BENTON - A steering committee for a proposed countywide rural water district in Scott County is formed
During their regular meeting Tuesday, Scott County commissioners discussed progress made during the water district meeting held Thursday at the courthouse.
"There were 61 people present and no one voted against it," said Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel. He said it was a good turnout considering "it was stormy - raining hard that night."
During the meeting, 20 of the attendees agreed to serve on a steering committee for the water district. "They're from all over the county," Priggel said. The steering committee's first meeting is scheduled for 6:30 Monday at the courthouse. Other interested people are also invited to attend.
Commissioners agreed one of the first things steering committee members should do is distribute a questionnaire to 25 people in their part of the county for a total of 500 surveys to determine the level of support. "It would give us a little idea," Priggel said.
"Everywhere I go throughout the county, people are asking about it," Commissioner Jamie Burger said about the water district. "About eight out of 10 are for it." The other two, he added, are "not really against it - they just want more information."
Priggel said there is really no reason to oppose the water district's formation as there is no tax associated with the district and those who don't hook up will not pay anything although the health benefits are well worth the costs for those who do decide to participate. "I'm surprised there's as much bad water in the county as there is," Priggel said.
Walter Bizzell, commissioner, said rates in the water district will be better, however, if more people hook up.
The deadline for final certification to put the rural water district's formation on the April 2005 ballot is Jan. 25, according to County Clerk Rita Milam. Officials are unsure of the public hearing requirements, however, and will check with an attorney.
In other Scott County news:
* What some might think of as a harmless prank had the possibility of deadly consequences.
"We had a lot of sign vandalism over the weekend," said Burger. Street signs were unfastened and twisted so the signs were showing the wrong street names.
"If there had been a medical emergency on one of those roads, the ambulance would have taken a wrong turn," Burger said, adding that time is a critical factor and mere moments can mean the difference between life and death in some cases.
* Commissioners met Tuesday afternoon with representatives from the three geographic information system companies selected to make presentations. Each company representative offered a 30 minute presentation followed by an additional 15 minutes to answer questions from county officials.
The three companies selected for the presentations were Smart Data Strategies of Franklin, Tenn., Bruce Harris and Associates of Batavia, Ill., and Midland GIS Solutions of Maryville.
In addition to county commissioners, county officials at the meeting also included Milam; two staff members from the assessor's office; Grace Keller, the county computer programmer; and Joe Burton, E-911 administrator for the county.
* Commissioners reappointed members of the Johnson Grass Board to new terms of varying length in order to stagger terms for future appointments.
Will Bucher of Oran will serve a one-year term; Randy Grant of rural Sikeston got a two-year term; and Paul Burger of Benton will serve for three years on the board.
* Oliver Kirkpatrick of the Lusk Chapel area was reappointed to a three-year term on the Levee 2 District Board.
* Commissioners appointed Gene Dement of Sikeston to a four-year term on the SEMO Port Authority Board to replace Ronnie Whitaker of Chaffee whose term ends Dec. 31.