Could be costly move with little benefits
BENTON - Going up a class isn't always a good thing, according to Scott County Commissioners.
Commissioners said during their regular meeting Tuesday that unless a change is enacted by the state legislature, the county will soon be burdened with the costs of being a second class county.
"We are estimating it would cost the county $200,000 without too many benefits," said Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel. "Two hundred thousand dollars in added expenses is pretty tough on the county when we are trying to live within our means."
Senate Bill 199, an attempt to change the assessed value at which a county must go from third class to second class, "was passed overwhelmingly," Priggel said, but ultimately vetoed by Gov. Bob Holden.
"Peter Myers has agreed to prefile a bill to raise it from $300 million up to $450 million total assessed value," Priggel said.
Unless a change is achieved, however, candidates for a completely new Scott County office, county auditor, will be filing for the Aug. 3 primary beginning Feb. 24.
Butler County is in same position of being forced to go to a second class county, Priggel said, and Stoddard County "is in the holding pattern" of the five-year wait before being forced to go to second class status.
In other Scott County news:
* Heating and air conditioning for Judge David A. Dolan's offices on the courthouse's second floor should be up and running by mid-October, according to the contractor's bid.
The bid from Presley Sales and Service of $14,866 for a self-contained ductless heating and cooling system was accepted Thursday. Also bidding was Rampley Heating of Oran which offered the system for $23,000. The project requires prevailing wages to be paid.
Presley's bid listed an approximate start date of Oct. 6 and an approximate finish date of Oct. 17.
The offices require a separate system because of column caps and other architectural ceiling features that commissioners believe should be preserved. "We don't want to cover it up with a drop ceiling," said Commissioner Jamie Burger. "And on either side of the office are vaults."
* An order prohibiting carrying concealed firearms in the court house, highway department and E-911 center buildings was passed by commissioners as concealed firearms are not automatically prohibited in courthouses not solely occupied by the court under the new concealed firearm legislation.
County Clerk Rita Milam said if they are unable to get signs advising concealed firearms are not permitted right away, they may have to use laminated temporary signs. "The signs all have to be posted," she said.