Phelps County Commissioners Thursday morning approved a motion to renew the county’s liability insurance with MOPERM (Missouri Public Entity Risk Management Fund).
The commission approved a premium payment of $176,949 for the one-year renewal.
Dan Cavender, of BPJ Insurance, told the commission earlier this month that over the past seven years, the county has paid an average premium of about $170,000.
The commissioners took no action during Cavender’s earlier visit because they wanted a list of vehicles covered under the county’s policy to be reviewed by the sheriff and county road superintendent.
While those had not been reviewed yet, Dan Cavender said the premium can still be altered once a decision is made.
“We’d welcome your recommendations on the vehicles,” Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp said.
Cavender said the insurance renewal for next year calls for a 9 percent increase in premiums compared to this time last year but noted that a refund for defensive driving and another refund for counties that renew with MOPERM may actually lower that 9 percent increase to about what Phelps County paid last year.
In other business
• District Two Commissioner Bud Dean said he talked with Spencer Jones, of Great Rivers Associates, who agreed with the Missouri Department of Transportation’s suggestion to fix the County Road 5240 bridge over Beaver Creek. The contractor will remove the entire cap on the center pier of the bridge, clean and bend the rebar and then pour a new cap. Verkamp said he gives MoDOT high marks for finding a solution, but Dean said MoDOT didn’t catch the initial issue that caused more of a slope than anticipated.
• The commission also approved a request for $13,500 in funds through the Community Development Block Grant for disaster planning through the Meramec Regional Planning Commission.
• The commission approved the reappointment of Rick Robertson to the Central Region Workforce Investment Board.
• Also, the commission and court officials continued discussion of finding new office space for Judge Mary Sheffield. Judge Ron White suggested moving probate files from an office into a wide secured hallway to free up that office space for Sheffield. It was noted that the hallway is a fire escape, so county officials planned to check with the fire department for advice as well as talk with Judge Bill Hickle about the switch. Also discussed was an idea to turn Hearing Rooms A and B into a small courtroom in the future.