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Commission looks at electrical lines

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

(Photo)
Tom Strickland, project engineer, looks over electrical conduits.
BENTON - Commissioners weighed cost on one hand and looks on the other during their regular meeting Tuesday as they came to a decision on how to route new electrical lines at the courthouse.

Commissioners had hoped to have all the new electric lines routed inside.

The project's engineer, Tom Strickland of Strickland Engineering in Jackson, ended up running a conduit for the electric wires on each side of the courthouse near the gas line. "I just didn't see any way around it," he said.

Strickland said the conduits and gas pipes will be primed and painted in a light color to blend in with the courthouse's lighter shade of brick. "It should last for I'm going to say 10 years and then it will need to be repainted," he said.

"That won't happen," Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel predicted.

"You have to do maintenance," Strickland said.

After inspecting some possible interior routes and discussing what it would take to run the wires inside, commissioners agreed that it would be too costly and decided to run the electrical conduits outside but even closer to the gas lines.

The gas lines were also left outside because running them inside would have required a more expensive welded-joint system.

In addition to cutting down a great number of electrical conduits to only one on each side, new conduits should be a lot less visible than the old ones. "This is kind of tucked into a corner," Strickland said.

In other Scott County business:

* Commissioner Jamie Burger looked over plans received from Union Pacific Railroad for track upgrades in Rockview.

The old tracks are "light duty, bypass tracks," he said. "The new ones are going to be a 30 mph connection."

The tracks may be moved some. "I don't really think it's going to be that far," Burger said, although he added that he will not be sure until he takes a closer look at the plans.

Easements for the new tracks, however, will infringe on some landowners who are concerned about drainage. "We're going to demand some drainage improvements before we sign off on it," Burger said.

The railroad will reportedly start diverting trains south using the Burlington Northern tracks.

Commissioners will meet with a public relations representative from the Union Pacific Railroad within the next two weeks, according to Burger.

* Priggel suggested coming up with a list of questions about the proposed rural water district during the public meeting for the district scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 24 at the courthouse.

Burger said it will be an opportunity to "discuss the pros and cons" of putting the water system in.

County Economic Developer Jim Schwaninger said he will meet with John Chittenden of Waters Engineering in Sikeston and try to come up with an agenda for the meeting.

The proposed water district as planned would serve a potential of 3,700 new households in rural Scott County and could cost between $15 million and $18 million.

* County officials will open the new bridge on County Road 227 near Chaffee "some time in the middle of next week," Burger said.

* A tax rate hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 24.

* The county will not be collecting poly pipe this year," Priggel said. "It has to go back to the dealers now."

Priggel said Delta Plastic is no longer offering the pickup service for area counties as it has done over the last couple of years.