CHARLESTON - Mississippi County will use Homeland Security funds to upgrade its E-911 computer system.
County Clerk Junior DeLay said during Thursday's County Commission meeting that he received notification last week the county was approved for a $14,270 Homeland Security grant.
DeLay said he completed and submitted an inch-thick emergency response assessment survey to the State Emergency Management Agency required before the allocated funds could be awarded.
The money can be used "for anything emergency response related," DeLay said. The funds must be spent by Nov. 30.
The grant will first be used for the E-911 computer system because "it's been down for several months," according to DeLay. County officials had hoped to use Missouri Foundation for Health grant funding to upgrade the system and integrate it with the county's geographic information system, which displays information layers on a computerized map of the county.
The county was turned down for the Missouri Foundation for Health's first grant cycle on a technicality, probably because there were too many applications, DeLay said.
In other Mississippi County business:
* Commissioners approved year-end budget amendments for seven county funds for the last time due to criticism of the practice from state auditors.
"Beginning next year, we're not going to do this anymore," DeLay said. Once an office goes over their budget, purchase orders will be cut off, he said. Adjustments may still be made when grants are received or for other unanticipated revenue.
Following a public hearing, adjustments to the revenue and expenditure sides of the budget were made in the Senior Citizens Sales Tax Fund to account for $22,000 in unanticipated revenue; in the Reassessment Operating Fund for an additional $250 in expenditures; in the Prosecuting Attorney's Bad Check Fund for an additional $300 in expenditures; in the Ditch 3 Fund for $275 in additional expenditures; in the Road and Bridge Fund for $70,000 in additional expenditures; in the General Revenue Fund to account for an additional $275,000 transferred to the Law Enforcement Fund; and in the Law Enforcement Fund to account for $194,000 in expenditures over budget and for the transfers in from general revenue.
The Law Enforcement Fund adjustments were needed because the fund did not have as much revenue generated as budgeted and it spent more than budgeted, according to DeLay.
Some offices went over budget due to this year's insurance premium being for 13 months when last year's was for 11 months, DeLay said.
DeLay also said the Road and Bridge Fund did not go as much over budget as it appears because about $50,000 in additional expenditures were for blacktopping that the county got reimbursed for with reimbursements showing on the revenue side of the budget.
The Road and Bridge Department "sure did a lot of work this year," Commissioner Homer Oliver said.
* Commissioners commended Richard Wallace, county road and bridge superintendent, and his department for their efforts to clear the county's roads following the recent snow storm.
Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said he "can't praise those guys enough," noting they worked 12 to 14 hour days and on the day before and after Christmas to clear roads so emergency vehicles could respond if needed. "I think they did a good job," he said.
Commissioners said they heard some complaints but mostly heard positive comments about the county's road conditions.