BENTON -- Scott County will likely pay higher prices for materials used by the Highway Department than it did in the beginning of 2008 -- but lower than the final prices.
During Thursday's regular commission meeting, bids from several vendors were opened for those materials.
"They have come down some, but not a lot," said Jamie Burger, presiding commissioner, referring to the changing prices. For instance, asphalt, which was $32.95 per ton at the beginning of 2008, went up to about $50 a ton by the end of the year, and opening bids for 2009 are $44.75.
He explained that, with the volatility of the market, prices bid may not be honored for the full year. "They close the letter saying that if there is a big jump in prices, it will be reflected," he said.
Other such items vendors submitted bids for include diesel fuel, Johnson Grass spray, rock, sand and oil.
"And if oil prices stay down, eventually that should trickle down to us, too," Burger said.
Commissioners did not accept any of the bids during Thursday's meeting. "We'll make a spreadsheet and do a comparative analysis," said Burger. Approval is expected at a meeting next week, he said.
In other news, commissioners agreed that Joel Evans, county developer, should begin paperwork to apply for an Emergency Operations Center grant through the Federal Emergency Management Association. The grant money is earmarked to fund improvements to the emergency communications system.
"It's for about $40,000 total," explained Evans. "Seventy-five percent of it is a federal contribution and 25 percent is a local match."
With the 2009 budget still in the works, Burger said it's still not clear whether the county will have the money to pay those matching funds. However, the grant is "fairly complicated," said Evans. "And it's something that, if we get funded and choose to deallocate the funds (due to a lack of local funding), we can."