Representatives from Septagon, Shive-Hattery, L.J. Hart and Co., county and city officials, jail committee members, and citizens of the community were on hand Thursday to break ground for the new jail, expected in about 14 months.

Following the Thursday commission meeting a ground-breaking ceremony was held on the project lot at the corner of Iron and Water Streets for the County Jail Project. Project managers from Septagon, the architect firm Shive-Hattery that designed the jail and the commission were present for the event. The construction team hired for the project, Prost Builders of Jefferson City, estimated a 14-month construction period, slating the completed jail for Dec. 2019. From January, the jail tax for the county has raised nearly $1.5 million for the project in 2018.

“We had a great ground-breaking and a good crowd,” said Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles. “We appreciate everyone who showed up. It was just a good event and we appreciate members of the previous jail committee being there. The construction team was wanting to get going with this, they were just chomping at the bit and as I understand we are going to see ground moving today.”

Skiles also stated that in the beginning of next year parking will become sparse in the area of the jail project due to the use of the parking lot on Iron Street by the construction team. Skiles reminded those in attendance of the Bank of Salem parking lot, the lot behind the City Administration building and the lot on the east side of the annex. Skiles stated that the crews would hold up on closing the parking lot as long as possible.

At the Monday commission meeting First District Commission Dennis Purcell reported that his district received around one inch of rain and that crews would be working on cleaning out culverts following the weather. Grading and the hauling of material would take place on county road 6130 and brush cutting would also take place on 5130. Purcell also reported that he would attend a Tourism Board meeting Monday and a South-Central Community Action Agency meeting Tuesday.

Second District Commission Gary Larson reported that crews would be cutting brush on 3290 and stockpiling white rock from the quarry. Two of the graders would also have large maintenance work performed on them while rain is forecasted in the area.

Skiles reported that during the Transportation Advisory Committee the main topic of discussion was proposition D on the upcoming Nov. 6 ballot. It is estimated to generate $288 million for the state and $432,000 in revenue for Dent County alone. Skiles also reported that the annual dinner for MRPC is to be held Oct. 25 in Hermann with an RSVP deadline already passed.

County Clerk Angie Curley reported that the road and bridge budget would need to be amended reflecting new incoming revenues. A public hearing for this amendment process was scheduled for Oct. 29 and a tentative budget will be available Tuesday. Curley also spoke about a mailed announcement from the republican party that she received reminding her to absentee vote. Curley showed that the announcement had the wrong final dates for absentee voting stated. The last day to absentee vote is Nov. 3.

Also at the Thursday meeting:

• Treasurer Denita Williams reported on sales tax for the month with general revenue receiving $58,134.52, up year-to-date 18.4 percent, $52,523.01 for both jail accounts and $26,321.50 for road a bridge, up year-to-date 16.07 percent.

• Purcell reported that crews would be out patch grading on county roads 5520, 5530, 5550, grading and hauling material to 5140 and 5220, grading only on 6040 and 6460, brush cutting on 5070 and 5075 and hauling material only to 4160.

• Larson reported that crews would be patch grading on county roads 2120, 2300, 3300, 2160 and 2590, grading on 2040, 4400 and 2313, hauling material to 2040 and 2300 and brush cutting on 2315 and 3260. County Road 5260 also reopened that day after work was done on a low-water crossing.

• Skiles reported that lease certificates of participation are available for the new jail and those who would like to participate can call L.J. Hart and Co. He also reported he would attend a Transportation Advisory Committee meeting and Meramec Regional Planning Commission board meeting that evening.

• Curley reported that absentee voting continues until Nov. 3. Voters can pick up a sample ballot and a fair language ballot from the County Clerk’s office. Bills were approved and Curley reported that she had balanced all accounts with the treasurer for Sept. and balanced with the collector and assessor on all monthly abatements, add-ons and collections for the month.

• The commission met with contractors at the Judicial Building for a pre-construction meeting regarding the new jail project. The commission also had a conference call with Larry Hart of L.J. Hart and Co. with Courtney Wegman of L.J. Hart present and Nick Smith with Septagon present. Smith also had contracts for the commission to sign that had been previously approved.