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County approves preliminary budget

The County Commission approved a preliminary budget for the County on Dec. 27, after receiving a budget presentation from Auditor Pete Frazier on Dec. 17.

The preliminary budget allows the County to move forward at the beginning of the year, before a final budget with the exact income and revenue from 2018 can be approved. Frazier said the final budget will be presented during the first few weeks of January.

The preliminary budget includes $12.5 million in spending for the County’s general fund, with $1.1 million budgeted for assessment expenditures and $3.7 million budgeted for roads and bridges.

In other action:

• The Commissioners approved an agreement with Capital Sand Proppants to add a flashing light at the intersection of Highway 347 and Missouri Route 34. The light would be activated when a truck is at the stop sign on 347, alerting drivers on MO-34 that a truck is entering.

 “This is all at the expense of Capital Sand as part of their safety program,” Commissioner Paul Koeper said. Koeper added that Capital Sand has already agreed to pay for any maintenance on the light, making the addition a pass-through expense for the County.

• The County renewed its contract with the Cape County Private Ambulance Service, Inc. CCPA has provided emergency ambulance service to the county since 1968, and also provides non-emergency medical transportation and medical standby at events.

For 2018, the contract amount was $100,000 for ambulance service. The Commissioners said the contract amount had not changed for 2019.

The only change to this year’s contract was it removed the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport from the covered area. The airport, which is in Cape Girardeau’s city limits but not in the county limits, was removed due to it not being in the county’s jurisdiction.

The ambulance service would still go to the airport in the event of a mutual aid call or a separate contract with the City of Cape Girardeau or Scott County.

• Some footings for the Cape Girardeau County Justice Center, which is currently under construction next to the Sheriff’s office in Jackson, have needed to be deeper than expected, according to Commissioner Charlie Herbst.

“When they start drilling piers and setting those, they still don’t know what’s under the ground totally,” Herbst said. “So some of the holes they’re digging are a bit deeper than was anticipated and budgeted – which happens.”

Penzel Construction is keeping track of the cost overages due to the longer load-bearing piers.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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