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story.lead_photo.caption Mac Finley

Following the passage of Proposition P, a new countywide half-cent sales tax levy funding law enforcement and county road and bridge maintenance and repairs, voters can expect to see money from the measure start to be allocated in the first quarter of 2021.

The sales tax was approved by just more than 55 percent in the June 2 municipal election, paving the way for it to generate $600,000 annually.

Moniteau County Commissioner Mac Finley said he and other county officials are appreciative to voters for approving the ballot measure, as it will allow the county to move forward and offer "equal or better services" to citizens.

Finley said the county won't draw any revenues until the first quarter of 2021 begins after Jan. 1, thanks in part to the delayed election. He said the Department of Revenue won't start collecting until the fourth quarter this year, on Oct. 1.

Moving forward, Finley said there's a groundwork for what the tax money will be used for once it starts to fill the county's coffers next year, but some of those decisions will be made once Moniteau County voters have elected their new county commission in August.

Finley said, generally, the intent will be to do some modifications on the road and bridge front and possibly make some new hires. He said the county also hopes to put down some quarry rock to replace on some gravel roads, among other projects.

"Another thing that's been hanging over our head (is) we've got the paved sections of Highway PP and Lookout Trail, and we're hoping to be able to resurface them, possibly next year," Finley said. "That's what we're looking to do."

On the law enforcement side, Finley said the county hopes to adjust deputy salaries to be more in line with the average among adjoining counties.

Finley also said county employees who are making less-than-competitive salaries will be in line for a wage increase to be in line with next year's minimum wage bump.

"That's all going to be dependent on what the new commission decides," Finley said. "If we have the same two associate commissioners, that's basically how we'll move forward, but if we have one or two new ones, then I can't completely speak for what will happen. But I think that's more or less what to expect."

Finley said spending is locked in until the beginning of next year anyway, since the county puts together its budget at the beginning of each year, but the goal regardless is to help provide taxpayers with the best value for their dollar.

"We're just going to move forward and still try to be as prudent with the money as we can, and try to give our taxpayers the best value for their dollar like we always do," Finley said.

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