[Nameplate] Fair ~ 73°F  
High: 89°F ~ Low: 73°F
Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Fire will impact county's budget

Friday, October 15, 2004

CHARLESTON - Loss of sales tax revenue as a result of Wally's Chew Chew restaurant burning down will have a serious impact on Mississippi County, according to county commissioners.

Commissioners discussed the anticipated effect during their regular meeting Thursday.

Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said Boomland's business, which included Wally's Chew Chew, accounts for 10.48 percent of the local sales tax collected in the county.

He predicted a "shortfall of a minimum of $15,000 for each half-cent" in sales tax revenue as a result of the fire and said the figure could be as large as $20,000.

Boomland's owners have indicated they plan to build a bigger and better replacement that is slated to open in June.

"The city's got that same sales tax - they're going to lose that money, too," noted Commissioner Homer Oliver.

"It's not something you're going to have to think about, it's something you're going to have to deal with," Blumenberg said.

In other Mississippi County news:

* The county's road and bridge department can expect to have less money to work with next year.

"There's going to have to be some pretty good cuts made," Blumenberg said of the department's budget as rising costs are likely to make the budget tighter.

Blumenberg said attrition will be used to reduce the payroll for road and bridge department staff, starting with one of the department's road and bridge truck drivers who is reportedly retiring soon. "We're not hiring anybody," Blumenberg said. "And if one more retires, I don't think they should be replaced."

Presently the road and bridge department has 15 staff members and a supervisor.

Blumenberg said the office clerk for the road and bridge department needs to keep copies of bills so she can reference them when asked by county commissioners.

"I have a problem with these shop towels," Blumenberg said, noting they are losing about 20-30 each month and are charged 20 to 30 cents each to replace them in addition to the regular service cost.

He promised changes will be made next year, and said waste has happened due to officials "not scrutinizing" expenses enough.

Blumenberg said county residents have also come to expect the county to respond immediately with maintenance requests. "We kind of catered to people to some extent," he said.

* The county will put in a snow stone gravel road in the Homestead Acres subdivision.

"That red clay would be nasty all winter long," Commissioner Martin Lucas said.

Lucas said they aren't going to dig any ditches, but will just raise a road base. "It will be a minimal depression," Lucas said, which should allow a place for rainwater to run into.

"It's a sand area where it's easy to maintain," he added.

* "We're done with blacktop," Oliver said.

"We're probably going to do some sealing if we have some money," Blumenberg said.

The county should have $57,000 going back into the road and bridge fund from contract blacktopping done during the season for subdivisions and cities, according to county officials.

Blumenberg said he will check on the sealing oil, estimating they should get about $8,000 to $10,000 worth.

"I think it's 60 cents per gallon," he said.

Mixing it with water at a 60-40 ratio, Blumenberg estimated it would be enough for "probably about nine miles."

"We need to do these new (roads) we did," Lucas said. "They need to be sealed."

Blumenberg said Spanish Grant Road and Miller Road should definitely be on the list, and asked if they should try sealing the chip-and-seal surface they put on Hurley Road. "I don't think it would hurt to try it, just to see," he said.

Lucas agreed, and said he thinks the only places the chip-and-seal surface didn't turn out well was where they did not fill holes before laying the blacktop.

Commissioners discussed sealing Hurley Road, which used chat for the chip-and-seal rock, and Turbo Road, which used pea gravel, so they can compare results.

Commissioners also expressed hopes that they won't get a lot of snow and ice this winter.

* Lucas said he received a request to "dip out that ditch" by the Towosahgy maintenance shed, near Dorena.

He suggested waiting until the adjacent farmer gets the crop out "and mop out that section."

Oliver agreed it is "something we've got to do."

Oliver also said there are two beaver dams on Maple Slough Ditch south of Interstate 57 and that there are weeds that need to be taken out once the crops are harvested.

Ditches at Lee Row and Towosahgy also have beavers, Lucas said, adding that Consolidated Ditch District will also needs to remove some beavers and dams.

avid Dirks, planner for the Bootheel Solid Waste Management District, which outlines the guidelines for participation in the tire roundup program currently under way.

Blumenberg said the rules seem to be "self explanatory."

"They take 1,500 at a time," said Oliver. Dirks advised in the letter to call him to arrange a date to load the tires once that number has been collected.

No tire dealers, farmers or trucking companies will be allowed to drop tires off, and there must be no rims or metal on the tires.

Additionally, the tire collection area must be secured by a fence to keep people from dropping off tires that aren't allowed.

"I don't know why that would matter, the fenced in area," Blumenberg said.

The tires must be lined up on their tread, only one tire high, in an area easily accessible to a truck or 53-foot trailer.

"What you're doing is you're keeping water from getting in them," said Lucas.

* Sara Story and Kevin Mainard were appointed by the sheriff for the County Law Enforcement Restitution Fund Board of Trustees.

The last seat to be filled is an appointment by the coroner who promised to make his choice in the next few days.

* Liz Anderson and John McMinn were reappointed to the Industrial Development Authority Board for three-year terms.

* Oliver said he talked to Tommy Wallace about the possibility of harvesting lumber at the old county landfill.

"Well, I think we ought to get rid of the timber," Lucas agreed.

* A budget amendment was approved to add the Law Enforcement Restitution Fund and to account for grants including a computer equipment grant for the prosecutor's office, a juvenile center grant and a Law Enforcement Block Grant secured by the sheriff.