Chamber takes a ''Pro-Business'' stance regarding Pharmaceutical Growing Facility

In light of the recent topic of the pharmaceutical marijuana grow facility wanting to invest and start a business in Lamar, the Barton County Chamber of Commerce wants to let the community know our stance on the subject. The Barton County Chamber of Commerce is in adamant support for updating the city ordinances to allow for the pharmaceutical grow facility to be placed at the former Cash Saver building. 

As Chamber President, let me recite the Chamber of Commerce’s mission statement, “Promoting Progress in Barton County Through Business and Community Development.” Many of you serving on this council have also served with the chamber as President or as other board members, so you know that the Chamber has a heart for our community, we want to see it thrive. The business that MoBig (Missouri Business Investment Group) has proposed to place at this location meets our mission statement on all fronts. 

  1.  It will provide 50 to 100 jobs that are in desperate need in our community.  The average hourly wage in Barton County is $10 an hour.  MoBIG has proposed that the lowest waged position will start 30-40% higher than this, with the majority of the jobs paying 100-150% higher, along with salaried positions that will pay between $50,000-$100,000 per year with benefits.  These jobs will have a positive impact not only in Lamar, but surrounding communities that rely on Lamar.
  1. This business will eliminate one more vacant building from our city.  MoBIG is estimating $1.5-$2 million in infrastructure upgrades.  The tax base on this alone will go a long way to generate additional taxes for our schools and city.  The electricity purchased by the business will provide income to a city that has admitted that it needs it.
  1. On average, every dollar earned by a worker is turned over 7 times in the local economy.  Based off of MoBIG's payroll estimate, this equals $21 million dollars a year that will be spent generating revenue for almost every other business in town.
  1. On estimated figures, commercial property real estate tax for the former Cash Saver building, per the 2018 tax levy allotment, would be $38,414 per year.  On a ten-year return on investment projection, this amount would be $384,137.  The school alone in a 10-year span would get $251,877.  Again, this is real estate tax alone.
Estimated commercial personal property tax received based upon a $2 million-dollar property investment, which could go up or down, would be $44,187 per year.  On a ten-year return on investment, this number grows to $441,876.  The school alone would receive $283,998.

The total estimated 10-year tax revenue would equal $826,013.  I believe these extra funds can only help the budgets of the city, schools, and other local tax entities that rely on public funds to survive.
  1. Other regional municipal neighbors have seen the benefits such as taxes and jobs that facilities just like this can provide them and have voted for as low as 0 ft restrictions for cultivation and processing facilities.  As a Chamber, we firmly believe that having a pro-business attitude will only enhance the chances that more businesses of all kind, especially those in our targeted industry of agriculture and manufacturing will look at coming to Lamar.

In your service,
Kevin Bull, President of the Barton County Chamber of Commerce
Astra Farris, CEO of the Barton County Chamber of Commerce