CHARLESTON - Mississippi County can finally look forward to a new bridge at Four Mile Pond.
Commissioners renewed their discussion on the replacement of the bridge, located on County Road 518, with Dennis Cox from Smith and Company during the regular County Commission meeting Thursday.
The project has been on hold for several years while officials waited for enough Off-Systems Bridge Replacement Program funds to accumulate. The funds are allocated to counties by the Missouri Department of Transportation based on the ratio of the county's total deficient bridge area to the state's.
Cox said county crews should place the rip rap for the project immediately after the abutments are finished but before the new deck is started so they don't have to work around the new bridge.
"That's a decent-sized item the county can do for in-kind work," Cox said. Along with the $9,000 estimated cost for county crews to remove the old bridge, between $36,000 and $42,000 worth of in-kind work should be credited toward the county's 20 percent local match, which totals about $79,700. "This would be roughly half of that," Cox said. The estimated total cost for the project is $398,983.
County Clerk Junior DeLay asked if there is any "soft money" available, referring to an arrangement with another county in which Mississippi County's future Off-Systems Bridge Replacement Program fund allocations are traded for cash toward the current project's local match.
Cox advised, however, that MoDOT has set the rate for trading hard funds for soft money at 2:1, although Greene County may have some available. "Hard" money is that allocated each fiscal year, Cox said.
He also advised the county can get credit for work on on-system bridges, but those projects must be completed to MoDOT's specs, which can be costly.
Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg asked Cox to "Check on the funds ... let us know what kind of soft money is out there."
In other business:
* Commissioners will examine first-hand the preparation for the county's next chip-and-seal surface.
They agreed to have the road and bridge department go ahead and prepare the area, but have crews wait until commissioners inspect it before the surface is laid.
* Commissioner Homer Oliver commented on some large rocks he had found on some of the county's gravel roads. "I wouldn't call it a boulder, but it's a big rock," Oliver said describing the size of one example.
He said they probably won't crush and have to be removed.
* Commissioners accepted a bid of $800 from the City of Bertrand for a gray 1996 patrol car declared as surplus property.
The car has "in excess of 100,000 miles," according to Oliver. "I think it's actually going to their fire department."
Commissioners agreed to donate the other surplus vehicle, a white 1997 also used as a patrol vehicle by the sheriff's department, to the circuit drug court for an official business vehicle.
* Blumenberg asked DeLay how many Libertarian ballots the county had to have ready. Not a single Libertarian ballot was cast.
DeLay said countywide there were about 1,000 Libertarian ballots. "By law, we're supposed to print 55 for every 50 registered voters," DeLay said.
"Not many" Republican ballots were filled out, DeLay said. The county also had to have non-partisan ballots available for those who may have wished to vote on the issues without participating in the primary.
* Oliver said he has asked the county road and bridge department to spray Maple Slough starting on the south end.