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Residents can expect smoother black-topped roads earlier in 2006

Friday, March 3, 2006

CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County will use chip-and-seal to get an early start on this year's blacktopping program.

During the regular county commission meeting Thursday, Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said the chip-and-seal blacktopping method does not have the hot-weather requirement that blade-mixed asphalt has.

"We can start this in May and go through September," Blumenberg said.

Commissioners also continued their discussion on getting materials that will yield better results from the process.

"You can't have that dusty rock," Commissioner Martin Lucas said. "It's got to be clean." Hard rock is better for skid resistance, Lucas said.

"Surface preparation is the whole thing," Commissioner Homer Oliver said. "It's like painting a house."

Commissioners agreed it appears road crews got in a hurry on some of the chip-and-seal surfaces.

Lucas said having the proper oil is also critical.

A vendor in Memphis, Tenn., is offering the county CSR2P oil at $1.40 per gallon including delivery. This oil includes a "binding solution," according to commissioners, that works better for chip-and-seal than the oil used by the county previously because it "stands up" to bind with the rock instead of running.

Lucas said the Memphis vendor may be cheaper than a company in St. Louis offering to supply the county with chip-and-seal oil.

Commissioner plan to use the special oil with 3/8-inch clean rock gravel.

In other business Thursday:

* The county's new handicapped-accessible voting machines will not be in place for the April election, according to County Clerk Junior DeLay, but will be used during the August primary.

DeLay said it will probably be early summer before the county receives the machines because the producers are so backed up.

"Everybody waited until the last minute," he said.

* The Bootheel Regional Planning Commission has been approved as administrators for a Community Development Block Grant to fund construction of the second phase of the county's rural water district.

Commissioners accepted the BRPC as administrators after receiving a letter from the Missouri Department of Economic Development advising they approved of the BRPC.

The BRPC will submit the contract, DeLay said.

* Commissioners will provide a letter documenting the county's pledge to contribute the in-kind local match for Anniston's Community Development Block Grant application for drainage and street improvements.

* The county is presently holding 55 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement prisoners, according to Blumenberg, but that number may go up.

"They're getting ready to crack down on these illegal immigrants," he said, which in turn may mean more ICE prisoners for Mississippi County to hold.

In other business related to the county's detention center, the county's one-

ton 16-passenger van will get a new engine.

Commissioners agreed to purchase a new longblock engine from Sikeston Motors for $3,105 and check other parts such as the transmission, air conditioning and brakes as the vehicle is in otherwise good condition and already equipped with cage insert for holding prisoners in the back.

"We might have to spend $5,000 or $6,000 on it," Blumenberg said.

* County officials will seek bids for a mower for the county-maintained Oak Grove Cemetery near Charleston.

Blumenberg estimated the cemetery has over 25 acres to mow. "That's a lot of mowing," he said. "They do a lot of mowing and the cemetery looks good," Oliver said.

* A lateral of Ditch 23 will need a grinder to get rid of trees, Lucas said.