The Phelps County Commission hosted Tony Floyd and Kristin Sullins of Intercounty Electric Cooperative on Thursday, Jan. 5, to discuss supporting the possible industrial development of the 785-acre Bahr property north of Rolla.
Floyd said the industrial Site Development Grant Program of the Missouri Economic Development Department (from ARPA funds) presents the opportunity for Intercounty and Phelps County to jointly apply for $25 million to facilitate such a project. Once electric and sewer utilities are installed, Floyd said the property would ultimately end up under Missouri S&T ownership for it to own and administer for economic development.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Floyd said. “It’s suited well and sits out there great. It’s next to I-44 and has great access everywhere. One of our core values is concern for the community, and this is huge. It would help everybody in our area.”
Addressed at 13915 County Road 3120, the Bahr property is located between Rolla and St. James near the Highway V interchange with more than 1,700 feet of Interstate 44 frontage. It also intersects with the Burlington Northern railroad line and has county road frontage on all sides.
The Bahr property is currently listed as for sale as agriculture land by Investment Realty. Its value would be the subject of an appraisal Floyd wished to discuss with the commissioners. He said its list price and value appraised by Missouri S&T vary by more than seven figures. To proceed with the process, an independent appraisal is needed paid for by the applicants.
“There’s still possibility the Bahrs may say, no, it’s not enough, and we’re just going to be out the cost,” Floyd said. “But we’re willing to split that half with you.”
Floyd said the total cost of the appraisal would be around $3,000 total. The commission received the prospect favorably and Rolla Regional Economic Commission may also help share the cost.
“I’m all about economic development,” Presiding Commissioner Joey Auxier said. He added a motion to pay the expense would be placed under advisement for now to the research the feasibility of the project. Floyd and Sullins concluded the deadline for the application to be submitted is mid-February.
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