BENTON -- County officials and employees at the Scott County Courthouse will soon be wearing photo-identification badges while on duty.
"These badges and pictures are the first step in the security for the courthouse," County Commissioner Jamie Burger explained during the regular County Commission meeting Tuesday. "We're going to continue to upgrade the security in various forms and fashions."
Commissioners plan to issue and require the photo IDs for courthouse personnel as soon as soon as photographs are ready, hopefully sometime around the middle of the month. "We're taking the pictures now," said Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn.
"We have the ability to make those now at the sheriff's department," Burger said. "Midland GIS donated the lanyard for the entire courthouse to attach the name badge to."
Ziegenhorn said in addition to tightening security, photo ID badges worn by officers and employees should also be helpful for people who need help at the courthouse. "This way the public will know who works here," he said.
In other business Tuesday:
* County Developer Joel Evans will get prices for a trailer to keep and transport emergency supplies.
Evans also reported on prices for emergency supply kits which contain items such as packaged water and food, blankets, flashlights with batteries, water purification pills, light sticks and even portable toilets.
"It's $1,250 for a 100-person kit," Evans said. The kit comes contained in five-gallon buckets.
"I've looked at a bunch of them and that's the best I've seen," Evans said.
He said there is a price break if more than 1,000 units are purchased.
"I think that would be something that every county would benefit from," Burger said. He suggested the kits may be a good thing to purchase with Homeland Security funds.
Evans said military surplus items such as pots, blankets, ponchos, tarps, folding cots and general purpose tents are also available but usually are sold quickly.
"If we're interested in those things we really need to get on the ball," he said.
Evans said Joe Burton, emergency management director for Scott County, "is buying search and rescue equipment and CERT kits."
He said county residents who received Community Emergency Response Team training have the knowledge they need to assist their families and neighbors but also need equipment.
* Commissioners accepted the offer of $565 from Delta Auto Parts Salvage in Portageville for the county's 2000 Crown Victoria with 180,000 miles on it. The vehicle was used as a patrol car by the sheriff's department before being declared a surplus vehicle.
The county also received a bid of $350 from Farmers Litter and Lime of Sikeston for the vehicle.
* Commissioners are concerned with the amount of money left in the Road and Bridge Fund.
"We're down to $22,000 in the checking account," Commissioner Martin Priggel said. "That's the lowest it's been since I've been here."
"Materials for blacktop, fuel, health insurance -- everything keeps rising," Priggel said, "and our revenues are not keeping up with the rising costs."
"We had two increases in the price of blacktop right in the middle of the season," Ziegenhorn said. "It's hard to prepare for things like that."
Commissioners noted money paid out to other jails to board Scott County's prisoners is also straining the county budget.
* County officials have received the report for the county's 2004-2005 audit by the state auditor but haven't had a chance to review it yet.