The Dent County Commission met Monday in the commission chambers at the courthouse to discuss county business. County Clerk Angie Curley reported, “The treasurer and I have balanced on all accounts for the month of December,” Curley said. “As well as for the whole year (2020).” Curley went on to say that the results of the balanced accounts will be published in The Salem News around the beginning of February.
Curley also wanted to remind all entities that 5 p.m. Jan. 26 is the deadline for final certification for the April 6, 2021 election. Notices of election or non-election are required by that date to be included in the sample ballot. March 10 is the deadline for people to register to vote. Curley also stated that she continues to work on the county budget for 2021. The budget was discussed at the Jan. 7 commission session that met for the express purpose of working on the 2021 county budget. The clerk and all three commissioners were present. According to Curley, a tentative budget is scheduled to be available to the public beginning the afternoon of Jan. 15, after a commission budget meeting 2 p.m. Jan. 14. This budget will remain available until after the approval of the official budget at the budget hearing Jan. 25, at which time the commission will be able to begin paying county bills. Assessor Jamie Homeyer, Sheriff Bob Wells and Collector Shannon Vankirk each came to discuss 2021 budget requests. Also, Jennifer Wilson with N-Form Architecture brought in a proposal for courthouse repairs.
Also discussed at Monday’s meeting:
• Dent County Treasurer Denita Williams reported sales tax that was received for the month. The county received for: general revenue $56,176.51, down year-to-date by 33.19%; Jail $48,531.41 in each fund; and for Road and Brdige $24,265.26, down year-to-date 38.37%. Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles stated that despite the lower monthly income he believes the county is not in financial trouble. “We’re fortunate enough to be in a strong enough financial position that if income turns into a train wreck, we’ll still be able to meet operating expenses,” said Skiles. County Clerk Angie Curley said, “All office holders have been conservative and responsible with their budgets,” a fact that she was pleased to point out.
• District One Commissioner Wes Mobray reported that brush will be cut on county road 5630 and maintenance is being done to dump truck number 125. Mobray pointed out that there are more roads that need to be graded. “But it’s been hard to grade roads because everything has been frozen,” said Mobray. He also said that he was set to attend the Bunker Board of Aldermen meeting Monday night. “I’ll get to see what the people of Bunker are up to,” Mobray said.
• District Two Commissioner Gary Larson reported that work is being done along 4380, 2250 and 3180. Larson said, “And I’ve got two guys stockpiling white rock at the shop in preparation for future work.” Larson also stated that he will begin attending Tourism Board meetings on the third Monday of every month.
• Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles reported that he will be attending the MRPC external resources meeting this Wednesday and the MRPC board meeting Thursday night. Also, the courthouse will be closed Jan. 18 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. No County Commission meeting will be held on that day.
In other business:
• Skiles brought up a long, narrow strip of land that was at one time a railroad easement that Dent County owns that runs from Salem, through Dent and Crawford Counties to Steelville. The county acquired the land when the railroad left decades ago. The Commission signed a quitclaim deed request for railway property in Crawford County, between the County of Dent and Jeffery Perkins and Jacklyn Blanford. The Prosecutor has looked it over and it's ready to be signed and recorded. Skiles said, “By statute, Dent County has no business owning property in other counties.”
• Additionally, Skiles also pointed out that an inaccuracy was published in a Jan. 5 story. The Salem News incorrectly stated that state and federal funds were used to build the new Dent County Jail. The jail’s construction came from utilizing revenue collected by government entities in Dent County.