BENTON - Scott County is halfway through its lease-purchase of the new jail.
"We've paid on it four years and we've got four more years to go," Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel said of jail's debt during the required annual Scott County Facilities Board meeting held during the county commission's regular meeting Tuesday. The board was formed to handle the jail's purchase financing.
The jail cost roughly $4.3 million to build. Payments are made twice each year on the jail. Commissioners said one payment is made in June and is primarily an interest payment. A second payment made at the end of each year goes mostly toward the principle. On Dec. 1, the county made a payment of $587,000.
Commissioner Jamie Burger said the transition to the new facility is complete "and the operations seem to be going OK."
Priggel said the population at the jail goes through phases where it reaches its 120-inmate capacity, "then it drops back down to 80 or so."
Commissioners are looking moving E-911 dispatching to the jail. The dispatching presently is housed in the old county highway department building at Morley but commissioners said the new jail would be more likely to withstand an earthquake.
Jeff Miles was appointed to serve another three-year term on the Scott County Facilities Board and was selected to serve as the board's vice president for the next year.
Roger Tatum was chosen to serve another year as the board's president; County Clerk Rita Milam will again serve as secretary-treasurer; and Ken Hollowell was picked as the board's assistant secretary.
In other Scott County business:
* Surveys gathered by the steering committee for the proposed countywide rural water district were reviewed during the committee's meeting Monday, according to commissioners.
A total of 317 surveys were turned in. Committee members "had a hard time contacting everybody," Priggel said. Commissioners had hoped for 500 surveys, but of those collected, Priggel said "88 percent said they would probably hook up to the water district."
The committee's next step is to gather 50 signatures on a petition to present to the circuit court to get the district's formation on the April ballot. Three notifications must also be published and a public hearing must be held.
The petition "has to be in my office by 5 p.m. Jan. 25 to get on the April ballot," Milam said, as that is the statute-mandated final certification date for any issue for the April election.
Burger said that in addition to steering committee members, seven new people interested in the water district also attended the meeting Monday as the surveys have spread word of the proposed water district.
Many are calling the district's formation "long overdue," Burger said.
* Pam Dirnberger, who was elected to be the next public administrator for the county, advised commissioners she "would like to get software for the public administrator's office."
One of the software vendors is offering a $300 discount on the software which costs $1,500, she said.
"This will make everything more accurate, faster," Dirnberger said, and puts information "right at your fingertips."
She also advised there may be state reimbursement for some attorney's fees related to public administrator duties.