Mississippi County News
CHARLESTON -- Keeping a list of county property is not only a good practice -- it is required.
Mississippi County Clerk Junior DeLay said during the regular County Commission meeting Thursday that several county offices and departments neglected to supply a list of their inventory last year.
The lists are needed for the county's insurance in addition to being required by state statutes, according to DeLay.
"I sent a memo reminding them it's due by Oct. 10," he said.
Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said drawing up or updating an inventory list would be among the first things he would do upon assuming a county office.
"I would want to know what I was responsible for," he said. "That's just business."
DeLay pointed out that if inventory lists of the contents of the old courthouse that was destroyed in a fire in February 1997 had not been kept, the insurance payment to the county wouldn't have been nearly as high.
The responsibility for keeping inventory lists has been changed by the state legislature several times, according to DeLay.
He said it used to be the county clerk's responsibility, then legislators changed it to the county commission. "Now it's in the hands of each elected official," DeLay said.
"I don't understand why people don't take care of business," Blumenberg said.
He suggested the deadline to turn in the list should be at the beginning of the year -- Feb. 10 instead of Oct. 10.
Inventory at some county offices can be very valuable, Blumenberg said, such as the radios used by the sheriff's department.
"Those hand-helds are really high-priced," he said, estimating they cost $500 or $600 each.
Blumenberg said the last item he can recall being purchased for the road and bridge department was a big welder to build bridges with.
In other business discussed during Thursday's meeting:
* County road and bridge crews will be putting sealing oil down on blacktop.
"We're going to seal probably about 20 miles," Blumenberg said. "Then we'll go back and do some more blacktopping in another week."
With the high prices for petroleum products, he estimated the county needs to charge about 42 cents per square foot when laying blacktop for the county's municipalities.
* Tony Ohmes of Charleston was reappointed to serve on the county's Johnson Grass Control Board for another term.
His term expired July 1, according to DeLay.
Commissioners will seek a replacement for Deema Atteberry who resigned from the Mississippi County Senate Bill 40 Board.
* Blumenberg commented on the county's sales tax revenue, comparing figures to last year's.
"It's up a little bit for July," he said, "and it's up for the year 4 percent."
* Blumenberg said according to the latest report from the Mississippi County Detention Center, the county has been holding about 30-32 federal prisoners at the jail for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
* DeLay will conduct a demonstration of the county's new voting machines Monday at the courthouse.