Joplin Chamber hosts Economic Growth Tour; ends with special announcement

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Even if you’ve lived in the Joplin area your whole life, you may have only scratched the surface of what’s here. That’s the premise behind an annual business event in the city, which ended with a special announcement.

The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, The MOKAN Partnership, and Liberty Utilities sponsored Friday’s economic growth tour. Participants boarded a bus in the morning and drove to a number of businesses in and around Joplin.

“So this is an opportunity to get business and community leaders out in the community to see the projects that are underway every year, whether it’s the downtown redevelopment and small business type efforts and entrepreneurial start ups or like today at Don’s Cold Storage looking at a brand new quarter of a million square foot warehouse,” said Tony Robyn, MOKAN Partnership.

Many tour members had never seen or been inside such a mammoth structure. Among them, Tyler Pargen. This marks his third such tour.

“I’ve lived in this community for over three decades and you think you know everybody and everything, but we’ve gone to places I’ve driven by for 30 years and I didn’t know what they did and who did what, and I’ve learned so much, what they develop and how many products are shipped worldwide and locally and regionally,” said Tyler Pargen. Tour Member, Standard Transportation Services.

On the tour’s final stop, the Liberty Solar Farm, company officials made an announcement. The farm is located in prosperity on a 60 acre tract of land near highway 249, but the farm itself only occupies 11 acres of a 60 acre tract of land, so there is a lot more room for development.

“Exciting to announce that we have actually fully subscribed our community solar facility, it is a subscription based facility and we did rely on our customers, residential and commercial to subscribe and now that we’re fully subscribed that doesn’t mean that folks have lost an opportunity to participate, we’d like to create a waiting list for our next project,” said Kelli Price, Liberty Marketing & Communications.

It only took a couple of weeks for all those subscriptions to fill up, price says that’s a step in the right direction to develop more of the unused acreage in the future.

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