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Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

County jail's opening nears

Wednesday, April 2, 2003

BENTON - The long-awaited new Scott County jail will begin holding prisoners in about a week, according to officials.

"We're progressing as planned and probably will be over there within seven or eight days," said Scott County Sheriff Bill Ferrell.

Ferrell said they are now stocking the jail with supplies and taking care of other small details. "We're moving according to plans," he said. "It won't be long."

Scott County commissioners confirmed during their regular meeting Tuesday that the backflow protector had been replaced with a check valve until a circulation pump and tank can be installed.

"We got the water issue resolved," said Commissioner Jamie Burger. "You can tell we have the water pressure and volume now ... We feel like it's ready."

In other Scott County business:

* Joe Burton, Scott County E-911 administrator, advised commissioners Scott County was awarded a total of $3,707.39 through the Community Emergency Response Team Grant program.

The program will reimburse the county quarterly for money spent to provide CERT training to the public, according to Burton. "It teaches them what to do in a disaster."

The program will require him to hold at least three classes per year, Burton said.

Courses will be offered to schools and teachers first, to "bring them up to par in this area with this program," Burton said. "It's really a good program."

Burton also discussed Senate Bill 64 which, if passed, would allow counties to put before voters a countywide tax on wireless phones for E-911.

Unfortunately, Burton said, the bill is written so the county would have to send 20 percent of the tax to the state to help counties that can't afford to implement 911.

Burton said that with the continuing trend of dropping land lines for wireless service, the E-911 tax base is shrinking but he and his fellow E-911 administrators don't think this bill as written is the answer.

"That is not what we wanted," he said. "I think it needs to be changed."

Burton also advised commissioners of a dispatching change. To alleviate confusion among dispatchers about what kind of official they are communicating with, Burton and area fire department heads agreed to renumber fire personnel with a four-digit number with the first digit being 1 with the exception of Oran's fire department whose chief does not approve of the new system.

EMS personnel will also have four digits with the first digit being a 2 or 3. Law enforcement officers will keep their three-digit numbers.

"This eliminates a whole lot of confusion for the dispatcher," Burton said.

* Commissioners gave their approval for the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Union Pacific Railroad to put crossing signal lights and bars at County Road 204 near State Highway M.

* The county commission will not meet Tuesday due to the election. They will meet with county mayors and school superintendents in Sikeston for a noon meeting after touring county roads that morning to plan for this year's blacktopping season.