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by Patty Cheffey
Hoping to still work out a compromise between neighbors, the Marion County Commission again asked Matt Courtney to put together a comprehensive plan and present it to the county planning and zoning commission on his proposed paintball facility.
Courtney and his wife, along with is attorney James Lemons, were present at Monday’s meeting to find out exactly what the neighbors would be satisfied with in order to get the facility approved.
Also Monday, commissioners met with Marty Meyers concerning the jail electrical mechanisms, discussed possible bridge funds and learned of upcoming planning and zoning meetings.
“I guess what I am here for is to get clarification on what the county commissioners are thinking on the project,” said Lemons, noting the buffer zones which were discussed at the last meeting attended by Courtney and his neighbors.
Presiding Commissioner David Lomax replied the county had asked Courtney to get with his neighbors and decide what is acceptable for both sides, then go back to planning and zoning with those plans.
“So if the neighbors aren’t interested in buffer zones, does that end it,” Lemons asked. “I don’t want to waste my time if that is the case.”
“That is why we asked him to go back to planning and zoning to work out the details,” Eastern District Commissioner Larry Welch said.
Lemons also noted that while the county has an obligation to represent everyone in the county, they also have a duty to allow the best value and most appropriate use of land.
Prosecuting Attorney Luke Bryant, who was present at the meeting, asked several questions, including about specifics on the types of paintball guns which could be used, and Courtney said he would get that information to him.
Courtney also claimed his neighbors now avoid him and that he could show documentation where he tried to contact them to work out details, but they were either not taking his calls or not getting his messages.
With that in mind, Bryant and Lemons both said they would be willing to have the neighbors contact them with their complaints and suggestions so some type of plan could be worked out.
If Courtney moves forward with providing a detailed plan to planning and zoning, Teya Stice, county land improvement coordinator, said he would need to pay for the certified mail to be sent to notify the neighbors and discussed having Courtney pay the $25 per member, per meeting cost of the planning and zoning commissioners. He would not, however, have to run the notice again in the local newspaper.
Lemons added he had talked to some of the neighbors who are not opposed to a conditional use permit, which would limit Courtney to his specific plan.
“We just need to come up with a plan that balances your rights and the rights of your neighbors,” he told Courtney.
In other business, the commissioners met with Marty Meyers who presented them with details on a study done on the mechanical system at the jail.
Basically, he said, the county has two options, either replace the entire systems or use them until they fail.
Cost to replace the systems would be around $2,389,470, which the cost to use the system until it fails would be $3,024,026.
And while the county could do a piecemeal replacement program, the problem would be not getting caught where they could no longer get parts and/or supplies.
“For example, environmentally, they keep changing refrigerants,” he said. “Right now they have plenty in stock on what you use, but they are not making that one anymore. When it’s gone, it’s gone and you could be stuck trying to get a replacement for that system at the last minute.”
None of the figures provided in the report included roofing costs. However, Meyers said the mechanics need to be figured out before a new roof can be put on.
While the commissioners made no decision on this matter, they did approve having Meyers get back with them on the cost to do a thermal scan of the roof to see where there might be areas that won’t need to have insulation replaced.
County Highway Supervisor Mike Schaefer reported he had been contacted from someone who said the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council is working on a project to help replace two bridges in rural Missouri.
“The bridge would have to be on a road on which soybeans are hauled, and in Marion County, that’s about all of them,” he said.
The program could provide $12,500 towards a new bridge.
The commissioners asked Schaefer to look further into it.
Stice reported planning and zoning will be meeting April 14 and 28 to consider a rezoning request from Blessing Hospital Foundation.
In other business, the commissioners met with Renodry and informed them at the cost they were quoting for the two courthouses, they would have to put the project out for bid.
Renodry, the company which removes moisture and salt from building foundations, said they could provide the county with the necessary specs to run that bid.
The commissioners also met with Chariton Valley which provided another update on fiber optic work being done in the county.