Commission Meeting Minutes—June 20, 2017         Certified June 27, 2017

Crawford County Commission met pursuant to adjournment with these members present: Leo Sanders, Presiding Commissioner; Rob Cummings, Commissioner District 1; Jared Boast, Commissioner District 2; De Dee Hamilton, Acting County Clerk; and the following proceedings were had to viz;

Attendees at the beginning of the meeting included Ryan Storz, Kenny McGraw, and Kellie Vestal.

The meeting was called to order at 9:04 a.m.

9:05 a.m.:  Rob Cummings made a motion to approve the Crawford County Commission Meeting Agenda of June 20, 2017.  Jared Boast provided a second.  All in favor; motion carried.

Roll Call Vote was held as follows:  

Leo Sanders – Yea

Rob Cummings – Yea    

Jared Boast – Yea

9:05 a.m.:  Jared Boast made a motion to approve the Crawford County Commission Meeting Minutes of June 13, 2017.  Rob Cummings provided a second.  All in favor; motion carried.

Roll Call Vote was held as follows:  

Leo Sanders –Yea

Rob Cummings – Yea    

Jared Boast – Yea

9:10 a.m.:   Leo advised that there would be an open meeting today at 1:30 p.m. with a FEMA representative. 

9:13 a.m.:   Robert Bass, with Ozark Outdoors; JR Isom, with Blue Springs Ranch; Colin Cottrell, with Huzzah Valley Resort; Paul Wilkerson, with The Rafting Company; Larry Abdo, with Indian Springs Family Resort; and Cheryl Wilkerson, with the Steelville Area Chamber of Commerce and MCFA entered the meeting.

9:15 a.m.:   Amy England entered the meeting.

9:15 a.m.:   Kerry Summers entered the meeting.

9:16 a.m.:   Leo Sanders opened the floor to the canoe liveries.  Robert Bass said he wanted to address the tourism tax, and Jason Chipman introducing a tourism tax bill that was backed by the commission.  He said he wanted more communication from the commission; that the river businesses pay lots of taxes already, and wondered why they should be paying more. Leo said that Jason Chipman called him and asked if the commission would support a tourism tax and Leo told him that he was not going to make any decision regarding a tax without knowing more. Leo told him to call the other commissioners and call him back. Rob Cummings said Jason called him and Rob told him that he did not endorse the idea either. Jared Boast said Jason called him and he told Jason he wanted to know details. He asked Jason to come in and talk to the commission, that he would not support something he did not have more information on. Leo said he never heard more from Jason, so he thought that was the end of it.

9:25 a.m.:   Anita Brooks entered the meeting.  JR Isom talked about all the taxes they already pay and that they were against a 10% tax increase; it would be hard to survive as a small business.  Karen Cottrell entered the meeting. JR continued, he said the commission hadn’t contributed a thing to the canoe business for forty years. Leo reiterated that he told Robert Bass that he thought the deal was done and not going anywhere. Robert agreed that Leo told him that. JR continued, he said the commission had not supported the canoe businesses; that they were constantly having to watch their backs.  He added that he wasn’t referring to Rob Cummings and Jared Boast. Leo said the canoe committee should have come to the commission with a plan that would help. JR said they had come to the commission before and Ed Worley had said they would have a 14% tax, if he had anything to do with it.  Robert said he didn’t want to be proactive because he was defensive because of the way it was handled, and he was surprised. JR said the commission did not present anything realistic, that he wanted a receptive commission and hasn’t had that. Leo said he was receptive.  Kerry Summers told Leo that someone would have turned the key in Jefferson City, who did it? Leo said Chipman, Kerry said who sponsored it? Colin Cottrell said Chipman.  Robert said he had seen more cooperation from Jared and Road 2, in the short time he had been in office, and that it was appreciated.  Robert said he wanted the commission to get behind them. Leo asked why the canoe rentals were against it. Anita Brooks said she knew how tough it was, that she had handled the books for Ozark and that the three months they have to operate doesn’t do it to get through twelve months. Leo asked again; what can the canoe rentals do? JR said they had come to the commission once; Leo said not with this commission. JR said to Jared, that he had given them the best help in thirty years. He added that the county wanted more from them, and the canoe liveries wanted more in return.  Leo said for them to go back and see what they could do.  Leo addressed the room for questions.  Ryan Storz wanted to know how all this got started.  Leo read statute Section 67.1185.1, 67.1186.1, 67.1187.1, 67.1188.1 and 67.1189.1.

9:40 a.m.:  Kellie Vestal and Danny Brown stepped out of the meeting.

9:50 a.m.:  Kellie Vestal and Danny Brown returned to the meeting.

The discussion continued. Leo said that Kent Howald gave a legal opinion and advised that a surcharge would not have any effect on General Revenue, and that was what was in trouble. Leo added that contradictions are in the statutes that show this. Leo said that eleven entities would be effected, and how much would they receive? JR said because of the canoe rentals, there was a lot of residual spending created. He asked for a sales tax that would have everyone paying tax. JR asked who was watching the budgets of each county official and how county money is being spent. Leo went back to the statute and said it wasn’t written correctly. Colin Cottrell asked how it should be written. Leo reminded those present that the last commission put a ½ cent sales tax on the ballot and it did not pass. JR commented that he had written a letter to the newspaper to support the sales tax.  Leo went on to remind them that they put a ¼ cent tax on the ballot and it also failed.   Leo wanted those in the room to know that the county officeholders were staying in their budgets and doing everything they could to keep it that way.

10:00 a.m.:  Pat Schwent entered the meeting.

JR commented that the citizens would not give a ¼ of a cent, and Chipman wanted 10%, how did they expect the canoe liveries to feel. He added that the tax was not presented very well to pass it and that they need to promote it to pass it, show the facts why it was needed.  He said go to all the voters, not just five businesses. Leo said again, that Jason Chipman brought it up, the commission was not in favor.  JR said if a tax did come around, they wanted a ceiling on it, and it not go up every few years. Colin Cottrell said to educate the voters, and who needed to do that. Leo said everyone. Colin wanted to know who was going to start. Anita Brooks wanted to know what all this was going to accomplish, if it passed. Leo said he was waiting to hear back from Chipman.  Anita asked, for the record, were they in favor of it.  Leo said not as written. Jared said as it was written, he was against it 100%.  Leo went on to say many people at public meetings and town halls have said “tax the canoe rentals”. Jared said he understood where the canoe rentals were coming from. JR said the canoe rentals were not the county’s problem, and the public needed to know that.

Kerry Summers asked Leo what was passed. Robert Bass asked why the commission didn’t stop it with Chipman. Leo said he thought Chipman was doing what he thought was best, without the information he needed.

Robert commented that the Cuba Free Press has kept the commission under the gun, and the canoe rentals. He said the sales tax was put on the ballot at the wrong time.  Leo agreed. Robert said things were getting so much better and could see it continuing. Leo said he hoped the commission had put their minds at ease.  JR said they could help in November, December and January, but they could not help at this time of the year, not now in their busy time. Cheryl Wilkerson asked if the commission would be sure to let Chipman know they were against it. Leo said they would. Robert added that Chipman was told about another meeting and this one; he didn’t know why Chipman was promoting this and Chipman wasn’t here.  Amy England asked Robert if he had asked Chipman to meet with them and he said he had, to another meeting and today. Chipman was not at either.  JR said that 28 to 29 million dollars of tourism money had come in to Crawford County per year, for the last ten years.

Robert asked how much money had been received from FEMA and SEMA for county road improvements in the last two floods.  Danny Brown said $160,000, for both floods; one in December of 2015, and one in June of 2016.

Amy England asked for clarification regarding the statement JR had made about the amount of tourism money that had come in to the county. He repeated the amounts.

10:30 a.m.:  The canoe liveries exited the meeting.

10:55 a.m.:   The commission recessed.  Ryan Storz left.

11:05 a.m.:   The commission was back in session. Amy England left. The meeting continued with the full commission, De Dee Hamilton, Danny Brown, Kenny McGraw, and Pat Schwent present.

Pat had tax information regarding the eight businesses of the canoe rentals; this follows:

                                               Real Estate Taxes paid in 2016               $68,274.00

                                               Personal Property Taxes paid in 2016     $27,903.21

                                                                                       Total                  $96,177.36

Of those totals, General Revenue received $1422.10 from real estate taxes and $636.99 from personal property taxes, for a total of $2059.09.

Pat advised the commission that it would be a good idea to publish the annual settlement from the auditors in the newspaper and that she would pay for it out of tax maintenance. She said it was a more concise report than the financial statement that is already published. The annual settlement shows exactly how much each entity receives; how much goes to each ambulance, fire and school district, etc.  Jared asked if there was a place to see how much each business in Crawford County pays in sales tax. She said it is available on the state website.  Pat said she would supply each commissioner with an annual settlement report.

11:15 a.m.:  Pat exited the meeting.

11:23 a.m.:  Pat returned with the annual settlement reports and gave one to each of the commissioners.

11:30 a.m.:  Pat left.  The commissioners reviewed and signed bills.                             

11:45 a.m.:  The commission recessed till 1:30 p.m.

1:25 p.m.:    The commission reconvened at 1:25 p.m. with the full commission, De Dee Hamilton, Danny Brown, Kenny McGraw, Brenda Gustafson with FEMA and Lisa Mizell with EMD.

Ms. Gustafson gave each commissioner a handout with pertinent information and advised the commission of a new program FEMA is rolling out. She asked for questions and there were none.

1:55 p.m.:   Brenda Gustafson and Lisa Mizell left the meeting.

1:57 p.m..:  Rob Cummings made a motion to adjourn the June 20, 2017 meeting of the Crawford County Commission.  Jared Boast provided a second.  All in favor; motion carried.

The Commission adjourned to meet June 27, 2017, at 9:00 a.m.


Leo Sanders, Presiding Commissioner