CHARLESTON -- A county nuisance ordinance was signed by Mississippi County commissioners during their regular meeting Thursday.
The county ordinance will regulate the disposal and storage of refuse, tires, appliances and litter to address the risk of diseases in the county.
Once in effect, it will be unlawful to keep refuse, tires, appliances and litter where it is exposed to rain, snow or moisture for any longer than 15 days.
Any person who is convicted of violating the ordinance will be guilty of a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of between $1 and $500, up to six months of jail time, or a combination of both.
While there is no jail time provision for corporations and associations convicted on this ordinance, the fine for such entities can go as high as $2,000 per offense.
Other than the flood plain management ordinance the county was required by a federal mandate to adopt for the county to join the National Flood Insurance Program, this is the first ordinance under new state guidelines passed by the county government, according to County Clerk Junior DeLay.
In 2004, the state legislature passed a bill authorizing third-class counties to adopt ordinances relating to county roads, emergency management, nuisance abatement, storm water control, the promotion of economic development for job creation purposes, parks and recreation, and protection of the environment from the risks posed by methamphetamine production. The state statute became effective Aug. 28.
Commissioners agreed to adopt the nuisance ordinance Feb. 9 but waited on a final draft from the county prosecutor before signing it.
"It has got to be run in the paper for three weeks," said Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg. "Then it will become the law."
In other business Thursday:
* Blumenberg said commissioners need to start identifying places where blacktop will be laid during the coming blacktop season.
Commissioners also discussed advice on chip-and-seal blacktopping that was offered by a representative from Missouri Petroleum in St. Louis.
Commissioner Martin Lucas said they were advised chat is too soft for chip-
and-seal and pea gravel is too smooth. To get the best results, a hard gravel with sharp edges should be used, he said.
Blumenberg said the county's experiments with chip-and-seal have held up well over the last two years even though the best possible oil and rock was not used.
Homer Oliver, commissioner, said the feed rate for the machine that lays the rock must be closely watched for the best results in addition to having the right oil and gravel types.
As the best type of gravel is not available locally, Blumenberg suggested stockpiling around 150 tons. "That would go a long way," he said.
* The county will request bids for providing satellite phones for county officials to use during emergencies.
He suggested the county buy at least four so the county clerk, road department, sheriff's department and county commissioners could all be equipped in the event of a disaster.
"I think we ought to get them," Blumenberg said. "Honestly, we have been lucky in Southeast Missouri."
Commissioners also discussed possibly buying a fifth phone for the county's emergency management director.
Once the satellite phones are purchased, the numbers will be provided to the State Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency.
* Dessie Gross, mayor of Anniston, asked commissioners if the county could assist Anniston with drainage improvements.
As the drainage runs down the old railroad right-of-way, Gross will have to find out who the owner is first, according to DeLay.