BENTON -- Scott County is exploring its options when it comes to repairing bridges and roads damaged by spring flooding.
During Thursday's regular commission meeting, Joel Evans, county developer and director of emergency management, spoke with commissioners about possible plans for three areas near Rockview.
"We're looking at hazard mitigation," said Evans. "Not only repairing the projects to pre-disaster, but to a state to prevent damage reoccurring in future disasters."
One project is to replace the approaches to the Sals Creek Bridge off County Road 204. "The asphalt approaches were scoured and washed away," said Evans, noting the total space was about 25 to 30 feet on each side.
Although asphalt was previously used, officials are considering using concrete instead. "With the price of asphalt today, for very little more, we can use concrete and that should eliminate further damage," said Evans.
The commissioners said concrete would be the best way to go.
A second project, further west on County Road 210, involves replacing a bridge that crosses a valley along the road. "It has cracked where it is attached to the wing walls and foundation," said Evans.
A complete bridge replacement is proposed, in addition to elevating the road as high as four feet, said Evans.
The third project is on County Road 219 in the same region, near an area referred to as Belk Hill, said Evans. There is a narrow, steep incline on the hill and the roadway is flanked by steep banks on each side, which channel water into the roadway, he explained.
"The hazard mitigation plan is crowning that road to make it higher in the center, using heavy rip rap channels down both sides and hard surfacing that road with asphalt," said Evans. The section is about 1,900 feet long.
The problem with the projects is that there is no guarantee for repayment, said Evans.
"So we have to look at whether we can afford to do it without getting any money back," said Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn.
"And if we do something like that and don't get it back, it scares me," said Ziegenhorn, citing the county's budget restraints and current measures to cut back on expenses.
"But I think the one with the approach to the bridge has got to be done anyway," said Commissioner Ron McCormick.
Evans said there is some time to think about the projects -- about two weeks.
"If we're going to consider doing this project, the best time would be to do it after the regular asphalt season before equipment is stored for the winter," said Evans.
In other news, Dennis Lowe, secretary of the board of trustees for the Scott County Law Enforcement Restitution Fund, met with commissioners to advise them of expenditures approved during the July 15 meeting. A total of $23,651 was approved.
"I know that's a lot of money to spend in one setting," said Lowe. "But it's there to spend for law enforcement."
He noted the fund, which comes from court fees, accumulates around $2,000 to $3,000 per month.
"It's bad money turned into good," said Ziegenhorn.
Expenditures included a donation to the SEMO Network Against Sexual Violence, a non-profit organization that provides forensic interviews, funds for drug buy money in criminal investigations, expense money for the examination of evidence in the Mischelle Lawless murder case and funds for 911 recording equipment.
Also approved were funds for the prosecuting attorney to keep on hand to pay ambulance districts and Missouri Delta Medical Center for drawing blood when people are pulled over for driving while intoxicated. "Sometimes there is a down time and if the down time is too long, they lose the evidence," explained Lowe.
In other business during Thursday's meeting:
* Commissioners approved bids for printing supplies for Circuit Court Clerk Pam Glastetter's office. A bid for a copier was approved for a total of $2,450 from Scheffer's Office Furniture and Business Machines in Sikeston. A bid for the same total was submitted by Ikon Business Solutions.
* Also approved was the purchase of six toner cartridges. Heartland Office Supply submitted the low bid of $128.74. Other bids were submitted from Midsouth Office Supply and Scheffer's.
* County Clerk Rita Milam said her office will be open for absentee voting from 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 2. Absentee voting is open during regular hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Aug. 4.