BENTON - Commerce has areas of concern but also has a lot to offer.
County Developer Joel Evans reported on a recent visit with Bill Bailey, mayor of Commerce, during the regular County Commission meeting Tuesday.
Evans said he enjoyed his tour of Commerce. "I think there is a world of potential for tourism development there," he said noting the rich Civil War history, the popular River Ridge Winery, historic homes "and just the geography of the area.
"Commerce has one of the few places in Missouri that you can walk down and see an unobstructed view of the river," Evans said.
Concerns, however, include the town's limited income, a shrinking population, repeated floods and an overgrown but historically important Civil War-era cemetery.
Additionally, the town is required to maintain lots that were part of the federal buyout from past floods but only have an aging tractor to do it with.
In other business Tuesday:
* Evans said he will attend an informational meeting for Missouri Mainstreet Connection which specializes in revitalization of downtown districts. A grant workshop will be scheduled later.
Evans will also attend the Missouri Department of Economic Development's roundtable meeting on the Bootheel this week.
* County commissioners will meet with SEMO Port Authority board members and the Cape Girardeau County commissioners at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the port.
It will be a "briefing and informational meeting to bring us up to speed on what their activities are," according to Commissioner Jamie Burger. Burger said it will include information on the Port Authority's future growth plans, capitol improvement projects and funding sources.
* Web site usage is up 293 percent over average, according to Evans.
Page requests for the month surpassed the previous high of 4,569 with a total of 6,153 this month.
"We had several responses to the county's career opportunity page," Evans said.
* A community in the county has expressed interest in a grant from the Department of Natural Resource's land conservation fund which would fund something like playground equipment, a park or a track, according to Evans.
"I'm looking at how best to apply for that," he said.