No room available for Scott County prisoners
CHARLESTON - It's nothing personal - the feds just pay more.
Mississippi County Commissioners and Don Chance, administrator for the county's detention center, confirmed during Thursday's meeting that the relationship between Mississippi and Scott counties remains in good standing, but Mississippi County just does not have room for Scott County prisoners any more.
Presently the jail is holding only Mississippi County prisoners, Federal Immigration and Naturalization prisoners, "and a few change of venues," according to Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg.
Mississippi County will remain the main long-term holding facility for INS prisoners in western Missouri south of St. Louis at least through the remainder of INS's fiscal year which ends Oct. 1, according to Chance.
Chance said under this agreement, the county is asked to have an average of 70 beds available for INS prisoners.
After making sure Mississippi County prisoners are taken care of, "the main concern is keeping revenue up so we can pay off the jail," said Homer Oliver, commissioner.
The daily rate paid per prisoner by the INS under the current contract is nearly double that asked of Scott County, according to officials.
In other Mississippi County business, Blumenberg said the county was contacted by a community relations officer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency asking for confirmation that there are no individuals in Mississippi County in need of federal assistance for floodwater damage in their homes.
"There were none that we know of," said Blumenberg.
Commissioners have not yet heard back from FEMA regarding public assistance for roads and ditches damaged in the flooding. A preliminary inspection found $104,000 in damage but the county will be resurveyed once the water finishes dropping, officials said.
Commissioners further discussed the possibility of a new ditch lateral alongside County Highway 220. "We need to protect our road," said Oliver.
A ditch there would require sod or seed to stabilize its sandy banks, commissioners agreed. The biggest issue, however, would be getting the easements which officials believe would need to be a minimum of 100 feet wide.
Oliver said he thinks the easements should be purchased by those whose land it would drain. Now that the water is dropping, however, commissioners said they will be less likely to find cooperation.
Commissioner Martin Lucas said the county should require subdivision developers to have "some idea of what's going to happen to surface water" for future projects.