The Cherokee County Commission postponed action on equipment bids on Monday, at the courthouse.

The county is looking to buy three new combination trucks with dump, spreading and snow blade capability. They have bids from several area equipment dealers for just over $400,000. They are waiting on input from their auditor, Gene Mense of Mense, Churchwell & Mense Accounting of Joplin.

“He can come on April 6,” said Commission Chairman Richard Hilderbrand. “We will have to wait this until that time.”

Accountant Gene Mense will direct the commission, regarding the road and bridge fund, if the budgeted account can take on the new purchase, yet still cover pending gasoline taxes.

The sales representative from Fabick Caterpillar came in to add his companies bid to the process.

“We would be glad to see how this comes out,” said Commissioner Pat Collins.

Jason Allison, from Cherokee County Emergency Management updated the commission on grants his department had applied for.

“We have pending grant proposals for storm sirens, hazardous material planning and the ongoing grant process for the Route 66 bridge near Galena,” he said. “We are very hopeful for funding from all three of these applications.”

The Route 66 bridge grant is already funded for phase one.

“I am so confused on this complicated project with all these phases,” Collins said. “Where are we at on following up with this?”

“You need to complete the footing and column work,” Allison said. “Then you can apply for the grant funding for phase two for the decking. Phase three will follow that.”

Commissioners Hilderbrand and Collins both delegated Allison to see to it that phase one was completed and the application process for phase two be undertaken at the proper time.”

The commission discussed funding from FEMA regarding the county roads and  storms from the previous year.

“We will meet April 1 with the area FEMA representatives,” said Road and Bridge Supervisor Leonard Vanatta. “We will start the process to learn how much we may get.”

FEMA has agreed to pay the county just over $100,000 toward damages from the storms of 2009.

“We still haven’t received that,” said Assistant Road and Bridge Supervisor Gene Langerot. “Hopefully, we will hear something about that during the April meeting.”

Commissioner Jack Garner asked if the road and bridge department had received the software for their diagnostic testing.”

“Yes, we have,” Langerot said. “The company will help set us up, train the mechanics and get all of the diagnostic equipment working.”

The commission had previously decided to not renew their road grader warranty and to purchase the diagnostic equipment. This will allow the county’s mechanics to repair and maintain the graders, at a cheaper cost to the taxpayer.

Joseph Palmer from Palmer Hauling inquired about possible new landfills in the area.

“There are rumors of a recycling group looking at a site east of Crestline,” Collins said. “But that won’t be anytime soon. There are no new landfills that we know of for Cherokee County.”

Collins asked Palmer to submit a bid for emptying county roll-off dumpsters.

“We have them in Scammon, Sherwin, Melrose and Baxter Springs,” Collins said. “Submit us some bids for emptying them once and twice a week.”

“I would like to try for that,” Palmer said. “My truck can easily haul all the trash in those dumpsters.”

The commission will meet again 9 a.m. Monday.