County will reimburse farmer for crop damage
Mississippi County news
CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County will reimburse a farmer for the crop damaged in an accident Wednesday.
Duke Presson, who leases the county's farmland near the county highway department shed, met with County Commissioners during their regular meeting Thursday to discuss the loss of two-thirds of his bean crop on the land due to a fire.
Cinders from a brush pile burned at the county highway department apparently blew into the bean field and set the beans on fire.
"They thought it rained enough that the straw wouldn't burn," Presson said.
Presson advised commissioners that to plant the field, it took 57 bags of beans which cost $30.50 per bag plus another $2.50 per bag to treat them.
Adding in the cost of running the tractor and labor for planting them, he said he figures he had about $2,450 invested in the crop.
Presson said replanting this late will probably affect the yield per acre as well.
"Every day they don't come up, that's a bushel or so off," he said.
Commissioner Homer Oliver asked Presson to record during the harvest the yield of beans planted on time and the replanted beans so the county can also reimburse him for the difference.
"We want to be fair," Oliver said. "We want to do what's right."
"That's fine by me," Presson said.
In other business during Thursday's meeting:
* The county's Board of Equalization will open at 10:30 a.m. July 12 to hold hearings on disputed property values as set by the county assessor.
While the BOE will hear and rule on values set by the assessor, they will not be able to do anything about higher property taxes due to the index change, Commissioner Martin Lucas said.
"The index is set by the state," he said.
* The county highway department began their summer vacation at noon Thursday and will be back to work on July 9, according to commissioners.
Upon returning, crews will finish blacktopping on County Road 416. Nearly a mile was blacktopped on that road before the vacation leaving about a half-
mile stretch to finish when they return.
Commissioners will then see how much budgeted money remains for this year's blacktopping before deciding what roads to work on next.
A hump in the road at the intersection of Bradley Lane and Miller Road that needs to be graded was also discussed.
* A county resident who does not like snowstone has offered to purchase gravel for County Road 324 if the county hauls it and spreads it, according to Oliver.
He suggested commissioners discuss the proposition further before making a decision.
* Herbicide has been sprayed on the Ditch 14 lateral behind the old Brown Shoe factory, commissioners noted, and crews have also been spraying Johnson grass around the county.
* Commissioners approved The Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center's application for a Title 5 delinquency prevention pass-through grant from the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
Lucas recalled the Center didn't get the grant last year because the program ran out of money.
* Lucas noted the recent death of Dick Mochow who retired from the Memphis District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers but was still consulting for the district.
"His expertise was wetlands," Lucas said.
Lucas said Mochow was among the few environmentalists who had a "common sense" approach.
"He will be sorely missed in the Memphis District," he said.