May 16, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

I attended the May 16, 2023 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

This meeting was held in the 3rd Floor Commission meeting room in the courthouse.

I was finally able to use my coveted Visitor’s Pass to pass through the metal detectors without waiting in line. The deputies manning the detector recognized what an important moment this was for me and I felt they matched my level of enthusiasm. Maybe they were just relieved they won’t have to hear me complaining about it anymore.

The smell of the new epoxy floors curing was so strong that people had to open the windows in the back of the room so they could breathe.

All commissioners were present.

The first agenda item was LACDC Follow-up.

Richard Ross spoke on behalf of the LACDC (Lake Area Community Development Corporation). This corporation is self-described as a housing initiative for Camden, Miller, Morgan, and Laclede counties. The Camden County Commission voted 2-1 (with Gohagan voting against it) last year to give LACDC $250,000 in ARPA federal relief money.

The other three counties gave LACDC no money. That’s right. Zero dollars.

You can read what I wrote about the LACDC at two previous Commission meetings here and here.

One of the goals of this corporation is to pre-qualify homebuyers through a USDA 502 Direct Loan program. These loans are designed to allow individuals and households with low to very low incomes to qualify for homes in rural areas.

LACDC had planned to partner with the Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments (LOCLG), but personnel changes at LOCLG derailed those plans. LACDC currently has trained two USDA loan packagers. They have spent $28,000 of the $250,000 they were given.

Ross explained that most of the HUD money in Missouri goes to Saint Louis and Kansas City. Less populous locations can get their share of the HUD money by joining forces and forming “participating jurisdictions.” Joplin formed just such a participating jurisdiction to get access to HUD money.

According to Ross, LACDC is trying to get the word out to realtors and mortgage companies. They want to hire a director and develop a dependable revenue stream. Ron Yarbrough (a Board Member who was present) added that the USDA loan packagers get a monetary payment of $200 when someone is certified as eligible for a loan and $500 when a loan is funded.

Commissioner Skelton asked how many families had received loans through LACDC?

They answered that nobody has received a loan yet, but they have two applicants who are in the process of qualifying.

Commissioner Gohagan pointed out that if Camden County was the only county that had provided funding for the LACDC, it would seem fair that their efforts be primarily focused in Camden County.

The second agenda item was 3rd floor meeting room/stairwells.

Commissioner Gohagan explained that this agenda item had already been resolved and it was removed from the agenda.

The third agenda item was Sheriff contract with Camdenton R-III Schools.

Captain Bailey was representing the Sheriff’s Office. He explained that this was the same contract as last year. (It sounded like this was the contract for the School Resource Officers.)

The COPS Grant that helped to pay for these positions had expired. The school district will pay the gross wages of the deputies. The contract also delineates the disciplinary responsibilities between the Sheriff’s Office and the school district.

This contract was approved unanimously.

The final agenda item was Porto Cima and 4 Seasons HOA.

Representatives from the Porto Cima Townhouse Property Owners Association and the Four Seasons POA wanted to discuss road repairs in their area. They aren’t serviced by the Horseshoe Bend Road District so they rely on Camden County Road and Bridge for road maintenance.

In general, they were just hoping to have good communication with the Road and Bridge Department so they could let their constituents know when certain road repairs could be expected.

Presiding Commissioner Skelton explained that Camden County had paid for a county-wide assessment of all of the paved roads throughout the county. This survey provided a numerical grade for each stretch of road, but the only problem was that it didn’t tell the county how many people lived on or used the road.

The Four Seasons POA asked if their maintenance people could do temporary fills on potholes if Road and Bridge wasn’t able to get to them quickly?

The Road and Bridge Administrator said they were fine with temporary repairs as long as the fill material was appropriate for the road surface.

Commissioner Skelton said the county was developing a Five Year Plan for road repairs so county residents would have a better idea when they could expect major road repairs in their area. He also mentioned that Four Seasons POA could save money on mobilization costs on their own road repairs if they coordinated with Camden County Road and Bridge road maintenance plans for paved roadways near the Four Seasons POA.

The Commission then adjourned and planned to go into closed session for employee matters at 1:00 p.m.

And that was that.

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