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by Patty Cheffey
Improvements could be coming to the Marion County Jail and Veterans Road could be seeing some lighting, if the county receives a couple of grants.
The Marion County Commission discussed two grants through the Mark Twain Regional Council of Governments during their meeting Monday morning, at which they also approved agreements with Northeast Power Cooperative for their grant application.
According to Western District Commissioner Steve Begley, funding has been appropriated from the American Rescue Plan which will include improvements to county jails.
While the county cannot go back and get funds for the jail roof, Sheriff Jimmy Shinn said he believes there are other projects for which the county can apply.
Since it is basically a construction grant program, Shinn said he has three projects which they intended to apply for a grant, including remodeling of the admin kitchen, remodeling of the dispatch center and creating two new holding cells.
The grant is a 50 percent match, Shinn said, and should the county get a grant and not have the matching funds, the sheriff can turn down the grant.
He also noted the county already meets several of the requirements of the grant application.
Begley also noted the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant application is open again and this time includes lighting projects.
The county had attempted to apply for a TAP grant earlier this year for lighting on Veterans Road only to learn lighting was not included in that grant. However, it is for this round.
If the county chooses to apply for it, applications must be turned in by Dec. 16.
In other business, the commissioners signed off on the agreements with Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative for road maintenance and cooperation.
Northeast Power is seeking a $10.5 million grant to harden (raise) the power lines through the Mark Twain bottoms area, and the county is acting as the pass-through agency.
The grant is a match with $7,875,000 federal funds and $2,625,000 Northeast Power funds. The county will have no funds invested in the grant.
The commissioners asked Teya Stice, county improvement coordinator, to inform Hannibal-LaGrange University that at this time there are no ARPA funds available.
HLGU had requested $150,000 for HVAC in the Partee Center.
They also approved the two-year contract with John Hark as the county’s emergency management director.