Missouri Minute: Advisory group calls for more rural flood protection; Missouri ranks 19th for population growth

Good morning, MBA readers,

Welcome back. A new year is upon us, and already municipal officials around Missouri have big ideas, especially in the aviation department. While St. Louis may not be privatizing its airport anytime soon, leaders of local governments in the St. Louis region are mulling the possibility of buying the facility from the city. One idea being floated by regional leaders would raise up to $100 million annually through a new sales tax to finance the purchase. Officials in Kansas City have ideas for the future of their city’s airport, including one that would mimic the automated people mover, or APM, on display at Disney World. Read up on these stories and other Missouri business news below.


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Missouri ranks 19th for population growth
The state added 15,806 residents between July 2018 and July 2019, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data. The increase includes a natural population bump of 11,156 and net migration of 4,793. (St. Louis Business Journal)

California tech company plans to hire 150 in KC area
ITRenew, a data services company that specializes in data center disposition, will open a new 315,000-square-foot office in Olathe, Kansas, and plans to hire 150 local employees by the end of 2020. The company will hold a career fair next week for open positions. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Parson-appointed advisory group calls for more flood protection for rural areas
A new report released by the 24-member advisory group recommends state and federal agencies repair and strengthen levees to prevent future floods. In particular, it calls for additional government support for efforts in northwest Missouri to move levees further back from the Missouri River. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Judge approves purchase of Houlihan’s owner’s assets
A bankruptcy court in Delaware approved the $40 million bid by Houston-based Landry’s restaurant group to purchase virtually all assets and liabilities of HRI Holding Corp., which owns Leawood, Kansas-based Houlihan’s Restaurants. (Kansas City Business Journal)

KCI officials mull ‘automated people mover’ around new terminal
Officials at Kansas City International Airport are considering an automated transportation system that would run on a fixed schedule, similar to vehicles that ferry tourists at Disney World. The plan is part of an agreement with rental car companies, but it is not yet clear whether the new system would be completed by the opening of the airport’s new single terminal in 2023. (KCUR)

Frontenac appeals ruling on $20 million library development
The city of Frontenac has appealed the November dismissal of its lawsuit to block the construction of a new St. Louis County Library headquarters. Mayor Kate Hatfield said Tuesday the city disagrees with the library’s position that it can spend tax money “with no judicial oversight.” (St. Louis Business Journal)

KC contractor starts new year with acquisitions
Superior Bowen, a family-owned contractor in Kansas City, has acquired Overland Park, Kansas-based O’Donnell & Sons Construction and two asphalt plants from Hamm Cos. The company employed roughly 350 people before the deals. (Kansas City Business Journal)

St. Louis hospital again faces bankruptcy, less than a year after acquisition
St. Alexius Hospital Hospital and its parent company Americore filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday after months of unpaid bills. Florida-based Americore bought St. Alexius out of insolvency for $10 million in January 2019 after the hospital’s previous owner, Promise Healthcare, went bankrupt in 2018. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Old Missouri Bank hires new CFO
Springfield-based Old Missouri Bank has hired Jeffrey Palmer, a 16-year industry veteran, as executive vice president and CFO. Palmer, who succeeds David McBeath, previously served as Missouri president and board member of Stockmens Bank and CFO for Mountain Grove-based First Home Bank. (Springfield Business Journal)

State backs projects tackling Missouri food deserts
The Missouri Department of Agriculture has awarded matching grants to 12 projects addressing food insecurity and lack of nutrition in so-called food deserts across the state. Appropriation from the General Assembly totaled $200,000, and the cap for each project match was $25,000. (Missourinet)

HUD taps St. Louis nonprofits as EnVision Centers
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has designated three nonprofit facilities in St. Louis as EnVision Centers, which are aimed at centralizing support services focused on economic self-sufficiency. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)


Say that again

“Nobody just laughed and said, ‘Get out — that’s the craziest idea I’ve ever heard.’ They’re intrigued by it.”

That’s what Bridgeton Mayor Terry Briggs said about the possibility of local cities and counties buying St. Louis Lambert International Airport from the city, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Leaders of local governments in the St. Louis area have discussed purchasing the airport using proceeds from a potential half-cent sales tax in a district encompassing St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties. The measure could raise between $80 million and $100 million per year, which would be used to fund the purchase of the airport. News of the regional plan comes after St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson announced in late December that she was ending efforts by the city to find a private operator for the airport.


Go figure

4

That is the number of homes in St. Louis that have sold through the city’s Dollar House Pilot Program, the Associated Press reports. The program allows people to purchase property from the city for $1 if they have the means to rehabilitate the property. The houses are tax-delinquent properties sold by the city in hopes of enhancing struggling residential areas. To qualify, prospective owners have four months to stabilize the outside of the house and obtain an occupancy requirement. After that, they must own and occupy the home for three years. There have been 15 offers via the program; two were given six-month options, and two more are pending closing.


Hello, my name is

WeCodeKC

That is the name of the program that Tammy Buckner and Phillip Hickman launched to help pupils learn technology, cybersecurity and other skills to prepare them for future jobs, Startland News reports. The classes are free and offered monthly throughout the year. They are tailored for people between the ages of 7 and 17. WeCodeKC is the first of what the founders hope will be a series of programs, including one targeted at students older than 17 and another designed to teach robotics to children. The program is supported by a variety of corporate donors from the Kansas City area.


It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.


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