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County hears bridge update

by Patty Cheffey

Necessary preliminary work for the bridge replacement on County Road 402 is still ongoing, but it is hoped the project can move forward soon.

The Marion County Commission heard an update on the bridge during their meeting Monday, at which they also approved some insurance, reviewed sales tax and approved a grant.

According to Teya Stice, county improvement coordinator, once a meeting has been set up with property owners and right-of-way cleared for the County Road 402 bridge, the only wait will be for the county to clear enough funds for the project.

On that end, Stice said the county’s soft match credit information had been submitted to the state to review, but that review could take four to eight weeks.

She added she had received a list from MoDOT of counties with high BRO (hard match) balances and low soft match balances.

Stice is working to trade some of the county’s soft match to a county for hard match funds, but is wanting to wait until she hears back on Marion County soft match balance before trading.

In other business, Steve McGregor was present to review the updated insurance that covers, among several items, property, law enforcement and public officials.

The policy will have an 8 percent increase, but McGregor noted the county’s premium of $177,621, is still cheaper than it was two years ago, and the county now has a $5 million umbrella for liability and more coverage on the courthouses.

While the commissioners approved this plan, McGregor noted it did not include the earthquake policy, which he will present at a later date.

County Clerk Valerie Dornberger presented the commissioners with the latest sales tax figures, which were up again.

“Overall, it’s not too bad,” said Dornberger, noting Local Use Tax is down about $14,000 from last year’s figures.

General Revenue showed $228,602.29 in December, compared to $205,389.53 to December 2019. 

The county ended the year at $2,361,294.39 an increase over last year’s end of the year figure of $2,192,981.08.

Capital Improvement also ended the year higher than last year at $1,770,970.58, compared to $1,644,735.12.

The county road fund was also up, ending the year with $1,180,160.92, compared to $1,095,892 in 2019

The commissioners also approved a Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness Grant application and learned the county highway department is working on roads which were in need of repair following recent rains.

The county also voted to hold their final meeting of the year on Dec. 30, but will not have a meeting Dec. 28.