Scott County commission news
BENTON -- Scott County commissioners are working to make the county a safer place, which will hopefully lead to a reduction in workers compensation premiums.
In October, the commission met with a representative from the Missouri Association of Counties Self-Insured Worker's Compensation Fund, after having been placed on the "watch list" due to having a high percentage of claims when compared with other counties.
During Thursday's regular meeting, the commissioners discussed improvements that have been made, most of which were suggested by the MAC.
"High visibility strobe lights were installed on one of the highway department's trucks today," reported Ron McCormick, commissioner. In the past, the trucks have only had the rotary caution lights.
McCormick noted that the new lighting will be helpful if the trucks are out clearing any snow or ice. "Hopefully (motorists) will see our vehicles," he said. "We think think is going to be a very good thing for us, and maybe prevent an accident or even fatality."
Dennis Ziegenhorn, commissioner, noted the commissioners are still going down the list of suggestions.
"I think we will be able to address a majority of the suggestions," said Jamie Burger, presiding commissioner. "We're doing everything we can to make the work area safer."
Another change he pointed out is that the steps on the north side of the building, which some workers had complained were slick, were reconstructed to make the surface rougher.
"We're taking safety suggestion from all employees in all departments," Burger continued.
All of the changes are being tracked, and after the first of the year, the commissioners will send a letter, including those upgrades, to the MAC. "And as a result of that, we're hoping that our premiums will go down," said Ziegenhorn.
Also at Thursday's meeting, commissioners discussed and worked on additions to the personnel code pertaining to drug use.
"We're trying to set the criteria for it," said Burger. Those additions "go hand in hand" with the efforts being made to reduce workers compensation premiums, he said.
Thursday was also the deadline for other entities to express interest in joining a regional 911 call center, which would be based in Scott County. Two responses were given.
"That kind of disappoints me," said Ziegenhorn.
New Madrid County commissioners said they were interested in talking about combining services, but Stoddard County was not interested.
During the meeting, Burger called commissioners from Pemiscot and Dunklin counties, which had expressed some interest before the letters were sent at the end of November.
Pemiscot County officials said they want to talk about the project, while those from Dunklin County said they are not interested at the present time, Burger reported.
Commissioners will meet with officials from New Madrid and Pemiscot counties sometime after the first of the year. No specific timeline is being set right now.
"I think it's going to take some time to iron out the details and make sure everybody's thinking the same way," said Burger.
The commissioners also reminded county residents the courthouse will be closed Monday and Tuesday for the Christmas holiday. It will be open on Dec. 31, but closed on New Year's Day.