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by Patty Cheffey
With a unanimous vote, the Marion County Commission approved a rezoning request from Urban and Lindsay Wiskirchen.
The approval came during Monday’s commission meeting, at which the commissioners also reviewed sales tax, approved a bid for work on the Palmyra Courthouse boiler system, heard an update on the jail roof and plat books and approved a change to the employee handbook.
Susan Gard, a member of the Marion County Planning and Zoning Commission stated it took several visits for the Wiskerchen’s to address concerns about their request to rezone 38 +/- acres from agriculture to rural residential, including working with MoDOT, DNR and the health department.
“DNR is expected to rule on the pond this week,” said Gard, addressing one of the concerns of nearby neighbors, indicating there are still a couple of neighbors who are not happy with the approval. “But I think the things they are worried about will probably never happen.”
Western District Commissioner Steve Begley said he personally had visited the site and as far as he was concerned what the Wiskirchen’s have designed follow all the regulations from planning and zoning.
“I can see no reason not to approve it,” he said, adding he felt the concerns of the neighbors were not issues based on planning and zoning regulations. (See related article for full story)
In other business, the commissioners reviewed the monthly sales tax, noting that numbers remain higher than they did a year ago.
March 2023 shows $649,260.01 year to date compared to $603,236.41 a year ago.
Local use tax was down in March at $81,165.58, compared to 2022’s number of $83,786.07. But the year to date figure remains higher than 2022’s at this time.
Year to date is $193,704.74, compared to $149,335.95 a year ago.
The commissioners approved a bid of $9,560 for work on the Palmyra Courthouse boiler system, including draining the system, replacing two valves and doing some re-piping. Peter’s Heating and Cooling has the bid.
In her report, Teya Stice, improvement coordinator, reported she had visited with Rob Turnear about the jail roof, and the start date on that will be getting pushed back to this summer.
“He said they had jobs waiting that came first, and he won’t get to the jail roof until July or August,” said Stice. “However, he said if we have any leaks in the meantime, he will repair them for free.”
Because they did not get a firm date originally during the bid process, Begley said that is something that needs to be considered for future bids.
“We need to start nailing down a start time,” he said.
The commissioners asked Stice to contact the sheriff to make sure there would be no issues in changing the start date to summer.
Stice also reported the plat books have been received, but questioned if as many free ones needed to be distributed.
Last time 148 books were given out to elected officials, county highway and emergency responders of the 300 books ordered.
The commissioners suggested she cut back on the number given away.
The county also:
• approved an amendment to the employee handbook to note the addition of time sheets as well as time cards; and
• learned MoDOT had finished the bridge inspections, and that a report will be forthcoming. Mike Schaefer, county highway supervisor, said he did not think there would be any big issues in that report.