Dent County voters will be able to vote by mail-in ballot in the next two elections, county clerk Angie Curley told commissioners Monday. The ballots must be notarized.

Reporting on a Missouri Urban Board conference she attended last week, Curley provided an update on Senate Bill 631, which took effect upon being signed by the governor in May. The changes are only for 2020 elections in August and November.

The bill established a seventh valid excuse for voting absentee: infection with COVID-19. Election authorities are pushing for no-excuse absentee voting, but nothing was passed in the 2020 legislative session, she said.

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“Our association is still working with the legislators on hopefully trying to get that going down the road,” Curley said.

To vote by mail, voters must apply to the county clerk by July 22 for the August primary and by Oct. 21 for the November general election. The ballots must be received by 7 p.m. election night. The ballots must be notarized and notaries are allowed to charge for the service, Curley said.

July 8 is the deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 4 primary. Voters must choose a party ballot or can vote non-partisan only on the Medicaid expansion issue.

Treasurer Denita Williams reported that the county received a June CART payment of $40,323, or $16,785 less than in June 2019. CART revenues are down $23,262 year to date, or 6.98 percent.

She also reported on payments to the Salem nutrition site of $20,750, which includes $14,000 for meals and $6,750 for SMTS.

Payments to schools from the schools’ fund, which derives revenues from fines and forfeitures, totaled $89,339. Monies are held for one year before being distributed, she said. The largest amounts went to Salem R-80, $41,625; Dent Phelps R-III, $14,562, Green Forest R-II, $11,398; and North Wood R-IV, $10, 988.

“It is down from last year a lot,” she said. “Now the balance has gone to zero and will start over again.”

In other business, bids were opened on a 2008 Crown Victoria sheriff's car. The high bid was $877.50 from Schwartz Sales LLC.

Sheriff Bob Wells requested the purchase of two new patrol vehicles on state bid from Don Brown Chevrolet per this year’s budget. Commissioners approved requesting seeking financing bids that will be due at 10 a.m. June 29.

The commission reviewed and approved four COVID-19 reimbursement requests: three from Green Forest R-II and one from Northwood R-IV School.

Commissioners opened bid on 7,000 gallons of diesel fuel for road and bridge. The winning bid was $1.39 a gallon from Phil Mart.

Under commission reports, first district commissioner Dennis Purcell said grading, adding material and installing two crossover pipes was planned Monday on county road 5390, grading only on 5015 and 5070 and brush cutting on 6350, 5015 and 5070.

Purcell said he also attended last Monday’s Dent County Tourism Commission meeting. Nine reimbursements and two new event proposals were submitted and approved.

He also attended a meeting of the South Central Missouri Community Action on Tuesday. SCMCAA is eligible for a $843,000 in CARES Act block grant funding through the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency plans to help clients with rent, mortgage payments, utilities, tuition assistance and health expenses if its proposal is approved by the state, he said. Clients must meet income guidelines.

Second district commissioner Gary Larson said he had three men out sick Monday, with grading on county road 2210 the only work scheduled. Two others went to Springfield to pick up a Mack truck that was in for repairs.

Presiding commissioner Darrell Skiles reported on a conference call he participated in on CARES Act reimbursement and announced an MPRC meeting is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Rolla courthouse with MAC attorney Travis Elliott on CARES Act funding. MRPC is handling administration of the funding for six counties.