Spring City Revitalization Group continues efforts aimed at growth

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Spring City Revitalization Group, in El Dorado Springs, has had a busy March and has been addressing many local economic development issues.

According to updates provided by the group, projects are in the works aimed at preserving the quality of life in the town despite challenges it faces.

For example, during a recent meeting, the El Dorado Springs Council voted to have City Manager Bruce Rogers work on the establishment of an Enhanced Enterprise Zone for that city, after having been encouraged to do so by the Office of Economic Development and SCRG.

"The establishment of the Enhanced Enterprise Zone will allow the city, in conjunction with the State Office of Economic Development, to package favorable incentives that can be offered to prospective industries that desire to locate in El Dorado Springs. Municipalities and counties throughout the state that offer the Enhanced Enterprise Zone are usually the cities or counties which attract new industry and commerce," said Economic Development Director Jack Tough, in a recent SCRG update.

The SCRG Higher Education Committee also has been in discussion with the University of Central Missouri as well as Crowder College regarding the establishment of higher education classes in El Dorado Springs. "The benefit of having these educational classes locally would provide further education for adults as well as our youth. The pursuit of higher education can be kept at a local level without travel to another community being necessary," Tough said, noting that the Enhanced Enterprise Zone "compliments the educational aspect as both of these areas of our work go hand in hand to provide education and jobs that will assist in the retention of our youth as well as sustain revenue for the City of El Dorado Springs and surrounding area."

Another recent update from the group noted that because the travel and tourism industry is one of our nation's largest employers and the third largest retail sales industry in the country, SCRG is working diligently to research different areas in the tourism market.

"One of the areas we are currently working on is our natural resources. The Missouri Department of Conservation and The Nature Conservancy are two organizations that are helpful with statistical information regarding our native prairies. Our native prairies are a local asset and can be a focus for nature enthusiasts to travel to El Dorado Springs and surrounding areas to enjoy their beauty, serenity and science. People searching for a place to get away are drawn to remote locations that provide them with a change of pace and something out of the ordinary. El Dorado Springs and the prairies surrounding our area are an ideal location for those seeking these types of places to visit," the group's update said.

The SCRG also welcomed a new travel agency to town owned and operated by Janice Nelson, of El Dorado Springs. Sea Breeze Vacations will be located at 103 West Broadway, just off of Main Street. Nelson, a native of El Dorado Springs, said she chose downtown for her new business due to the revitalization efforts and the evident changes in downtown. Sea Breeze Vacations provides five-star, all-inclusive trips to such destinations as Mexico, as well as assisting with planning honeymoons, family vacations or simply weekend getaways.

SCRG meets every other Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m., at 100 South Main Street in the Park community building, El Dorado Springs. Comments, suggestions or ideas are welcome during the meeting, or residents may send them via mail to SCRG, 100 South Main Street, El Dorado Springs, MO 64744.

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