Cape Girardeau County and the Cape Special Road District have decided sharing a seat on a now-forming metropolitan planning organization in the region will best benefit both entities.
Formations of such organizations are required under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1962 for regions that reach a population of more than 50,000 people. The purpose of an MPO is to develop and manage the distribution of a transportation improvement program for a designated area. An area consisting of Cape Girardeau, Jackson and part of East Cape Girardeau, Ill., was designated an urbanized area following the 2010 census. Municipalities and other entities, including the county, the cities of Cape Girardeau and Jackson, Southeast Missouri State University, the Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority and the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission are now forming a voting board to govern the MPO.
In August, county commissioners discussed an offer to share the seat with the road district so interests of both entities could be represented on the organization's board. The road district commission unanimously approved sharing a seat at its Sept. 5 meeting. Conditions of the agreement to share the seat include sharing the expense of around $5,000 that must go toward the administration of the MPO and that the commissions meet before each two-year term on the board, according to a letter to commissioners from district engineer Mark Phillips reviewed by commissioners at their meeting Thursday.
Commissioners also approved a request from Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle at Thursday's meeting that will allow restructuring of the Bad Check Administrator/Restitution Manager/Criminal Investigator position in his office.
Swingle told commissioners the employee currently in the position planned to resign at the end of the month and had been "wearing three hats" for some time in the position, which put too much of a workload on one person. As recently as one year ago, the county had two people doing those same duties, Swingle said, but part of the job that required an employee to assist with criminal investigation for the prosecutor's office meant they were out of the office frequently to serve subpoenas and track down witnesses, leaving no time for the position's other duties.
Swingle said he planned to eliminate the criminal investigation duty for a newly hired person, meaning the lead criminal investigator for his office will from now on work without assistance. The change, he said, will also save the county money on salaries by paying the newly hired person less, since one less duty would be involved.
* Approved a recommendation from the highway department to revise a construction order for a bridge on County Road 274.
* Approved a motion to place six county vehicles and several other surplus items for sale online.
* Approved a motion to provide office space in the Common Pleas Courthouse for an information technology employee of the Office of State Courts Administrator.
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