Hunter will serve on commission
NEW MADRID - A New Madrid County resident is one of eight persons appointed by the governor to represent Missouri on the Delta Regional Authority.
New Madrid County Port Authority Executive Director Timmie Lynn Morgan Hunter will serve on the commission, which seeks to increase economic opportunity through development in eight states along the lower Mississippi River. The commission's priorities are transportation, regional investment opportunities, educational opportunities and quality of life.
"The Missouri Commission on the Delta Regional Authority has a very important job," said Gov. Bob Holden in announcing Hunter's appointment. "The impact this commission will have on rural interests should be great and I know these members are dedicated to achieving real economic improvement in the Delta Region."
Hunter, who also serves as president of the Missouri Port Authority Association, explained she has attended the organizational meetings for Missouri's Delta Regional Authority and is pleased to be one of the governor's appointees.
"In our initial meetings, those attending have ranked their priorities, putting transportation at No. 1. The port, of course, is all about transportation, so hopefully my experience will be a plus," she said.
Other appointees are Kenneth Minton of Dexter, Dr. Kenneth W. Dobbins of Cape Girardeau, Patrick McHaney of Kennett, James Dancy of Squires, Mary Heywood of Bourbon, William Kennon Jr. of Doniphan and Thomas Tucker of Perryville.
According to Chris Kelly with Holden's office, the appointments of the committee serve at "the governor's discretion" with terms initially set through December 2004.
"I'm looking forward to this," said Hunter about her appointment. "We live in the area the Delta Regional Authority is designed to help and with local representation, hopefully we will be able to pull in funds for our county and the surrounding areas."
Another benefit, she added, will be learning from Missouri's commissioners and those from other states. She said she expects to hear what programs have brought development to their areas as well as what programs have not worked.
"Information is key to bringing in programs to boost our economy," said Hunter. "And funding is needed to help us, help ourselves."
Thus far 18 grants have been awarded to the state for economic development projects. The new commission member said she expects more funding, noting the governors from the Commission states are working closely with federal officials as are state representatives to Washington.
In coordination with the federal government and the passage of House Concurrent Resolution 25 last legislative session, the Missouri Commission on the Delta Regional Authority was authorized. The authority covers eight states - Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama.
In Missouri, the commission covers 29 counties, which include Scott, New Madrid, Mississippi, and Stoddard. The Missouri commissioners are expected to gather within the next several months, Hunter said.