The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 31, 2013

County talks with second bank on financing for building projects

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Jasper County is going back to the drawing board — at least part way — on efforts to finance part of the costs of two county building projects.

The county commissioners on Tuesday authorized Norman Rouse, attorney for the panel, to enter into negotiations with Southwest Missouri Bank, after an earlier proposal from Arvest Bank was withdrawn. The county plans to borrow $322,500 to pay just over half of county costs for remodeling a former bank building on the square as Sheriff’s Department headquarters and for constructing a vehicle maintenance building on property used by the county road department.

The financing was to come via a lease-purchase arrangement that bank officials learned, once paperwork started, Arvest was not able to complete.

“We were dealing with local officers, but the bank is chartered in Arkansas, and once they started working on it, they found state law there does not allow that kind of financing, so they had to withdraw,” Rouse said.

The commissioners directed Rouse to begin talks with Southwest Missouri Bank, which had proposed the next lowest interest rate. The earlier proposal involved lease-purchase financing over a period of four years at a rate of 1.8 percent.

The financing will pay for just over half the costs of a $495,000 project to remodel the building on the square, plus construction of a $125,000 vehicle maintenance building to be used by the sheriff’s office and other county offices. Remaining money will come from the county’s general fund reserves, and all the costs will be repaid from the law enforcement sales tax trust fund over a four-year period.

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners approved a request by the sheriff’s office to declare as surplus some older computer and radio equipment, and approved the department’s purchase of a Ford Fusion hybrid at a cost of $23,665. Sheriff Randee Kaiser said after the meeting that the purchase is a “trial run” in an attempt to improve fleet mileage costs in the department. He said the vehicle mostly likely will be used by detectives or process servers.

The commissioners also approved a request by Richard Webster, county auditor, to amend the county’s general revenue budget to reflect $75,000 in grant funds. Webster said $25,000 will go to create a drug court for juveniles, and $50,000 will be used to continue a juvenile court diversion program.

Stop signs

THE COUNTY COMMISSION on Tuesday approved the placement of four-way stop signs at County Road 110 and Goldenrod Road, County Road 110 and Cedar Road, and County Road 60 and Ivy Road. The placements were recommended by the county’s safety committee and were the subject of hearings held earlier by the panel.

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