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County moves forward in digitizing marriage licenses and south park’s lighted walkway


Cape
Girardeau County has moved forward in its marriage license digitization project
and South County Park lake improvements.


The
County Commissioners approved a request to advertise for bids for the
digitization of county marriage records dating back to 1806 during their
regular meeting on Thursday, Aug. 1. Recorder of Deeds Drew Blattner had
received permission from the Commission to apply for a state grant for the
project in February.


Blattner
said the county has received the grant, which will cover half of the estimated
cost for the project. “The State of Missouri will reimburse the County $15,545,
so the estimated cost will be a little over $31,000 to do this,” he said.


Eleven
marriage index books, covering 1806 to 1991, will be digitized through this
project, along with 37 marriage books. Blattner explained that in 1968, the
County started using copies of the marriage licenses in the books, so they will
not be digitizing books after 1968.


Instead,
they will digitize loose-leaf marriage licenses from that time on. “It’s the
same image, but the ones that they put in the book were copies of copies and
they look very bad,” Blattner said.


Whoever
wins the bid will have to come to the County building to digitize the books.
Blattner said they will come sometime this year and the project as a whole will
be completed by the end of April.

The
County Commission also approved to go out for bids for street lighting for the
South County Park walkway. The street lighting is part of the improvements to
the park after it was drained in July 2018.


Park
Superintendent Bryan Sander told The Cash-Book Journal last month that
the lighted walkway would cover half of the lake’s 3,000-square-foot edge. He
added that the County was planning on applying for a grant next February to
have the walkway cover the other half of the lake.

Sander
said the largest portion of the improvements around the lake will be completed
this year, with the Missouri Department of Conservation planning on restocking
the lake this fall.

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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