Scott County commissioners discuss homelessness prevention funding, Sunshine Law training

Thursday, June 18, 2009

BENTON, Mo. -- Scott County officials are seeking more information on a program to address homelessness.

Scott County Commissioners discussed the program during their regular meeting Tuesday.

Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn said the program is distributing U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funding through the state.

"I don't know how much Scott County is going to get but we have been awarded some of the money," Ziegenhorn said. "It's a program for homeless prevention, as I understand it. It's not necessarily for those who are homeless now."

Ziegenhorn said the program's intent appears to be helping people who are behind on their rent or mortgage and in danger of losing their home. The idea, he said, is those people can apply for assistance "and maybe avoid that."

"It gives someone who may have lost their job time to find another job," Ziegenhorn said. "I don't know if it's a loan that is repayable, or it's a grant to get them through the tough times. I'm going to contact Ellen Brandom (state representative, 160th District) and see what the state knows about this. I think it has some good intentions but there are still a lot of questions about the program."

Ziegenhorn said the county has already been approached by Mission Missouri in Sikeston with an offer to administer the program for the county.

In other business Tuesday, commissioners said the Attorney General's Office will offer training on the Missouri Sunshine Law for Scott County at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Scott County Courthouse.

"It's open to every elected official and every board member throughout this county," Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said.

County Clerk Rita Milam said she will decide which room to hold the training session in at the courthouse based on the number of people who plan to attend.

"At some point in time, either through phone calls or mailing, we will contact board chairmen and presidents so they can let their boards know," Burger said. "I hope some of the cities will embrace this too while the Attorney General is offering this training. It would be a good time to take advantage of the education offer."

While there is no cost to attend, "we will have to have a head count so they know how much reference material to bring," Burger said.

Pertinent address:

Benton, Mo.

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