BENTON - Scott County commissioners are sticking by their "no new blacktop" policy.
Linda Taylor asked commissioners during their regular meeting Tuesday if the county could put blacktop on Deer Run, a road off Highway 61 south of Benton.
"We all pay thousands of dollars in taxes," Taylor said of those living on the road.
Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel said that the tax levy in Scott County for roads and bridges is only 29.92 cents per $100 assessed valuation. "You are paying more for ambulance than for roads," he said.
The total amount the county receives for roads is just enough to maintain the blacktop the county already has, according to Priggel.
Priggel said he thought the county might actually be gaining ground on road maintenance but last winter was particularly hard on roads in Scott County with the thawing and freezing.
While overlays on existing blacktop are laid every year, Priggel said commissioners decided about the time he first took office to follow the advice of the former road and bridge supervisor, Terry Herndon, and not put any new blacktop down. "We didn't do anything for a couple of years after I got here," he recalled.
Priggel said when developers put new subdivisions in, it isn't fair for the county to go in and pave the roads when there are other roads around the county that have been around much longer.
Priggel said if residents living on the street want to pay for the blacktop themselves, the county will do the work although local paving companies would probably charge about the same as the county.
Commissioners agreed to check on a price for Taylor and her neighbors, though.
Priggel estimated the cost to pave the .6 mile stretch would be about $20,000 although the figure will vary depending on how wide the road is and how thick the asphalt is laid. How thick a road needs to be depends on the number of heavy vehicles like LP gas trucks and garbage trucks that use the road, he explained.
About half of the cost of paving a road goes toward materials and the other half toward labor and machines, according to Priggel.
Harlan Duncan, superintendent of Scott County roads, said Priggel's estimate may be correct for cold mix, but the cost may be more for hot mix blacktop which the county decided to start using exclusively this year.
"Cold mix just didn't last," Priggel said.
In other business Tuesday:
* Commissioners awarded the contract to build a bridge on County Highway 412 between Morley and Oran to H & H Co. of Dexter which offered to do the job for $47,756.62.
Construction is slated to begin in September and be finished by October.
* County Developer Joel Evans updated commissioners on a grant through the state Historic Preservation Office which may pay to replace the courthouse's windows.
Evans said the Historic Preservation Office was formerly under the Department of Natural Resources but has been moved to the Division of State Parks, so he is expects to have to "wait for the dust to settle" from the move before hearing anything.
* Use of the county's Web site is up 215 percent, Evans reported. This month the site has passed its former high of 4,569 page requests in April with 4,642 this month already.
Evans said he is now posting county career opportunities on the Web site which may be increasing use.
Currently listed are one dispatcher trainee position and one position with the county's highway department.
* Commissioners opened the three bids received for providing medical services at the Scott County Jail.
"We're going to set a date and meet with the companies, go over the bids," Priggel said.
Bids were received from Ferguson Medical Group in Sikeston and two companies that specialize in providing jail medical services, Health Professionals Ltd. and Advanced Correctional Healthcare, both of Peoria, Ill.
Commissioners are also reviewing a chart showing medical expenses at the jail in 2004 to compare with the bids.
* The Riverside Regional Library board will hold their regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the library's branch in Benton during which they expect to hear opposition to closing the branch.
* Commissioners will meet with Scott City and Missouri Department of Transportation officials today to discuss the Ramsey Creek bridge and outer road project.