50 Years

50 Years Strong

Mo-Kan Regional Council (MKRC) is a designated regional planning commission (RPC) and economic development district (EDD), recognized by the states of Kansas and Missouri and the federal government. Now in our 50th year, we provide community and economic development services to 36 municipalities in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas.

Our Beginnings:  The concept of a regional council stemmed from the need to pool resources for the purpose of securing professional services for counties and municipalities. One such service lacking at the time of conception was that of planning services for land-use and zoning. Legislation providing for this pooling of effort was enacted in Kansas and Missouri in the 1950s and 60s.

In 1957, Kansas authorized County Zoning and Planning Commissions and in 1966, Missouri designated 20 areas permitted to pool planning resources. Included in the Missouri pooling zone were the counties of Andrew, Buchanan, Clinton and DeKalb.

The ABCD Regional Planning Commission  was chartered in February 1968. In June of 1968, the Doniphan County Kansas Planning and Zoning Commission sought membership with the Missouri Commission to create synergy in the outlying St. Joseph Metropolitan Area.  Permission was granted by the states to create the Mo-Kan Bi-State Planning Commission whose name was changed in 1973 to Mo-Kan Regional Council.

Seeing value in the regional planning commission, the City of Atchison sought and was granted membership in November of 1968. Atchison County and the City of Horton were added in 1974. The cities of Hiawatha, Kansas, and Morrill, Kansas, joined in 1984. 

Expanded Services: Over the course of time, member governments developed a wider-range of needs other than that of long-range planning. MKRC began providing services such as grant procurement and administration, offset printing and cartography, and has continued to broaden its scope of services over the years.

Since 1982, Mo-Kan Regional Council has partnered with the SBA to provide commercial loans to area businesses in an effort to strengthen our region’s workforce and economy. Among MKRC’s more recent additions to programing are hazard mitigation and homeland security.

The Mo-Kan Regional Council Economic Development District is composed of six counties - four in Missouri and two in Kansas. The Missouri counties are Andrew, Buchanan, Clinton and DeKalb.  The Kansas counties are Atchison and Doniphan.

Who We Serve:  Mo-Kan Regional Council planning services are designed to benefit all citizens of the six-county core service area.

Brown County, Kansas is not a member county, but the City of Morrill, Kansas is a member municipality and is included within the core service area. It is this area within which the regional population and other data are based. Additional counties are served due to special programing and not included in the primary service area.

The larger cities in the District are St. Joseph, Cameron and Savannah in Missouri and Atchison, Kansas. Measuring from St. Joseph, the district is located approximately 50 miles north of Kansas City, 70 miles east of Topeka and 160 miles south of Omaha. Two interstate highways, I-29 and I-35 and numerous federal and state highways serve the area. The Missouri River flows through the district and forms the border between Kansas and Missouri.

The land area of the District is 2,512 square miles with a 2010 US Census population count of 164,996. The population density is 66 persons per square mile.  Median income is $49,724, with 13.17% living in poverty. Just under 90% of the area’s residents achieved a high school diploma, certifications and degrees.  More than 12,300 businesses and their employees generate an annual payroll of over $2.2 billion.