Northern Commissioner, Alvin O. Griffin
Last week your Commissioners were very busy attending their annual County Commissioners Association Conference (CCAM) in Columbia Missouri. This three-day conference consisted of a general session discussion on topics of interest to every County. The Commissioners had many breakout sessions to discuss topics facing our County, and also had Legislative updates, group discussion by County Classification (Bates County is 3rd class County by population), Regional Planning, Broadband fiber internet everywhere, SEMA, Medical marijuana, of course County roads and Dept. of Conservation. Governor Parsons spoke on stronger communities, workforce and education, infrastructure, and Government reform. The Commissioners enjoyed representing your County and voicing their own concerns to other Counties facing the same problems they face.
Your Bates County Commissioners have worked diligently on County building improvements, namely the jail addition and the new Administration building. All of the business offices of the County are now located at 103 W Dakota St just SW of the square. Located within the remodeled building is the County Treasure/Collector, Assessor, Recorder, Clerk, Surveyor and Commissioners office. This may be old news, but still some citizens walk up to the Courthouse only to find we have moved! The License Bureau and MU Extension office continue at their present location.
The historical Courthouse is now an exclusively for anything that relates to the courts system for criminal and civil proceedings. Second floor now houses the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, Victims Advocate and soon the Juvenile office. Third floor houses the Courts, Circuit Clerk and Judges. Plans are being discussed as to the future design on the third floor. Sadly, our Courts need to expand, on one recent court day there were 150 criminal arraignments. The Courthouse now has in place a security program which protects our employees and well as those receiving criminal justice! The doors are locked and entrance for the public is located at the NW basement entrance only.
The Courthouse in general needs constant vigilance to maintain its historical attributes. The Commissioners are in discussion to re-tuck the building stones and repair the foundation water damage. This will be a slow process as they have to adhere to State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) guidelines to maintain our historical registered building.
Our jail addition can now house 200 inmates in a modern and secure environment. Sheriff Anderson has masterminded an effectual administration program that sets our County out in front of other Counties. His law enforcement program is of extreme importance to the financial well-being of your County.
Lastly your County financial status is strong. Your elected officials have taken good care of Bates County. With the cooperation of all elected officials your County is ready for the future.