DUTCHTOWN, Mo. — A village in southeast Missouri has no elected officials to make town decisions after flooding in recent years prompted many residents to move because they received buyouts from the federal government.
Dutchtown currently has a population of about 50 residents, down from 94 people in 2010, the Southeast Missourian (http://bit.ly/2txQvzQ ) reported.
Ken Eftink, Cape Girardeau County’s director of flood plain and stormwater management, said the village’s board is vacant because elected members left and no one ran to fill their seats in 2015 or 2016.
He said having no elected officials means no one set the property-tax rate or collected property-tax revenue in 2015 or 2016. Such revenue would fund maintenance and flood plain law enforcement.
Eftink said the village isn’t in the county’s jurisdiction because of its incorporated status.
Missouri state law would allow Dutchtown to end incorporation by ballot measure if a petition had signatures of more than half the registered voters in the village. Dutchtown currently has 18 registered voters, and such a measure requires approval by 60 percent of voters in the town.
County commissioner Charlie Herbst said no vote would be required if a petition has signatures from three-quarters of the registered voters in a town.
Eftink said he believes Dutchtown’s greatest advantage of ending incorporation would be to have a government entity that could step in if problems arise.