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The Dent County Commission presented a copy of a resolution they recently signed March 22 to Rep. Ron Copeland (R-Salem) during its regular meeting Monday at the courthouse.

The resolution reaffirms Dent County’s stance on the Second Amendment. Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles said March 22, “I think the people of Dent County deserve to know that we stand firmly in defense of the Second Amendment.”

Copeland, upon receiving the framed resolution said, “The Second Amendment is a big priority at the Capitol.” He also said the resolution would be hung in his office.

Copeland briefly discussed with the commission some of the legislation he has been working on. To see what legislation he has sponsored or co-sponsored go to house.mo.gov.

Also at the commission:

• Salem Economic Development Director Sally Burbridge gave her monthly report.

She reported that she is part of developing a new, nine-county region that will be part of the Missouri Economic Development Commissioner. Currently, Dent and other nearby counties are categorized in regions that do not best represent their needs.

“Currently, we are in the same region as Columbia and Jefferson City,” she said.

Which, according to Burbridge doesn’t best represent the county’s needs.

Burbridge also brought up the American Rescue Act.

“We’re still waiting on a lot of the rules regarding how that money can be spent,” she said. Burbridge suggested that the best way to handle that sort of thing would be to create a specific plan of how that money could be used to benefit the county.

“I have spoken informally with various committees to get suggestions,” she said. One of the examples that Burbridge came up with was using the money to run a new sub-station straight to the industrial park. Between Burbridge’s own thoughts and the opinions she has solicited from various committees, some ideas include downtown improvement, downtown events, expanded broadband, projects at the airport or maybe even purchasing the commons.

Among other things, Burbridge also reported on the new welcome to Salem signs, which have been installed. “We’ve had a lot of positive comments,” she said.

Unemployment rates in Dent County continue to decline as the labor force continues to grow, she reported.

• “We’re going to need to amend these budgets,” Skiles said at the meeting. A combination of sales tax being withheld by DOR and other unknown factors have precipitated the necessity to draw up a new budget. The Budget Hearing for the new 2021 budget is scheduled for May 17.

“That budget will be made available 10 days prior,” which is required by statute, County Clerk Angie Curley said.

• District One Commissioner Wes Mobray reported that there will be grading on county roads 5390, 5580 and 6470, brush will be hauled from along 5690, as well as various chip and seal maintenance.

• District Two Commissioner Gary Larson reported that there will be grading on 5330, 5333, 6166 and 3200, material will be hauled to 5333, 5330 and 3200, brush will be cut along 2570 and he has a man going to Springfield to get more chip and seal.

This article originally ran on thesalemnewsonline.com.

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