n 2007 general revenue fund property tax rate was set at 30.21 cents
SIKESTON -- Mississippi County property tax rates were dropped slightly due to mandated rollbacks.
County commissioners set rates for the three funds controlled by the county during their regular meeting Thursday.
The general revenue fund property tax rate for 2007 was set at 30.21 cents per $100 assessed valuation, down from 31.05 cents, as recommended by County Clerk Junior DeLay.
"Our assessed valuation has increased," DeLay explained. State formulas which use assessed valuation and sales tax revenue to determine maximum rates put the ceiling for this fund at 46.92 for 2007 with a mandated rollback of 16.71 cents due to sales tax revenue, according to DeLay.
The previous year, the ceiling was 47.07 cents with a mandated rollback of 16.02 cents.
The rate for the road and bridge fund was also set at its ceiling: 34.77 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The previous year's rate was 34.88.
The Johnson grass fund's rate was also dropped slightly, set at the ceiling of 4.96 cents with the previous ceiling and rate being 4.98 cents per $100 assessed valuation.
In other business Thursday:
* Commissioners have had enough of irrigation equipment spraying water on county roads.
"They're ruining blacktops," Commissioner Martin Lucas said.
"Where it hits blacktop it eats them up," Blumenberg agreed, "and our gravel roads are impassable."
Blumenberg said operators are able to shut off the end spraying nozzles and need to do so.
"It's too late to do anything this year," Blumenberg said. "Next year it needs to be enforced."
"It's a safety issue," Lucas said.
"It's damaging county property," Blumenberg said.
Lucas said farmers are just wasting their money on water that is wetting down roads instead of irrigating their fields.
"I've had so many phone calls about this," Blumenberg said. "It's got to be addressed."
* The Ditch 23 fund has just under $10,000 available each year after bond payments for previous work on the ditch are satisfied, according to DeLay.
Blumenberg suggested if the current project which is attempting to improve water flow and reduce the water level at County Road 320 is doing some good, commissioners should continue and dedicate some of the revenue to be received next year to pay for the work.
Commissioner Homer Oliver repeated his suggestion that some funds should be used to obtain and clear trees from additional right-of-way to spread spoil dirt excavated from the ditch.
* The county road and bridge department is now in the patching stage for this year's blacktop program.
"We're through with the big stuff," Blumenberg said. "We've got some little spots we've got to do. ... Our major roads are in pretty good shape."
He said there are some small areas on various roads that need to be addressed now or the winter weather will cause significant deterioration.
Commissioners also noted some stretches of road that were overlaid with chip-and-seal blacktop surfaces are still holding up well after three years or more.
Blumenberg also reported that "the people on Dalton Lane have got their money" to pay for blacktop on their subdivision road and have decided to use concrete for the connection with the state road which must meet Missouri Department of Transportation specifications.
Residents of the Steve Jones subdivision, however, have dropped their plan to blacktop their road except for the resident who lives on the corner of the subdivision entrance, according to Blumenberg.
Blumenberg said this resident still intends to pay $2,700 to have the road paved past his house to alleviate dust problems. The county will pay about $400 to dovetail the pavement to its connection with Millar Road with asphalt.
* Tony DeLong, county council coordinator for the University of Missouri Extension and former county commissioner for Stone County, updated commissioners on the Extension's county government-related projects and discussed some of the economic trends affecting third-class counties in the state.
"We have a lot of roads to maintain," Blumenberg said. He said he believes the county's road and bridge department is facing serious financial trouble in the future.
"We really need a sales tax for our road and bridge (department)," Blumenberg said, "but I'm not going to ask for one."
* The Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center has been tentatively awarded a $46,350 Title V Juvenile Justice Grant from the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
The grant requires a local match of $23,175 for a project total of $69,525, according to DeLay.
"This is just a continuation of a grant they've had for years," he said.