BENTON -- With the possibility of boarding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees still up in the air, Scott County commissioners will seek bids on health care for Scott County Jail inmates with an option for more.
The county first contracted health care services for county inmates on Oct. 1, 2005, with Health Professionals Ltd. of Peoria, Ill.
"We have to rebid that," Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said during the regular County Commission meeting Tuesday. "We're going to have to bid that out before the end of the year."
To get the contract back in synch with the county's fiscal year, which begins in January, commissioners negotiated with Health Professionals for an additional three months.
"They extended for the exact amount we are paying," Burger said.
Commissioners said Shawn Wood, office manager at the Sheriff's Department, is preparing the request for proposals on the inmate health care services.
Commissioners still haven't heard from ICE officials regarding the county holding their federal detainees.
"The last I heard, a couple of weeks ago, is that we had to resubmit the paperwork," Commissioner Ron McCormick said.
Commissioners said they will request bids for medical services on just county prisoners with a price for an option for additional services to cover ICE prisoners if the county jail begins holding them.
The bids will be for one year with the option for the county to renew for up to two additional years. "So that would include 2009, 2010 and 2011," Burger said.
In other business during Tuesday's meeting:
* Commissioners approved the purchase of a 2006 Crown Victoria with 54,000 miles on it for $13,000 through a state bid.
"We were looking at some alternatives," McCormick said, explaining that commissioners had also considered leasing or buying a new car. "We decided to go with the state Highway Patrol car. This seemed to be the best option for the time."
This vehicle will replace a Crown Victoria that was taken out of service as a Sheriff's Department patrol vehicle due to a transmission breakdown last month.
* The county clerk's office will be open from 8 a.m. until noon Saturday for absentee voting, according to County Clerk Rita Milam. The courthouse's south door will be open to provide access.
"You can only vote absentee if you are going to be away (on election day) -- you have to have a reason to vote absentee," Milam said. "People are getting absentee voting confused with early voting. Missouri does not have early voting."
Milam said her office has received 937 requests for absentee ballots for the election Tuesday.
"We've had quite a few," she said. "In 2004 we actually counted 989. In 2006 we did 596."
Milam predicted her office will end up counting more absentee ballots this election than in 2004.
"I think everybody is very ready for it to be here and be over with," Burger said of Tuesday's election.