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by Patty Cheffey
Marion County will no longer be handling child support cases following action by the Marion County Commission Monday morning.
Luke Bryant, Marion County prosecuting attorney, was present at Monday’s meeting to request he be allowed to end the contract with the state to handle child support cases.
The prosecuting attorney’s office has been utilizing a part-time person to handle the cases, and the state is saying that is no longer allowed, Bryant said.
However, he added, he wants to make the part-time clerk full time in his office and requested additional funds to pay her salary and benefits.
When asked, Bryant said those child support cases won’t get dropped as the state will work with another county to take those on.
The commissioners approved getting out of the contract with the state, which Bryant noted will lighten his case loads by about 150 cases and give him more time to concentrate on the homicide charges in the county.
However, the commissioners tabled his request for additional funds, which will probably come out of ARPA funds, until Bryant can submit an actual amount needed to cover salary and benefits.
In other business, the commissioners approved the low bid for painting the exterior of both county courthouses.
The winning bids from Patriot Painting and Project Services from Center, Mo., were $47,752 for the Palmyra Courthouse and $15,400 for the Hannibal Courthouse.
Also bidding was CCI from St. Louis, which submitted bids of $299,500 for the Palmyra Courthouse and $173,400 for the Hannibal Courthouse.
The commissioners also signed new engineering contracts for two bridges after changes were needed to the current contracts.
According to Teya Stice, county coordinator, MoDOT audited all engineering firms and rates have gone up.
Since the current contracts have to include the new rates, Stice said MECO Engineering rearranged charges on the contract so even by incorporating the new rates, the overall cost stays the same.
In addition, the county signed the paperwork to release the excess funds from a tax lien sale, in the amount of $12,850, back to an estate.
Commissioners also reviewed sales tax, which is down for the months, but up overall for the year.
February sales tax came in at $231,392.52 for a year to date total of $456,832.44. Last year’s sales tax was $246,871.38, with a year to date total of $424,211.35.
County Clerk Marla Meyers noted however, that local use tax was up at $137,002.02 for February.
The county also:
• signed a letter of support for Maple Lawn Nursing Homes tax initiative;
• discussed roadwork with Mike Schaefer, county highway supervisor;
• approved new rezoning guidelines which will be handed out to those asking for land to be rezoned to be better prepared before coming to a meeting;
• heard a request the county take measurings at railroad crossings to make sure they are safe; and
• learned new tiles had been selected for the Palmyra Courthouse repair.