For decades, local manufacturing firms and other business entities have pleaded with housing developers to build more first-time homes for small, growing families so their workforce could live closer to their jobs.

While all agreed, including government officials, there was a true need for smaller, affordable homes to be paid on a wage earned at Kawasaki, JL Houston, NUCOR or LaClede Chain or even retailers at Wal-mart and Hy-Vee, no home builders were interested in the reduced margins that would be earned with such homes.

Three individuals, Eric Couts of Premier Homes, Mary Beth and Gary Shipps, have prime development 104 acres of land east of the Volunteer Avenue apartments, Wal-mart and the Deluxe facility. The housing development, with residential lots sized for a possible 1,500 square foot home, is valued at $292,500 for the home and lot. The plan from the entrepreneurs is for a multi-phase development of 250 new residential lots and 30 commercial acres.

In late August, a group of leaders representing manufacturing and retail, Nodaway County and City of Maryville governments as well as financial institutions, Northwest Missouri State, Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville, Maryville R-II School District and quasi-government groups met in the Nodaway County Administration Center to learn about The Neighborhood development of Legacy Acres, which is owned by Shipps. The presentation was mostly informative explaining the benefits of the development to the tax rolls. The 104 acres is currently taxed as agriculture, amounting to $396.24 annual taxes. The first phase of 25 residential lots and a daycare facility would increase the agriculture tax from $3.81 per acre to $19,090 for five residential lots that would equal an acre of land. So the increase of taxation to each home lot to $398.16 is actually more taxes for the government entities than the current total farm.

The calculations, which came from the trio and were confirmed by the government leaders, were meant to inform the leaders so that there might be a desire on their part to aid in the infrastructure construction, such as water, sewer, streets, etc. Parts of the acreage also could be annexed into the Maryville city limits allowing for revenues of water-sewer and taxation.

Couts, who builds structural insulated panel homes, provided several prototypes of the homes that would be three bedrooms, two baths, two-car garage built on a concrete slab with a value of $280,000. Couts’ Extreme Panels allows a home to be built with a net zero energy ready construction that is made to fit the present Maryville codes. The first five homes will demonstrate these additional benefits: faster construction time with fewer man hours, minimal skilled framing labor required, 90 percent less construction site waste and lower utility costs forever; plus a $5,000 federal tax credit per unit and up to 60 percent energy savings.

The meeting ended with these proposed next steps: finalize construction costs, finalize project focus and finalize financing of the project.