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It's all in the cards:

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Changes in Sikeston precincts reflected on newly mailed voter registration cards

BENTON - Many Sikeston voters in Scott County will cast ballots from a new precinct or at a new polling place in future elections.

"Several voting precincts have changed in the City of Sikeston," said County Clerk Rita Milam. She released information regarding the precinct changes during Tuesday's county commission meeting.

"When the City of Sikeston voters approved the adoption of wards, the boundary lines established for these wards did not follow all of the original precinct lines so changes had to be made in the voting precincts," Milam said.

"The changes were made to adapt to the new ward process," she continued. "They may not please everyone, but had to be done."

Milam said some precincts were combined so voters would not have to be sent across town to cast their ballots.

"It was a good time to change some of the precincts because of reasons beyond my control," she said. "For example, the Armory is remodeling and we were not going to be able to use that building until after the April election. The Northwest precinct was in the back of the Middle School and voters had to fight the parking and traffic issues."

Milam asked voters to look over the new voter cards recently mailed. The card will have the voting precinct listed.

Polling places and precincts are:

* In Ward 1, the Northwest Precinct polling place has been changed to the Trinity Gospel Church at 901 Davis Blvd.

The Trinity Gospel Church is also the polling place for the unchanged Allen Precinct.

The Park Precinct is also unchanged, with the polling place remaining at the Lutheran Church at Park and Wakefield.

* In Ward 2, the Broadway Precinct was changed, with residents south of Ables Road now being in the Armory Precinct. Broadway Precinct voters cast ballots at the Illinois Avenue General Baptist Church at 219 Illinois Ave.

The Airport Precinct is unchanged with the polling place at the First Christian Church at 1006 N. Main Street.

* In Ward 3, Armory Precinct voters will cast ballots at the First Assembly of God Church at 306 S. Kingshighway. As noted above, residents formerly in the Broadway Precinct residing south of Ables will now be in the Armory Precinct.

The Delmar polling place remains at the First Assembly of God Church. Milam noted that residents living on the east side of School Street are in this precinct, while those on the west side of School Street are in the Clayton Precinct.

* In Ward 4, the Sunset Precinct remains the same with the polling place at Smith Chapel United Church, 201 Young St. Residents north of the railroad tracks on North Frisco, North Handy and the 100 and 200 blocks of Northwest Street who were formerly in the Northwest Precinct are now in this precinct.

The Clayton Precinct voters will now use the Prince of Peace Church at 924 Lora as their polling place. Residents east of the railroad track to the west side of School Street who were formerly in the Delmar Precinct are now in the Clayton Precinct.

Scott County residents with any questions regarding the new polling places and precincts or who did not receive a voter card are encouraged to call the county clerk's office at 471-9447 or 545-3549.

In New Madrid County, the Market Place is the polling place for both the Big Prairie 4 Ward 3 and Big Prairie 4 Ward 4 precincts.

Preparing the county's 2003 budget occupied most of Tuesday's regular Scott County Commission meeting. Officials have slated the public hearing and budget adoption for Jan. 30.

"Everything keeps costing more and there's less coming in," said Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel. "We were hoping this would all be past us by now."

The county received $115,568 in sale tax in January as compared with $121,922 in January 2002, according to Commissioner Jamie Burger.

Burger said the commission remains optimistic for an economic turnaround, but must be realistic as they prepare the budget.

Burger also reported the jail's architects performed their "punchlist" walk-through Tuesday. "They started at 8 a.m.," Burger said.