County funding woes could impact Historical Society budget request for records preservation

By Buck Collier, Special Correspondent
Posted 12/18/19

HERMANN — Gasconade County government’s financial squeeze could be felt by the volunteer-driven agency working to preserve decades-old records.

The county’s Historical Society …

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County funding woes could impact Historical Society budget request for records preservation

Posted

HERMANN — Gasconade County government’s financial squeeze could be felt by the volunteer-driven agency working to preserve decades-old records.

The county’s Historical Society last Thursday submitted a request for $16,500 as part of the Fiscal Year 2020 budget process. The society’s Kristy Goss presented the request to the county commission, along with photos showing what the organization’s volunteers have been able to do thus far to preserve large volumes of a variety of records and documents removed from the courthouse basement as part of the recent roof restoration. Those records were relocated to the society’s Archives and Records Center, 315 Schiller Street in Hermann, to prevent further water damage.

As of Dec. 12, Goss said the society’s volunteers had logged 1,677 hours of work. Some of that work has been on records and documents dating back to the time when Gasconade County — like Missouri’s other counties — had a county-wide superintendent of schools. Those records have been archived, Goss said, and are proving to be of interest to people conducting research.

Of the agency’s budget request, $14,742 would be for wages for an employee working 27 hours a week, along with $1,258 for the employee’s Social Security tax. The other $500 would purchase new shelving that would allow the society “to bring over even more books” from the courthouse basement.

Southern District Associate Commissioner Jerry Lairmore, R-Owensville, who has expressed caution in recent weeks regarding budget requests, noted the slide in the county’s sales tax revenue this year.

“We can’t guarantee anything” regarding budget requests, he told Goss.

“We don’t know why the sales tax is down,” he added.

Indeed, Treasurer Mike Feagan Thursday morning submitted his monthly report on sales tax receipts from sales made the previous month. The amount of the December reimbursement check was $98,277 — more than the amount for December 2018, but not nearly enough to push the county’s total sales tax revenue to the $1-million mark it hit in 2018. The 2019 total is $990,969 — $15,670 shy of last year’s total.

County goes with Travelers for insurance

In other matters, the county commission accepted a bid for property and liability insurance provided by Travelers Insurance. The county now is covered by MOPERM (Missouri Public Entity Risk Management), a state-created organization aimed at providing coverage for local government agencies.

The cost of the coverage by Travelers will be $88,000 for the first year that includes $3-million base coverage and a $5-million umbrella coverage.

The commission session tomorrow will be delayed until 11 a.m. That will allow administrators to attend the State of the District meeting of Gasconade County R-1 School District n Hermann. That meeting, previously held in conjunction with R-1’s Veterans Day program, is aimed at allowing district officials to meet with local and state elected officials to discuss potential legislation that would affect the district and public education. The State of the District meeting is set for 9 a.m.

County government offices will be open for business on Thursday, Dec. 26. That means the county commission will also be in session that day, starting at 8:30 a.m.

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