The Phelps County Commission approved an agreement on Tuesday with Crump Law Offices in Rolla to provide legal services to the county for any personal property or real estate dispute or appeal that arises from assessed valuations.


The Phelps County Commission approved an agreement on Tuesday with Crump Law Offices in Rolla to provide legal services to the county for any personal property or real estate dispute or appeal that arises from assessed valuations.
The one-year agreement with Crump would assure legal representation would be readily available for any future assessment appeals that could not be handled by the county’s present representative, the Law Offices of Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, should any conflict of interest arise.
The agreement specifies a fee of $140 an hour for any legal services Crump provides.
Phelps County Assessor Kevin Rasmussen confirmed only one assessment appeal is pending and waiting for a hearing with the State Tax Commission.
In other county business, the Commission awarded a $1,281 bid from Quill, a national office-equipment supplier, and authorized the purchase of two, flat-file, drawer cabinets with one closed-base for the office of the county recorder.
Quill was the lowest of five bids which were submitted.
Robin Kordes, county recorder, said the new file drawers were needed to store the records for the Phelps County surveyor.
Kordes said her office was presently engaged in recording, scanning and archiving the surveyor records which would be stored in her office.
County surveyor records previously had been kept at Elgin Surveying & Engineering, a business formerly owned by current Phelps County Surveyor Dick Elgin.
Phelps County Surveyor-Elect Lou Gilbert will take office Jan. 1.
In an unrelated action, Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp approved the re-appointment of Marcia Mayo to the Central Ozarks Private Industry Council Board of Directors.
The private, non-profit agency, COPIC, provides employment and training services to job seekers in Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Washington and Phelps counties. Mayo represents Phelps County during scheduled meetings in which the board conducts oversight of the agency.
Other county government business facilitated by the Phelps County Commission at its Nov. 18 session included the following items:
• Upon recommendation of Emergency 911 Director Paula Volkmer, the Commission awarded a bid for a new logging recorder device to the company, BusComm Inc., of St. Louis, for $26,275.
Four other bids were submitted, and although BusComm’s bid was the second, least expensive, Volkmer explained to the Commission that the most inexpensive bid did not meet the specifications requested by the department.
Once installed, the new equipment will record radio traffic, incoming 911 calls and outgoing phone calls, and it will archive the recordings for one year.
• Kent Robinson, of the Law Offices of Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost, apprised the Commission that his office, which provides special prosecutor services for the county, is near the “end of the cycle” in cases assigned to his law firm.
Of the 468 special prosecutor cases assigned by the 25th Circuit Court to Robinson’s law firm, only 30 cases remained on the docket, Robinson said.
Eleven of the 30 pending cases involved defendants who could not be located.
Additionally, Robinson said, the cost for prosecuting Benjamin C. Hardy, who was arrested in 2005 and subsequently convicted in August of murder in the first degree and armed criminal action in the first degree, would be in excess of $100,000.
However, Robinson explained, because Hardy was found guilty and sentenced to a penitentiary, the State of Missouri would reimburse Phelps County for the total cost associated with his prosecution.
The Hardy trial was prosecuted by Special Prosecuting Attorney John D. Wiggins and Assistant Special Prosecuting Attorney Joseph W. Rigler, both of the Law Offices of Williams, Robinson, Rigler & Buschjost.
Robinson said his firm had discounted the time involved in the Hardy prosecution by 25 percent.
• The Commission reviewed notification that the county’s liability insurer, MOPERM, had assigned the law firm of Rabbitt, Pitzer & Snodgrass, P.C., of St. Louis, as counsel for the county in a lawsuit filed against the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department by Rolla resident Thomas J. Aaron Sr.
Aaron is seeking $25,000 in punitive damages stemming from a November, 2007, incident in which he alleges he was injured by a deputy attempting to serve a summons to his fiancée.
• Phelps County Treasurer Carol Green reported local sales taxes received for the month of October totaled $154,387, a 30 percent increase from taxes received in October, 2007.