Missouri Officials Visit in Anderson for “Feels Like Home Tour”
Community leaders have big plans for the future of Anderson.
Anderson Community Betterment Club Ken Schutten says “We are looking at specifically that a lot of people liked in the visioning project liked were the street canopies over Main Street.”
The local club is looking for advice from state officials before building up their dream city.
“Overall we just want people to see Anderson. We want them to see the highs and the lows and we want them to understand that what we’re doing is we’re trying to make Anderson a better place to live, work, and play and help us do that.”
The group wants to bring more people downtown and highlight the nearby “Town Hole Park.”
Missouri Economic Development Director Mike Downing says “It’s a unique area, very beautiful area. It’s got a lot of possibilities. Downtown, you know all downtown’s in rural areas suffer a lot of the same issues because retail like it was 20 or 30 years ago…But if can be changed. If it’s unique if it has a diverse sales offering, it can be viable in these small towns. ”
Community leaders hope the visit will open up a dialogue with state officials as the city moves forwards with plans to redeveloping downtown.
Missouri Community Development Executive Director Christa Atchinson says “Many of these people that are attending the visit would not have probably come to Anderson, Missouri for any reason…We have a lot of resources but we also have connections to groups to assist them and make sure that there’s some follow-up after.”
Downing says “You know the issue is we want our kids and I want my kids to stay close to home. And you know this community as I’m finding out has one significant advantage that a lot of communities this size don’t have which is good fiber. And that means you can start up an internet based business anywhere.”
Just one of the big ideas empowering community leaders like Ken Schutten,
“It’s exciting for us. It’s something that’s never been done.”
Officials look to nearby cities like Monett a town of about 8,000 that was transformed by local entrepreneur Jack Henry who started a bank software company that employs about 1,200 people.
Check out the 25 year visioning book for Pineville & Anderson put together by Drury University students