Saline County to be Agri-Ready designated

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Saline County Commission announced its intention for the county to be designated Agri-Ready Thursday, Oct. 6.

The Agri-Ready County designation program was launched by Missouri Farmers Care in 2015 to recognize counties that actively support Missouri agriculture through establishing an environment and county policies conducive to agricultural business success. MFC states its members will use their networks and available resources to promote, encourage and equip business entities to expand, located and do business in counties with the Agri-Ready designation.

The requirements for a county to receive an Agri-Ready designation include: attest willingness to promote agricultural stewardship, growth and opportunity; not have any health or zoning ordinances that discourage, limit or restrict agricultural operations or agricultural processing facilities; defer to the Missouri Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources for all environmental permitting of agricultural operations; not impose additional agricultural bonding, permit fees, or insurance requirements; not apply more stringent definitions to agricultural operations than in state laws or regulations; allow land application of nutrients at agronomic rates based on data from the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources; and allow the use of biotechnology crops and crop protection products in accordance with their federally labeled use.

"The Missouri Farmers Care will work with counties to finalize approval and encourage growth of agriculture in the county," Presiding Commissioner Kile Guthrey said. "It doesn't cost us any money or anything. It's just that we're (an) Agri-Ready county, in other words, I guess the bottom line is we don't want to zone the county that will interrupt raising livestock."

The designation will available for renewal annually.

In other action, the commission approved two fund transfer orders from county revenue to assist with expenses -- one a $245,000 transfer to the county jail and justice center and the other a $20,000 transfer to the assessment office. The commission also proclaimed Friday, Oct. 7 to be Manufacturing Day.

Southern Commissioner Monte Fenner announced receiving notice from MoDOT that the bridge on County Road YY over Crooked Creek would be closed for two months from Oct. 17 until Dec. 17. He also reported a curve on Gem Avenue, southwest of Marshall, had been improved by the county's road and bridge crew.

"They took out an s-curve and built it up where there's better vision and made it a lot better road through there," Fenner said. "... We think it's going to be a huge improvement in that road."

County Clerk Debbie Russell reported 49 absentee votes for the November general election had thus far been cast.

"(That is) a little bit above normal for this time, but given the presidential election, I can foresee that we're going to have several," she said. "... A lot more interest in this election by the voters."

The deadline to register to vote in the November election is Wednesday, Oct. 12.

County Collector Cindi Sims reported September's monthly over-the-counter tax sale concluded Friday. She reported 21 properties had been sold, resulting in the collection of $24,596.02 out of the $50,392.28 that had been due in delinquent taxes on those properties.

"So, we collected about half the taxes that were due on those properties, which would have stayed delinquent if we hadn't done anything with them," Sims said. "We would have collected nothing."

Because two properties had been sold for a larger price than the delinquent taxes that were due, Sims requested and was granted permission to transfer the surplus funds from those sales to the office of the County Treasurer.

Contact Arron Hustead at ahustead@marshallnews.com

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