Osage County Commission News

Tuesday, December 23, 2020

By HB Dodds, UD Staff Writer
Posted 12/23/20

Vaccine on the way, but no date yet for

Osage County

Osage County Health Department Administrator Susan Long told commissioners last week that 20 sites around Missouri will receive Pfizer …

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Osage County Commission News

Tuesday, December 23, 2020


Vaccine on the way, but no date yet for
Osage County
Osage County Health Department Administrator Susan Long told commissioners last week that 20 sites around Missouri will receive Pfizer refrigerated COVID-19 vaccines. Osage County has no refrigeration capacity required by the Pfizer vaccines, so it's not one of them.
"Right now we're in a holding pattern," she said.
When the vaccine arrives, Walgreens Pharmacy in Linn will inoculate nursing home residents. For the rest of the population, Long expects all supplies necessary to come with the vaccine. Therefore, the only expense would be for the salaries of workers doing the injections. Long requested some CARES Act funds in anticipation of that expense. Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) Funding should pick up where the CARES Act leaves off.
"I do have some people who have volunteered to help with this," Long added.
"At least we have a start," Osage County First District Commissioner John Glavin commented. "I think this is very exciting."
COVID-19 cases in Osage County continue to rise; however, Long has noticed some slowing. She wants no slacking off in effort.
"[Citizens] need to continue with the social distancing," she said. "They need to not attend weddings and social events."
Commissioners approved paying reimbursements or payments from Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds as follows: Westphalia R-3 Schools ($24,965.27); Osage County Collector's Office ($1,379.98); Linn Fire Protection District ($8,789.06, $19,805, $6,834.38, and $49,137.62); Poor House Properties ($19,691.51); Ely Manor Events Center ($15,393.61); Osage County Clerk ($5,044.90, and 1,906.60); Osage County Coroner ($2,734.21); Owensville Fire Department ($9,000); Osage County Emergency Management Agency ($20,325.28); Harbor Place Estates ($8,092.58); Elections ($3,373.05); Osage County Commission ($536.46); Meramec Region Planning Commission (MRPC) ($2,588.75, and $5,200); Loose Creek Community Club ($23,905.59); city of Meta ($5,844.46); city of Linn ($31,578); and the Osage County Sheriff's Office ($7044.76, $16,757.12, $18,991, $35,209.74, $29,267.57, $21,502, $183,435.24, and $85,123).
Glavin dissented from the last two appropriations to the Sheriff's Office. He didn't think purchased items could be maintained within future budget considerations. They include cameras and other electronics to mitigate against COVID-19 risky personal contact.
Osage County Clerk Nicci Bouse-Kammerich presented proposed amendments to the 2020 budget. The estimated ending cash balance in the General Revenue Fund was increased by $2,469 to $96,677.53. This was due to better-than-expected tax revenue. The estimated ending cash balance in the Assessment Fund was decreased by $25,000 to $61,125.34. This was to buy two automobiles for the Osage County Assessor's Office. This was an expense not expected or budgeted at this time last year. The estimated ending cash balance in the Election Services Fund was increased by $2,614.68 to $8,355.79. This amounted to a total estimated decrease of $19,916.32.
"We're pretty much right where we're supposed to be," Kammerich asserted.
Commissioners approved the amendments.
Osage County Road and Bridge Foreman Ron Kempker announced major repairs to a box culvert on CR 412. There has been erosion behind the concrete walls, and a large hole has developed in the road's surface. Closing one lane at a time, Kempker predicted the project would take three days. "That's one of our top priorities," he affirmed.
The crossing is just south of the Phillips 66 pipeline.
Crews pre-treated roads with salt, preparing for forecast snow Wednesday, Dec. 16. Small amounts of frozen precipitation fell variably around the county.
Osage County Presiding Commissioner Darryl Griffin and Kempker agreed no repairs have been done on CR 303 downhill from the recently completed apartment construction project. The general contractor has agreed to repair damages done by his heavy equipment but neither Griffin nor Kempker has heard from him recently.
Kempker has received more applications for positions still open in his department. Interviews are ongoing, and he predicted an imminent announcement of another hired employee.
The department hauled rock on the Loose Creek Highway and CR 811; crew members performed service on Truck #49; crews removed trees on CR 714; brush mowers worked on CRs 235, 262, and 263; operators patched asphalt on various paved county roads; and grader operators worked on CRs 241, 244, 275, 300, 316, 317, 318, 403, 415, 416, 521, 522, 523, 525, 605, 608, 609, 621, 632, 637, 638, 701, 702, 704, 705, 725, 725A, 802, 803, 806, 808, 809, 811, and Turn Back Now Trail.
Griffin briefed the commission on a Dec. 10 meeting of the Transportation Action Committee (TAC) of the MRPC, which he and Osage County Second District Commissioner Larry Kliethermes attended. Two major projects in Osage County have moved up the TAC's priority list. US 50 at Rt. CC and CR 801 is one of those. Another is US 63 from Freeburg to Westphalia.
"We're not saying it's going to get completed [very soon], but it's moved up that list, and that was a good sign," said Griffin. "Now, if they just find the money."
The TAC also voted to request the Missouri State Legislature pass a "clean" appropriations bill from the state's fuel tax revenue. They want all funds for road improvements with no entanglement from other departments.
Commission approved the payment of bills from Dec. 15-17 as follows by department: CARES Act ($455,455.16); Elections ($4,850); and Sheriff-Jail ($183,435.24), for a total of $643,740.40.
Kliethermes presented the final bill of $8,000 from Porter, Berendzen & Associates, Architects, the firm which coordinated the recent Osage County Courthouse renovations.
"The work is pretty well done over there," said Kliethermes. "I thought the job looked good."
There is still some caulking to do between the sidewalk and Main Street. It was scheduled to be completed Saturday, Dec. 19. The porch lights are waiting for some glass-cutting.
Verslues Construction Company, Inc., the general contractor for the project, finished their work for $59,084, right on budget.
Final inspection was scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22.
Griffin, Kliethermes, and Commissioner-Elect John Trenshaw attended a ceremony Monday, Dec. 14 at the Callaway County Nuclear Power Plant. It celebrated, among other things, outgoing 911/EMA Director Andrea Rice's long service. Trenshaw was impressed by the complexity and redundancy of the operation's safety apparatus.
"There's a lot more behind the scenes than I knew was going on," he commented.
Rice was presented with a "Thank You" cake at the Commission Meeting Thursday, Dec. 17 to commemorate 15 years of service to the county 911 and Emergency Management Center. When requested, she refused to make a speech.
Ameren Missouri Electric is preparing to conduct vegetation maintenance along power lines. Citizens who have questions should log on to www.ameren.com/transmission.
Osage County Building and Grounds Janitorial and Maintenance Worker John Kennedy announced trouble with a heating and cooling unit in the Osage County Jail. An expansion valve had failed and the repair was estimated at $603. Due to this being a rather busy time of year at the facility, he was instructed to go ahead and get it repaired. Putting it off to get into next year's budget was only briefly considered.
"He's got a full population over there," said Griffin of Sheriff Mike Bonham. "I think you've got to fix it."
Commissioners signed outgoing checks.
All Osage County offices will be closed Thursday, Dec. 24, and Friday, Dec. 25, for Christmas.


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