County OKs rezoning requests

The Monroe County Board on Tuesday passed resolutions approving zoning board recommendations to rezone land for a proposed distillery near Columbia and a future crematorium in Waterloo.

Quernheim Funeral Home was been granted a rezoning of 6.9 acres of land across from their operation on South Market Street, to eventually build a crematorium. Also, Alan and Cheryl Stumpf were granted rezoning of 10 acres on Centerville Road near Gilmore Lake Road to construct a 4,800-square-foot building for a distillery to produce corn-based vodka, legal moonshine and eventually, bourbon.

Alan Stumpf told county commissioners they are online to start production at the distillery in September or October.

Also at the meeting, Oak Hill Director Kim Keckritz provided an update on operations at the elder care facility. Keckritz said the number of residents had remained above historical expectation over the holidays and through January.  This is a positive trend to ensure financial stability.

She did note Medicaid payments from the state are still well behind schedule, with several cases up to 12 months in arrears. She said, though, that legislation in Springfield is in place to cut delays to 90 days or less.

Oak Hill is also currently implementing computer-based medication management.  Keckritz said this will provide better controls and better ensure residents receive medications safely and in a timely manner.

Oak Hill has been found to be in excellent compliance with Medicare regulations, she said, following seven separate audits of billing conducted by federal authorities recently.

County highway engineer Aaron Metzger reported that bids have been accepted from Columbia Quarry Company and Bluff City Minerals of Maryland Heights, Mo., for aggregate stone and chip materials for county road maintenance in 2014.

Metzger also said supplies of road salt remain in good condition, despite heavy use in recent weeks. He did say heavy use has started to damage plow blades and they are being checked to see which ones need replacement in the near future.

County Board Chairman Delbert Wittenauer responded to a Republic-Times query concerning progress in placing the Ed Kueker buffalo statue on the courthouse grounds.

Wittenauer said things are poised to move ahead as soon as weather permits, with several contributions of materials and labor in place to carry out the project. A plaque will note the significance of the buffalo to the region’s development, as well as its origin, the late Edmond Kueker and Violet Hartman Kueker.

The county board will meet next on Monday, March 3, at 8 a.m. in the courthouse in Waterloo.

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Alan Dooley

Alan is a photojournalist -- he both shoots pictures and writes for the R-T. A 31-year Navy vet, he has lived worldwide, but with his wife Sherry, calls a rambling house south of Waterloo home. Alan counts astronomy as a hobby and is fascinated by just about everything scientific.
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