County Commission gets update on POW-MIA memorial, considers pay raise for road and bridge department
Charlie Guthrie and Frank Walker met with the Saline County Commission Wednesday, Dec. 12, to provide an update on the proposed prisoners-of-war/missing-in-action service members memorial slated to be placed on the courthouse lawn next year.
Guthrie said members of the memorial group met recently with representatives of other veterans organizations to clear up concerns about the use of the POW-MIA emblem in the monument's design.
The logo commonly used to recognize POW-MIA commemorations was created in 1970 and has long been used by the National League of Families, an organization originally devoted to finding and recovering men and women who served in the Vietnam War.
Over time, the image has come to be recognized as representing the commemoration of POW-MIA service men and women from all wars and conflicts, Guthrie said. He said concerns about using the logo seem to have been addressed to everyone's satisfaction.
He noted that all veterans' organizations in the county have been contacted about the project.
The planning group has raised about $1,800 so far. The goal is to raised about $3,500 to $4,000 for the monument. Any funds remaining after the monument has been built will be kept in a maintenance fund that can be used for any veterans' monument at the courthouse, he said.
The group also is still seeking the names of any POW or MIA service men and women from the county. They hope to have all names submitted by Jan. 1.
To contribute to the fund or submit a name, contact any member of the planning group: Frank Walker, 660-886-2195; Dennis Desmond, 660-886-5258; Richard Clemens, 660-886-8829; Bob Kurth, 660-674-2675; Jim Heard, 660-529-3636; Mike Rogers, 660-529-3387; or Guthrie, 660-529-2420.
In other business Wednesday, Saline County Road and Bridge Supervisor Justin Cowart submitted a request to the county commission Wednesday, Dec. 12, to increase wages in his department by 78 cents per hour.
Commissioners accepted the request but tabled it until Thursday's meeting.
Cowart said his department has been operating short two positions since early July. He plans to pay for the $14,601 in additional payroll costs by filling only one of those positions.
"I believe we can manage with one less employee," he said.
Savings above that amount would go back into the road and bridge department budget, he said.
It's been two years since Cowart and the department assistant received a raise and five years since the operators have gotten a raise, he said.
In other business, Northern District Commissioner Norvelle "Brownie" Brown announced plans to meet with Pettis County commissioners to review road maintenance agreements.
He said the relatively new Pettis County officials want to make sure they understand each county's obligations.
Brown said the roads in question are near the county line. He said the arrangement has been in effect for a number of years and has worked well. He doesn't anticipate any change in maintenance responsibilities.
POW-MIA memorial to soon honor servicemen