County OKs bid for new audio tech

by Patty Cheffey

The large courtroom at the Palmyra Courthouse will soon have new audio equipment.

The Marion County Commission approved a bid for the equipment during their meeting Monday morning, at which they also heard information about CARES Act funding, approved a subdivision name change and discussed a road.

Two bids were received on audio/video equipment for the courtroom, according to Teya Stice, county improvement coordinator, but after visiting with Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd, she learned video equipment would not be necessary.

Stice presented the revised bids, showing only audio equipment to the commissioners, who reviewed the bids from Electronic Office Systems, $21,317.15, and from Audio Acoustics, $14,600 with a microphone add-on at an additional $4,100.

The commissioners approved the lower bid from Audio Acoustics, including the add-on microphones for a total bid of $18,700.

Eastern District Commissioner Larry Welch noted the new system is being installed to help the courts maintain the six-feet socially distancing. With the current system, anyone at the back of the courtroom cannot hear the judge or lawyers.

Because of that, the cost for this will be paid for out of CARES Act funding, he said.

In other business, the commissioners heard from LaDon Atkinson the manager of the Ralls County Public Water District, who briefly discussed that group’s CARES Act funding request.

Basically, the water district had ordered a new pump station, but the delivery on that was delayed due to COVID.

In the meantime and because the district could not install the new water pump until it was received, the system had a higher number water main breaks than normal, Atkinson said, the majority of which were in Marion County.

Atkinson further noted the district has figured the percentage of Marion County residents, compared to Ralls and Pike county residents, and is asking only for funds for that percentage.

Atkinson added the water district is not asking for repayment on the pump station, which had already been planned, but only on the additional water line breaks which were caused due to the delay of the pump station because of COVID. 

Of the $33,913 the water district is asking in CARES Act funds, only $10,852 would be from Marion County.

The commissioners also heard from Cindy Smith with Serve Pro, whose application will not be reviewed until the Oct. 13 meeting, but who wanted to provide some clarification to the commissioners.

Overall, she said, her requests is the wages, equipment and supplies, of which the cost has increased because of COVID.

She also noted they did pro bono cleaning for the Hannibal Fire Department, the city and Avenues because of COVID.

In addition to the two presentation, Sam Diffenderfer with the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments was present to review 14 more requests for funds, including several businesses, the city of Hannibal and one ministry.

The commissioners also approved a name change to Red Oak Estate Subdivision after the son took over that subdivision.

In addition to the name change, there have been a few minor changes to the easements, Stice reported.

Raymond Elder was also present at Monday’s meeting to ask for help for maintenance on Bluff Street in Hannibal.

Elder said the city is saying it does not own the street, but presented a document showing an agreement between Hannibal and MoDOT stating Hannibal would maintain the street.

He was informed it is not a county road. The commissioners, however, copied all information he had and presented it to Hannibal city’s executive director to look into the matter.

In her report, Stice said she is still trying to contact the right person with MoDOT concerning the sign in front of the Palmyra Courthouse which needs to be repaired.

She also said she had placed bid requests to run in the local newspaper the next two weeks for paving and striping the parking areas at both Palmyra and Hannibal courthouses.