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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • County’s Prop R receives support

  • Proposition R, the Marion County ballot issue, has received an endorsement. It came from the Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council during its meeting last week in Hannibal.
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  • Proposition R, the Marion County ballot issue, has received an endorsement. It came from the Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council during its meeting last week in Hannibal.
    Lyndon Bode, presiding commissioner in Marion County, was on hand to answer questions about the proposal that, if passed, would generate revenue for the upkeep of county roads.
    “We’re very pleased,” said Bode of the endorsement. “We’ve been out talking to a number of groups throughout the community and holding public hearings trying to inform the public what’s going on and what Proposition R is all about, and it is about better roads for Marion County.
    “They (Economic Development Council members) see the need and how it can help in the future with economic development in the county. To modernize the county (roadways) makes it a better place to live and work.”
    Bode explained to Council members the trouble the county had a few years ago renewing its state permit to gather river gravel for road use. According to Bode, Marion County has 390 miles of gravel roads.
    If the ballot issue is approved on Tuesday, April 8, the county would begin transitioning from river rock gravel to white rock gravel.
    Gravel roads are not the county’s only need. Bode noted the county also has 70 miles of blacktop roads.
    “We need more funding to keep the blacktop surfaces up,” he said, adding that the county is currently financially challenged when it comes to resurfacing its roads.
    Bode added the county currently has no revenue available to partner on projects such as Shinn Lane.
    “There’s just nothing there,” he said.
    If approved, sales tax would increase by one fourth of 1 percent. Or put another way, for every $4 of taxable purchases, one cent more would be paid for county road improvements.
    In January, Bode estimated the tax would generate "roughly $900,000 a year." Currently the county budget designates $200,000 on "road rock."
    Bode stressed before the Economic Development Council that the measure has been written in such a way that none of the revenue would end up in the county’s General Revenue Fund.
    It has been suggested the county wait to seek voter’s approval until 2017 when it’s expected that the local share of the U.S. 36 expansion project will be paid off. Currently a half-cent sales tax is being collected in Marion County, among other local counties, to help pay that debt off.
    “We just can’t wait that long,” said Bode.

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