SIKESTON - Joe Burton, Emergency-911 administrator for Scott County, presented county commissioners with a report of E-911 activity during the recent flooding.
Burton said during Tuesday's county commission meeting that none of the homes flooded in Scott County would fall under the "50 percent rule."
He explained if damage exceeded 50 percent of the county's assessed value for the structure, the owner would face stricter scrutiny by FEMA for assistance. "I don't think I had any that were that way," said Burton. He added that he doesn't expect to see flooding cause over 50 percent damage within the county, "but anything is possible."
He noted many of the homes flooded were on concrete slab foundations which may have prevented more severe damage.
"There were people that got water in their furnaces," said Burton.
He also reported approximately 50 residents had difficulty with possible contamination of wells due to flooding and open septic tanks that did not appear on the list of flooded homes.
Burton said that there were probably things that could be done to prevent flooding in some of the structures, but that some flooding around the county would inevitably happen if enough rain came down.
One area would have benefited from having a levee in place that was torn down. "It would stop a lot of water coming across there," agreed Walter Bizzell, commissioner.
"Every time it rains its going to get worse and worse," said Burton. "We were well-saturated - it had to run off somewhere."
Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel said much of the drainage problem was due to water not moving out of ditches south of Scott County. "St. John's (Ditch) needs to get drained out really before we can stop this flooding," said Priggel.
Burton also reported that he had hired another 911 operator with 12 years experience. "At the present time, we're up to full staff," Burton said.
Commissioners then asked Burton about an unpaid bill from Ameritech for $708.81.
Burton explained he had terminated service with Ameritech and they had made an error and billed him for five pagers they claimed were not returned.
Burton said he had boxed up all 15 pagers at the same time carefully checking serial numbers on each pager with an Ameritech representative on the phone. "If they didn't get the shipment, there would be 15 missing pagers," he reasoned.
Burton added that it was because of billing errors and problems sorting them out with the company that he decided to quit using them.
Burton phoned commissioners later in the meeting to advise he had possibly worked things out with Ameritech and they should see no further bills.
In other Scott County news:
* Commissioners reviewed a packet with the latest mitigation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency regarding the four remaining structures found to be in violation of FEMA flood plain guidelines during an 2000 inspection by the State Emergency Management Agency.
Priggel said it is important for county residents to comply with the requirement to obtain a flood plain permit before beginning any new construction or major renovations in the county.
* Rick Walter, project coordinator for Penzel Construction Company on the new county jail, updated commissioners on the project's progress.
Walter said construction of the facility is on track with concrete for the main floor scheduled to be poured next week. Jamie Burger, commissioner, said Benton residents had complimented jail construction crews on their keeping the site clean compared to past projects.
* Commissioners changed the county's purchasing policy so purchases more than $350 require two bids instead of purchases more than $250.
* County officials will publish advertisements seeking a contractor to do general carpentry, drywall, finishing, drop ceiling and painting work for a courthouse renovation project.
"That's the scope of work that's going to be done," said Burger.
County officials set the deadline for bids to be submitted for 10 a.m. Jan. 22.
* Harlan Duncan, supervisor for Scott County's highway department, reported he had auctioned highway department equipment that was no longer being used for a total of $7,600.
* Teresa Houchin, assessor, clarified a statement recently made regarding how often assessor's maps are updated.
Houchin explained that while her office actively updates property ownership information on assessor's maps, highway and road information is only updated when the information is passed to her office often leading to outdated representation of roads.