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by Patty Cheffey
Marion County residents who own homes or commercial property will soon be getting a piece of mail that probably won’t be welcomed.
Mark Novak, county assessor, was present at Monday’s Marion County Commission meeting to inform them he was preparing impact notices to be sent to residential and commercial property owners, notifying them of the increase based on state statutes.
“The residential increase will be 10 percent,” Novak said, explaining that state statute declares county assessment must stay within 90 percent of market value of property.
Current market value for homes is high as materials to build new homes has been skyrocketing during the pandemic.
County Clerk Valerie Dornberger noted Novak has no choice in raising the assessment.
“The State Tax Commission has their thumb on it,” she said. “If Mark doesn’t do what he is supposed to do, they will withhold state funding, and not only from the assessor’s office, but from all offices.”
Impact notices are expected to go out in the near future.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the commission accepted the recommendation from Stephanie Cooper, CEO of Douglass Community Services, to hire Klingner and Associates to do a feasibility study for Douglass’ Community Development Block Grant application.
If the grant is approved, Cooper said the center at 711 Grand in Hannibal will be remodeled to get all client services under one roof.
Those services include food distribution, clothing distribution, Work Force Development, foster care and children’s services among others.
In addition, as a stipulation of the grant, the community space at Douglass Community Services will be expanded.
After some discussion and the believing there is a need for one, the county approved hosting a contest to have a county logo designed.
Entries will be collected at the county coordinator’s office (Teya Stice) and will be on display during the Marion County Fair. The public will then judge which logo they like best.
The winner will receive $100 cash prize, which is being donated by the county commissioners.
The commissioners also approved writing two letters of support, one for the Hannibal by-pass and the second for NECAC’s history preservation grant.
Maria Kuhns, entrepreneurship specialist with the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council, was present to introduce herself and review briefly what services her office can offer in helping small businesses.
Dornberger also reported Chris Tate, circuit clerk, Division II, will have to hire a court reporter for associate circuit court federal cases only.
The court reporter for Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd is currently too busy to fill in on the federal cases as they are trying to catch up from being closed during the pandemic.
The commissioners noted they can probably pay for the court reporter through the American Rescue Plan funds as it is COVID related.
Stice reported she had received another right-of-way from a property owner for the County Road 402 bridge, but is in discussions with the final land owner.
She also had the county sign the resolution letter for the Lee Atkins rezoning request after adding in the wording the commissioners had earlier requested.
The commissioners also:
• approved paying an additional $1,000 for the emergency siren in the Taylor area after the bid came in higher than expected. The county’s share will now be $6,250;
• reported the county highway department was busy Monday morning removing tree limbs from roadways and clearing ditches following storms over the weekend;
• learned the Board of Equalization will meet July 19 at 1 p.m.; and
• learned the city of Palmyra will be opening bids for the storm water drainage situation on Lafayette and Dickerson streets on July 13, at 2 p.m. at city hall.