CHARLESTON - Mississippi County commissioners approved securing an insurance supplement for crime coverage during their regular meeting Thursday.
The county's existing insurance provided built-in coverage for a loss of up to $5,000 at a cost of $300 per year, according to County Clerk Junior DeLay.
For an annual premium of $1,319 the county has now increased its coverage to $50,000 for crimes such as fraud, forgeries and robberies.
"It's basically a comprehensive-type criminal coverage," DeLay said.
County officials will still have to be bonded, according to DeLay, as it is required by law.
The premium for the rest of the year is pro-rated to a cost of $503, according to DeLay.
While officials discovered during the last audit that money came up missing from the Mississippi County Detention Center during the jail's previous administration, the company which bonded the former sheriff still hasn't reimbursed the county for the loss.
DeLay said County Prosecutor Darren Cann advised the county may have to initiate a lawsuit against the bonding company.
In other business Thursday:
* County road and bridge department motor grader operators are still grading roads that don't need it, according to Commissioner Martin Lucas.
He said he can understand shaping up gravel roads after a rain, but there is no need with the weather as hot and dry as it is.
"I don't see where we need to be grading just to be grading," he said.
Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg agreed and said if there isn't heavy traffic on a road, a road should only be graded once per month.
Blumenberg also noted the road and bridge department has only 26 percent of its fuel budget left when it should have 39-40 percent left.
He also said the sheriff's department has spent $13,500 of its $16,000 fuel budget.
As far as budgets go, "there's nothing you can cut except staff," Blumenberg said. He said costs have doubled while the county is still getting the same amount of revenue it did in 2002.
* Steve Hicks, construction manager for the Smith and Company engineering firm of Poplar Bluff, went over preconstruction information for the Four Mile Pond bridge project on County Road 518.
Also attending were Jay Githens, president of J.W. Githens Co. which was awarded the construction bid for the project, and Dave Luther from the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Githens said he plans to start the project around Oct. 3 and anticipates having it finished by Nov. 12.
Based on a notice to proceed date of Aug. 22, the project must be substantially finished by Dec. 29 and has a final completion date of Jan. 28.
* With the water level dropping below the low-water concrete slab at the Missouri landing for the Dorena-Hickman Ferry, the county has had to put some white gravel down but the ferry is still running, according to Lucas.
"I've heard they've had some barge problems, hitting bottom," Lucas said.
* Commissioners met with a representative from Brown and Thomas CPAs for a audit entrance conference.
"The county and the health department are on this one," Lucas said.
This audit is required because the county received over $500,000 in federal grant funds.
"It will be a limited scope (audit)," DeLay said. "Nothing like the state audit."