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Resident will restore damaged ditch bank

Friday, January 26, 2007

CHARLESTON -- A Mississippi County resident responsible for damage to a county ditch bank has promised to make amends.

Brad Hequembourg came to the County Commission meeting Thursday to discuss the bank sloughing problem in the ditch next to County Road 312 caused by the contractor he hired.

"He apologized to the commissioners for not getting permission to do the work," Commissioner Homer Oliver said of the meeting.

Hequembourg also agreed to restore the damaged ditch bank and worked things out with Donnie Sams, owner of the land adjacent to the damaged ditch bank, according to commissioners.

Oliver said commissioners realize it was not Hequembourg's intention to make things worse and agreed the "gumbo" type soil in that area is prone to sloughing problems.

"It was just done at the wrong time of the year," Commissioner Martin Lucas said.

Lucas said Hequembourg may have to wait until mid-summer before the ditch is dry enough to rebuild the bank.

In other business Thursday:

* Bill McNeary advised commissioners he would like a new county road to be accepted in the near future.

McNeary said he owns land located northeast of Charleston adjacent to the abandoned railroad tracks and is interested in having some people build there.

"We can mark it, let Richard (Wallace, county road and bridge superintendent) look at it," Lucas said.

McNeary said the road will probably need ditches on both sides.

Lucas said the area is wet right now but is high enough to dry out and build a road there.

"We will look at it and you'll get a survey and we'll go from there," Oliver said.

* Commissioners approved paying surplus proceeds from the collector's sale of a property to the former owner.

County Clerk Junior DeLay explained if the sale price exceeds the delinquent taxes, the person who owned the land before the collector sold it in the tax sale has a period of time during which they may request the additional proceeds from the property's sale.

* Claudia Arington of the Mississippi County Tourism Council submitted her annual request for county funding and presented commissioners with her anticipated expenses for this year's projects.

DeLay said the county has given the Tourism Council $3,000 per year for the past several years.

Commissioners are slated to approve the county's 2007 budget Thursday following a public hearing.

* County officials and employees will have the opportunity to get details on their new health insurance plan Wednesday during a meeting with Julie Hengst, a representative of Blue Cross.

* An annual service agreement for the Charleston Nutrition Center, which is funded by the senior citizens sales tax, was signed by commissioners.