Pettis County Western Commissioner Jim Marcum announced his bid for reelection Friday at the weekly meeting of the Pettis County Pachyderms at Best Western, 32nd and Limit.

His announcement was met with applause from those attending the luncheon. Eastern Commissioner Israel Baeza and Presiding Commissioner David Dick were also in attendance.

“It was 2013 when I first took office and I'm in my seventh year. I'm going to try to run for a third term if people will let me do that,” Marcum told Townsquare Media. His favorite part of the job is people. “I love making Pettis County grow; I love the people. I'm really proud of being part of this county, because I think we're looking forward to wonderful things in the future, and I certainly want to be a part of it.”

Marcum noted that his mornings belong to the county, while the rest of the day he can devote to his business. “The County usually comes first for what I do,” he remarked.

Improving some of the 900 miles of roads in Pettis County has been a priority for Marcum.

The process involves converting old gravel and asphalt roads, grinding them up with a tiller machine and injecting the material with a plastic polymer, which turns the material hard as concrete.

“Matter of fact, it worked so well, we have two or three roads tha have been here six years and don't have a pothole in them yet. And that's with heavy truck traffic,” Marcum noted, adding that several reps from other Missouri counties have visited Pettis County to see how it's done.

“It's kind of become an industry standard in the middle of Missouri now,” Marcum said proudly.

The caterpillar tiller machine Marcum referred to used to be rented by the County at a cost of $33,000 a month. And the rent on it had to be paid, regardless of the weather condition that limit how many days it can be used to improve the roads.

Pettis County then bought its own tiller machine in 2018 at a cost of $310,000, which was an excellent purchase, Marcum said. The machine was 18 months old at the time of purchase and is used frequently to improve the roads, such as the one that runs past Maxion Wheels. A new machine costs $550,000, he said.

In fact, the machine was used in the City of Sedalia to resurface a major portion of Winchester this summer. A total of four inches was added to Winchester, extending the life of the roadway by 10 or 15 years, at least, Marcum said. And it was done at about one-third of the price a contractor would have charged for an asphalt road.

"We bought a building," Marcum noted, referring to the former Black Dawn shooting range. "We got a pretty good deal on it. We're trying to move from Main and State Fair Boulevard, because traffic makes it hard to get all our equipment in and out every day."

The new location is positioned next to the county's north lot for rock and  other materials. Marcum said he hopes to move into the new building by December. The new location will also house the Pettis County EMA, which has formerly been headquartered in the basement of the Pettis County Sheriff's Office.

Commissioner Marcum was the featured speaker on Friday, Oct. 11. Next week's meeting on Oct. 18 will feature Chris Harper, Osage Trails District Boy Scout executive.

On Oct. 25, Sedalia Democrat Publisher Will Weibert and Editor Nicole Cooke will share the spotlight at noon Oct. 25.