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Federal Elected Officials
U.S. House of Representatives – www.house.gov
U.S. Senate – www.senate.gov
The Chamber calls on the Corps of Engineers to effectively manage upstream releases to effectively control potential flooding conditions downstream as we experienced most recently in 2019. Further the Chamber asks that priority be given to maintenance and improvement to the Missouri River to support commercial navigation.
139th Airlift Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard
The Chamber supports growth and expansion of the 139th Airlift Wing, including the future recapitalization of the existing fleet to C-130J models as soon as possible. In support of the 139th mission, the Chamber supports the ongoing process of relocating facilities to the north end of the airport. More specifically, we ask the north ramp construction project to be approved for funding in the DOD MILCON budget.
The Chamber supports continued efforts to improve the administration of the Affordable Care Act and encourages the administration and Congress to work together to bring about reforms that provide a sustainable health care system that expands meaningful coverage to the uninsured and provides stability to private sector employer health care plans. Further, Congress should be aware of the potential issues associated with the financial stability of local and rural hospitals and pass legislation that better financially secures such hospitals to allow for medical access for patients outside major urban areas particularly with the ongoing challenges associated with COVID-19.
Rosecrans Memorial Airport
The City owned Rosecrans Airport provides a home to the 139th ALW of the Missouri Air National Guard as well as serves the general aviation needs of northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. The Chamber advocates for ongoing operational funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to continue operation of the control tower as well as securing federal funds to assist with upgrades and improvements to the existing facility. Further, the Chamber asks that legislation be passed that would allow for direct disposal of property currently utilized by the 139th Airlift Wing as they relocate to the northern portion of Rosecrans Airport. This would allow for future development of vacated property.
The Chamber advocates for federal funding to assist with the expansion of broadband service in the rural areas of Northwest Missouri to better serve residents in the area and support business growth and development.
The Chamber calls on the Administration and Congress to pursue reform of existing immigration policy to provide for the appropriate legal status for immigrant workers in order to address the workforce demand of employers in the country. This should be based on established needs and refrain from enacting greater restrictions and regulations on employers.
State of Missouri
Missouri Senate — www.senate.mo.gov
Missouri House of Representatives — www.house.mo.gov
Higher Education Funding
The Chamber supports adequate and appropriate state funding for Missouri’s institutions of higher education. Further, the Chamber endorses fair and equitable funding for all of Missouri’s universities addressing the need to enhance funding for Missouri Western State University to support the University’s mission as an applied learning institution.
The Chamber asks for continued engagement by the state in preparing Missouri’s workforce for current and future jobs. This includes more effective alignment of educational resources in the state to address a continuum of education from Pre-K through degree attainment. There should be a priority on career readiness at the high school level, STEM education in K-12 schools, focus on vocational and technical training and alignment of degree attainment to careers in Missouri.
Economic Development Enhancements
The Chamber endorses the passage of legislation that would improve Missouri’s economic development incentives for both existing business and new business to the state. Specifically, a tax credit program for Missouri Angel Investors who invest in Missouri businesses.
Missouri has been known for its unfriendly business practices when it comes to legal matters. The Chamber endorses certain reforms to the State’s tort laws to address such issues as venue shopping, statute of limitations requirements and merchandising practices laws.
Rural Broadband Expansion
During the response to COVID-19 many employees and students found themselves working from home. If they lived in the rural Missouri, they likely had difficulty accessing adequate internet services. The Chamber would ask the Governor and Legislature to continue to support the expansion of rural broadband service and provide adequate funding to support this expansion.
Local Disaster Relief
With the recent local experiences related to flooding on the southside of St. Joseph we found there was little assistance offered by the State. We would advocate that the State consider establishing a local disaster fund that could be tapped when anticipated disaster costs do not meet the FEMA threshold for assistance and the cost is beyond the ability of local communities to respond to. Further SEMA should establish an emergency response program that provides SEMA staff on the ground to help local governments address crisis situations.
Municipal Court Reform
In 2015 the General Assembly adopted legislation restricting fines on certain municipal offenses and limiting fines for those who claim indigence. The effect has been to limit local municipal court’s ability to address issues around property codes and minor property crimes. The Chamber supports proposed modifications to the restrictions allowing a return of appropriate local enforcement of laws.
Buchanan County Officials
Buchanan County – www.co.buchanan.mo.us
St. Joseph City Officials
St. Joseph www.stjoemo.info
St. Joseph School District Officials
St. Joseph School District – www.sjsd.k12.mo.us
The Chamber believes it is important to the community to provide the resources necessary to maintain and support an excellent public school system. Further the Chamber encourages the School District to work with the community to engage in a dialogue to determine what residents envision for the District and what they will support. In addition, the Chamber support initiatives that supports pre-K learning, career readiness and a robust vocational and technical education program to meet workforce development needs in the community.
Public Infrastructure Bond Funding
The Chamber encourages the City to continue the five-year Capital Improvement Sales Tax to enhance maintenance of existing streets, public facilities, parks, storm water and other public amenities. The Chamber also endorses the use of long-term debt in the form of General Obligation Bonds to address certain needed infrastructure improvements in the community.
With private sector development underway in the downtown area, the Chamber encourages the City to continue its support of redevelopment initiatives, as well as the expenditure of public capital improvement funds as necessary to encourage continued and future private sector investment. The City should act as a catalyst to address the redevelopment of the downtown hotel as well as improvements to the Civic Arena.
The Chamber believes that an important part of positioning the community for future economic growth is creating a quality of life that encourages individuals to want to live in St. Joseph and businesses to want to invest in the community. This begins with having a clean, attractive community, in which residents can be proud. The Chamber encourages the City to consider programs and policies that would address the condition of certain residential properties and provide for a method of removing litter and trash from residential neighborhoods.
St. Joseph residents and businesses continue to place a high priority on addressing crime and maintaining a safe community. Ongoing efforts have reduced crime in a number of categories. The Chamber would like to encourage continued support of the Police Department and encourages the City Council to provide the Department the resources necessary to help combat the issue. Further the City is asked to continue to reach out to the business community and residential neighborhoods to form partnerships to help and support the activities of law enforcement.
The Chamber supports local tourism and the positive economic impact it has on the community. Over the years the City has continued to suffer from a lack of adequate public meeting facilities and event space. The effect is that it is difficult to attract any size of association meetings, and in some cases our local companies are unable to address their own meeting needs seeking necessary space out of area. The City and County are asked to consider public funding and or public/private funding of meeting space as well as recreational amenities to support tourism in St. Joseph.
The Chamber calls on the City and County to work together to plan for and implement policies that encourage and facilitate future areas outside of the City limits for residential development that addresses such issues as infrastructure, land able to be developed and annexation to support future community growth.
As part of the Imagine St. Joseph 2040 plan, there is a critical need to revitalize the older neighborhoods in St. Joseph. Great progress has been made with the passage of a rental inspection program as well as the creation of a local Land Bank. The Chamber would ask the City and County to support neighborhood revitalization efforts through the expenditure of funds to address infrastructure needs as well as the creation of programs, such as revolving loans for property owners, policies and providing resources to support opportunities to restore and improve housing in the older, historic neighborhoods of St. Joseph.
The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has determined that the existing elevated section of Interstate Loop 229 adjacent to downtown needs to be reconstructed due to its age and condition. Currently an alternative analysis is being conducted to determine the best approach to the reconstruction. MoDOT does not believe given the cost to maintain an elevated structure that is makes sense to reconstruct the current elevated design. Thus, the alternative analysis is considering an at grade roadway in its place. The current analysis has taken longer than expected to conclude. The Chamber asks both MoDOT and the City to work together to come up with and alternative that is practical from a long-term maintenance perspective while at the same time addressing future traffic needs. Most importantly the alternative needs to address the potential for improvement and access to the riverfront.
U.S. President – www.whitehouse.gov
U.S. Senate – www.senate.gov
U.S House – www.house.gov
Missouri Government – www.mo.gov
Missouri Senate –www.senate.mo.gov
Missouri House – www.house.mo.gov
Buchanan County – www.co.buchanan.mo.us
City of St. Joseph – www.stjoemo.info