CHARLESTON -- When it comes to computers, sometimes its usually best to go with a younger crowd.
County Clerk Junior DeLay said during the regular Mississippi County Commission meeting Thursday that he will train another half dozen high school students in the operation of the county's new voting machines this morning. He said eight to 10 were trained Thursday evening.
A total of 16 students will operate the county's new voting machines as part of the Missouri Youth Election program for students ages 15-17, DeLay said.
Participants will get to miss a day of school in November for the election, he added.
DeLay predicted the Aug. 8 election will get a 40 percent turnout of registered voters in the county. "If we're lucky, 3,500 votes," he said.
In other business Thursday:
* Duke Presson of rural East Prairie was awarded a three-year lease on the county's 65 acres of farmland.
Presson's bid of $5,501.50 was accepted over the only other bid, an offer from Clark Dugan Farms for $5,265.
John Robert Bledsoe of rural Charleston, who had the contract for the previous three years at a cost of $5,000, did not bid this time.
Commissioner Homer Oliver said he thinks Bledsoe was growing soybeans on the farmland.
"I think that's all he's had on it," he said.
The new lease begins Sept. 1.
* A letter from the Department of Natural Resources advising the cleanup for a gasoline spill from an above-ground fuel tank at the Eastside Convenience Store in East Prairie has been closed was reviewed by commissioners.
"Over 10,000 gallons of gasoline have been recovered from the 14 recovery wells installed," Alan Reinkemeyer, director of DNR's environmental services program, advised in the letter. "It is unfortunate that while a sizable quantity of gasoline has been recovered, additional gasoline remains on the ground water at the Eastside Convenience Store location. The State Hazardous Waste Fund, which has expended over $309,000 in an effort to clean up this site, will be unable to continue funding any further clean up."
* The county's rural water district will need to go under 18 different county roads to run their lines for the current construction phase.
"A lot of these are not paved roads," Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said while reviewing the list.
County officials agreed to advise the water district to contact Richard Wallace, county road and bridge superintendent, regarding the work.
Road and bridge crews are currently "trying to grade all the roads," Blumenberg said. "Then we're going to start mixing asphalt again."
He said commissioners will check the department's funding at the end of the month to see what other work they will be able to afford.
* Commissioners appointed Randy Arington to fill an unexpired term on the Port Authority Board created by the death of a board member.
The term expires July 19, 2007.
* Bids on approximately 19.68 miles of mowing on county ditches are due back next week, according to DeLay.
* Commissioners reviewed a letter from officials in Oregon, Mo., asking for support of legislation that would assess and tax public use land just like any other land.
DeLay noted that on a lot of public use land, voluntary payments in lieu of taxes often exceed what the property taxes would be.