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County considers hard match trade, opens bids

by Patty Cheffey

The Marion County Commission is considering a hard match-soft match trade with Monroe County.

The possibility of a trade was discussed during the commission meeting Monday morning, at which the commissioners also opened bids for road graders, discussed the sign in front of the courthouse and discussed helping pay for a cremation.

According to Teya Stice, Monroe County is willing to trade $75,000 of hard money for $100,000 in soft match funds.

Commissioner Steve Begley said he wasn’t happy with that trade, contacted Monroe County and got it down to $90,000 for the $75,000 hard money. However, he also informed Monroe County he needed to do further checking to see if the county will need it.

The county currently has $288,640 in hard match funds, but even with the money they are expecting in October, they will probably be short of the predicted amount to build the bridge on County Road 402. If they do the trade, they will probably have a cushion, Stice said

She is checking to see if the county could “go in the hole” to be able to bid the project now or if they would have to wait until November.

In other business, the commissioners opened two bids for five road graders.

Apparent low bidder is Altofer who bid $907,374 with trade-ins. The second bidder was Martin Equipment at $930,000.

However, the representative from Martin Equipment questioned whether Altorfer had actually made its bid according to specs.

Mike Schaefer, county highway supervisor, will review the bids and make a recommendation to the commissioners next Monday.

The historical marker sign in front of the courthouse was also discussed with Stice reporting MoDOT had indicated it was old enough it might not be able to be welded.

Begley said he did not think that was the case and asked Stice to contact them again and see what could be worked out. 

After some discussion, Commissioner Larry Welch moved the county assist a person with the cost of cremation for his mother by donating $1,000.

Begley, however, said he believed the county’s attorney had advised against such a move.

Although Welch pointed out the county had assisted people in the past with similar situations, his motion died for lack of a second.

The commissioners also:

• tabled action to reappoint Jean McBride as the county health officer;

• learned Stice had applied for an EMPG grant, which helps pay for the county’s Code Red program and for half of John Hark’s salary as the county’s emergency manager;

• signed a resolution in support of the county’s hazardous mitigation plan; and

• asked Sheriff Jimmy Shinn to check to see if the county needed to bid repair and seal work on the county jail’s parking lot after Begley had gotten some pricing on the work.