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County may keep vehicle for court use

Friday, July 23, 2004

CHARLESTON - The 33rd Judicial Circuit's Drug Court of Scott and Mississippi counties has asked the Mississippi County Commission to keep one of the county cars it recently put up for bids. This vehicle would be used by the drug court to provide transportation to courts, treatment, doctor's visits and detention centers.

Brenda Bickford and Wesley McDermott presented the proposal on behalf of the drug court. "Right now, we use our personal vehicles," Bickford explained. "We're requesting that you keep one car on behalf of the drug court that will remain parked at the court house."

A proposal from John McMinn, administrator for the 33rd Judicial Drug Court, was also brought to the commissioners, asking to continue to provide insurance on the vehicle, if granted. The letter explained that funds previously used to pay mileage would be used to maintain the vehicle.

"You two will be the only ones authorized to use the vehicle, right?" Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg asked.

Bickford and McDermott assured commissioners they would be the only people with access to the car, which shouldn't be used a lot.

Blumenberg said commissioners would take the request into consideration. "When we get bids for the cars, we'll see what we're going to do for the drug court."

County Clerk Junior DeLay read a letter received from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. It included the results from a site characterization for the Mississippi County Airport in Charleston. Groundwater monitoring activities will be continued on a quarterly basis for three additional events and quarterly reports must be submitted.

Commissioner Martin Lucas reported he had delivered cost figures to residents who requested blacktopping County Road 411, west of East Prairie. "They seemed pleased with the price, but I haven't heard back from them yet," Lucas said.

Blumenberg commented that a decision would have to be made soon. "It's going to have to be done next month," he said. "Any later in the year, it won't hold up."

Commissioners also discussed limiting access of blacktopped county roads by heavy vehicles, such as potato trucks that frequently pass through. "It's tearing up the infrastructure," Blumenberg commented.

Heavy loads will be asked to stay off of the blacktopped county roads as much as possible, and use the main state roads when they are nearby. "There's no problem with them using them when necessary," Blumenberg said. "But the roads aren't built to carry heavy loads."

Commissioners will look at the situation and address it by the time potato trucks start traveling the roads again next year. He also remarked that signs will be posted to alert heavy-load truck drivers not to drive on the roads.

In other Mississippi County news:

* Stuart Bain submitted a subdivision plat, which was approved by the commissioners. Some of the blacktopping around the subdivision has also been completed. "It looks real good," Blumenberg commented.

* Commissioners approved a service agreement with the Mississippi County Rescue Squad.

* A public hearing was set for a budget amendment. "It cannot be amended at this time," DeLay reported. He explained that amendments to the budget cannot be made in the first 10 months unless a grant is received. DeLay said there is money left in general revenue that could be transferred as necessary and then the budget could be changed in the last two months of the fiscal year.