These topics were discussed last Tuesday, July 18 and Thursday, July 20, in the open meeting sessions of the Phelps County Commission, held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Phelps County Courthouse.
1. New deputy coroner
 Phelps County has a new deputy coroner. Phelps County Coroner Andy Davis recommended to the county commissioners, at last Thursdays open meeting at the courthouse, that Gavin McDonald, a charge nurse in the Emergency Department at Phelps County Regional Medical Center, be considered his deputy coroner. The need arose from the increased work load on Davis. The position and salary are set by the Missouri state statutes.
A deputy coroner may receive $1,000 a year, minimum, according to Phelps County Coroner Andy Davis. Prosecutor Davis wanted to raise the salary to $6,000 a year or $500 per month. This would be paid for by the appropriated $1,000 from Davis’s budget and the remainder from the Phelps County Law Enforcement Restitution Fund (PCLERF) that is funded by court fees. This $5,0000 amount has already been approved by the PCLERF board.
Commissioner Gary Hicks asked if this funding was set for the future. Coroner Davis said there was no guarantee, which is why he will be requesting for the additional monies in his next year’s budget. Davis noted that the last four years the money was available in PCLERF, so he was basing his recommendation on the historical receipts of the fund.
2. Cybercrime grant awarded
Detective Scott Jarrett said a state cybercrime grant has been awarded to the Phelps County Sheriff Department in the amount of $70, 953.36 for the purpose of monitoring illegal internet activity, involving adults and minors.
3. School money from fines and forfeitures 
As a matter of record, County Clerk Pam Grow presented the money amounts apportioned to Phelps County School Districts from the Fines and Forfeitures Fund for the period from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. The amount per school district is formulated by Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, of which enrollment is only one consideration.
Fines and Forfeitures Total: $416,344.81
Dent/Phelps 65/R3……………………$66.65
St. James R-1 ………………………...$110,927.35
Newburg R-2 ………………………...$26,192.92
Rolla 31 ………………………………$261,114.10
Phelps County R-3……………………$17,044.06
Dixon 16/R-1 R-3…………………….$933.08
Texas County 81/R-8…………………$66.65
Interest Total: $703.82
Dent/Phelps 65/R3……………………$0.11
St. James R-1 ………………………...$187.52
Newburg R-2 ………………………...$44.28
Rolla 31 ………………………………$441.41
Phelps County R-3……………………$28.81
Dixon 16/R-1 R-3…………………….$1.58
Texas County 81/R-8…………………$0.11
4. Westside Marketplace update as of June 30 
Bloomsdale Excavating Co., Inc. has completed all blasting activities and is moving equipment from the construction site. There were no private property owner claims due to blasting activities. UTW Realty delivered the Menards building pad on June 20, ten days ahead of the contract date. Menards has selected Brinkmann Constructors to build their store. The building delivery date is scheduled for the end of December 2017, with an expected store opening in March 2018. UTW Realty is delivering the junior box construction pad to Brinkmann Constructors this month, ahead of the August 1, 2017 target date. Activities are on schedule for all junior box stores to be completed for delivery by February 1, 2018. Stores are expected to open in March, 2018.
5. Individual legal fee payments through grant
 Judge Ralph Haslag informed the county commission about a five-year $18,000 grant awarded to the Missouri Circuit Courts to create and implement domestic relations programs through the Office of State Courts Administrator. This money will help individuals that can’t afford attorneys to help process their cases through court at $50 per hour.”It’s designed to help 200 people,” said Judge Haslag. The Phelps County collector will get a monthly invoice from the Legal Services of Southern Missouri for handling the paperwork. The county will need to front the money and bill the Supreme Court within 10 days. Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp said all that would be needed would be to firm up the time of the payments and a guarantee from the judge that there would be no county funds needed.