COLUMBUS — Philip Rippee, a representative from the Kansas Workers Risk Cooperative for Counties, presented Commissioner Richard Hilderbrand with an award for Exceptional Loss for 2010 by Premium size Greater than $125,000. Cherokee County earned the award for third place. Premiums for 2010 came in at $153,627 and losses came in at $11,399. Totals from 2006 through 2011 are $873,597 for the premiums and total losses were $675,750 for a loss ratio of 77 percent. The leader in number of claims made by Cherokee County from January 1, 2006 to present is the Road and Bridge crew followed by Law Enforcement. So far in 2012 there have only been two claims made. One from road and bridge at a cost of $1,300 when an employee lifted an object out of a ditch and strained his lower back. The other claim was made by the administration group where an employee strained their back lifting boxes of papers to be shredded. The most expensive claim made since January 2006 — a motor vehicle accident where a vehicle rolled over and the employee had injuries to their neck.

The budget balances for 2012 were also discussed and approved. The beginning budget for 2012 was $4,132,111 and the available budget was $3,852,157.05 and after the March issue was $3,560,279.28 and the county came in at 80.33 percent. Tom Leistner from Cable One was on hand to ask for approval to begin on the project to bury cable lines stretching from Parsons to Joplin. The cable in Cherokee County will be located along the old Highway 96.

Cherokee County Emergency Management Director Jason Allison reported all of the recently purchased storm sirens have been put up except for the one going up in Sherman City. There are also three sirens still needing meters.

Juanita Hodgson informed the commissioners the new server being installed on April 10 and 11. They will not be down all day but they will be down up to 30 minutes at a time. Also on May 1 there will be a new vehicle system going into place. The new system will require the whole state to be shut down for the week beginning May 1. There will be no license plates sales that week. The county will be notifying the police departments and the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department of the state-wide shutdown.

Drivers who need to renew in April can do so now and May can renewing in April. It has not been put in writing but there is a possibility that there will not be any drivers license sales that week also. Hodgson is planning a press conference at a later date to officially announce the state-wide shutdown. There will also be no transactions being made on April 5 between 8 and 9 a.m. because of state-wide training on the new system.

“The good thing about the new system is that it will be in real time," Hodgson said. "Once you register your vehicle it will immediately go into the system.”