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Cole County collector reports revenues flat

The Cole County Collector’s Office took in $67.7 million for the year ending Feb. 28, slightly more revenue than last year.

The County Commission on Wednesday accepted the annual settlement report from Cole County Collector Larry Vincent.

For the year ending Feb. 28, Vincent’s office collected more than $67.7 million, about $110,000 more than the prior year.

The majority of that amount, $47.4 million, will be going to school districts around the county. The next biggest portion, $5.1 million, goes to cities in the county.

About $140,000 more in taxes went to schools last year, and about $40,000 less went to cities.

Delinquencies are up this year, Vincent said, going from $3.1 million to $3.6 million this year.

Vincent also said that since voters approved a countywide sales tax to operate an ambulance service in 2008, the commission has reduced the property tax levy for the county general fund. Because of that, along with tough economic times, the county hasn’t seen any large growth in tax collections the past few years.

In other business, commissioners decided to not house an ambulance at the new Jefferson City Fire Station No. 3 off of Missouri 179.

The city had asked the county if they wanted to do this, saying it would cost $200,000.

Ambulance Director Mike Shirts told commissioners that an ambulance there wouldn’t help with coverage.

“The biggest problem we had we took care of earlier this year when we moved our east ambulance from Jefferson City station No. 2 over to the Cole County Jail,” he said.

Shirts also said their trucks based in Apache Flats and on Southridge Drive are already covering the area where the new fire station will be built with no problems.

Commissioners also approved the purchase of two new ambulances for about $132,855 from Emergency Services Supply in Linn.

Shirts said this was not the lowest bid, but they believe it was the best bid for quality and specifications.

The lowest bid came from Taylor Made Ambulances from Arkansas at $122,417.

“It’s 20 miles to get an ambulance fixed by going with Emergency Services compared to having to drive to Arkansas to Taylor,” Shirts said. “We also heard from other cities and counties who didn’t have good recommendations for Taylor.”

Commissioners approved giving Prost Builders a 15-day extension to finish renovation work to the sallyport at the old Cole County Jail, behind the courthouse.

Some of the equipment needed for the work had to be brought in from the East Coast and was delayed due to snow storms.

This will not cost any extra money.

The project cost was $229,566, which will be paid through capital improvements money in the county’s law enforcement fund.

The work should be done by mid-April.

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