MRPC News Release

For immediate release
Feb. 1, 2017

For more information, contact
Gary O’Day at (573) 265-2993


O’Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s Gary O’Day (left) attended the 2017 Local Development District Training Academy held in Memphis, Tenn. After completing the training, he received his DRA project coordinator certification from Chris Masingill, DRA’s federal co-chairman.

Day attends DRA training in Memphis, receives certification

ST. JAMES—Gary O’Day, a community development specialist with Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) recently attended the 2017 Local Development District Training Academy held in Memphis, Tenn. Jan. 18-19 by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). After completion of the Professional Development Academy training and passing the required test, O’Day is now a DRA Certified Project Coordinator.

  The training included descriptions of the different programs offered through the DRA, reporting and compliance requirements, federal policy updates and predictions and communications between the DRA and the local communities.
“There was ample time for peer-led discussions of successes and problems with DRA programs,” O’Day said. “The DRA took recommendations and promised to look into alternative ways of handling situations such as the cost of the required signage at all DRA project sites.”

The DRA is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. The DRA includes the 29 counties in Missouri’s 8th Congressional district, including the four Meramec counties of Crawford, Dent, Phelps and Washington.

During the training, O’Day attended many discussions with DRA employees about programs offered through the DRA.

“I really enjoyed the talk by Dr. John Sutherlin on brownfield sites,” O’Day said. “He had been hired as a consultant and for technical assistance on a pilot program to help LDDs with Brownfield and environmental concerns involved with current and potential DRA projects. These projects could include abandoned mines or mining effects on a local environment down to a former gas station property.”

To learn more about the Delta Regional Authority’s programs and initiatives, visit

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 25, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities. MRPC is a local development district for the DRA and assists member governments in its four DRA counties identify needs and find solutions.

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