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by Patty Cheffey
The Marion County Commission opened the lone bid for financing of equipment for the highway department, then tabled it because at this point, it’s not for certain what equipment would be available for purchase.
The bid was opened during Monday’s commission meeting, at which they also discussed funding for lighting Veterans Road and for emergency radios, approved an emergency injunction and discussed ARPA funds.
The lone bid from Commerce Bank was for $510,000 to purchase several pieces of equipment for the county Highway Department, at varying interest rates, depending on the length of the loan.
Rates ranged from 2.98 percent for three years, 3.18 percent for five years and 3.34 percent for six years. All are fixed rates.
However, Mike Schaefer, county highway supervisor, reported at this time, he thought he could only get the dump truck and a mower, with the rest of the equipment being unavailable.
While the bank loan would be put in escrow for a year when it’s possible the rest of the equipment might be available, the county would be paying interest on it during that time.
In addition, County Clerk Valerie Dornberger said it might be possible to pay for the two pieces of equipment using county funds, rather than have to get a loan.
The commissioners voted to table the bid until costs could be determined for just the equipment available at this time.
In other business, Steve Begley, Western District commissioner, reported he had looked into the matter and said lighting on Veterans Road should fall under the TAP funding program.
Schaefer said he had visited with Hannibal about the issue, and it’s possible it might be a joint effort to light the road.
Begley also reported he had looked into funding for the emergency radios, and that the State Homeland Security program might fund those.
Teya Stice, county improvement coordinator, will look further into that.
The commissioners approved an emergency injunction, upon the request of Luke Bryant, county prosecuting attorney, against Murphy’s RV park on the river.
According to Bryant, while Murphy can sell or rent the three pieces of property he owns, he cannot do so with the nonconforming lots. Bryant said Murphy is continuing to rent and sell camping spaces.
The commissioners also approved a bid of $2,355 for work to be done on the ceiling in the jury room of the Palmyra Courthouse.
Also in her report, Stice said she had received information from the Fabius Drainage District concerning a project which might qualify for ARPA funds. However, no application has been filed yet.
She also updated the commissioners on work done on the County Road 402 bridge, noting it is hoped the deck can be poured early next week.
Dornberger reported she had checked with Ivan Schroeder concerning 911’s request to have their portion of the local use tax go directly to them rather than through the county.
However, since the county would lose control of that money by doing that, commissioners elected to keep things the way they are.
The commissioners also:
• discussed dust control, which should begin next week; and
• learned a swarm of bees had been in the Palmyra Courthouse last week, and that there is some kind of an opening through which the bees entered which will need repaired. Stice also reported a bird and some type of “large varmint,” possibly a squirrel were seen in another part of the courthouse.