Scott County commission news
BENTON -- Random drug testing for Scott County employees may be too costly to implement at this time.
Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn indicated during the regular County Commission meeting Tuesday that he is losing his enthusiasm for testing county employees for drug use.
"I don't know if we need to do it," Ziegenhorn said. "I just don't know if the cost is going to be worth it."
Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said the county has to do drug testing on county employees who have a Department of Transportation license. Burger suggested the county could implement a limited drug testing program that does required tests for DOT drivers and test new employees hired by the county.
"We need to get started," he said.
Joel Evans, county developer, offered to develop a spreadsheet to show commissioners what the cost would be to implement various drug testing options.
In other business Tuesday:
* Scott County officials decided to give the less-expensive Chevrolet Impala a try as a patrol vehicle for the Sheriff's Department.
Commissioners accepted the low bid of $19,008.55 from Autry Morlan in Miner for a 2008 Impala without emergency equipment installed. The bid listed Nov. 15 as the delivery date.
Ziegenhorn said his preference was for the Impala based on its lower price as they are looking for ways to save the county money.
"It is the low bid," he said, although he added that he realized comparing an Impala to the Ford Crown Victoria offered by the other two bidders is not an "apples to apples" comparison.
Courtesy Ford offered its 2008 Crown Victoria with emergency equipment for $25,300 or without for $21,840.
The Sikeston Motors bid offered theirs at $25,333 with emergency equipment or at $22,009 without.
Sheriff Rick Walter said he is "more comfortable with the Crown Vic" but is willing to give an Impala a try.
The emergency equipment listed in the bids is lights and sirens, according to Walter.
* Residents of the Rockview community are once again asking for a county ordinance to address vicious dogs.
Anthony Carroll of Rockview presented commissioners with a petition with 51 names seeking county action to address concerns about a resident who reportedly keeps several Pit Bulls on his property.
"A lot of them have been very, very vicious," Carroll said. "People are scared."
Walter said the dogs are reportedly kept indoors or in pens. Carroll acknowledged the dogs are on leashes when being walked in the neighborhood.
Carroll claimed, however, that he has seen the dogs outside on chains and that they are menacing even when on a leash. "I want it to be known what the community is putting up with," he said.
"I've been threatened, Rick, with the dogs," Carroll said to the sheriff. "I'm tired of being threatened."
This is not the first time the County Commission has been approached about problems with dogs, according to Burger. "I know this isn't an isolated incident," he said.
Burger said he will discuss this issue with other county commissioners during the coming annual commissioners' meeting. "If some counties have adopted something, I would like to see what they have adopted," he said.
"The safety of the community is very important to us," Ziegenhorn said. "You shouldn't have to worry about the safety of your kids."
* Evans provided a report on his economic development efforts over the summer.
"A lot of work I've done has been on the Enhanced Enterprise Zone," he said. Evans said he hopes to see the EEZ approved by Dec. 1.
Significant efforts were also dedicated to researching funding alternatives to hook residences in the Salcedo community up to a public water supply district.
"I found what we thought was the best alternative but after doing the LMI (Low and Moderate Income) survey, the area didn't meet the criteria and the interest level of the residents was below what was necessary for a grant to be viable," Evans said.
Evans said he will continue to look for alternative funding options.
He discussed several grant applications that were submitted during this time including three for the county's law enforcement which were approved.
Evans also discussed a Community Development Block Grant for road repairs submitted by the village of Vanduser that he reviewed. "They scored within 10 points of being eligible on their application," he said. "This year I'm going to get involved earlier."
Burger said he would like to "get Vanduser and Blodgett some help on their streets. I would think both of those would be eligible for this money."
Industrial recruitment efforts by Evans included meeting with ethanol firms to discuss incentives for locating within the county and an Arkansas hotel group interested in the county as a site for development.
Work on the county's Web site including weekly updates also continued, Evans said. "We ended August with 170,000 hits for that month," he said.
A former Sheriff's Department Web site was consolidated with the county Web site to provide a uniform format and eliminate an additional hosting fee, according to Evans.
Evans said he also attended a long list of meetings and training workshops for the county.
* Ed Purvis of Records Management Solutions said they are 75 percent completed with a record preservation project in the county prosecutor's office.
Burger said the county is trying to reduce the amount of paper records that are stored at the courthouse.
Other than "a couple difficult documents we had to deal with," the project has been going smoothly, Purvis said.