Our rural way of life is already threatened as businesses and residents are pulled to urban areas. Luckily, investment in northern Missouri can bolster the economic recovery in those communities.
The clean energy transmission line known as the Grain Belt Express has found several ways to help small towns thrive.
The project, which has an approved route and state approvals, will provide additional broadband access, cheaper electricity, new jobs, and increased tax revenue.
Broadband alone is a much-needed resource for rural Missouri. As it stands, nearly 20 percent of Missourians lack a decent internet connection. Living in a small town or on a farm shouldn’t mean less access to critical infrastructure that is more important to adequate health care services and education.
But the economic boost doesn’t stop with increased access to broadband. The Grain Belt Express will save Missourians over $12 million every year in electricity costs, create 1,500 new jobs, and contribute $7 million in taxes. That’s a lot of money coming into Missouri.
I commend the local officials working hard with this project to help their communities. Despite efforts by some to stop these benefits from reaching rural Missouri, the Grain Belt Express has received tremendous amounts of support from residents and local leaders who want to help the Show-Me State thrive.
I urge all Missourians to support the Grain Belt Express.
Lee Barker is the former city administrator for Higginsville, Missouri.