About 200 community leaders and bankers have returned to their home towns armed with suggestions about how to make the most of rural life. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines sponsored the two-day conference at Tan-Tar-A Resort at Osage Beach. The bank covers several midwestern states, including Missouri. Carrollton Mayor Sharon Metz has seen a revitalization of the north-central Missouri city of about 4,000, hit hard in the 90s by the lost of a factory and floods in 1993 and 1995. Metz says many Americans want to return to rural communities. Carrollton has been held out as an example during the conference. Broadcaster Bill Kurtis, a moderator at the conference, has invested in the small town of Sedan, Kansas. He tells rural leaders their towns hold great promise. Kurtis says rural communities are seen as exotic to city dwellers and once they visit small towns they will fall in love with them. Metz agrees, saying quality of life is calling people to return to rural Missouri. She says Carrollton revitalized its downtown, built a new library, city hall and skate park for its residents, but those improvements attracted others.
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