Selling Missouri: Director Lauds Items Made In The Show-Me State

By: 
Anita Campbell
County Reporter
 Long time Benton County resident JoAnn Lane has taken on a new role as the Benton County Economic Development Director.  Presently, she is working from her home but she is out and about in the county everyday working to improve existing businesses and draw new businesses to the Benton County area.
It is the goal of Benton County Economic Development to create capital investment in the county, to assist local businesses in their continued growth and expansion and to create more opportunities to prosper for Benton County residents.
“I have been in Benton County for over 30 years and I love this area,” said Lane.  “I don’t want to change Benton County, I want to see it grow.”
Lane said that as she worked with different groups in Benton County she discovered a recurring theme in most of the meetings was the need for a housing study in Benton County. A grant was submitted to complete a housing study in Benton County and the towns of Cole Camp, Lincoln and Warsaw, with the Evergy Hometown Recovery Grant Program. The grant was written as a collaboration with Benton County Economic Development and Benton County Tourism and Recreation.
While Lane is working with several different businesses about possible locations in the county, she cannot announce which businesses until the owners are certain of their funding. 
A new coffee shop, “Mozark Mocha” opened in Lincoln recently and is located in the former Papa Joe’s building on U.S. Highway 65.
Missouri has launched the “Buy Missouri” program.  Are you a retail location that sells 5 or more Missouri-made products?  Please sign up to become a Buy Missouri Retail Partner at: https://buymissouri.net/retail-partner-sign-up/. 
Lane and her husband Ron are the parents of four grown children and eight grandchildren.  Lane worked in the Warsaw R-9 School district for 13 years and the Leesville School district for 2 years before going to work for the workforce development.  She has been in her present position with Benton County Economic Development since May.
The Benton County Economic Development is part of the Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission.  Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission was organized on October 14, 1968 when Governor Warren E. Hearnes signed the “Designation Resolution”. The authorization is known as the State and Regional Planning and Community Development Act of 1966. This is one of 19 regional planning commissions in Missouri. The primary focus of the organization upon its inception has been to provide professional planning services and technical assistance to members within the region.
The seven county region was formed when a group of local residents and elected officials met to discuss the need of a unified effort to work cooperatively to solve problems and to plan for future development of human, natural and economic resources of the region. It was decided that regional planning is an indispensable guide to local units of government in accomplishing a coordinated and efficient development of the region which will best promote the public health, safety, general welfare, and economic prosperity in accordance with existing and future needs.
The primary focus of the organization upon its inception has been to provide professional planning services and technical assistance to members within the region. KBRPC helps communities help themselves, now and in the future. KBRPC formed a cooperative relationship with county and city governments to help communities make life easier for citizens. KBRPC staff forges links between local leaders and state and federal agencies. Established in 1968, the commission serves more than 100,000 people in seven counties: Bates, Benton, Cedar, Henry, Hickory, St. Clair and Vernon.
Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission serves as an economic development district for Bates, Benton, Cedar, Henry, Hickory, St. Clair and Vernon Counties. Staff members aid these counties and their communities in areas of grant writing and administration services, economic development planning, transportation planning, solid waste management, hazard mitigation planning, homeland security planning, and more.
For more information contact Lane at (660) 885-3393 or (660) 885-4166.

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