Ralls County Assessor-elect Josh Ketsenburg made a request of the Ralls County commission during its April 13 meeting. Ketsenburg requested that a short connecting passage leading from the Assessor's office to a small storage room containing files be made wider to become more wheelchair accessible. Ketsenburg, who uses a wheelchair, said that the narrowness of the short hallway makes it difficult for him to travel back and forth from his office to the cabinets in which much of his work and vital information are kept. All three commissioners and County Clerk Sandy Lanier inspected the hallway and the room to which it connects.
According to Assessor Thomas Ruhl, the difficulty of widening the hallway comes from the nature of the storage room itself. The room in which many of the Assessor's files are now kept, according to Ruhl, saw its original use as the holding cell for Ralls County criminals awaiting their court date. Ruhl said this could mean thick walls and possible support and load-bearing issues should the project of widening the hall be taken on. Commissioners inspected the hallway and the file room and agreed they would need to gather more information before pursuing the project.
Ketsenburg was elected in November 2016, but won't be officially sworn in until Sept. 1.
Other items discussed:
• North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) county service coordinator LeAndra Bridgeman told the commission that Ralls County NECAC could possibly see federal funding cuts.
• The commission discussed the scheduling of New London Park Days related to parking availability at the courthouse.
• It was brought to the attention of the commission that residents living near several county-owned plots of land near Continental Cement on the banks of the Mississippi River have been complaining about the maintenance of the land. The county-owned land, as well as privately owned plots in the area, sit near a flood plain of the Mississippi.
• The commission was able to more accurately specify the location of the now-closed road between the townships of Center and Jasper. The unnamed road sits northeast of Madisonville and north of Hippo Branch and runs southwest off of Route P. The road was closed as a result of a vote during the April 6 county commission meeting because the road was deemed useless and to burdensome to maintain.