The Barry County Commission has planned a pair of open informational meetings to discuss the county's current financial condition and a sales tax that will come before voters in November.
The first meeting will be held at the Wheaton Fire Station at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The second meeting will be held at the Monett Park Casino at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20.
In August, the commission voted to place a 3/16th of a cent sales tax on the Nov. 8 ballot. If approved by voters, the revenue from the additional sales tax will be used by the county for law enforcement. The sales tax will come with a five-year sunset agreement.
Barry County operates on a one-half of a cent sales tax and fees generated by county offices. The county does not have a levy on real estate or personal property.
According to a press release issued by the commission, county expenses, which include fuel for patrol cars and food and medical care for inmates, have increased as sales tax revenue has declined for the past three years.
The county is also facing costs associated with two murder trials. The county expects to be charged approximately $100,000 in change of venue costs for each trial.
The upcoming informational meetings will offer presentations by Barry County Prosecuting Attorney Johnnie Cox and Sheriff Mick Epperly. Members of the county commission and other office holders will also be in attendance.
The meetings are open to the public, and all interested community members are encouraged to attend.