New ferry discount program launched

Friday, September 27, 2002

CHARLESTON - Dorena-Hickman Ferry officials have launched a new discount program that will have daily users essentially riding free on Fridays.

Mississippi County commissioners approved the proposed discount program during their regular session Thursday.

A monthly package of 40 coupons will now be available at the discounted price of $192. The cost works out to be a normal $12 round trip toll for four out of five days with the fifth day free, according to ferry officials.

As the discount program is designed for the regular rider, the commuter coupons will expire two months from the date of purchase.

In other Mississippi County commission business:

* Commissioners awarded the bid for new digital E-911 emergency call recorders to the sole bidder, BusComm of St. Louis, which offered two recorders for $56,760.

The present Dictaphone recorders are obsolete, County Clerk Junior DeLay said, and have had maintenance problems recently.

With the new digital recorders, dispatchers will be able to instantly access recorded calls, DeLay said. The calls will be backed up on DVDs.

* Commissioners signed an amended contract with Midland GIS Solutions of Maryville which adds a section stating the county reserves the right to withhold 10 percent of the project's cost until the project its completion.

A $90,000 contract to set up the county's computer-based digital mapping was approved by Mississippi County commissioners at their Sept. 19 meeting.

W.R. "Bill" Thompson, county assessor, said his department's ongoing mapping project will be a three-stage process with the digital mapping from Midland being the first step.

Thompson said he is currently negotiating a contract to purchase Horizon software which will link up assessor's office data.

One of the product's designers, Paul Roberts, is an employee of the New Madrid County assessor's office, Thompson said.

The price of $30,000 is about the going rate for this type of software, according to Thompson.

As New Madrid County uses the same type of mainframe for county data, Thompson said it should be easily implemented in Mississippi County. "It's going to be a clone system of New Madrid's," said Thompson.

The third step will be to add soil-type maps. "That's further on down the line," said Thompson. "This is a piecemeal-type thing but I think we are going to end up with something that will fit."

* Commissioners reviewed the Missouri Department of Transportation's report on their the annual safety inspection of the county airport.

The report listed only minor items, according to DeLay, such as recommendations for better lighting and runway markings and runway maintenance.

"Most of them are the same ones every year," DeLay said.

Commissioners noted that the trees obstructing approaches to the airport mentioned in the report are on state right-of-ways.

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