Representatives from Newton County towns were on hand Tuesday during the quarterly meeting of the Newton County Economic Development Commission. The meeting was held at the Hale McGinty Business Development Center, 216 W. Spring St., Neosho.
According to Barry Flint, chairperson of the commission, the purpose of the meeting is to get all of the towns in the county together to just tell what has been going on.
Those present during the meeting were Jay Mitchell, representing Seneca; Dale Privett representing Diamond; Flint representing Granby; Dee Wormington representing Newtonia;Robert Hart representing Stella; Newton County Commissioners Marilyn Ruestman, Alan Cook and Jim Jackson, representing the county; and Ray Stipp, representing Neosho.
"The food pantry, if you remember where it was located on Main Street and the clothing depot, was renting part of the O'Reilly (Auto Parts) building, the roof started leaking," Mitchell said. "The food pantry made a deal on the old Seneca Christian Church on Main Street. In the next month, they will be moving to the Christian Church on north Main Street. They need the room for all of the food pantry, they are helping more people weekly, and used clothes. They will have a big move in a month."
Privett told the group about the upcoming community Thanksgiving dinner held beginning at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, at the Diamond High School commons area.
"That began last year when one of the ladies who works at the school was attending classes at Pittsburg, Kan.," he said. "And she was assigned a project since she is majoring in social work, she was assigned a project to do something for the city or community. She came up with a community dinner. She raised all of the funds herself from Walmart and wherever she could get it. We had 650 in attendance last year. We are going to make it an annual affair if we can. We are attempting to get it set up designed 501(c)3."
Flint noted there is a new feed store in Granby.
"It is located right at the crest of the hill when you start down the hill on highway 60," Flint said. "It used to be Liberty Grace Mission and then it was a restaurant before that. The interesting thing was when that was first built in the early 1970s, it was a feed store. It has been several different things since then."
For Newtonia, Wormington said they had a great attendance at the annual Newtonia Fall Festival – held the last Saturday in September.
"Our Newtonia fall festival drew a good crowd, but rain closed us down by 2 p.m." she said.
Hart said the annual Eagle Day will be held in Stella in January, with the date to be announced.
Cook commented on the county roads.
Page 2 of 2 - "Road season is pretty well over as far as improvements with the sales tax funds. As of this morning, we had 47 miles of county roads that actually got sales tax dollars," said Cook.
Stipp noted that an area business has space available for lease.
"I am told where the old Ford building is, Quality Petroleum owns that building, they are using the service department," said Stipp. "But the front part of it where the showroom was and maybe some additional area is available for lease."
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Hale McGinty Business Development Center.