Revolving Loan Fund Program
The Commission currently operates two EDA-funded Revolving Loan Funds, one funded with Delta Regional Authority monies, and another funded with CDBG funds. The loans are made to new or expanding businesses or industries needing “gap” financing to fill in the difference of what they can contribute and what they can acquire from traditional financing institutions.
Tax Increment Financing District Plans
The Commission staff has written numerous TIF plans to assist with local development projects. The plans include completing a cost-benefit analysis for the projects. Staff also assist in tracking and reporting TIF revenues.
The Commission’s signing program is a cooperative purchasing effort, but in the past, other specific cooperative purchasing projects have been undertaken. The most notable was the project to purchase road grader blades for local street and road departments resulting in considerable savings for those entities that participated.
Plans and Implementation
The Commission has trained professional staff who are experienced in working with communities and counties in developing a variety of plans, especially comprehensive city plans and county master plans, as well as the associated zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, mobile home park ordinances, floodplain ordinances, and capital improvements programs. The staff is also available to work with local entities in implementing these plans.
One of the first programs initiated by the Commission was working toward the development of adequate infrastructure, especially in the development of water and sewer infrastructure. Most communities in the Region now have a dependable source of potable water and wastewater disposal and treatment, although several are still working toward this goal.
In addition, the Commission has worked with communities and counties in other infrastructure projects involving natural gas, streets and roads, electrical systems, etc.
Regional Clearinghouse Functions
The Regional Planning Commission has review responsibilities under the State and Local Review and Comment Process enacted by Executive Order 83-6 and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. Many applications for federal funds are required to go through this review process and are provided to the membership for comment. While the Commission membership does not make funding decisions under the review process, it can endorses or choose not to endorse projects and provide comments to substantiate its endorsement or non-endorsement to the funding agency, the state clearinghouse, and the applicant.
Joint Labor Survey
In the early 1970's, the Commission was involved in a joint labor survey. Recently, the Commission was again asked by Mineral Area College and AmerenUE to participate in a similar project. It is expected that three groups will benefit significantly from the survey results–area economic development directors when considering recruitment and retention issues; educational institutions when considering what they need to offer to help area companies; and companies themselves so they can compare their products and services with others in the Region. Nine counties, including the seven which encompass the Southeast Missouri Region, will be included in the survey, which will be sent to manufacturers, retailers and health care providers. The survey will allow individual communities to determine the results for either an individual community or for the entire area.
Liaison with State and Federal Agencies
Because of the Commission’s long-term relationships with various state and federal agencies, the staff has developed good working relationships with various officials of these agencies. The Commission works with local governments in communicating their needs and desires to these state and federal agencies and can represent local entities in dealing with those agencies. The Commission’s staff can also assist in providing input from the local perspective concerning proposed programs, rules and regulations, proposed legislation and other issues being considered at the state and federal levels.