Taney County Hot For Stimulus Money

Taney County Industrial Development Authority - Press Release

The opportunity is huge, but the clock is ticking,” stated Ken Kline, Chairman of the Taney County Industrial Development Authority, to the Taney County Commission on Thursday, February 26. “Hundreds of municipalities and Counties, and many states, have pre-packaged their proposals to receive favor in this stimulus legislation and are well on their way to applying for, and getting, the requested funds.” Kline went on to assert that as a community, we’re already behind schedule in discussing potential benefits to Taney County and that the Taney County Industrial Development Authority proposes immediate action on the part of the Commission to address this via the budget and personnel.
A motion was made by Commissioner Strafuss, seconded by Commissioner Strahan, and duly passed to increase funding for the Office of Economic Development and for Industrial Development Authority special projects. The Taney County Industrial Development Authority proposed a restructuring of the Office of Economic Development and the immediate hiring of two full time personnel. A third position, Office of Grants Facilitator, is envisioned to be more than one person and not a County employee.
Ron Houseman is joining Taney County on an interim basis as Stimulus Funding Coordinator/Government Liaison. Houseman served as the Taney County Clerk from 1979 through 1998 and held a number of leadership positions during his tenure in office including President of both the Missouri Association of Counties and the Missouri County Clerks Association, Chairman of the President’s Advisory Council for University Extension, Chairman of the National Association of Counties Environmental Committee and a host of other leadership positions. Houseman currently serves on both the Board of Directors of the National Association of Counties and the Missouri Association of Counties.
Houseman’s immediate duties are to identify current-need, County-level projects, infrastructure improvements, replacements of shovel-ready near-term needs within Taney County that could be funded in whole or in part via recently passed federal stimulus legislation or state and regional programs.
Joan Chowning has been hired as Community Liaison for Economic, Community & Infrastructure Development. Chowning was Economic Development Director for Taney County in 2006 and 2007 and holds a master’s degree in Communication from the University of Arkansas. Her immediate duties will be to support the effort to identify projects in Taney County and advance the effort to pursue stimulus legislation funding or funding through state and regional programs.
Commissioner Strahan commented that “Taney County is very fortunate to have two individuals of such high caliber with the experience, knowledge, and contacts as Mr. Houseman and Ms. Chowning.”
Commissioner Strafuss stated, “The County had been asked to do something to get a share of the revenues offered through the stimulus plan. Hiring Ron Houseman and Joan Chowning was the best step possible for heading us in the right direction.”
The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) would like to see a minimum of $2 million of programs and related funding and resource allocations incoming or approved within 2009, however, the IDA believes more funding can be realized with proper personnel and consultants.