Commissioners take no action on county floodplain ordinance

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 6/8/22

MARIES COUNTY — At a Maries County Commission meeting last week, the commissioners told MRPC Assistant Director Tammy Snodgrass that for now they don’t want to make any changes to the …

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Commissioners take no action on county floodplain ordinance


MARIES COUNTY — At a Maries County Commission meeting last week, the commissioners told MRPC Assistant Director Tammy Snodgrass that for now they don’t want to make any changes to the county’s floodplain ordinance.

Snodgrass had a meeting with the commissioners in April about updating Maries County’s floodplain ordinance to potentially include new information and new rules because of new FEMA maps that are coming. Snodgrass said in April they were trying to get ahead of the changes they anticipated.

Last week, Presiding Commissioner Victor Stratman told her they had talked about it and “decided to leave our ordinance as it is.”

Snodgrass told the commissioners it is their prerogative. Once the new maps arrive, there may be public meetings and a hearing. The new maps may or may not have changes to be included in the ordinance. In April she said one of changes they anticipate is an adjustment of the base flood elevation (BFE). She explained the BFE is set for a one percent annual chance flood event, which is a 100-year flood, for one foot above it. Now they are recommending it be set at two feet above the BFE. Snodgrass said people who did the one foot above can be grandfathered into the new BFE. The new rules may make it safer to build in the floodplain, but they will be more restrictive. The old maps are from the 1980s and are topography based. The new maps are light detection and ranging (LIDAR) based, which is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the earth. In April Snodgrass told the commissioners there are many positive aspects to the new maps, but they are change.

Last week she told them the commissioners probably will be asked to make some changes when the maps are released, but the choice about what to do is still up to them. What she gave them in April were recommendations. It is their decision whether or not to stick with the old ordinance or to move forward. 

Eastern District Commissioner Doug Drewel said the loan places, the banks, don’t seem too concerned about it. That’s one of the reasons they decided to stay where they are at with the county’s ordinance until the new maps come out and if they want to change “then we can.” 

Snodgrass said they’ve had a lot of rain recently and she asked about any local flooding. Drewel said at Nagogami the Gasconade River got up to the road but didn’t hurt any houses. 

“There was quite a bit of road damage,” said Western District Commissioner Ed Fagre. 

Snodgrass said when residences and businesses are flooded, the information is made available to the county’s emergency management director (EMD) and FEMA, and MRPC does an estimate about the flood damage. 

Stratman asked about a barn that floods. Snodgrass said she’s pretty sure a farmer can’t get flood insurance on a barn or a detached garage. If the farmer wanted to have flood insurance on the barn, it would have to be brought to the ordinance standards first and put above the BFE. MRPC does not sell flood insurance. 

She noted the Gasconade River is bank full that day, and “we rely on you guys to let us know if there is flooding.” There are other local people who help with this as well. 

Stratman said anybody with crops along the Gasconade River or the big rivers have crop losses and they have crop insurance for that. Drewel said even the small rivers and creeks can cause crop loses. Hail is hard on a corn crop. Stratman said a recent hail storm got almost all of his apples. 

Calcium Chloride

The commissioners had correspondence from Scotwood Industries, Inc. of Overland Park, KS, about the company’s residential dust control customer list for 2022. The work on several sites in Maries County will take place during the week of June 13. The letter suggested it left the road districts with a good amount of time to make sure everything is prepared. 

The dust control program is calcium chloride, which Drewel explained draws moisture from the ground into the road and cuts down on dust. He said residences located near the road get a good dusting when it’s dry and the dust treatment works. He said you can be driving along at 35 to 40 mph and a big dusting will follow the vehicle. But when the vehicle passes over the treated road, there is very little dust. He said the road crew tries to pull up the grader blade in those places. The Maries County roads mentioned in the letter are for homeowners who have paid the company for treatment on a specified number of feet in front of their home. The roads mentioned included 308, 440, 614, 302, 403, 439, 429, 431, 449 and 213.

$9,000 a month 

Road Two has a road grader down that needs a new transmission. Drewel said he inquired with Fabick CAT about renting a grader. The company wanted $9,000 a month. Drewel figured this is too expensive as there are 22 working days in a month, minus rain days, and the rented grader won’t get enough usage hours to justify $9,000 a month. Instead, he plans to run his other working grader 12 to 14 hours a day. A new transmission will cost about $30,000, but that’s a lot cheaper than the $250,000 it would cost to replace it with a new one. 

The commissioners talked about the many dead trees hanging over county roads. The road district crews do not want to get on private property to cut down dead trees that are going to fall on county roads. Sometimes when they do fall into the roads, the locals who live in the area are good about cutting up the trees and hauling off the wood and debris. Sometimes people don’t clean it up and the road crew must do it to get the road passable.  Drewel said it’s their tree until it falls and then it’s the county’s tree. Stratman said it’s all part of a road district.

Drewel said an old timer told him they used to have trail rides with horses and wagons at the Fish Hollow river access. There was a gate they went through, which was taken down and replaced with a cattle guard. He said if the county wins the lawsuit to keep the county road open to the Gasconade River access, they may need to put up a gate there for people to get to the river. 

Emergency Service Numbers

IT Manager Shane Sweno was at the meeting briefly. He had a map of the county, which was sectioned and in different colors. He said it is a map of Maries County’s emergency service numbers (ESN). This is for the GIS data update for the new CAD system in the 911 Dispatch Center, which will go live on Aug. 31. The ESN map indicates which first responders need to be dispatched to any particular location within the county. Now, the dispatchers have a big map on the wall to consult. With the new system the location will be identified. It will enable dispatchers to hit the button faster to get fire and ambulance help to the right locations. 

Political sign

Connie Schmiedeskamp of Vienna, called the county commission meeting to talk to the commissioners. She wanted to know what a person should do if a political sign is put on their property without a homeowner’s permission. The commissioners advised her to contact the sheriff’s office as it may be trespassing.

She said she came home and was surprised to see a sign on her property for Suzie Pollock, a Republican candidate running for reelection for Missouri 123rd State Representative. Schmiedeskamp was not asked for permission about placing the sign on her property. The candidate is from Lebanon. In the corner of the sign it said if there is a problem to contact Ron Calzone. She took the sign down herself, but not before she took a photo of it with her mailbox in the foreground. 

The jail too

Stratman received a bid from Steve’s Pest Control of Jefferson City, to spray the inside of the courthouse for $150 and to spray the outside of the courthouse for an additional $200. The bid said they will spray the jail, too. The spraying will be done twice a year. He said the sprayer will have to get with the sheriff’s office about spraying the  jail. 

HRLS board member

Stratman said they had a letter from Heartland Regional Library System (HRLS) saying Maries County board member Ann Haring of Belle, has resigned from the board. She will be replaced by Wendy Zumwalt of Belle, if the commissioners will appoint her. The commissioners saw no reason not to appoint her. Zumwalt was appointed to complete Haring’s unexpired term which will end Dec. 31, 2023. 

Liquor licenses

Among the fees reported by the Maries County Clerk’s office were fees collected in May for liquor licenses in the county. The fees are $100 for an original package license, $25 for an original package license/tasting, and $200 for a Sunday original package license. 

Businesses in the county that paid their liquor licenses in May include Casey’s General Store, G&W Foods, Mace Supermarket, Dollar General in Vichy and Belle, and MFA Breaktime 3116. 

Businesses may have paid in previous months and have until July 1, 2022, to renew the licenses.


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