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by Patty Cheffey
With plans in the works to black top County Road 266 this summer, the Marion County Commission approved setting a speed limit for the road.
The posted speed limit will be 45 MPH on the road, which will probably be black topped sometime in July.
The decision on the speed limit was made during Monday’s commission meeting, at which they also approved two bids, heard an update on the evacuation at the jail last week and approved new wall maps.
Western District Commissioner Steve Begley reported he had been approached about removing the current stop signs for both the east-west and north-south roads close to the west end of County Road 266 and replacing them with a yield sign and a “cross road does not stop” signs on the north-south roads.
Eastern District Commissioner Larry Welch noted the current four-way stop is safer and voted to leave it the same way.
Both Begley and Mike Schaefer, county highway supervisor, noted many people do not stop at the signs anyway.
They also noted that while the 45 MPH will make that County Road 266 consistent with all other current black topped roads in Marion County, many people are already speeding down that road as a gravel road.
In addition, Begley asked and the other commissioners agreed to black top the stretch of road near Mike Cassidy’s residence. Begley said he would visit with Cassidy about a possible cost share on the project.
In other business, the commissioners approved a bid from Clayton Holdings (Commerce Bank) for a five year 1.23 percent interest rate loan of $945,465 to lease-purchase five new road graders for the highway department.
Commerce also submitted a proposal of 1.34 percent for a six-year loan, but the commissioners noted they wanted to pay the loan off earlier.
HOMEBANK had also put in a bid of $1.75 percent for a five year loan of $1.95 percent for a six year loan.
The county also approved the loan bid from Huber Custom Coatings to do the jail kitchen floor with an epoxy finished flooring at a cost of $12,650.
Sheriff Jimmy Shinn also reported on a carbon monoxide leak at the jail last week, that set off an alarm and forced the evacuation of the 90 plus inmates.
Although he had made plans to remove the inmates to other facilities, the leak was found and repaired quickly.
Because there had been an increase in the number of sick calls from inmates, especially headaches, etc., which could be attributed to the carbon monoxide, Shinn said he ordered the nurse to reimburse the inmates for the cost of the sick call.
Shinn also noted a meeting is planned this week to go over the event, but said he did become aware he did not have enough handcuffs and will be ordering more.
In her report, Teya Stice, county improvement coordinator, said the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments cannot print the wall map the commissioners wanted to replace the map in the commission room at the Palmyra Courthouse.
However, the former Midland company can do the map to almost the same size at a cost of $325, which the commissioners approved.
Shinn asked if he could have two maps as well, and those were also approved.
The county also learned they had received a portion of the American Recovery money in the amount of $2,770,809 and will receive the remaining portion, $3,633,156, next year.
A meeting is planned for next Monday with the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments, which will be assisting with administrating the funds once more guidelines are learned.
They also heard a report from Craig Redmon with the Division of Energy, concerning the energy efficiency loan program.
Redmon noted he can have people come in and evaluate the county’s buildings to see where they might be able to save money through energy updates.
While the county did not set a definite date, they indicated they are interested.
County Clerk Valerie Dornberger also reviewed fund balances which are in excellent shape, she said.