Phelps County Commissioners this past week gave their unanimous blessing for the 25th Circuit juvenile office to seek bids on a new vehicle.

Phelps County Commissioners this past week gave their unanimous blessing for the 25th Circuit juvenile office to seek bids on a new vehicle.
Andy Helms, chief juvenile officer, and Kevin Breeden, juvenile officer, attended the commission's meeting Thursday morning to ask for permission to begin soliciting for a used vehicle.
Helms explained that there are currently three vehicles used by the juvenile office, which serves four counties — Phelps, Pulaski, Maries and Texas. "So basically, there's a county without a car," Helms said.
Helms said while the juvenile office budget for 2013 did not include a specific line item for a used vehicle, there are funds available to purchase a vehicle. The trial/meeting fund has about $28,000 left over and the contract detention fund has about $26,000 available.
Helms said he knew of used Missouri State Highway Patrol cars used by examiners that could cost around $13,000. Helms also contacted the Phelps County Sheriff's Department to see if the juvenile office could use a vehicle that has been taken out of service by the sheriff's office. However, no such vehicles are available at this time, Helms was told..
While Helms said the vehicle to be purchased would be used in Texas County, Phelps County Commissioners expressed worry about approving the purchase of a car to be used in another county.
Helms noted that the existing three cars are rotated among the four counties so that each car has about the same mileage — about 55,000 miles.
He said if the commission felt more comfortable, he could move one of the existing cars to Texas County. The used vehicle to be purchased would then be used in Phelps County. Commissioners agreed that would be better.
No limit was set on the cost to purchase a new vehicle.

In other business
• Also during Thursday's commission meeting, County Clerk Carol Bennett informed commissioners that the county has received it share of a soft match credit from a bridge project on County Road 3610 near St. James. The credit raises the county's soft match balance from $18,143.38 to $126,547.72.
Soft match is a credit earned by counties that can be used in lieu of the 20 percent local match on Bridge Replacement Off-System (BRO) projects.
• The commission also was notified that Everbridge, a company that has offered the county and several agencies in the county a mass notification system, is on the U.S. General Services Administration list. Federal law permits government agencies to purchase services and items from the list because the vendors already have been vetted by the federal government.
• The commissioners plan to attending a ribbon cutting to mark the completion of improvements to the Highway V/Interstate 44 interchange. The ribbon cutting will take place Thursday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m.