2023 Jasper County budget

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Federal funds are boosting the bottom line in Jasper County. Specifically “American Rescue Plan Act” or ARPA funds pay for everything from the new drug treatment program at the county jail to general operating expenses.

“It’s just a base 10 million that we were able to keep from the American rescue plan, Act funding and that will go to sustain you know, long-term operations and whatever capital projects we have,” said Sarah Hoover, Jasper Co. Auditor.

Costs are also going up for court operations, as the county gets ready to launch its new courts building in Joplin.

“Too early to say that it is too early to say exactly. What we do know is of course, that our insurance has gone up. The cleaning costs have gone up. There’s really a lot. It is quite a bit bigger than our old building, I think three times the size actually. And so of course those things are gonna go up,” said Hoover.

And the Jasper County budget has grown to cover the cost of utility bills and gasoline, trying to keep pace with inflation.

“We do know it is a lot higher than 2022. We have, you know, our road patrol. And it’s out there using a lot of gas and so we did see a big increase there,” said Hoover.

Some county tax revenue is up.

“The latest calculations look like sales taxes are up about 4%,” said Hoover.

But they aren’t planning on any big increases in 2023.

And finally, county employees will also benefit from the new budget.

It factors in a three percent cost of living increase, as well as four months of premium pay.

That means extra pay ranging from $500 to $4,000 depending on years of service and whether they’re full-time or part-time.

Personal Property tax forms are on the way

CARTHAGE, Mo. — You may not be ready to think about paying 2023 taxes, but Missouri tax forms are already in the mail.

Residents will soon receive the document for them to list all the personal property they own as of January 1st.

Common items range from cars and trucks to airplanes and RV’s.

The list, of course, is used to calculate personal property tax bills, which won’t be sent out until the end of the year.

“That would include trailers, motorcycles, boats, motors, livestock, and farm machinery. And even if you have permanent plates on your vehicles, your trailers, you still have to assess for those,” said Lisa Perry, Jasper Co. Assessor.

For Jasper County residents, the form can be filled out online through the assessor’s website, here.

The information is due by March 1st.

Carthage R-9 considers performing arts center for 2023 ballot

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Carthage voters may get the chance, again, to decide whether to expand school facilities next year.

The school board is debating putting a performing arts center back on the ballot in the spring. The measure initially called for an $18-million bond, which would not have increased the tax rate. Carthage voters turned down the question earlier this year, but district leaders are considering a second try in April. They point out it the benefit would extend beyond a new performance space.

“We do what’s best for the kids and the students. The performing arts center would give us opportunities for more classroom space as well which is desperately needed for our district,” said Niki Cloud, Carthage R-9 Board President.

The Carthage School Board is expected to make a decision about the issue at its January board meeting.

Jasper County officials are sworn in

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The November vote was more than a month ago. Today, several elected officials were sworn-in to their respective offices.

Nine Jasper County officials took the oath of office.

The County Clerk, Presiding Commissioner, Circuit Clerk, County Auditor, and Recorder of Deeds, along with two judges and a court commissioner.

The ceremony marks the start of a term of office, not to mention the responsibility that goes along with it.

“Realize the magnitude of what we do. Our decisions every day affect the people of this county and we need to remember that. That we serve the people of this county. We’re here for their benefit and today is a big reminder of that,” said Dean Dankelson, Jasper Co. Judge.

The new terms officially begin this weekend, January first.

Swearing-in ceremony for new Jasper County Judge

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A former Webb City attorney is sworn-in today (12/22) As a Jasper County judge. Luke Boyer is the new District Six Associate Circuit Court Judge, and was sworn-in by Judge Joe Hensley at the county courthouse in Carthage.

Boyer practiced law for more than 15 years in both Missouri and Arkansas; the last 11 was primarily in the Jasper County area. He beat out two other candidates in April, and was unopposed in the November general election.

“I always had it in my mind that maybe I would want to do it. I was encouraged by some of my colleagues and friends to do it and I always thought I was suited. My personality and temperament lends itself to that. It seems like a role that would fit me best, but obviously you don’t know until you get the job,” said Luke Boyer, Jasper County Associate Circuit Court Judge (District 6).

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This was Boyer’s first time running for elected office. He replaces Jerry Holcomb, who is retiring after holding the position since 2018.

Additional warming stations open up

KSN/KODE— Many area churches and organizations in Southwest Missouri are opening up to serve those needing to warm up or seek shelter from the onslaught of ice, snow, and painful arctic temperatures.


  • Joplin First Church of the Nazarene – 2124 Utica St. (417)623-3455, Thursday-Friday Open at 7 a.m. and working with Soul’s Harbor to transport folks who need shelter overnight

Click here for a full list of warming shelters in southwest Missouri


  • Neosho Freeman Family YMCA – 4701 Chouteau St., (417)455-9999, No membership is needed to warm up during normal business hours. Friday 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. (Hours are subject to change.)
  • Restoration Life Center – 415 N. High St., (417)455-9393, Warming center is open until Friday morning, at least. Still seeking volunteers to continue providing that space past Friday morning.

Area Senior Centers and services close due to inclement weather


  • Carthage Crisis Center – 100 South Main St., (417)358-3533, Lobby is open overnight Thursday and Friday. Each person must submit to a warrant check.


  • Splitlog Baptist Church – 3670 Splitlog Road, (417)364-7458, Warming shelter is open overnight until 12:00 p.m. Saturday.

Area Senior Centers close due to incoming winter weather

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Area Agency on Aging Region X announced on Facebook that some area senior centers will close out of caution for the projected inclement weather, and all services provided by the Agency, such as lunch, will not be available.

The Area Agency on Aging central office and Senior Center services in Barton County, Carthage, Neosho, Joplin, and McDonald County will close on Thursday, December 22.

Officials said they don’t want the older adult population to be getting out in the case of severe weather. They also do not have the capacity or funding to staff the senior centers after hours.

The Center in Carl Junction and the Webb City Senior Center will be open by the city as warming shelters for those in need. You can find more information about that and other warming shelters in the area here.

This information is subject to change depending on city-specific judgments in the case of severe weather.

Carthage Tech Center receives hefty grant

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The “Carthage Tech Center” was recently awarded $400,000 from “Missouri’s Area Career Center Opportunity Grant.”

And school leaders are looking at options to add an early childhood professions program.

They say there’s a big need for more childcare in the community, and hope the development of the course would help address the need.

“That would hopefully help create an interest in a workforce centered around early childhood. And so we’re looking to do some things centered with the district’s early childhood center to utilize those funds,” said Dr. Gage Tiller, CTC Director.

Money could also be used on some existing programs in need of technical upgrades.

Other local technical education centers that received grant money were ones in Nevada, Monett, Lamar, Franklin Tech in Joplin, and the tech center at Crowder College.

Carthage employees sport ugly Christmas sweaters

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Today (12/16) is “National Ugly Sweater Day,” and what better way to celebrate than putting on your tackiest Christmas sweater and wear it to work? That’s exactly what employees of 15 different Carthage businesses did today.

Employees sporting the ugly, yet festive attire, took photos and submitted them to the Carthage Chamber of Commerce. This afternoon, the Chamber took a good look at all of the photos, and this weekend, will choose one business whose employees sported the ugliest Christmas sweaters. The winners will be announced on Monday (12/19) and will receive a special prize.

“We appreciate our businesses, we appreciate our members and we like to have fun, so we want them to have a lot of fun too,” said Carthage Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Julie Reams.

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“We think it’s just a really fun, festive way we can be a part and just get involved with the community,” said Charlene Smith, Assistant Branch Manager of SMB Bank in Carthage.

All of the competing businesses submitted their ugly sweater group photos to the Carthage Chamber’s Facebook page. You can view those photo submissions, HERE.

Carthage Humane Society new addition will help struggling pet owners

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Carthage Humane Society has a new addition. Officials say a local couple, who are longtime supporters of the Humane Society, purchased and donated this shed.

It will now house food items for pets.

“We have been getting numerous calls and walk-ins from people who are feeling they have to surrender their animals, because they can’t afford to feed ’em. It’s a really big need right now in this area, and it broke my heart. So, we asked for donations to be able to put up a little building and stock it with food to at least help people that are financially hardships to get through the winter,” said Renay Minshew, CHS Director.

Officials are now asking for donations to stock the shed and keep it stocked.

They’re also preparing for a busy weekend. They’re hosting a “Howliday Adoption Event.” It begins tomorrow.

You can find more details by following this link here.