Statewide stay-at-home order in place;
no public entry to non-essential businesses in Lawrence County effective April 6
Access to Historic Courthouse building now limited due to pandemic; but many services still available
Public access to the building is limited due to the pandemic. Most county offices will be open and will be accessible by telephone or other electronic means. Each office determines how it will handle individual cases as they occur, or by appointment.
Here are some of the ways offices are able to serve you during this health emergency:
COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICE - Since the election has been moved to June 2, voters can wait to vote absentee in person or request a ballot by mail. Call 466-2638 for other questions.
RECORDER'S OFFICE - Call 466-2670 to discuss with staff how best to handle your request. Current hours 8 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday.
COUNTY COMMISSION - Call or leave message at 466-3666.
MT. VERNON LICENSE OFFICE - Closed. You may leave messages at 466-4087.
UNIVERSITY EXTENSION OFFICE - Call 466-3102.
TREASURER'S OFFICE - Call 466-2662 or e-mail email@example.com.
PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE - Closed to public, but you may contact office at 466-2846.
Events & Announcements
No public entry to nonessential businesses in Lawrence County
Lawrence County has adopted Governor Parson’s Stay At Home Order effective until April 24, 2020. The list of essential businesses can be found at https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce.
In addition, the Lawrence County Commission in conjunction with Lawrence County Health Department wishes to clarify non-essential businesses in Lawrence County. The following businesses must not allow the public to enter their establishment until the order is lifted or allowed to expire.
Non-essential businesses and/or services include all businesses and/or services not specifically designated as Essential in these rules.
Those non-essential businesses and services include, but are not limited to:
Gymnasiums (unless operated by and at a medical facility), fitness centers, and health clubs.
Personal services including, tanning salons and services, nail services, spa type services, therapeutic massage (unless under the care of a physician.)
Hair cutting, styling, washing, or coloring services.
Other types of non-physician dermatological services.
Body decoration/modification services, including tattooing, piercing, branding, scarification, shaping, implants, scalpelling, and painting.
Domesticated animal grooming services.
Wedding and Wedding Services.
Auction services – not related to legally required estate sales and essential supply chains (food, medical, energy, transportation, water, and defense.)
Retail stores not providing essential goods and services, such as, but not limited to, furniture stores, clothing stores, general merchandise, consignment goods stores, photography studios, CBD shops, vape shops and smoke shops.
The owner or one employee may come in and package product to ship sold by online orders or phone orders.
Athletic events, including, but not limited to, athletic leagues, games, tournaments, practices.
175th celebration to be rescheduled
Lawrence County's 175th celebration event will be rescheduled. It was originally set April 9.
Election re-set to June 2; absentee voting expanded, extended
Voters with a compromised immune system or who are in a high risk age group for the coronavirus have the option of voting absentee in the General Municipal Election - which has been rescheduled from April to June 2.
Lawrence County Clerk Tammy Riebe said her office will work with voters to assure they are able to cast a ballot.
Those who prefer may request that an absentee ballot be mailed to them. They should make that request by May 20. A request form can be downloaded at www.lawrencecountymo.org or call 466-2638 for more information.
They may also arrange curbside voting of an absentee ballot outside the courthouse by contacting the clerk’s office at 466-2638.
Road, bridge sales tax up for retention in June 2 election
The longstanding road and bridge sales tax in Lawrence County will be up for renewal on the June 2, 2020, ballot. Voters first approved the sales tax in 1984, and have voted in favor of renewing it each of the five times it has come up for renewal. This time it will be presented without an expiration date. The sales tax supports the 15 road districts in the county.
County clerk outlines 2020 election information
Lawrence County Clerk Tammy Riebe has announced election information for 2020:
PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY - MARCH 10
Register to vote before Feb. 12. Absentee voting: Jan. 28-March 9.
GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION - April 7 (Rescheduled to June 2)
Register to vote before March 11. New deadlines for absentee voting: By mail until March 27; in person until June 1. Request absentee ballot.
PRIMARY ELECTION - AUG. 4
Register to vote before July 8. Absentee voting June 23-Aug. 3
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION - Nov. 3
Register to vote before Oct. 7. Absentee voting Sept. 22-Nov. 2
Collections on 911 sales tax begin Oct. 1, 2019
(Updated 9-17-19) The Missouri Department of Revenue has advised the county that the voter-approved half-cent sales tax for countywide 911 services will take effect Oct. 1, 2019. "Prior to the effective date, the Department (of Revenue) will mail notification of the new tax rate to all businesses registered in your county," the notice said. Revenue from the 911 sales tax does NOT go to the county; it goes to the new 911 board for operation of a countywide 911 system. The board is its own governmental entity and is named the Lawrence County Emergency Services Board. It expects to receive its first revenue in November 2019. Lawrence County voters approved the tax in April 2019.
Initial Lawrence County 911 Board of Directors named
With passage of the half-cent 911 sales tax, Lawrence County Commission has named the initial members of the seven-member Lawrence County 911 Board of Directors.
Representing the Eastern District are Jim Carson, Rick Witthuhn and Amy Buffalow. Representing the Western District are Brad DeLay, David Hubert and Bonnie Witt-Schulte.
The member at large is Mike Palmer.
“The selection of individuals to serve on the Board to govern the Lawrence County 911 emergency and dispatch service has been a very difficult, strategic and, at times, daunting task. We, the Commissioners of Lawrence County, have not taken our responsibility of appointing members of this board lightly. We have considered the comments and opinions of many Lawrence countians, especially those who are direct stakeholders in this entire process,” said Presiding Commissioner Bob Senninger. “It is the consensus of this Commission that the citizens of Lawrence County desire to have the very best possible 911 emergency communication system possible.”
Based on Missouri State Statute 190.335, the County Commission is charged with appointing a seven-member Board of Directors, who in turn will become its own political entity.
The members of this board are responsible for carrying out the design, set-up and management of 911 response and all other dispatching for the entities of the county who rely on emergency dispatch and other like services.
The Statute requires that there be three members from the Eastern District of the county and three from the Western District, with one individual chosen at large from either district. In addition, the statute indicates that there be representation from the sheriff’s office, fire, ambulance/EMT, emergency management and municipalities.
“Considering those specific requirements and a number of well qualified individuals to choose from, we believe that we have selected individuals who are very capable and highly motivated to plan, develop and implement the finest 911 dispatch center in all of southwest Missouri, located right here in Lawrence County,” Senninger said. “We want to thank each one of these individuals for their willingness to serve.”
These individuals will serve as the 911 Board of Directors from the time of their appointment and swearing in, until the April 2020 election is certified and those who have been elected are sworn in.
Those serving on the initial board, as well as any other citizen of Lawrence County, may file and run to be elected to the 911 board when filing for the April 2020 election opens. Those who choose to file must also choose the length of term for which he or she will run.
Road commissioners gather at Historic Courthouse
Lawrence County Commission hosted approximately 60 road district commissioners and personnel at their annual road commissioners meeting April 11, 2019, at the Historic Courthouse. Newly elected and re-elected commissioners were sworn in. After presentations on equipment, culverts, road oil bids, road signs, maintenance and next year's renewal of the road and bridge sales tax, the group enjoyed a lunch catered by Maggie Mae's. Murphy Tractor and Diamond Motors displayed equipment.
Lawrence County 911 measure passes
Lawrence County's 911 half-cent sales tax passed with a little over 60 percent of the vote in unofficial election results Tuesday night. Unofficial count was 2,318-1,518. Complete unofficial results of the April 2, 2019, election can be found here.