BENTON - While video arraignments won't completely do away with the "orange parade" of Scott County prisoners being led from the jail across the street for court appearances, it is sure to be a substantial step in the right direction, according to officials.
Scott County Economic Developer Jim Schwaninger confirmed during the county commission's regular meeting Tuesday that Scott County was approved for a video arraignment equipment grant through the Missouri Department of Public Safety and should receive the funds sometime in mid-July. Schwaninger said he must attend a compliance seminar as part of the agreement.
The system's cost was projected at $59,750 with the grant putting up 75 percent and the county matching the remaining 25 percent. The county will seek bids on the system which is to feature two-way video links between the jail and each of the three courtrooms.
The Sheriff's Department estimates roughly 200 hours per month are spent escorting prisoners to and from court appearances, according to Schwaninger. The goal of this grant is to cut that time in half, freeing up 100 hours of deputy time for patrolling and other duties.
In other Scott County news:
* Commissioners will seek new bids with an alternative roofing solution for the Scott County E-911 Center building at Morley.
The lowest bid to put metal roof on was $21,545 and the highest was $28,000, according to Joe Burton, Scott County E-911 administrator.
Included in the cost is the requirement to pay prevailing wage on the project and the removal and disposal of two layers of asphalt shingles, Burton said. "They are rotten and broken up."
One of the bids returned also included an alternative which would place a metal roof over the existing shingles for a "substantially cheaper" price, according to officials.
* Mini Farms residents Donna Morris and Terry Eakins, homeowners association secretary, discussed with commissioners problems with compliance and enforcement on stop signs within their subdivision.
"When I think about a stop sign I don't think about legality, I think about if someone is coming the other way," said Jamie Burger, commissioner.