Osage County Commission News

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

By HB Dodds, UD Staff Writer
Posted 5/20/20

Osage County Road and Bridge Foreman…

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Osage County Commission News

Tuesday, May 12, 2020


TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2020

Osage County Road and Bridge Foreman Ron Kempker announced two important department anniversaries. Paul Rutgers has been with the department 22 years, and Greg Dill has been operating for 37 years.

"Thank them for their service," urged Kempker.

"Congratulations to them," said Osage County Presiding Commissioner Darryl Griffin.

* A box culvert on CR 306 has suffered some bad erosion around and under it and is needing some major repair. "There's nothing really to support [the footings on either bank]," said Kempker. "This is not going to be a cheap fix." He passed some pictures around to the commissioners. The crossing is just east of the Fairview Church of Christ.

* Osage County First District Commissioner John Glavin insisted crossings on CRs 304 and 319 are in similar dire straits. "These things are just ticking time bombs," he said, adding that loads going over them are what would likely cause them to collapse instead of erosion.

He urged hydrologic and hydraulic (H & H) studies be done on them, though it's expensive. "I don't like to spend $1,700, but we need to know what we've got," he added.

He promised to go look at the site Kempker brought to attention.

"We'll wait until John looks at it, then Thursday we'll address it," said Griffin.

* A resident had called in about flood wash damage on CR 203, but Kempker's crews had already addressed it. He had spoken to the resident before the meeting.

"He was good when we left there the other day," said Kempker.

* Griffin announced he has yet to hear back from Westphalia City Attorney David Bandre concerning the CR 511 contract. The county still wants to see a copy of the document signed by Westphalia Mayor Tammy Massman before sending crews to work on it.

"I drove through that road yesterday," said Osage County Second District Commissioner Larry Kliethermes.

He observed some rock has been hauled and leveled, and some ditch work has been done.

Kempker said it wasn't the county which did the work.

* Kliethermes complained some recent grading on CR 521 was inadequate. He thought a machine had been over the road, but it, “Looked like a muffin pan; all the pot holes were full of water," he said.

Wondering if it was one of the newer employees, "They say that is the hardest piece of equipment to learn," said Glavin.

* The department hauled rock on CRs 231, 263, 272, 275, 314, 414, 416, 421, 423, 424, 435, 521, and 725; crew members performed service on Truck #47; Kempker
conducted a safety meeting on Thursday, May 7; and grader operators worked on CRs 203, 204, 205, 272, 275, 311, 314, 403, 414, 423, 424, 504, 511, 512, 522, 524, 602, 612, 722, and 724.

* Osage County 911/EMA Director Andrea Rice produced paperwork for disaster assistance for the commission to sign. "I'm going to submit it, but I might withdraw it," she said, explaining there's more than one program in play, and it's illegal to "double dip. We have three different funding opportunities, and they're all being thrown at us at the same time. We think the (Coronavirus Relief Act) CARES funding will fit our needs the best."

Griffin will soon be getting details from the Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) about how best to administer $1.597 million which has arrived to the county from the CARES act. It will reimburse 100% of qualifying expenses. The other two programs will help with 85% and 50% of expenses which qualify. However, there's no clear guidance yet on how to distribute the funds. Rice knows the funds may not apply simultaneously. However, it's possible they might distribute consecutively should one run out.

* Resident Daniel Knaebel has submitted a floodplain variance appeal request near CR 505. He wants to erect an authorized accessory structure for parking and storage only. Any utilities will be elevated and it will be built with flood resistant materials. Commissioners seemed amenable, but "we'll put it on the agenda Thursday," ruled Griffin.

* Two uninterrupted power supplies have failed in the Osage County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The original equipment supplier has estimated $5,725 to replace one of them; $8,500 to replace both.

"It's an expensive unit," Rice commented.

She has requested an alternative estimate from Eric Reichel of Remote Computer Services (RCS), Westphalia. If RCS can provide this equipment, it will cost several hundreds, rather than thousands, of dollars; but it's uncertain if this is possible. She might also call Wireless USA, Jefferson City, hoping they can provide an estimate. The equipment prevents power failure between an outage and activation of the generator. That's usually a gap of 10 to 30 seconds.

"To their defense, it's lasted for five years," she noted.

* Rice urged appreciation for local law enforcement officers. "This week is Police Week," she observed.

* Griffin announced the United States Census Bureau will have employees canvassing about 1,300 residents in Osage County who have not responded online or by phone to the census effort.

* The commission has received mail from Preferred Family Healthcare, a nonprofit organization offering services in Midwestern states.

* Verslues Construction has yet to return their analysis of the leaking walls in the EOC.

* The commission approved paying bills from April 28 through May 12 as follows by department: 911/ EMA ($13,123.73), Assessor ($4,931.94), Building & Grounds ($1,243.14), Circuit Clerk ($11.72), County Clerk ($1,035.10), Health Department ($99.13), Miscellaneous ($2,652.05), Other county government ($2440), Prosecuting Attorney ($10.70), Road & Bridge ($23.504.79), Sheriff-Jail ($3,442.13), Treasurer ($50.23), and CAT Financial ($10,586.04); for a total of $63,130.70.

THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2020

Osage County Building and Grounds Janitorial and Maintenance Worker John Kennedy brought an idea to install plexiglass barriers at the Osage County Annex Administration Building's business counters. He wanted the commission's general approval to price the material with Missouri Vocational Enterprises (MVE) in Jefferson City. It's a coronavirus-inspired idea. He wants to cut down on the exposure of county workers when handling business over the counter. The design Kennedy proposed has an opening at the bottom for the exchange of documents and money. There would also be a gap at the top, above normal conversation level. This would allow for even heating, cooling, and ventilation. The Annex hallways depend on the offices for even temperature and air flow.

"They're so close to the public when they work with them," Kennedy commented, referring to county employees who manage those counters. "At least I think we need to check into it."

Commissioners liked the idea, so Kennedy intends to have some numbers worked up soon. He estimates installation could take place before June.

* Griffin mentioned the idea of pursuing a drop box for the Osage County Collector's office. There was talk about it before the COVID-19 crisis. It would be convenient for citizens who can't bring in tax checks during normal Annex hours. Now, it would cut down person to person exposure while social distance remains an issue.

* Long thinks she might want a sliding screen at the Health Department counter, useful for Health Information Privacy Protection Act (HIPAA) issues, as well as communicable disease protection. She doubts it would be too cost-prohibitive, for "I've got a much smaller window area than everybody else has," she said.

* The cracked floor joists under the Annex’s west side deck have been repaired and replaced. "Thank you, John," said Griffin.

* Rice brought a final draft of Knaebel's variance for the commissioners to sign.

* She also passed around a schedule of events Wednesday and Thursday, May 27-28. This is when the new Priority Dispatch ProQA dispatch software and program will "Go Live."

An article detailing the activities of these two days appears in this edition of the Unterrified Democrat.

* Town Hall meetings to promote passage of the 911


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