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The Dent County Commissioners met Monday morning for their regular meeting. Willis Stagner was in attendance to update the commissioners on the cemetery. He said the city has agreed to put up a chain link fence on their two sides of the cemetery with gates that would allow a truck to get through. Stagner said that he and his son would be putting up a fence around the other two sides that would have a walk-through gate. He would like this part of the fence to be ornamental and was looking to find someone who knew how to install that kind of fence. The commissioners did not believe that they have any workers with that kind of expertise but did agree to review the prices of the material and labor collected by Stagner to see if they could help with some of the costs. In the road report, District 1 Commissioner Dennis Purcell said that one crew would be putting up downed road signs and another crew would be cleaning up the area at the road and bridge shed used for inventory. Purcell indicated that a driveway pipe would be installed on Dent County Road 6300 this week. District 2 Commissioner Gary Larson reported that materials would be added and grading done on Dent County Road 3300. He said that he has been trying to get in touch with the Missouri Department of Conservation on getting white rock added where needed to the roads in the conservation area near White River Trace, but MDC has to approve the rock that is needed before the work can be done. He says he will continue to try to reach them. Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles wanted to remind everyone that the Dent County Courthouse would be closed this Thursday and Friday. He also commented that the new county parking lot at 5th
Street and Iron Street, next to the Judicial Building, has been used quite a bit by workers and the general public. Dent County Clerk Angie Curley reported three additional petition initiatives have been submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State on advance early voting by Mathew Dameron, a Kansas City Attorney who was Attorney General Chris Koster’s chief of staff from 2009-12. This brings the total of six that have been submitted on this topic by Dameron. Currently, Missouri only allows absentee voting where you must have a reason or excuse to vote prior to election date. Curley says that she responded with a fiscal note Friday stating the proposed new requirements could cost up to $28,000 annually for Dent County while the state bears no additional costs created by these initiatives that would allow voters to vote as far as six weeks prior to election date. Curley said that Dent County currently has 9,652 registered voters. Under a new policy launched this week, Missourians now have 15 days to comment on ballot measures proposed by the initiative petition process ending December 5th
. For those interested, the entire petitions can be seen online, and commented on at www.sos.mo.gov/comment. The next meeting of the Dent County Commissioners will be Monday, December 2nd
at the Dent County Courthouse at 9:00 and the meeting will be open to the public.
Camp Zoe is now the property of the State of Missouri. On Monday, Missouri State Parks announced that the state has acquired the 330 acres of property in Shannon County. The property is located adjacent to Current River State Park and downstream from Montauk State Park. It also abuts the 64,000-acre Roger Pryor Pioneer Backcountry, which is managed by Missouri State Parks. Originally opening in 1929 as a youth camp, Camp Zoe provided a chance for thousands of young people to connect with the outdoors. Missouri State Parks has looked to acquire the property for several years, recognizing its beauty and the potential to give visitors even more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in this beautiful part of the State. According to Missouri State Park Director Bill Bryan, this Ozark gem showcases beautiful natural resources, including Sinking Creek near its confluence with the Current River. Its location near Current River State Park and minutes away from the beloved Montauk State Park will provide visitors great opportunities to enhance their Missouri State Parks experience in the Ozarks. Plans for development of the property and future use are in the preliminary stages. Missouri State Parks are a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The Trees and Trains exhibit called "Vision of Christmas," opened Monday night with a baked goods, wreath and arrangement silent auction. The silent auction raised $750 and the proceeds were donated to the Salvation Army. Everyone is invited to attend the exhibit that will be on display at the Ozark Natural and Cultural Resource Center located at 202 South Highway 19 in Salem today through Tuesday, December 24th. The hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The display will also be open on Sunday, December 22nd from 1:00 to 5:00 PM and on Tuesday, December 24th from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Santa Claus will be making special apppearances at the ONCRC on Saturday, December 14th and 21st from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. For more information, call the ONCRC at 729-0029.
The Missouri Department of Transportation will hold a public briefing today to discuss plans to replace the Route 8 Bridge over Dry Fork Creek just south of St. James. The public briefing will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at the St. James Elementary School Cafeteria at 314 S. Jefferson in St. James. The public may attend the meeting at any time between the designated meeting hours to speak with staff from MoDOT. All comments will be taken into consideration and made a part of the project file.