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County wants landfill cleared

Friday, January 28, 2005

CHARLESTON - Selling the right to harvest timber from the old landfill could raise money for Mississippi County and solve a problem.

Jim Blumenberg, presiding county commissioner, said during the regular county commission meeting Thursday that he has received complaints from landowners next to the landfill of people crossing their land to hunt on the old landfill.

Blumenberg recalled a previous discussion about selling the right to harvest timber from the land and said it needs to be cleared to keep poachers away.

Commissioner Homer Oliver said if there is enough oak and hickory, the timber's value will only continue to rise, but commissioners agreed it may be best to clear cut the land and let it regrow.

People have expressed an interest in purchasing the old landfill, according to officials, but the county is unable to sell it due to liability issues.

The county had 80 acres for the landfill but only used 30, County Clerk Junior DeLay recalled, and the county may be able to sell some of remaining land.

Blumenberg said he will check with the Department of Natural Resources to see how much land the county has to keep around the landfill.

"It's just a liability to us," Blumenberg said.

Commissioners agreed to have someone view the timber to give them an idea of what it is worth and then put it out for bid.

If no bids are returned, the county can then just work out a deal with someone to clear the land, Blumenberg said.

In other county news:

* Commissioners agreed to send a letter of support for the city of East Prairie's application for a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant to purchase two fully-equipped patrol vehicles.

The letter of support was requested by Kathie Simpkins, city administrator for East Prairie.

Commissioners also approved two letters of support for the county ambulance district, one for a grant application for an ambulance and a second letter in support of a grant application for four new heart monitors.

* An employee education agreement with John Hadenfeldt was approved in which the county pays for his law enforcement training and he agrees to stay with the county sheriff's department for two years.

* Old business on the agenda consisted of items related to roads and bridges.

"They're getting a little better," Oliver said of the county's roads and bridges.

Blumenberg said snowstone continues to be the county's answer to the problem of keeping gravel roads maintained.

"When you consider the quality of roads and price you can not beat that snowstone," Oliver said. "There's just too many roads in the county that were real, real bad and that are real, real good because of snowstone."

He added that with so many miles of road in the county, "it's hard to satisfy everybody on the same day." The emphasis, Oliver added, has been on roads used by school buses.

* Commissioners reviewed a letter of resignation from the Senate Bill 40 Board of Directors by Christy Story of East Prairie. Story explained in her letter that she has been hired by the Division of Senior Services which creates a conflict of interest.

* Lucas agreed to serve one year on the University Extension Board as Oliver is ineligible for another consecutive term on the Board.

* Commissioners will not meet Feb. 3. The public hearing for the approval of the county's 2005 ballot is scheduled for Feb. 10, according to DeLay.