Galena Project 2

Growing Our
Feels Like Home Tour
Community/Neighborhood: Galena
Name of Project: Feels Like Home Tour
Project Coordinator: Debbie Bridges
Project Coordinator’s Phone Number: 417-357-1008
Project Coordinator’s Email:
Type of Project:
Long-term (1-5 years) X Short-term (up to 12 months)
Time Frame: Date begun Feb 2015 Date completed April 28, 2015
Number of volunteers 18 Age range of volunteers 25-70
Cost of Project
Total Cost
Sources of Funding
Total Funding
Our local Galena Community Vision group was encouraged to apply for one of Missouri’s “Feels Like Home” tours.
These tours are sponsored by the Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) and Missouri Community
Betterment. A team of twelve local economic development experts visited Galena on April 28 to assess the drivers of
the local economy and help develop a set of recommendations for growth. They spoke with city and county government
officials along with business owners, school officials, community leaders, volunteer groups and the general public about
ways that Galena can economically develop our community. As an introduction and starting point for discussion, a
summary of the community assessment document developed by Drury and MU Extension was presented. This was
followed by sessions in which the assessment team heard presentations by various stakeholders in the community,
including county officials, the Galena school superintendent, Galena city mayor, local business owners, and
representatives from various local churches. A demonstration by the Youth Robotics Team wrapped up the presentations.
Discussions after each of these presentations elicited further information. The meeting was very well attended (40-50
throughout the day) and generated a lot of discussion about ways to improve Galena, not just economically, but in other
ways as well. At the end of the day, the experts got together and came up with a set of observations that were shared
with the attendees. This was followed up later by a written report, complete with contact information for the experts.
Some topics of discussion included :
Need for regional development
Lack of community sidewalks and ADA accessible locations
Historical Y-Bridge, picturesque river location
Conflict between City and County
Need to resurface downtown building facades
Extreme poverty
Transportation issues
26% unemployment during winter season
Non-enforcement of ordinances
How to increase tourism
Development of walking trail
• Community center expansion
• 2/3 of residents in Stone County leave the county for work
Several suggestions were made which will be very helpful as we plan and move forward with our goals to
make Galena a thriving, healthy, and vibrant place to live and work.
• We need to take advantage of several agencies and grants to improve infrastructure. Key contacts and
assistance programs were highlighted.
• Bringing the City and County together to work on solutions is vital to "re-instilling trust in the community
and building upon the partnership will help provide confidence to those looking to move forward with
potential business opportunities." (Tour Re-cap Report)
• It was also stated that Galena is part of a corridor of Reeds Spring, Galena and Crane with Galena being the
"authentic" Ozarks experience with fishing, camping and floating. Silver Dollar City and Branson have the
amusement and entertainment while Reeds Spring caters to the Arts. Crane is known for shopping and
antiques. We need to capitalize on attracting tourism to the region as a whole instead of each city
• Developing the riverside area to encourage these activities is an effective way to develop and improve
economic development.
• Develop a single point of contact with the Missouri Dept. of Tourism (MDT) to ensure that event
schedules, business listings and news articles are presented to MDT in a timely, accurate manner.
• Develop a relationship with area schools to help with developing social media outreach and promote
We came away with a better understanding of the need to capitalize on what makes Galena unique: authentic
Ozarks experience, history, and the river setting. We are excited to go forward with these and many other
helpful ideas in the future to make Galena a thriving and healthy community.
Galena Community Vision (led by Debbie Bridges) with the help of Luke Holtschneider, Project Manager,
MO DED, came together to help make this meeting take place. Debbie Bridges worked about 40 hours and
the rest of the volunteers worked about 34 hours; at $21.30 per hour this brings volunteer hours value to
$1576.20. Lunch was purchased at three local restaurants (to spread the honor around, one restaurant
provided the main course, one provided the salad, and one provided dessert) and cost $265. Water and snacks
were donated separately and totaled $24.