CHARLESTON - Mississippi County commissioners may agree to pick up the tab for E-911 dispatcher training.
Martin Lucas, commissioner, said during Thursday's county commission meeting that East Prairie officials had asked if mandatory training for dispatchers could be paid from the county's 911 fund.
"They felt like the training was a technical aspect and should be paid out of the 911 fund," said Lucas.
The cost of the training is around $300 per person, according to officials. Lucas said he thinks there are two East Prairie dispatchers in need of training.
Under the terms of the contract, the city is responsible for all personnel costs, according to Junior DeLay, county clerk. "The county pays for equipment and software."
DeLay said the fund does have enough money to cover the expense, however, and commissioners could decide to make an exception.
Jim Blumenberg, presiding commissioner, said the county should go ahead and pay for the training as the county would have incurred the cost anyway if 911 services were provided solely by the county instead of in cooperation with East Prairie and Charleston.
David Brewer, city manager for Charleston, said he agreed with East Prairie officials that training could be considered a technical aspect of providing 911 service.
In other Mississippi County commission business:
* Commissioners renewed annual contracts with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Charleston Nutrition Center, Mississippi County Transit System and East Prairie Nutrition Center.
DeLay explained the agencies provide senior citizens with services for the county in consideration of funding from the county.
Each of the four agencies receive a percentage of the quarter-cent sales tax collected for senior citizen services.
* A public hearing for the county's 2002 budget was held to gather public input.
Commissioners also reviewed figures showing outstanding debt for 2002 and changes in fund balances for 2001.
The budget process is at this point still in the "very preliminary stages," DeLay said. "I received very few budget requests so far."
Budget requests are due Jan. 15, according to DeLay, with a final public hearing and approval of the budget slated for Jan. 31.
* Britton Ferrell, chairman of the University Extension Council, presented commissioners with the University Extension budget request for 2002.
Extension officials are requesting $32,500 - an increase of $1,000 over last year.
The budget increase was partly due to having a full staff this year with the recent replacement of the Extension's agronomist.
The new agronomist, Dr. Anthony Ohmes, also met with commissioners and presented the Extension's 2001 annual report.
* Commissioners will need to make two more appointments to the Bootheel Transportation Committee.
The committee keeps the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Missouri Transportation Commission updated on the area's transportation concerns and needs.
* Corey White of the Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation presented a survey for commissioners to fill out.
The survey is being circulated by DAEOC officials to determine how much the community knows about DAEOC and what they do.
* Commissioners reappointed Lucas as their representative on the Bootheel Resource Conservation and Development Council.
* A motorist who ran over three tombstones at the Oak Grove Cemetery after hitting a patch of ice presented insurance information to commissioners.