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Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

Ordinance addresses addresses

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

(Photo)
A Scott County Highway Department worker assists the Sikeston Special Road District by trimming some overhanging branches on County Road 473.
BENTON -- An addressing ordinance for Scott County should require addresses to be clearly visible from the road, according to the county's E-911 administrator.

E-911 administrator Joe Burton discussed his ideas for the ordinance during the regular County Commission meeting Tuesday.

"It needs to be on the house, facing the road where emergency personnel can see it," Burton said. For homes located too far from the road for the address to be visible, the address should be posted next to the driveway near the road where it can be seen.

Enforcement of any ordinance requiring addresses to be posted is the biggest problem with mandating addressing, according to officials.

"Each county does it a little bit different," Burton said.

Commissioners agreed they would prefer to not punish county residents with fines for not complying.

"There needs to be some bite to it," Burton advised, however.

He said some counties go as far as having sheriff's deputies issue tickets any time they see an address not in compliance with its addressing ordinance.

Burton said he thinks a better solution can be found along the lines of Alexander County which issues a warning ticket when it responds to a E-911 call at a residence that does not comply with its address ordinance.

Those ticketed have 30 days to bring the residence into compliance after which they are fined $25.

The fine increases each time the residence is found to be still out of compliance, Burton said.

While the post office requires 3-inch signs on the side of the mailbox that the mail carrier views, "we need it on both sides," Burton said, "so if the ambulance is coming down the street either direction, they can see that address."

Commissioners asked how residents typically post addresses in the county.

"Most of them now are on mailboxes," Burton said. "If it's one house/one mailbox, that's not a problem."

In some places, however, mailboxes are grouped together while some of the houses may be a quarter-mile away, he said.

"Fortunately, we haven't had a major problem yet," Burton said.

"Research it a little bit more," Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel asked. In other business Tuesday:

* Public administrator Pam Dirnberger requested approval to hire a part-time worker.

Dirnberger said state statutes require the county to supply a secretary if she handles more than 100 cases in the previous year.

She said 107 cases were handled in 2005.

"This is a hands-on job," Dirnberger said. "If I do the job the way it's intended to be done, I'm going to be overwhelmed with paperwork."

Dirnberger said she has 40 checking accounts to manage while H.J. "Cotton" Holyfield, the previous county administrator, only had about 10.

"I've put things in place to generate more income, but it's going to take time," Dirnberger said.

Judge Hense Winchester, circuit judge for Division 4 (probate division), confirmed Dirnberger is entitled to a secretary.

"I think the statute speaks for itself," he said.

He added, "I don't think you have any other county employee that works harder than Pam does."

"We appreciate all you're doing and we know you're working hard," Priggel said to Dirnberger.

Dirnberger said she has got some help from an employee of her private business. "She's working for my storage company," she explained.

A state auditor cautioned that unless the worker is an employee of the county, she is not covered by Dirnberger's bond.

"Right now she's not doing anything that would affect being not bonded," Dirnberger said.

Public administrator software purchased by the county has helped, Dirnberger said: "If it wasn't for that, I'd be asking for two people."

Commissioners noted that part-time employees don't get sick leave or other benefits.

County Clerk Rita Milam said the expense was not included in the budget. "I need to check with the auditor," she said.

* Sightings of county road and bridge personnel on County Road 473 were just temporary - that area is still within the Sikeston Special Road District.

"The county is lending a hand to the Special Road District, assisting them with trimming trees," explained Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn.

Ziegenhorn said the special road district's officials had mentioned limbs that needed trimming so the county is supplying a tractor and boom mower. "The Sikeston Special Road District doesn't have the equipment the county has," he said.

The county will be reimbursed for workers' time and for wear and tear on equipment.

"I think it's good for the whole county, working together," Ziegenhorn said.