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Most of the blacktopping will consist of patching

Friday, March 16, 2007

CHARLESTON -- There will be a lot of disappointed people in Mississippi County this year, according to Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg.

Most of the county's blacktopping efforts this season will consist of patching, Blumenberg said during the regular County Commissioner meeting Thursday.

While residents may want new blacktop surfaces, "we aren't going to have the money," Blumenberg said. "If you don't have the money, you can't do it."

Commissioner Martin Lucas suggested using inmate labor from the Southeast Correctional Center in Charleston to help work on potholes this year. The county has used the inmate labor over the past couple of years to maintain the Oak Grove Cemetery.

The county won't be patching quite yet, though; "It will be April or May, when we get some decent weather," Blumenberg said.

In other business Thursday:

* Mississippi County was not responsible for trees cut down and pushed into a ditch on the north side of Highway 62 near Highway O last spring, according to commissioners.

A county landowner asked commissioners about the trees, which he said have caused drainage issues, during the March 8 County Commission meeting.

"I knew we didn't do it," Lucas said. "Our jurisdiction ends at the highway."

"We had a contract to mow the ditch south of the highway," Commissioner Homer Oliver said. He said a farm tenant contacted the same contractor and paid him to do the work on the north side of the highway.

"We didn't have anything to do with it, know anything about it," Blumenberg said.

* Commissioners approved registration and lodging for two county officials to attend a training session April 17-19.

Danny Harris, the county's emergency management director, will receive homeland security training and Deputy Ken Story of the Sheriff's Department will receive training on marijuana eradication.

* The Mississippi County Detention Center is presently holding 48 federal detainees for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, according to Blumenberg.

The average for March so far is just over 44 which commissioners agreed is pretty good.