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by Patty Cheffey
More parts of Marion County will soon have the option of fiber optic cable.
Representatives of Chariton Valley were present at Monday’s Marion County Commission meeting to provide an update on work being done and where work will soon get started in installing fiber optic cable.
Also Monday, the commissioners discussed payment to the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments for ARPA fund help, heard an update on Renodry and discussed courtroom work.
Stating they hope to get started between April 1 and April 15, Kevin Lybrand with Chariton Valley said work will be done south and west of Palmyra in the first phase with other areas of the county planned after that.
Those portions will be partially funded by American Rescue Plan Act funds, which the commissioners approved doing earlier this year.
In addition to that area, work continues in Palmyra thanks to an NTIA grant. Lybrand also indicated a couple of areas will be completed, even though those are listed as unfunded.
While there is still some work to do before the physical work can begin in April, Lybrand said his team on the ground, including Cody Carnahan, construction supervisor, and Jason Wallace, who is the state manager for Creet Enterprises, which is laying the line, will be working closely with the county, including with Mike Schaefer, county highway supervisor, once work begins.
When questioned, Lybrand said the main lines are buried about 36 inches deep with the “drops” about 12 to 18 inches deep.
He added they stay on the right-of-way, but try to dig on the back slope.
In other business, Western District Commissioner Steve Begley noted he had received a call from the Mark Twain Regional Council of Government about the payment to assist the county with the ARPA fund distribution.
As there does not appear to be as much work involved and since neither Hannibal nor Palmyra are using MTRCG assistance, Begley said he felt the county should negotiate for paying a lower sum than what that group is offering.
The other commissioners asked Begley to follow up on that and report back.
In her report, Teya Stice, county land improvement coordinator, said she had received positive comments from those she had contacted about Renodry, the company the county is considering to use to dry out the courthouses.
Begley suggested that based on what a couple of the other places had paid, the county should consider negotiating the costs before approving a contract.
Stice also reported it will be about four weeks before the new carpeting will be available for the Palmyra Courthouse.
In the meantime, she has visited with Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd concerning the law books noting she wants to keep those that are Missouri based.
The bookcases that are not going to be used will be put into storage.
Begley also noted there are some cane bottom chairs in the courtroom which need to be repaired and asked Stice to look into that.
County Clerk Valerie Dornberger provided the current sales tax for General Revenue with the March amount of $179,025.06 being less than last year’s amount of $219,379.30 for March.
However, she added, the total remains higher than at this time a year ago.
Local Use tax was up from a year ago at $83,786.07, making the year to date total about $10,000 more than in 2021.
The county also heard an update from Craig Parson, health department administrator, who said he is currently looking for a location in Palmyra to hold WIC clinics once or possibly twice a month.
Stice also noted she is still looking for a representative from Miller Township to serve on the county’s planning and zoning board.