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County cuts Christmas catering costs

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 4, 2008) — Courthouse workers will receive their annual Christmas dinner at less than half the price commissioners thought they’d have to pay on Monday, when they received a single bid from Mediterranean Grill of St. Robert for $2,500.

At their Thursday, Dec. 4 meeting, commissioners received two late bids that didn’t meet the original Monday deadline. The Pointe Steakhouse, located between St. Robert and Dixon on Highway 28, bid $1,200 for the catering; Ellen’s Corner of Richland submitted a $1,921.48 bid.

“It’s pretty obvious,” said Commissioner Dennis Thornsberry, who voted along with Commissioner Bill Farnham to accept the low bid. Presiding Commissioner Bill Ransdall was out of town in Jefferson City on business and missed Thursday’s meeting.

The dinner will be served on Thursday, Dec. 18, in the courthouse basement for about 120 people; long-term employees will be honored with a presentation of certificates.

Most public services in the courthouse will be closed on that date from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but the building will remain open. The Christmas party is intended for all courthouse employees, not only those in the Road and Bridge Department who are under the commission’s authority but also other countywide elected officials and their employees, circuit court employees, and workers in other agencies in the courthouse such as the University Extension Service and the Soil and Water Conservation District.

Funds for the annual Christmas dinner don’t come from the county’s cash-strapped general revenue fund, commissioners emphasized.

“It’s the money we received from the soda machines, the snack machines, and we received a $500 donation from the COSP,” Linnenbringer said.

In other business:

• Linnenbringer reported that several funds brought in slightly more money than had been expected, and commissioners amended the 2008 budget to reflect $6,800 more in the general revenue election fund line items for revenue and expenses. Outside the general revenue budget, commissioners also amended three funds to reflect $500 more in the election service fund revenue and expenses, $500 more in law enforcement training revenue and expenses, and $400 more in the inmate security fund revenue and expenses.

• While county commissioners decided to eliminate a $500 deductible option for insurance and allow employees to choose only a $1,000, $1,500 or $2,500 deductible, Linnenbringer said that probably won’t hurt most employees.

“I had a $1,500 deductible last year and never met the deductible for the year, so I took the $2,500 deductible,” Linnenbringer said. “I thought I might as well save myself some money.”

That’s about par for the course, said Thornsberry, who has served for eight years.

“I’ve never met my deductible,” Thornsberry said.

Farnham, however, has had major medical expenses but said a decision to have surgery wasn’t easy even though most expenses were covered by insurance.

“I wouldn’t have had my back surgery if they hadn’t told me I’d lose the use of my leg. Now I’m in pain all the d___ time,” Farnham said.

• Rex Freeman of Piney River Contracting said plans have changed on the installation date for a new emergency courthouse generator due to the Christmas on the Square event planned for Thursday night in Waynesville. The generator will be placed on Friday and hooked up at a later date, he said.

• Farnham reported that the costs to repair two Jones Creek bridges were higher than expected because the bridges were in worse condition than had been expected.

• Commissioners appointed Sally Belshe of Richland to a vacancy on the Pulaski County Senior Citizens Board.

• Commissioners agreed to try to find a salt spreader to replace a rusted-out spreader in Farnham’s eastern district, which includes Waynesville, St. Robert, Dixon, and Big Piney.

“We can’t afford to be one spreader short with all the roads and hills we have,” Farnham said.

Due to questions about bid details, commissioners called in Eastern District Road Supervisor Stan Crismon and postponed a decision until Monday’s meeting.

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