Lawrence County Courthouse Justice
Lawrence County Courthouse Justice

Photo of Lawrence County Courthouse with Lady Justice and U.S. flag

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Lawrence County Justice Center
Lawrence County Justice Center

Lawrence County, Missouri, Justice Center with Courthouse 2009

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The Historic Courthouse is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays. You may contact the following offices at these numbers:

HEALTH DEPT. - Call 466-2201 or visit web site.

 

COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE - Call 466-2638 or visit web site.

COLLECTOR'S OFFICE - Call 466-2410. Receipts and statements are available on the web site, www.lawrencecountycollector.com You can now pay by phone: 1-800-652-0405

RECORDER'S OFFICE - 466-2670 or visit web site.

ASSESSOR'S OFFICE - Call 466-2831, fax 466-3931 or e-mail lcmoassessor@sofnet.com. You can now file assessment lists online: www.lawrencecountymoassessor.com

COUNTY COMMISSION - Call or leave message at 466-3666.

MT. VERNON LICENSE OFFICE - Call 466-4087.

UNIVERSITY EXTENSION OFFICE - Call 466-3102.

TREASURER'S OFFICE - Call 466-2662.

PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE - Call 466-2846.

Bids sought for law enforcement center
Calendar
May 24

Marionville run-off election

May 30

Memorial Day. County offices closed.

June 21

Absentee voting for Aug. primary begins.

July 5

Last day to register to vote in Aug. primary.

Aug. 2

Primary election

County news

Run-off election May 24 for Marionville alderman

 

A special runoff election will be held Tuesday, May 24, 2022, for a one-year term on the Marionville Board of Alderman representing Ward 2. Voters will write-in their choice for the position. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Polling place is First Baptist Church, 301 College, Marionville. Notice of election and sample ballot can be viewed here.

Bid notice for Law Enforcement Center construction

 

Lawrence County is seeking bids for the new Law Enforcement Center project. A pre-bid meeting is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in the Historic Courthouse (second floor courtroom), 1 Courthouse Square, Mt. Vernon, Mo. Public bid opening will be June 22. Nabholz Construction Corp. will be accepting sealed bids for concrete, masonry, steel, carpentry, waterproofing, doors, glass, drywall, flooring, painting, specialties, detention equipment, food service equipment, laundry equipment, pre-engineered metal buildings, fire suppression, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, low voltage cabling, access controls, fire alarm, earthwork, asphalt paving, fencing, landscaping and utilities. Bid responses and inquiries should be sent to Nabholz Construction, Jarrett Sims, jarrett.sims@nabholz.com. (Advertisement for bids with links)

Businesses begin collecting 3/8-cent sales tax April 1, 2022

 

A 3/8-cent sales tax to fund a new jail and sheriff's office in Lawrence County took effect April 1, 2022. The new rate information is available from the Missouri Department of Revenue online. The form is under the heading "April 2022 Sales and Use Tax Rate Changes."

 

Starting in April 2022, the county and state combined rate will be 6.725. The rate for that portion of Lawrence County in the Barry-Lawrence Ambulance District will be 7.225%. Cities in the county with their own sales taxes will see their total rates increase by 3/8 of 1%. The City of Mt. Vernon approved a half-cent sales tax Nov. 2, so its rate will also go up that amount.

Reporting changes as pandemic shifts to endemic phase

(Lawrence County Health Dept.) On March 30th, Governor Mike Parson announced an end to the COVID-19 crisis in Missouri and stated the state will be shift to an endemic phase of the pandemic as of Friday, April 1, 2022.

The Department of Health and Senior Services also changed their dashboard to now provide weekly updates that will include 7-day case rate data, activity by region and county, statewide data on COVID-19 hospitalizations, and circulating virus variants.

Because of this change our own county dashboard was also affected. We will no longer have access to use certain data we had previously relied on to support our dashboard. From now on, we plan to share information on local case counts IF we see there is a concerning shift. In the meantime, you can access the state's dashboard below.

health.mo.gov.

Commission approves 2022 spending plan;

all officeholders finish 2021 within their budgets

 

Lawrence County’s general operating fund should end the year in the black with the budget proposal presented to the public Jan. 12. It expects to take in $4.79 million while spending $4.73 million.

The county is entering 2022 in good fiscal shape, said Presiding Commissioner Bob Senninger;  but it will continue to spend conservatively.

Two other funds the county uses to operate – the Judicial Fund and Law Enforcement Sales Tax Fund – are both expected to outspend revenues in 2022 but have reserve funds to allow it. The Judicial Fund operates the Justice Center and pays bailiff and maintenance costs. The Law Enforcement Sales Tax Fund supports the sheriff’s office and jail.

In the 2022 budget, the county proposes to:

  • Focus new spending on capital projects;

  • Bring employee pay levels up to the point where the county can comply with upcoming minimum wage increases and remain competitive; and

  • Continue with only modest increases in spending for overall county services.

 

Every officeholder finished 2021 within budget.

Among highlights of the 2022 budget:

  • In addition to increases in the salary schedule, the county commission opted to absorb a substantial increase in health insurance costs rather than pass the increase on to employees.

  • The only positions added were in the public safety sector. A position was added in the Judicial Fund and a second one added in the Law Enforcement Sales Tax Fund. These were needed for bailiff and prisoner transport duties.

  • Sales tax – the biggest source of revenue for county operations – has been up both years of the pandemic, thanks in part to an influx of stimulus money. For 2022, the budget calls for a conservative $1.67 million in revenue on a half-cent sales tax.

  • Together, the county’s three main operational funds – General Revenue, Judicial Fund and Law Enforcement Sales Tax Fund – represent $8.5 million in potential spending in 2022. That includes $1.668 million for general county operations (commission, clerk, elections, building and grounds, employee benefits, treasurer, collector, circuit clerk, recorder, court administration/electronic monitoring and public administrator); $4.746 million for public safety (sheriff, jail, justice center, prosecutor, juvenile office and coroner); $863,048 for health department; and $680,507 for other county costs (child support enforcement unit, surveyor, emergency management, insurance/bonds, publications, University Extension and dues). Also included are transfers of $400,000 to other funds (capital projects and equipment replacement) and $150,000 for the emergency fund.

 

Questions about the budget can be directed to County Clerk Tammy Riebe, 417-466-2638.

 

Didn't make the tax deadline? Here's how you can pay

Lawrence County real and personal property taxes were due by Dec. 31. But if you missed that deadline, you can still pay in person, by phone or online

You may check how much you owe and pay online at www.lawrencecountycollector.com. You also have the option of paying by phone (1-800-652-0405). Follow the prompts. There are extra charges for credit card payments.

Failure to receive a tax statement does not exempt you from paying taxes by the Dec. 31 deadline. You can see how much you owe at www.lawrencecountycollector.com.

Notice of Use Tax

 

(Lawrence County Clerk Tammy Riebe, Sept. 20, 2021) Lawrence County, Missouri previously adopted a use tax, which is currently in effect. A use tax is the equivalent of a sales tax on purchases made from out-of-state vendors by in-state buyers and on certain taxable business transactions. The use tax rate for Lawrence County is currently 2.125 percent which is equal to the total local sales tax rate. Certain purchases from out-of-state vendors will become subject to an expansion of the use tax effective on January 1, 2023, as provided by state law.

If any local sales tax is repealed or the rate is reduced or raised by voter approval, the local use tax rate shall also be deemed to be repealed, reduced, or raised by the same action.

I, Tammy Riebe, County Clerk for Lawrence County, Missouri, do hereby certify that the foregoing is, to the best of my knowledge and belief, correct. Dated this 3rd day of September 2021.

County tax rates set at hearing

 

The annual public hearing on the county property tax rate was held Aug. 19, 2021, in the Historic Courthouse. County commissioners approved the proposed tax rate is lower than that set at least year's hearing - 0.1011 compared to 0.1216 - due to the sales tax rollback. Proposed levy for the Special Road & Bridge Fund is 0.0992 compared to 0.10 last year.

 

Census Bureau puts county's population at 38,001

 

The U.S. Census Bureau puts Lawrence County's 2020 population at 38,001, slightly below the 2010 figure of 38,634. However, another indicator suggests more people are living in Lawrence County than did in 2010. There has been a 1.4 percent increase in individual and household personal property assessment lists returned to the county assessor in the same time period.

 

The Census Bureau ranks Lawrence County as 31st in population in Missouri's listing of 114 counties and the City of St. Louis.

Lawrence County experienced population drops in 1910, 1920, 1930, 1950 and 1960; but it recorded steady growth from 1960 through 2010.

Lawrence County updates on COVID:

 

Previous COVID-related updates

How to obtain a COVID-19 release letter:

(Lawrence County Health Dept., Aug. 4, 2021) Due to the high volume of COVID-19 cases, we will no longer be providing personalized release letters for positive individuals. Instead, we have a document posted on our website that explains the criteria that must be met in order to be released from isolation. An individual can present this document to their employer, school, etc. ALONG WITH a copy of their positive result. This should be provided to you from the testing facility.

Here is a link for the document for employers, etc.: Criteria for release from isolation.

We are still doing our best to make contact with positive individuals as soon as we can. A week ago we started to use a mass texting system. A text will be sent to the phone number associated with the positive result that shares a link with instructions on how to isolate or quarantine until we can make a personal call. This hopefully helps a person get a jump start on knowing what steps they need to take in order to stop the spread.

Many people think the term isolation simply means not leaving the home. To truly isolate, a positive person needs to stay in a separate room (usually a bedroom) away from all others in the home and use a separate bathroom from others if available. All efforts should be made to reduce the spread to others residing in the home. This can also lessen the length of time the others in the home will need to quarantine since it is based on the late date of close contact to a positive person.

Here is the link that explains isolation/quarantine in greater detail. Home isolation/quarantine instructions.

Previous articles

Angel Tree gifts needed by Dec. 2
Angel Tree gifts needed by Dec. 2

A Holiday Central angel tree can be found in the foyer of the Historic Courthouse. People can adopt an angel tag and return the purchased items and tag to the courthouse no later than Monday, Dec. 2, 2019.

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Newly elected and re-elected road district commissioners sign their oaths of office at the annual roads meeting April 14, 2022.

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Construction planning
Construction planning

County commissioners and Sheriff DeLay review plans for the new Lawrence County Law Enforcement Center

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