course created specifically with youth – and youth instruction – in mind.

Golfers at the camp began the first day by moving from one practice station to another, learning about different aspects of the sport at each stop. With changes in the camp’s format and one of the best practice facilities in the country, according to Mozingo Lake Golf Course Head Professional Kyle Easter, the first day went to the resident pro’s liking.

“Being that this is the first time we’ve done this sort of camp style, I thought it went really well,” Easter said. “It was nice to have a little more time than we used to. We don’t have to rush around and we can hit on a variety of different things, golf-wise. So it was really nice in that aspect of it.”

Golfers at the camp are divided by age group, with older age groups learning more advanced techniques, like pre-shot routines, Easter said.

The purpose of the camp is to get as many kids involved with golf as possible, Easter said. Three more camps are scheduled for this summer, beginning June 25, July 16 and July 30. Each camp costs $40 and last three days. Financial aid and clubs are available to those that need them as well, making the program accessible to all, Easter said.

“Any kid that wants to be part of the program, we want them to have the opportunity,” Easter said. “If there’s any interest at all, let us help them build that interest.”

Brooke Byland, one of the camp’s instructors, said that the benefits of the camp should entice area youth to give it a try.

“Definitely come out,” Byland said. “Golf’s a life-long sport. If they start early, they can play it throughout their entire life.”

Registration for the remaining three camps is available at the Maryville Community Center, among other locations throughout the area, and online at Mozingolake.com.

And although the primary purpose of the camp is to teach area youth about golf, having fun also ranks high.

“Come out, have some fun, enjoy the new golf course,” Easter said. “Enjoy being outside following a little white ball around.”

Ground broken for Mozingo lake center

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By JIM FALL Executive editor
Maryville Daily Forum

“It’s been a long time coming,” Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel said Wednesday as he watched heavy equipment operators from the city’s Street Department and Mozingo Lake Recreation Park grounds crew move earth in preparation for construction of a new city-owned conference center and golf course clubhouse.

The $4 million park facility is to be built in conjunction with a privately developed 40-room hotel.
“Can you believe it’s finally here?” McDanel asked no one in particular as the equipment stopped briefly so workers could figure out the best way to remove remnants of an old building foundation.
“We’ll be scraping for the next few days,” Street Superintendent Jay Cacek said. “If we get a good five days, we’ll have it.”

The preliminary work is beginning on the south side of the existing entrance to the Sechrest 18 and Watson 9 golf courses, where the typography will be lowered by approximately 10 feet.
When that is accomplished, Midland Engineering will complete final elevations for the relocation of the golf course entrance and a new parking lot.

The hotel, to be constructed and managed by Boulders Inn and Suites of Denison, Iowa, and a local investment group, will be located on the north side of the existing entryway near the site of the current upper parking area.

City crews are also scheduled to perform some grading work for that project as a part of the city’s agreement with the developers, McDanel said.

The overall plan calls for the entry road to remain open throughout construction.

The new conference center will feature a 5,500-square-foot modular banquet hall capable of seating 500 people, a restaurant, a golf pro shop, and indoor golf cart storage.

Plans call for the restaurant to be operated by a private third-party vendor.

The new conference center will be located east of the existing clubhouse and silo, allowing the current facility to be used throughout construction.

The existing clubhouse, built when the park opened 20 years ago, and an iconic silo remaining from when the site was a working farm, are scheduled for demolition when the new center is completed.

In addition to the new facilities, the main entrance to the golf courses will be relocated a few hundred yards to the south. The configuration of the driving ranges will also be relocated to a lesser degree.

Construction of the conference center moved forward following voter approval in April of a new eighth-of-a-cent sales tax.

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Fundraiser sets stage for Watson 9 opener

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By TONY BROWN Staff writer

Maryville Daily Forum

No question that Monday was a big night for Mozingo Lake Recreation Park as city officials took the wraps off conceptual drawings for a proposed $4 million conference center and hotel complex to be located on a scenic hilltop overlooking the Sechrest 18 and Watson 9 golf courses.

But the party is just beginning, as Assistant City Manager Ryan Heiland, Mozingo’s lead administrator, and his staff prepare to celebrate a new summer season with a grand opening for the Watson 9 youth course on May 14 and the start of conference center construction sometime around the Aug. 1.

With the 2016 focus clearly on a rejuvenated youth golf program, Heiland told the City Council this week that a fundraising effort in support of programs for young players will get under way this Thursday just as the weather is forecast to warm in earnest and fairways return to peak use.

The extended fundraiser, named “Fore the Youth,” will benefit the Youth Golf Foundation.

Organized by Dr. Bruce Twaddle, the foundation’s initial purpose was to secure funding for Watson 9 construction.

The group of grass-roots volunteers has since evolved into the foundation, whose goal has shifted to providing instruction, equipment, and financial support for young people across the Maryville region interested in learning the game.

Among other things, the organization plans to provide golf “scholarships” and equipment to youngsters from lower-income families who may not be able to afford clubs, fees, and other expenses.

Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed by foundation representatives and city officials last spring, the city has agreed to provide the Junior Golf Foundation with $2,500 during the current fiscal year, money intended to cover initial costs for programming and equipment.

In addition, the foundation is to receive funding equivalent to 10 percent of all Watson 9 tee-time fees.

Fore the Youth is intended to raise even more money for the program by giving park golfers the opportunity to make donations based on the number of holes played between April 14 and May 14 — the day of the Watson 9 grand opening.

For example, Heiland said, if a Mozingo golfer pledges $1 per hole and plays two full Sechrest 18 rounds over the next month, he or she will have raised $36 for the foundation.

As for the Watson 9 opening itself, Heiland said the day will be chock-full of special activities highlighted by the appearance of course designer and PGA great Tom Watson.

Festivities will begin at 9 a.m. when Mozingo golf pro Kyle Easter is to lead a series of free youth clinics.

The opening ceremony itself is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will feature Watson as the keynote speaker. Heiland said Tuesday that Fore the Youth contributors and other Watson 9 benefactors will also be recognized at that time.

Afterward, Watson will join University of Missouri golf standout Ryan Zech and two local youth golfers in playing the course’s inaugural round.

A post-round social and press conference is set for 4 p.m. to be followed by a youth tournament at 4:30.

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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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