Pentecostal Bridge Salvage Complete

By H.B. Dodds, Staff Writer
Posted 9/30/21

OSAGE COUNTY —Osage County Western District Commissioner Larry Kliethermes told colleagues that the permanent guardrails are now installed at the site of the Pentecostal Bridge. The salvage job …

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Pentecostal Bridge Salvage Complete

Posted

OSAGE COUNTY —Osage County Western District Commissioner Larry Kliethermes told colleagues that the permanent guardrails are now installed at the site of the Pentecostal Bridge. The salvage job performed by Brenneke Construction, Jefferson City, is complete. Commissioners reported approval after inspecting the job site once Brenneke removed equipment. 

“It’s in pretty good shape,” said Kliethermes.

Commissioners filed a report of theft with the Osage County Sheriff’s Office. The historic sign once mounted to the west end of the bridge is missing. So are the danger warning buoys placed in the river before Memorial Day. All three items were still in place days before the salvage operation began.

At the recommendation of Attorney Chris Rackers, representing the county in its lawsuit against Stutsman Transportation, Inc., of Hills, Iowa, the firm whose driver wrecked the bridge, commissioners authorized the contracting of Allen Smith, Bridge Engineer at Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc., of St. Louis, as an expert witness.

Osage County Presiding Commissioner Darryl Griffin reported a constituent requested rock on CR 754 by email. Osage County Eastern District Commissioner John Trenshaw received the same email. He called Osage County Road and Bridge Foreman Ron Kempker. “He said they were on it yesterday,” Trenshaw reported.

MU EXTENSION

University of Missouri Extension County Engagement Specialist Elizabeth Anderson updated commissioners on plans for Taste of Osage County. Extension partners with Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) and Meramec Regional Planning Commission’s (MRPC) Naturally Meramec Consortium to put on the event. She asked for help advertising it, especially by placing banners on the west side of town. Commissioners suggested a property owner they know just east of the US 50 and US 63 interchange. They also recommended a local business owner. “You go down there and talk to them, and they’ll let you put it up,” said Trenshaw.

Anderson also asked for advice for a meeting with MRPC about the proposed rural broadband expansion. Extension is interested in helping with that project. 

“We could all get on the same page to move this forward,” she said. 

Griffin suggested trying to catch up with Executive Director Bonnie Prigge at the upcoming MRPC banquet at State Tech.

Anderson announced plans for Extension to host an Agriculture Workforce Development summit. A date and location may be forthcoming.

She also announced plans, with no date set yet, for an Agri-tourism Council website.

Anderson hopes to meet soon with Osage County 911/EMA Director Ron Hoffman to discuss Extension’s future involvement with emergency management and training.

HEALING HORSES

Amy DeCramer of Healing Horses Therapeutic Riding Program in Linn brought a prepared Neighborhood Assistance Grant application for commissioners to sign. She announced there are now 102 students riding on a regular basis with 28 horses in service. 

“It’s pretty cool,” she said of the program. “It’s come a long way.” Commissioners enthusiastically approved and signed.

OCHD

Osage County Health Department Administrator Kim Sallin reported a decrease in active COVID cases in the county, accompanied by a decrease in demand for COVID vaccines. She still expects, though, a surge in demand once booster shots are authorized. Statistics show 19.76% of Osage County students aged 12-17 are now vaccinated. Above that age, 47.46% are inoculated. That brings the total of eligible citizens to 67.22%. 

“We’re moving up a little bit,” she observed.

There were 39 active cases at the time of her report, bringing the pandemic total in Osage County to 2,241. She worries the decrease might be because of popular home tests not reported. However, there were no deaths in the previous week and no Osage County citizens were currently hospitalized with the disease. One current illness was a breakthrough case. There was one child under 12 confirmed positive in Westphalia but there are no close contacts at school to track.

Stericycle, Inc., St. Louis, has offered OCHD an extended agreement at $75 per month for sharps and other hazardous materials disposal. 

Until the COVID crisis, OCHD had been able to join with a local nursing facility, which took care of the limited amount of material they produced. However, COVID vaccinations make having this service more attractive. Sallin expects yet another surge of material once COVID booster shots are authorized. The first few years of this contract would be eligible for payment through American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. 

“Ours is basically just needles,” she observed.

The current OCHD vehicle, a Ford Escape, has received two recent maintenance recalls. However, supply-chain problems have left area dealers without parts to repair it. Sallin is investigating the possibility of getting a new vehicle for her department. 

“We might be able to use ARPA funds for that,” Griffin suggested.

Sallin is now making plans for Christmas on Main Street. OCHD has in the past hosted a warming station after business hours in the Osage County Administration Building (Annex). Commissioners are willing to approve that again this year. It’s tax payment time, but only during business hours at the County Collector’s Office. Sallin expects the event to take place from 5-7 p.m. on a Friday and a few hours on Saturday. 

“I was contacted by Kelly Frank of Main Street Pizza about this,” said Sallin. Frank is one of the main organizers of Christmas on Main Street. 

“My plan was to do that again,” Sallin added.

Sallin also works with Linn Police Chief Mike Bickell to plan Shop with a Hero activities Saturday, Dec. 4. The event is expected to be paid for with a grant. “I am writing up a work plan,” she said.

The new Electronic Health Records program is now completely online. Sallin’s busy staff members have yet to fully utilize it but are growing into it when time allows. “We’re using parts of it,” she explained. “I didn’t think we’d be able to flip and do everything with it right now. We’re in a really good place with it.”

MISCELLANEOUS

The Callaway Energy Center nuclear power plant, operated by Ameren Power Company, conducted an emergency earthquake drill in the Osage County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Tuesday, Sept. 21. Ameren officials were satisfied with the EOC’s performance.

Commissioners reviewed and approved county employee timesheets.

All Osage County offices will be closed Monday, Oct. 11, in observance of Columbus Day.

The Osage County Salary Commission will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13.

An expired drugs and electronics recycling collection is scheduled at the Osage County Fairgrounds Saturday, Oct. 16.

The Taste of Osage County is scheduled at City Park Saturday, Oct. 16.

The Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) annual dinner is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 21, at State Technical College. The 2020 dinner was canceled, so there will be two years worth of awards given. Local government and other community leaders will be invited.

MU Extension and the OCHD plan to co-sponsor a health fair at Legends Park at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22.

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