By Marshall Griffin, KWMU
Jefferson City, MO – The 2009 Tour of Missouri is on.
This year's professional bicycle race had been threatened with cancellation, due to a recommended budget cut of $1.5 million from the Department of Economic Development.
But Governor Jay Nixon announced in a press release this afternoon that the money would be spent on the race, which is scheduled for early September.
The announcement reads, in part:
"Because of assurances from the Division of Tourism and the Tour of Missouri, Inc. that they are now willing to share records regarding spending on previous races and planned spending for this year's race, the Office of Budget and Planning will immediately begin to provide state funds for the 2009 Tour of Missouri," Nixon said.
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, the race's key backer, is pleased.
"I am especially delighted to be able to welcome Governor Jay Nixon to the ranks of supporters of this race...today is the first day we have ever had any indication from Governor Nixon that he is supportive of our efforts," Kinder said in a conference call with reporters.
The 2009 Tour of Missouri is scheduled from September 7th through the 13th, starting in St. Louis and ending in Kansas City.
It will also pass through Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, Farmington, Rolla, St. James, Jefferson City, Sedalia, Chillicothe, and St. Joseph.