Mississippi County news
CHARLESTON - Mississippi County will seek a reimbursement of $33,998 on the former sheriff's bond.
Mississippi County commissioners agreed during their regular meeting Thursday to file the claim with Western Surety Bonding Company for the amount figured by County Treasurer Sandra DeField.
Commissioners said that the recently-completed state audit of the county discovered shortages at the Mississippi County Detention Center including around $24,000 missing from the commissary but did not include a grand total for the shortages in the report.
"It really didn't say," agreed County Clerk Junior DeLay.
In other county news related to the detention center, commissioners approved spending $6,500 to replace three hollow steel doors with solid steel doors and to put bars in the jail's 40 windows.
Inmates recently peeled back steel on a metal door to enable their escape from the jail for a short period before being recaptured.
In other county business Thursday:
* Commissioners formerly adopted the National Incident Management System as a follow up to a visit from Mark Winkler, State Emergency Management Agency representative for southeast Missouri.
"What this will do is make you eligible for future Homeland Security grants," DeLay explained. The purpose of NIMS is "creating a uniform method for emergency management nationwide."
A NIMS course and test will eventually be a requirement.
* DeLay cited Section 49.650 in the Revised Statutes of Missouri which enables non-charter counties like Mississippi County to adopt ordinances or put ordinances up for a public vote.
Ordinances may pertain to: county roads; emergency management; nuisance abatement; storm water control; the promotion of economic development; parks and recreation; and the protection of the environment from risks posed by methamphetamine production.
"I'd like to have a vote to see if they're concerned about the trash," Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said. "I'd like to take it to the voters, see what their concerns are."
* The SEMO Skydivers won't be jumping this weekend, commissioners decided.
Minimum liability coverage for counties and those with contracts with counties was raised several years ago from $1 million to $2 million, according to commissioners.
The skydivers have reportedly been unable to find a policy offering more than $1 million as fixed base operators for the facility.
Commissioners asked DeLay to check with the county's insurance provider to see how the skydivers having only $1 million in coverage would affect the county's liability before allowing any more activity at the airport.
Blumenberg said the club has done a good job of taking care of the county's airport. He later noted, however, that he has received several complaints about beer parties at the airport although he has never seen it himself.
"There's no alcoholic beverages on county property, period," said Commissioner Martin Lucas.
If alcohol was permitted the county would defiantly be found liable, commissioners agreed, if an accident ever happened.
Commissioners also discussed the need to dispose of the last 1,200 gallons of fuel so the ground tanks can be put on inactive status.
"We're out of the gas business," Blumenberg said.
* Commissioners are leaning toward a hot mix asphalt program this year instead of cold mix although they intend to keep using chip-and-seal in some situations.
Sealing oil has gone from 50 cents per gallon last year to 91 cents. Cold mix oil has risen from 96 cents to $1.24, and the price for the asphalt premix has climbed to $23.90 from last year's $20.50, according to Blumenberg.
With hot mix asphalt going at $27 per ton if the county rents a machine and uses county labor, one-inch hot mix asphalt caps may get better results from the county's road budget than using cold mix.
"An inch is a pretty good overlay," Blumenberg said.
Blumenberg said commissioners need to decide which roads will be the top priority for this year's blacktopping program.