County Officials Dig Into Mysterious Deposit, EMAA Grant Letter

County officials last week worked on two mysteries — unexpected money being wired to the county and a two-year-old grant-related letter dropped off at the courthouse.

During last Thursday’s County Commission meeting, Ste. Genevieve County Treasurer Sara Hoog reported that a wire transfer for $21,002 had been received from the U.S. Department of Interior.

At first, neither she nor the commissioners could figure out what it might be for.

It was discussed that the National Park Service operates within the Department of the Interior, although no one could fathom a reason for the park service to send the county money.

After discussing the situation with Ste. Genevieve city administrator Martin Toma, it was determined that the deposit appears to be a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) from the National Forestry Service (NFS) for the Mark Twain National Forest, which has limited acreage in the county.

This was still perplexing for county officials, since the NFS falls under the United States Department of Agriculture not the Department of Interior. Hoog confirmed, though, that the figure does match funds anticipated from the NFS, down to the exact dollar.

Another puzzling matter that was resolved related to a letter from the East Missouri Action Agency (EMAA) that had been left with the County Clerk’s Offfice three weeks earlier. The letter, dated June 16, 2017, asked the commission to write a letter of support for a senior citizens home rehabilitation grant. The commissioners were not sure if the agency was wanting them to write another letter of support.

After spending about 20 minutes trying to reach a live person to speak to at EMAA, Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson left a message for Bill Tucker. Tucker later called back and said that EMAA was indeed hoping the commission would write another letter of support for the rehab grant. Tucker apologized for the staff member not making that clear when the letter was dropped off.

See complete story in the June 26 edition of the Herald.

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