County to receive $10,000 more for sale of park land to MidAmerica Hotels

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cape Girardeau County commissioners voted 2 to 1 to accept an amendment to the sale price of a 1.24-acre strip of county park land.

The amendment adds $10,000 to the agreed upon sale price of $350,000, to be used for landscaping. In the original agreement, the purchaser, MidAmerica Hotels, had agreed to plant a tree screen. The amendment makes the landscaping the county's responsibility. Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones and 1st District Commissioner Larry Bock, who voted to approved the change, said they were not sure what the landscaping would actually cost. MidAmerica provided an estimate of $7,000 to $8,000 and offered the county $10,000.

Bock said the deal might make "$4,000 or $5,000" for the county. Jones said if landscaping costs more than $10,000, the excess could be paid for from the $350,000.

Second District Commissioner Jay Purcell voted against the measure and did not sign the contract with MidAmerica. He would not comment on his decision other than to say he would not argue about it.

The commissioners also accepted an annual audit report for the 2007 fiscal year by Van de Ven LLC, a certified public accountant firm based in Cape Girardeau.

The report shows the county took in $1.4 million more than it spent. The two largest concerns raised by the report were that no budget was found for Proposition 1 money and several county workers continue to make hand entries in records, rather than using the county's new software.

Commissioners heard a monthly report from Eric McGowen, information technology director, who said the county's website redesign was delayed by computer equipment moves and other duties in August, but would move forward over the next month.

The commissioners also discussed whether to replace Bock's county vehicle, a Jeep, with a four-door pickup truck worth $32,000. Bock said he'd made inquiries and learned that a 2008 truck was available with potential discounts of up to $8,000. Purcell suggested that because Bock was leaving office later this year, it might be wise to delay a replacement vehicle until the new candidate was in office and could have a say in what he would be driving. Jones asked Bock to get more information for the commissioners' review.

The commissioners approved a request from Dave Hitt of American Legion Post 158 to use the Jackson courthouse lawn during the 2009 Homecomers.

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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