Mississippi County news
CHARLESTON -- After years of being inside, the mailbox at the Mississippi County Courthouse will be out in the cold - and the heat, and the rain.
During the regular County Commission meeting Thursday, County Clerk Junior DeLay informed commissioners that the large blue mailbox currently located in one of the courthouses's side entrance alcoves is slated to be moved outdoors.
DeLay explained he had contacted the postmaster before Christmas to advise the courthouse would close early on Friday so the mail would need to be picked up earlier than usual. "She said, 'We'll do it for you,'" he recalled.
The mail was not picked up before the courthouse closed, however, and following the holiday DeLay was advised by the postmaster that she had checked statutes and discovered all mailboxes must be located outside.
"The mailbox has always been in the building," DeLay said, referring also to the former courthouse destroyed by a fire on Feb. 10, 1997. "And they came and put this one in - we just called and they put it where we asked them to."
DeLay said the alcove where it is presently located is "the perfect spot for it and it's out of the elements."
Mail carriers had a nice place to pull up right next to the entrance.
"It was really convenient for them," DeLay said. "Now they're going to have to park out in the street, block traffic."
In other business during Thursday's meeting:
* Commissioners approved a final budget amendment for the year following a public hearing.
Among the adjustments was the addition of $47,500 to the expenditure side of the law enforcement fund budget to account for increased fuel and insurance costs. "All the insurances were up this year," DeLay said.
DeLay said a total of $370,000 was transferred to the law enforcement fund from general revenue as compared with $622,000 last year. The average transfer in recent previous years was about $350,000 per year, he said.
Commissioners noted sales tax revenue for the year is down about 1 percent.
Commissioner Homer Oliver said while the sales tax revenue is down, the county would have seen an increase if Boomland's restaurant in Charleston had not been damaged in a fire. The business was re-opened Dec. 22, according to commissioners.
"The seating is much better - it's an entirely different atmosphere," Oliver said. "I expect next year they'll have a record year."
* A county resident is concerned about losing trees to ditch maintenance along the Wolf Hole Lateral of Ditch 14, according to Commissioner Martin Lucas.
Lucas said he advised her that "all we're mowing is the brush - we're not killing the trees. ... We're just going to mow the brush and then go on."
He also advised her that if she wants a windbreak, the Natural Resources Conservation Service has programs to help her establish one. "There's a lot of them doing it right now," Lucas said.
"They'll even pay you for it," Oliver added.