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by Patty Cheffey
Once they jump through all the hoops required, Marion County could soon be a Purple Heart County.
The Marion County Commission approved setting a date of Jan. 8 at 10:30 a.m. to take care of the formal action required to give the county that designation during their meeting Monday, at which they also heard bridge updates and approved one bid.
Teya Stice, county improvement coordinator, has been pursuing the designation, and presented the commissioners with a sample resolution which will be approved and signed at the Jan. 8 meeting.
Prior to that, Presiding Commissioner David Lomax will contact all county American Legion and VFW posts to ask any and all veterans to be present for the event.
A Purple Heart designation affirms that county government recognizes those who gave their lives or were wounded in combat defending American freedom in the armed forces.
On that date, the commissioners will receive a plaque designating the county as a Purple Heart County from the National Purple Heart Trail and the county will be placed on the national website.
It will also be the county’s responsibility to maintain their own designation road signs and to ask MoDOT to place signs on state highways in the county.
In other business, Jim Bensman with MECO Engineering was present to review the two bridges, one on County Road 230 and the other on County Road 281.
The bridge on County Road 230 is expected to be an 82 feet, single-span bridge with about a 20 degree skew, he said, while the bridge on County Road 281 will be a longer bridge at 87 feet with about a 25 degree skew.
Commissioner Steve Begley questioned why the bridge on County Road 281 had to be built so high if the land around the bridge is going to flood from backwater from the Fabius River anyway.
According to both Bensman and Stice, the bridges have to be built to FEMA and MoDOT standards, and Bensman added they are looking at the lowest standards, provided they can get a variance approved from MoDOT for that low of a bridge.
He added he is hoping to go out to bid on both bridges by this spring, once right-of-way is acquired and all plans approved.
The commissioners approved the lone bid from DSI Recycling Systems from Sullivan, Ill,, for a waste oil furnace at a cost of $18,149, including chimney.
That cost, however, does not cover the removal of the old furnace, electrical work for the new furnace and the fabrication of a stand on which to place the new furnace.
Mike Schaefer, county highway supervisor, said his crews will be able to take care of those items.
In her report, Stice said the county is ready to seek bids for professional engineering services for the lighting on Veterans Road, and the commissioners gave her permission to do so.
She also reported the commissioners, Schaefer, city mayors, clerks and flood plain managers as well as other individuals will be invited to a WSP mapping review meeting for the State of Missouri in the commission room on Jan. 17.
In addition Stice:
• will contact Hannibal to inform them they can get the transfer of trustee-ship on county trustee-held properties for $1 per property, but they will have to pay the recording fee as those cannot be waived;
• reported Travelers had come back with another amount for the damage to the Hannibal Courthouse roof, but it was still below what the county’s deductible is;
• had commissioners sign a sworn statement of proof of loss for the Hannibal Courthouse roof to be sent to Premier Claims; and
• reported her office is updating the emergency plans for both the Palmyra and Hannibal courthouses, which she will present to the commissioners for their approval before distributing to employees.