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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

County offices closed

Friday, February 22, 2008

SIKESTON -- Slammed with another early icing and the possibility of more on the way, some county courthouses called a snow day Thursday.

"We're closed," said Rita Milam, county clerk for Scott County.

Milam said she was contacted by Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger early Thursday to assist in notifying county officials who in turn told their employees to stay home.

"He thought it would be best to shut it down," she said. "I don't make the decision, I'm just the message carrier."

"I just thought it might be wise with all the bad weather they're calling for not to be open," Burger said. He added that it was a decision he made after consulting with court officials and state offices which were also closed in Scott County.

The Scott County Courthouse was not opened until noon last week when the previous ice storm hit.

"We used to never close, we would just leave early if the weather got bad," Milam said. "Now, so many employees live out of town it is hard to get them all here and then home safe."

Officials are also thinking not only of the safety of county employees but also of citizens. "We've got such a bad ice problem on the steps," Burger said.

"We weren't going to have a (County Commission) meeting anyway," said Dennis Ziegenhorn, county commissioner.

He explained commissioners had cancelled the meeting earlier as they were scheduled to attend the second day of a National Incident Management System training course. The NIMS session was also cancelled due to the weather.

Burger said in the future, he will have the county developer post decisions to close the courthouse or not on county's Web site, www.scottcountymo.com, for the convenience of county employees and citizens.

The Mississippi County Courthouse was also closed.

"Everything's shut down," said Mississippi County Clerk Junior DeLay confirmed early Thursday -- county and state offices and the courts.

DeLay said it has been some time since the courthouse did not open due to inclement weather -- at least five years.

"We have shut down early before," he said.

DeLay said Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg asked him to contact county officials to advise the courthouse would not be open Thursday.

"We have so many courthouse workers who live in East Prairie," DeLay said. "Even though Highway 105 is a flat road it gets pretty slick -- especially Big Book Curve. They just slide right on into the ditch."

The County Commission meeting will not be rescheduled. "There wasn't anything on the agenda to speak of anyway," DeLay said.

The Commission will just meet at the next regular meeting Thursday, he said.

The New Madrid County Courthouse, however, was open Thursday morning.

"We sort of made a decision to let each office holder determine how to handle it," said New Madrid County Clerk Clement Cravens. "Down here it wasn't so bad early on."

Cravens said the county has weather protocols included in the county's personnel policy.

"We are using the personnel policy that states this is sort of like a paid holiday, a snow day or weather-related situation where if the employee chooses not to come in they will still be paid," he said. "The courthouse will remain open but any employee that chooses to go home may go home."

Sikeston City Hall was also open Thursday.

Theresa, receptionist at City Hall, said City Manager Doug Friend makes the decision on whether to close city offices or keep them open during poor weather.