Tuesday, March 15, 2011
With the recent tragedy in Japan, the question of nuclear power has once again come front and center in the public eye.
The controversial topic also will be the focus of the Fulton Area Development Corporation’s annual banquet on March 31 as the organization hosts a panel presentation and discussion on the proposed Callaway II nuclear plant and the future of energy in Missouri. Speaking on the panel will be Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-6), Rep. Jeanie Riddle (R-20), David Klindt, vice president of the Missouri Association of Electric Cooperatives and Warren Wood from Ameren Missouri.
“I had been to a Missouri Economic Development Conference, and this panel made a presentation, and it was really good,” said FADC Director Bruce Hackmann. “I like the way they framed it that this is a state-wide issue.
“People need to realize this is much, much bigger than Callaway County.”
“Getting the early site permit is such an important economic benefit, not only for Callaway, but for the state; not just for FADC but for the Missouri Core Partnership (a group of 12 counties that promote the interests of central Missouri),” agreed Rick Gohring, chairman of the FADC board of directors. “We’re talking about a project that could have a profound economic impact on the area and the state.”
Gohring said he approved of Hackmann’s suggestion for this year’s program because “I personally think it’s important that our citizens become more familiar with Callaway II and with Missouri’s energy needs in total.”
“I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there (about nuclear power),” Gohring said. “We’re looking at nuclear energy as just a part of meeting the state’s energy needs.”
He said coal, solar and wind energy sources will have a bigger effect on Callaway County than the possible expansion of the Callaway nuclear plant.”
In addition to learning more about the proposed Callaway II nuclear plant, Gohring said the banquet also is “a good time to socialize with your business peers.”
“We can talk about what we’ve done over the past year, and it gives us an opportunity to say what we plan to work on,” Gohring said, adding that FADC is in the early stages of the strategic planning with area municipalities. “If we identify what strengths we have as a region and a community we’ll be able to try to attract industries and businesses that would fit into our community and be more successful with that.”
Tickets to the banquet are $25 per person. Reservations may be made by contacting the Fulton Area Development Corporation at (573) 642-4841.