The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 15, 2013

Commission authorizes sheriff to negotiate telephone contract

By Susan Redden
news@joplinglobe.com

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The Jasper County Commission on Tuesday authorized Sheriff Randee Kaiser to negotiate a new contract with Encartele Inc., the company that provides inmate phone services at the county jail.

Kaiser said he had learned that 14 percent of contract proceeds were being set aside for jail technology and improvements, but the money was being held by the company.

Kaiser, who took office Jan. 1, said he would like to see the money go for the same purpose, but he wanted to ask the company to send the money to the county treasurer, who would create a fund in her office. That money would be in addition to the 40 percent of contract proceeds that already go into county funds.

Norman Rouse, attorney for the commission, said the commissioners were not aware of the 14 percent being set aside for technology, which apparently was negotiated in 2010. He said he had received a listing of payments made from the fund, and there was no indication that the money was used for any other purposes.

The commission also heard a report on a Fire Wise program that is a project of the Carthage Fire Department. Chris Thompson, fire chief, said the department is seeking grants through the program to fund a number of dry fire hydrants to help in fire response outside the city and in the rural fire district also served by the Carthage department. He said the county is helping in the project, and that contribution will represent the 10 percent local share, with the remaining 90 percent of costs to come from federal funds.

He said the program would use water from farm ponds for firefighting and that efforts are being made to locate suitable supplies throughout the district. Improved water supplies, he said, also could translate to an improved rating for Carthage from the agency that determines homeowners’ fire insurance rates.

In other business, the commission heard a report from Keith Maggard, the deputy who works in animal control for the Sheriff’s Department. Maggard noted the importance of caring for outside animals in extreme weather conditions, and said he had responded to a call recently that involved a horse that apparently had frozen to death.

He said numbers of horses will huddle together for warmth, but single horses should be blanketed.

“And they need grain along with the hay, and feed prices are so high right now,” said John Bartosh, presiding commissioner.

Maggard said owners who decide they can no longer afford to keep their horses could contact the department. He said he had located at least two places that would take horses under those circumstances.



Appointment

THE COUNTY COMMISSION on Tuesday approved the appointment of George Myers to fill a vacancy on the Jasper County Sheltered Facilities Board, which allocates county tax funds for programs to help those with developmental disabilities.