Our Opinion: Outlook for continued growth amid uncertainty

The outlook for Central Missouri is encouraging.

Special sections in Sunday’s News Tribune chronicled economic development and infrastructure achievements in 2012 and the outlook for continued growth.

Our community has fared better than other geographic areas and remains a solid foundation on which to build.

“If we can get momentum going, it can be a pretty good year,” said Randy Allen, president of the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce.

The retail sector has been active, with new businesses opening, as well as significant expansions, relocations and improvements.

The number of building permits issued during 2012 also marked an increase from previous years, with 406 requests that translated into a total valuation of $1.6 million.

The housing market posted a marked increase over 2011. Bunnie Trickey Cotton, president of the Jefferson City Area Board of Realtors, said 2012 sales were up about 25 percent over the previous year.

Significant infrastructure improvements also were completed, including a major renovation of East McCarty Street and construction of an interchange at Missouri 179 and Mission Drive to serve a new St. Mary’s Health Center and, if voters approve, a new Jefferson City High School.

Patterns of growth largely reflect consumer confidence.

A potential stumbling block to economic momentum on both the local and state level is the inability at the national level to develop and adhere to a model for a stable and steady economic recovery.

Each failure by Congress to approve a budget, each act of procrastination and each looming sequester or fiscal cliff erodes public confidence in our collective future.

Amid this uncertainty, the significant achievements and continuing growth in Central Missouri are all the more impressive.

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