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The Cole County Commission on Tuesday approved the county’s part of a grant match for the Heartland Port Authority of Central Missouri, adding a match of $5,685.

The Port Authority was awarded a grant from the state Department of Agriculture’s Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority.

The department’s grants provide for projects that aid rural communities and can cover expenses relating to feasibility studies, marketing studies, marketing plans, business plans and prospects for development.

The MASBDA grant is for $183,700 and requires a $20,000 match.

Gary Wheeler, Missouri Soybean Association CEO and executive director, who also sits on the Heartland Port Authority Board, previously said his organization would provide $5,000 toward the match, leaving $13,370 to be funded.

The commission approved up to $7,000 last July to match the grant.

The Jefferson City Council on Monday approved a supplemental appropriation for the city’s part of the match, also $5,685, after previously approving a match not to exceed $7,000.

The Heartland Port Authority also hopes to see legislation that would transfer 116 acres of state-owned land just east of the Ike Skelton Training Facility to the Port Authority make it through the state’s legislative session this year after it failed to pass last year.

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