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story.lead_photo.caption Moniteau County Regional Economic Development Council logo, California, Mo.

The Moniteau County Regional Economic Development Council met for its regular monthly board meeting Dec. 9, discussing a virtual industrial park project coming to the county soon.

Co-Mo Electric is bringing the project to the county starting Jan. 1, 2021; a virtual reality video can show potential developers who wish to move into the county what 30,000, 45,000 or 60,000 square foot buildings look like, which can then be constructed in the real-life spaces that are available.

MRED president Mike Kelley said similar projects will take place in Boonville and Benton County eventually. For now, there aren't any prices set for the varied lot sizes that were previously listed.

The group also discussed some ongoing projects. MRED's Startup Moniteau program is nearing the beginning for its next class of entrepreneurs; the group of seven participants will begin the LaunchU program Jan. 5, 2021. New this year will be the $9,000 in startup money being provided for participants by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

"I'm pretty excited about this year's group. I mean, hopefully one of these days we'll get another Chelsea McGill out of the deal," Kelley said, calling back to a previous success story from the program.

Kelley also updated the group on the Professional Edge study being done by a group of students from the University of Missouri. Kelley said that group didn't seem to understand what it was doing and didn't really answer the question of whether a vocational-technical school would actually be feasible in the county.

Finally, the group discussed some plans for the future briefly. With MRED's 2021 annual meeting on the horizon, no plans are being set at this time with no concrete end to the coronavirus pandemic in sight. Regardless of what the annual meeting looks like, whether it mirrors what the group was planning for earlier this year or is more scaled-down, Kelley asked those present last week what can be done to stimulate the group.

MRED's next regular monthly board meeting will take place at noon Jan. 13.


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