Zelch gets nod as new EMD

By Buck Collier, Special Correspondent
Posted 1/28/21

HERMANN — Longtime area lawman Clyde Zelch has been tabbed as the new emergency management director (EMD) for Gasconade County.

Zelch will succeed Dan Dyer, who resigned the post after …

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Zelch gets nod as new EMD

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HERMANN — Longtime area lawman Clyde Zelch has been tabbed as the new emergency management director (EMD) for Gasconade County.

Zelch will succeed Dan Dyer, who resigned the post after serving a year, citing the need to attend to family matters as his reason for leaving. Dyer has agreed to remain available for the next few months to help Zelch settle into the position, a part-time post that will have a budget of about $49,000 this year.

The EMD heads the county’s Emergency Management Agency, a department that is funded primarily with an annual contribution from AmerenUE. The bulk of the work of the EMD is to coordinate emergency management plans related to the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant. Other chores of the office include flood plain management and overseeing the severe weather alert program that informs residents of approaching bad weather.

Zelch’s appointment was announced Thursday morning after a closed session of the Gasconade County Commission.  He  will be paid $21,000 annually for the position which is limited to 1,000 hours a year. No one had applied for the position when it was publicly advertised in December 2020.

Budget work nearly completed

In other matters, county administrators heard that the finishing touches were being put on this year’s proposed operating budget, which is scheduled to be formally adopted at tomorrow’s session. A summary of this year’s budget shows a projected General Revenue Fund of $2,733,888. The various departments have requested a total of $2,565,922 for expenditures, leaving a year-end balance of $168,966.

The county’s Road & Bridge Fund would have $3,181,144 available, according to the budget summary. The agency is requesting expenses totaling $3,173,282. That would leave a year-end balance of $7,862.

The county’s Assessment Fund, which is fueled largely by state dollars and finances the Assessor’s Office, began this year with a balance of $607,758. Including the estimated revenue coming into the fund this year, it would have $873,658 available for use. However, projected expenses total only $392,311, leaving a year-end balance of $481,347.

A more-detailed budget document that includes line-item expenditures for all county government departments will be available this week. The County Commission is scheduled to formally approve the spending plan at tomorrow’s session in Hermann. Session begins at 8:30 a.m.

More CARES Act funds to share?

Also, commissioners are hoping more than $65,000 in CARES Act money sent to Gasconade County that remained unspent can be distributed to other businesses that have been affected by the corona virus pandemic. County officials recently received word that Gov. Mike Parson’s Administration has cleared the way to allocate the funds through the middle of this year.

Although the CARES Act application process ended Dec. 20, county administrators are hoping the state will allow another round of applications in order to allocate the remaining $65,000. In addition to local government agencies looking to recover expenses related to the coronavirus, businesses and non-profit organizations also could apply for a share of the funds. 

County officials had hoped more businesses would have applied for CARES Act money to recover some of the profits they lost due of the virus. Commissioners want to learn more about plans for allocating remaining CARES Act funds and for distributing any new funding from the federal government before seeking applications.

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