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Commission awards bids to local contractors

Two local contractors won bids for county work thanks to a relatively new policy that grants a 5 percent variance on prices to local contractors.

The variance was set up earlier in the year to give local contractors a slight advantage when it comes to winning bids for county work.

Commissioners have pointed out that they are supported by local tax dollars, so they want those local dollars to help put people to work locally, whenever legally possible.

The two contractors, who otherwise would not have won their bids for county work, were Waterworks in Bonne Terre for culvert pipes and Mineral Area Office Supply for copying paper.

Additional bids approved were approved from Missouri Petroleum, North America Salt, G and C Supply, Wallace, Lubricants, Purcell Tire, Ron’s Tire Center, Facerock Minerals, Leadbelt Materials, Mineral Area Asphalt, Baumann Oil, Politte Ready Mix, and Iron Mountain Trap Rock.

Commissioners also approved bids for maintenance supplies and authorized office holders to accept office supply bids after review.

In other matters, commissioners heard a presentation by a regional mail sorter who is offering the county a 90-day trial run to see if the service would be a savings.

Commissioners also discussed issues related to community service work that has been ordered by a judge. When someone has run into legal trouble and cannot pay their fine, a judge will sometimes order them to complete community service work. The individual is then supervised by a county employee, but the county has no direct authority over the individuals if there are any behavior problems.

Prior to now, issues with such workers have been rare, but as the economy has worsened, the volume of community service work has increased and this has presented the supervisors with issues they haven’t faced before and weren’t sure how to address.

The maintenance supervisor reported that some individuals are either not working as directed or in some cases being insubordinate or trying to intimidate supervisory personnel. In addition, now that there are more workers to supervise, scheduling gets to be a problem because many wait until the last minute to serve their sentences. This has in turn resulted in as many as four community service workers to one supervisor, who is then alone with the workers at night.

Presiding Commissioner Dr. David Cramp said it was a matter that would should actually be discussed with the judges themselves, to develop contingencies for dealing with any unusual situations that might arise.

The next meeting of the County Commission is 10 a.m. March 29. The first meeting in April will be on a Monday rather than Tuesday as it is the beginning of a new quarter.

Renee Jean can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext 117 or

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