Mississippi County Commission news
CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County commissioners will proceed with some necessary maintenance to Ditch 14 but will wait on a Charleston City Council decision before improving drainage ditches in the city.
During the regular County Commission meeting Thursday, Commissioner Martin Lucas said the Council is slated to discuss Ditch 14 and Ditch 23 during the next regular Council meeting Tuesday.
County Clerk Junior DeLay said he researched the agreement between the city and the Ditch 14 district and found a contract from October 1968 in which the city contributed $5,000 toward the ditch construction in Charleston.
There was also a 1968 contract by which the city committed $150 annually to the ditch district for the maintenance and upkeep of the east, west and Wolf Hole laterals for Ditch 14.
Presiding Commissioner Jim Blumenberg said that amount would be equal to $600-$700 in today's dollars.
He said it costs about $2,000 per year "to keep it half-way maintained."
"We are just going to hold off on the Drainage Ditch 14 and see what the city comes up with," Blumenberg said regarding improvements.
DeLay said it appears as if those residents in sections of Charleston that were annexed are the only ones paying into the Ditch 23 fund.
Commissioners agreed to go ahead with some maintenance such as excavation on the bottom of Ditch 14 and some herbicide spraying which Lucas said should improve the ditch's appearance somewhat.
Commissioners approved a contract with McIvan Jones of rural East Prairie at $100 per hour, not to exceed $4,000, for excavation of a half-mile of the east Wolf Hole Lateral of Ditch 14 from Brown Shoe to Iron Banks.
One of Ditch 14's banks has so much small tree and brush growth, according to Lucas, that it will be "a chainsaw job."
DeLay also reported that Joe E. Lane, director of community planning for the Bootheel Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission at Malden, asked why the county has not reapplied for Community Development Block Grant funding for improvements to the ditch.
Commissioners had previously applied for CDBG funding to put a concrete bottom in Ditch 14 and concrete partially up the ditch banks.
Lane suggested getting an application in for the 2007 round of funding, according to DeLay.
Lane also suggested that since the horseradish plant's water will be going into the storm water system, that improvements may be eligible for economic development funding.
"It's worth a shot," Oliver said. He said even just a concrete bottom would stabilize the side slopes.
The drainage pipe under Brown Shoe's parking lot needs also replacing, according to Lucas.
In other business Thursday:
* The county will seek applications for a part-time code enforcement officer to handle junk and tall grass and weeds complaints.
The officer would work "at the most, 10 hours per week," Blumenberg said.
Lucas said the officer will need to be equipped with a camera.
The officer would be responsible for advising residents of the deadline to clean up their property after which the officer will hand off enforcement to the sheriff, according to Blumenberg.
* County residents apparently are in favor of the county issuing permits to licensed drivers allowing them to operate ATVs on county roads.
"Most (of the comments) I've had have been favorable responses," Lucas said.
Blumenberg said he hasn't received any negative comments but advised waiting one more week for feedback from county residents before making a decision.
* Blumenberg suggested county road and bridge crews do some chip and seal blacktopping before it gets cold. "Until the end of September, anyway," he said.