JAN SISK Lawrence Staff Writer
OREGON COUNTY -- Oregon County Presiding Commissioner Leo Warren gave an update to The South Missourian News last week of activities the county has accomplished this past year.
"Weather conditions were not ideal for road work during much of 2005. Dry weather makes it almost impossible to keep county roads in as good shape as we would have liked," Warren said. He said the tornado that hit in November did a lot of damage and caused the county to need a lot of cleanup.
"Our road crews do a super job and we appreciate their hard work and dedication to their job. We have done equipment updates this past year, as we do every year," he said.
The commissioner said Oregon County was flown over by a plane earlier this year to update the county assessment maps.
"We applied for and received a homeland security grant to help pay for it," he said.
Warren said the new digitized maps will help in the future if or when the county has to implement the 911 system. He said it will also help the county as officials update their plat books and maps which they will be doing in the near future.
Warren said the county commission has accepted a bid to replace all of the outdated windows in the courthouse. He said with the cost of fuel going out of sight, the county had a cost analysis done on how much it would save to install high efficiency insulated windows.
"We learned it would save the county somewhere around 20 to 25 percent on energy. We (the county) should begin by the end of the year or shortly after the first of the year installing the windows, weather permitting, he said.
Warren said Alton is getting a new doctor's clinic and the commission was instrumental in getting the ball rolling on the project. "When Ozarks Medical Center failed to keep a doctor in the clinic at Alton, many county employees were concerned because they used the clinic," Warren said.
He said he called a meeting with OMC officials and county residents to see what the problem was.
"We learned that it was almost impossible to keep a doctor in the outdated clinic and a new facility was needed. As a commission were applied for a grant and were denied. That's when private individuals stepped up and the building of the new clinic was started." Warren said.
The commissioner said in 2005 the elected officials in the county participated in the Oregon County Relay for Life and have done so every year since it was started in the county.
He said he and the other commissioners, Buddy Wright and John Wrenforw, as well as all the elected officials and employees at the courthouse, are looking forward to serving the residents of the county in 2006.