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by Patty Cheffey
The Marion County Commission stressed again they did not want the funds they promised Douglass Community Services to be the first go-to funds in the project for that agency’s new building.
The commissioners met with representatives from Douglass on the project during Monday’s meeting, at which they also set the tax rate for the county (see related article), selected an engineering firm for a bridge project and heard various updates.
Stating the county’s contributed funds were to be a “buffer as needed,” the commissioners said they were not participants in a meeting last week during which it was determined the county’s funds would be used first to pay bills.
Both Stephanie Cooper with Douglass Community Services, and Mark Bross with Klingner and Associates stated they were not in a position to respond to that, but noted they will open up the line of communication again concerning funding for the project.
However, both noted Douglass has recently upped the amount they are adding to the funding and that all money will be needed for the project, no matter who pays what bill first.
Stating they worked with Bleigh to lower the total amount of the project to fit the approved budget, Cooper said Douglass has recently kicked off its capital campaign.
Work has begun with the removal of asbestos from the old building before it can be demolished. The steel engineered building is expected to arrive in November and with working inside through the winter months, work will hopefully be completed by late fall next year.
In other business, the commissioners approved hiring Great River Engineering to do the engineer work on the Whitaker bridge project, one of the new BRO program bridges approved by the state.
The commissioners briefly discussed the needs for the bridge, including width to accommodate farm equipment with Jeff Banderet with Great River Engineering, who said he would work closely with MoDOT on the project.
In her report, Teya Stice, county coordinator, said around 10,000 bees and 160 pounds of honey were removed from the north side of the courthouse last week after the painters discovered them behind some fascia.
Skylar Anderson with Buzzed Aster Apiary, and Kirt Linderman with Patriot Painting, removed the bees, then Linderman replaced the fascia, sealed it and painted it, Stice said.
Stice also reported:
• the fire inspection in Hannibal had gone well and four extinguishers were ordered for various offices;
• the south side of the tile work in the Palmyra Courthouse has been completed with the reminder to hopefully be done Oct. 9. Commissioners said they would consider tile in the elevator, but questioned if it would be too thick for that floor;
• Patriot Painting will paint the embellishments on the clock tower in gold at no additional charge. Commissioners approved that change;
• the jail roof should be completed this week; and
• the Hannibal heating system needs replaced, which the commissioners tabled.
Stice also request the county hire a janitor quickly, and received approval to advertise the position again.
In addition, the commissioners approved a resolution of support for the St. Elizabeth Hospital project, which calls for removal of part of the building with the remainder converted into 60 senior housing units and the building of six NECAC single-family homes.
They also approved the statement from the county collector for the recent tax lien sale.