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Commission won't vacate unmaintained county road

Friday, June 1, 2007

Mississippi County Commission news

CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County will not vacate an unmaintained section of road as previously decided.

Mississippi County commissioners discussed during their regular meeting Thursday a quarter-mile section of County Road 509 which the county has not maintained for some time and commissioners had agreed to take off the county's road inventory.

Commissioners reconsidered their decision Thursday due to "objections from landowners," Commissioner Homer Oliver said.

At the regular County Commission meeting May 17, a Missouri Department of Transportation official advised commissioners that gated off portions of county roads are not eligible for County Aid Road Trust funding.

Commissioners agreed at that time to remove those road sections from their CART inventory along with that portion of County Road 509 as it hasn't been maintained by the county, although it had not been blocked off with a gate or cable.

"We're just going to have to grade it a couple times a year," Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said.

Blumenberg noted that recently "somebody dumped a bunch of trash out there -- a big pile."

In other business:

* Commissioners adopted a resolution to use the new law enforcement software from ITT of St. Louis during the duration of a three-year subscription approved at the previous County Commission meeting.

County Clerk Junior DeLay said even though the subscription agreement was approved by commissioners, the company requires a resolution.

"It wasn't good enough to have it in the minutes," DeLay said.

The annual maintenance cost for the old software was about $5,000 per year, officials recalled, but the old software is no longer compliant.

The cost to purchase the new software for the sheriff's department and jail would have been $37,607 but would have cost an additional $7,563 each year for a service contract.

"If you buy it, anytime you upgrade you have to pay for it," DeLay noted.

The lease option, which commissioners decided on, is $12,492 per year after an initial $8,338 cost and includes service and upgrades.

* Blumenberg compared road and bridge fund revenue figures from 2001 and 2006.

Sales tax revenue from vehicle purchases, which DeLay said must be the portion sent down to the county from what the state collects, was $69,374 in '01 but only $55,596 last year.

CART funding is about the same, Blumenberg noted, at $295,000 in '01 and $293,000 in '06.

Property tax revenue for the road and bridge fund was $375,000 in 2001 and $438,000 last year.

Commissioner Martin Lucas said while revenue has dropped or stayed flat, increased costs from inflation and higher fuel costs must be considered.

Blumenberg said another strain on the road and bridge budget has been health care, workers compensation and general liability insurance.

"We have a whole lot less money to work on," Lucas said.

* Commissioners are looking for two people to put on the county Senate Bill 40 Board to fill a vacancy and replace a member who has indicated she wants off the board.

The SB-40 Board administers the Sheltered Workshop Fund.