January 23, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 1:00 p.m.

I attended the January 23, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Commissioners Skelton and Gohagan attended the meeting. This meeting was a working session and it was held in the Commission Building conference room.

These working sessions are a new type of meeting (for the Commission) that allows the commissioners to discuss matters in public without a need to immediately vote on them. Public comment is sometimes solicited, but most of the communication is between the commissioners and the other elected officials who attend.

The Commission reviewed the language for the proposed reduction of the property road setback from 25 feet to 15 feet. Presiding Commissioner Skelton said that this change has been publicly noticed.

The Commission next discussed the preliminary language for the proposed marijuana tax.

Commissioner Skelton said they had initially considered earmarking all of the marijuana tax money for Road and Bridge, but he wondered if half of the tax revenue should be reserved for capital improvements in the county.

Commissioner Gohagan mentioned that the county’s bonding agent previously told the commission that they should put aside money for capital improvement plans.

The additional sales tax on marijuana could be as high as 12% (3% for municipality, 3% for the county, and 6% for the state). There is no special sales tax on medical marijuana.

According to Commissioner Skelton, they have no idea how much revenue might be generated by a marijuana sales tax.

Commissioner Skelton announced that after several closed sessions discussing it, the Commission has decided that Camden County is not going to “engage” on the Wilkerson property in Climax Springs. (I have no idea what this one is about)

Commissioner Gohagan then stated that Camden County already owns a great deal of surplus property throughout the county. Since the county has no use for these properties, they are planning to auction some of these properties to the public.

Commissioner Skelton discussed the county’s water districts. County water districts submitted grant applications earlier in the year for extra DNR ARPA money and all of them were rejected. He was concerned about maintaining quality drinking water for county residents. Skelton asked the Health Department representative to determine if there were any available health-related water grants.

Commissioner Gohagan reviewed the results of the DNR application process. Camden County had contributed significant matching ARPA funds to maximize the applicants’ bid ratings. Unfortunately, none of that mattered, because the awarded grants seemed to rely solely on Median Household Income (HMI). The majority of the water districts that were awarded grants had a low MHI. Commissioner Gohagan said the county had $2.86 million earmarked for these DNR applications and the Commission might need to reconsider what they want to do with that money.

The Treasurer stated that Camden County currently has $6.5 million in ARPA money in the bank, but she’s wasn’t sure how much of that money has been promised to other purchase requests.

There was a discussion about renewing the maintenance contract for the county’s wireless duress system. There were differing opinions on whether the current system even worked well enough to justify the cost.

Commissioner Skelton then opened up the meeting to the other elected officials. The group finished up the meeting with the inevitable, eternal discussion about closing the courthouse for inclement weather and everyone voiced their complaints about Camden County’s internal payroll/purchasing computer system.

And that was that.

One thought on “January 23, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 1:00 p.m.

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