Hazard mitigation funds that other Missouri counties did not follow through on could help Phelps County replace low-water crossings on certain eligible county roads.
Phelps County Commissioners on Thursday were informed of the funds available and were asked for a quick response to see if they were interested. All three commissioners agreed to apply for the funds.
About $700,000 is available in hazard mitigation funds in the state. The projects would be awarded with 75 percent making up the federal share and 25 percent making up the local match.
Commissioners were told that the county’s labor and equipment would be an eligible part of the local match.
Only low-water crossings on seven county roads would be eligible for the funds.
District One Commissioner Larry Stratman said, “This is a one-time shot. We should take advantage of this. We have some safe but needy low-water crossings.”
Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp initially suggested applying for all seven roads.
“I don’t know why we couldn’t use all of it,” he said, however, it was noted that the local match for all seven roads would be $960,000, well over the amount of funds available statewide.
After taking two roads out of consideration, the commission along with input from County Road Superintendent Walter Snelson prioritized the five remaining eligible county roads in which funds could be used to replace low-water crossings along them.
If funds are approved, the county must follow a predetermined scope of work to replace the low-water crossings, meaning that the road must be elevated if that is what the scope states. The work also must meet national flood insurance requirements.
The top priority chosen by the commission and Snelson is County Road 8050, in which there are three low-water crossings along a short section of the road. The total project/plan cost is estimated at $450,000, with a local match being $112,500.
The second priority is to replace a low-water crossing on County Road 5160, which has an estimated total project/plan cost of $150,000, with a local match of $37,500.
The third priority listed is a crossing on County 7360, which has a total project/plan cost estimated at $70,000. The local match would be $17,500.
The fourth priority is for a crossing on County Road 8120. The total project/plan cost is estimated at $50,000, with the local match being $12,500.
The fifth priority is the replacement of a low-water crossing on County Road 2250, Favre Road, which has an estimated total project/plan cost of $100,000. The local match would be $25,000.
The commissioners were told that the projects would be awarded in January or February and the county would have three years to complete the projects.
In other business, the commission learned from Snelson that work had been completed to address the County Road 3620 bridge located at the end of State Route DD near Boys and Girls Town of Missouri east of St. James.
Page 2 of 2 - Snelson said there is no longer movement from two adjoining pieces that were flexing under the weight of heavy vehicles. Snelson said he is waiting on the Missouri Department of Transportation to re-inspect the bridge to see if the current weight limit of three tons can be raised.
Commissioners on Thursday also opened bids for gas and diesel for the county road and sheriff’s departments from four vendors — 63 Fuel Stop, MotoMart, MFA Oil and ExxonMobil. Stratman called the bids that were received “good, competitive bids.”
The commission unanimously awarded the bids for the road department to MFA for the St. James and Rolla areas and 63 Fuel Stop for the Edgar Springs area.
MFA Oil submitted a bid of 6 cents under the posted price for gas and 5 cents under the posted price for diesel for the road department. 63 Fuel Stop submitted a bid of 4 cents off the posted price for gas and 7 cents off the posted price for diesel for the road department.
The sheriff’s department will be given the bids to review before the commission takes action on awarding any bids for that department.
Additionally, the commission opened bids for office supplies but took no action on the bids received from two vendors — JLJ Enterprises Inc. and Triad Office City, both in Rolla. The commission also will consider a state bid for office supplies, as well, it was noted.