Sales tax collections in Phelps County were up last month compared to August 2011.

Sales tax collections in Phelps County were up last month compared to August 2011.

Phelps County Treasurer Carol Green presented updated sales tax figures to the Phelps County Commissioners Thursday morning.

Sales tax collections were up by 4.71 percent in August 2012 compared to August 2011.

This year so far, county sales tax collections are up by 1.94 percent. Based on the last 12 months from August 2012, collections are up by 2.54 percent.

After a 28.77 percent plunge in January, collections went up 49.9 percent in February compared to the first two months in 2011.

In March of this year, collections were up by 2.52 percent but decreased by 32.89 percent in April compared to collections in the same two months in 2011. In May, collections bounced back up by 22.31 percent compared to May of 2011.

June 2012 showed a 12.4 percent decrease compared to June 2011 and July of this year reported a 2.4 percent decrease compared to July 2011.

Sales tax collections in Phelps County fell overall in 2007, 2008 and 2009 but rose in 2010 and 2011.

In other business

Also at Thursday’s meeting, county commissioners heard an offer from Heather Hoffman and Jenny Coad, representatives with U.S. Cellular, to switch cellphone providers for certain county employees.

About eight to 10 months ago, the Phelps County Sheriff's Department switched its employees' cellphone provider to U.S. Cellular. The commission heard from a different representative with the company back in early August.

Commissioners Thursday agreed that while the county may not be looking to make a change to its current provider, AT&T, if it made financial sense, officials may consider it.

Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp said if the county were to switch, the process would have to involve a public bidding process.

County Clerk Carol Bennett stated that several county employees use iPads that work with their iPhones. In some cases, the employees’ iPads are their personal items, Bennett said.

The commissioners asked Hoffman and Coad to talk with Mark Brookshire, facilities manager.

The commission also heard from Carrie Beckner, regional sales manager with Network Consulting, Inc., (NCI) based out of Gardner, Kan., a telecommunications consultant that offers telecommunications audits and can work with government entities and businesses to help them get the best possible rates on their telecommunications bills through vendor negotiations.

The commissioners also suggested Beckner talk with Brookshire as well as approach the Phelps County Emergency Services Board about how NCI could benefit that group.

The commission heard a similar offer from Espy Services, Inc., based out of Bedford, Ind., in July, but took no action then. Phelps County also is currently seeking bids for office supplies as well as gasoline and diesel for the county highway department and sheriff’s department.

Sealed bids for the office supplies will be accepted at the county clerk's office until 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at which time they will be opened.

Bids for the gasoline and diesel will be accepted at the county clerk’s office until 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at which time they will be opened.