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by Patty Cheffey
In an effort to make it more difficult to hack into the county’s email accounts, the Marion County Commission approved having more cyber security measures installed.
Devon McClain was present at Monday’s meeting to discuss two measures which could be taken by the county to improve security and assist with insurance premiums.
Also Monday, the commissioners approved allowing a film crew to film around and in the Marion County courthouses, heard an update from Douglass Community Services on their new facility and approved two requests from Luke Bryant, Marion County prosecuting attorney.
The first measure approved by the commissioners will not cost the county anything except time and that is making sure everyone has a multi-factor authentication on their devices.
McClain noted most people will already be familiar with this process, and it will be easy to assist those who don’t.
Secondly, McClain will build a security fence to allow conditional access to the county’s system, outlining which counties can or cannot have access.
“We can block hacking attempts from any country,” he explained.
While the cloud system has that ability, adding it to each county’s email account could cost anywhere from $5 to $10 per address per month, meaning the cost could be upwards of $6,000 a year.
The commissioners said they felt the cost was worth it, noting they might be able to get some of that back in savings on insurance premiums.
McClain also noted the Department of Homeland Security and Missouri Homeland Security will be offering another round of grants which could help cover that cost. That grant would include a 10 percent match from the county.
The county approved having McClain install the cyber security cloud conditional access system.
In other business, the commissioners met with Brian White, a Palmyra native, who is now a film maker, who requested access to the courthouses to do some filming.
White explained he has written a script about technology and how it affects people in the Midwest and plans to film the show over the course of a year in Marion County and surrounding areas.
Commissioners approved allowing White access and even gave him a couple of ideas of possible filming areas.
The commissioners also heard an update from Mark Bross with Klingner and Associates and from Stephanie Cooper, administrator, on the new Douglass Community Services building.
The project is currently out for bids, Bross said, with the bid opening slated for April 20.
The former building will be completely demolished with the new building erected on that site. In the meantime, Douglass has moved its services to a couple of locations on Broadway in Hannibal.
Commissioners also approved the multi-county cooperative agreement for child support from Audrain County, which is managing that now, according to Bryant, who presented the paperwork to the commissioners to sign.
That agreement is with Audrain, Ralls, Monroe, Pike, Shelby Ralls and Marion counties.
Bryant also request and received approval from the commissioners the salary and benefits, totally around $56,000 for an employee in his office.
County Clerk Marla Meyers presented information on sales tax and fund balances.
County sales tax came in at $225,743.90 for April, up from the $212,482.93 in April 2022.
Local use was also up for the year at $248,065.76, compared to $209,009.56 in 2022.
Fund balances are all healthy, Meyers said, but noted the General Revenue Fund is slightly lower at $2,684,714.01 in March, compared to $2,881,488.16 in March 2022.
County Highway Supervisor Mike Schaefer reported striping on Veterans Road should begin this week.
He also suggested the commissioners look at reseeding the ground around the new storage facility.