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January 2020 Minutes

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January 7, 2020 Tuesday 9:00 am The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners, the County Counselor and the County Clerk present. Jody Hoener, Economic Development Director, Nancy Van Etten and Michael Hoyt and Tammy Helm with the Fort Scott Tribune were present for a portion of the meeting. Jim Harris presented the Commissioners with a 10 year equipment replacement list with the year and mileage on the equipment; Jim said that there was a motor grader that would need to be considered to be replaced; he said it would cost $165,000 to rebuild a grader. They have already ordered a dump truck with an estimated delivery of March 1st, (two of the trucks on the list were traded in for the dump truck). Jim will add more details to the list for the Commissioners. Nick made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Jim Harris). No action was taken. Jerad Heckman with Road & Bridge arrived at the meeting. Anne Dare and Julie Saker arrived at the meeting to observe. Jim Harris said they will be patching the Lake Road tomorrow. Lynne reported that Grand Road west of Elm Creek needs gravel. Nancy Van Etten reported potholes on Indian Road; Jim said they will work on this in February. Jeff reported that the gravel had come through the cap and the road is very muddy between Locust and 54 Highway. Jeff presented pictures to Jim of plugged culverts on 205th on the North/South road. He also said there is a plugged culvert at Hackberry & 180th; Jim said they need to do ditching and culvert work there. Jeff suggested spending $100,000 on chip and seal projects in 2020. Jeff made a motion to nominate Lynne Oharah as the Chairman of the Commission board, Nick seconded and all approved. Jeff Fischer and Jody Hoener previously gave a presentation on the effective tax rate in Bourbon County and other areas; they briefly discussed this and will be presenting the data to the communities in Bourbon County. Jeff planned to continue to collect data on other communities near Bourbon County. Michael Hoyt wanted to discuss the airport runway expansion; he said he is a citizen that has requested with the City of Fort Scott to be on the airport advisory board. He said he is a pilot and former air traffic controller. He questioned why the road off of Indian Road that approached the airport was only paved going to the South; Jeff said it was reclaimed for the City. Mr. Hoyt questioned if Indian Road was all paved, the Commissioners said yes and that it was considered a collector road or a rural secondary road. Michael Hoyt’s discussed Joplin; he felt that the Federal Funds from the Joplin tornado caused Joplin to rise up, but that it wasn’t sustainable; he felt that we would see Joplin decline. Jody Hoener said she felt that they are putting their resources in projects that are sustainable. Mr. Hoyt’s opinion was that the objective at the airport was to add 1,000’ to the runway, he said this is not necessary (he said this was an insurance requirement, but not necessary). He said he felt that adding a curve on the current airport runway road could accomplish the same thing. He said the airport set back depends on the type of the road, he said they could put up a blast fence that would stop any debris from coming up from the planes, he said its required to have a 3 degree slope on the airport touchdown spot on the runway. He discussed the North end outside of the fence line where there is a cliff to the Marmaton, on the south side of the Marmaton there are fallen trees (done for navigation), he thought the cliff could be pinned or secured so that it doesn’t give way. Jeff said an engineering company is developing the runway plans; the developer asked the County to consider closing Indian Road by the airport, Lynne said the Commissioners criteria before considering closing the road was that the alternate road be completed and paved all the way to Hackberry and open before considering closing the road with a road closure procedure. Jeff discussed the road traffic on the road. Mrs. Dare asked at what point they will notify those affected of the possible road closure. Justin said there would be publications regarding the road closure if that happened. Jeff Fischer discussed damages (due to the road closure) people could lay claim to for a period of time after the road closed. Economic Development Director Jody Hoener, Becky Voorhies and Summer Boren with Thrive Allen County met with the Commissioners. They have created the ABC Trails committee and wanted to give an update on the ABC Trails. They have been meeting on a monthly basis; they are seeking and applying for grants. ABC is now called the Prairie Pathways. They are branding and getting designs. They were awarded a planning grant for signage (trail id signage and safety signs) between Allen and Bourbon County. Jeff said when the County is planning for resurfacing roads they may consider incorporating bike and pedestrian traffic where possible, there may be resources available to assist with this. Jeff made a motion to go into a 3 minute executive session for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken. Nick made a motion to go into a 60 minute executive session for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). Sheriff Bill Martin along with Ben Cole, Zach Ross, Lesley Herrin, Bobby Reed, Adam LaRoche and Alvin Metcalf met with the Commissioners to discuss the 2020 wage increase for the Sheriff. Patty Love was also present for the meeting. Bill said he had read in the newspaper that the elected official’s wages had gone up and his had gone up $15,000 to $60,000 annually. Bill said he did not agree with this, he said when doing the annual budget they were told the County is broke. Lynne said that they always remind department heads to watch their budgets, because the budgets are calculated to be close. Bill said one employee’s wages in the Correctional Center had to be increased by law; he said another employee hasn’t received a pay raise in 7 years. Bill said when he did his 2020 budget he only requested a 3% pay raise, he didn’t agree to the large increase in his salary. He asked where the input was from the elected officials on the raises; Lynne said they had budget work sessions that the officials could have attended. Bill said he didn’t understand where the money came from for the elected officials raise and the raise for another position. Jeff said he had a meeting in May to discuss wages for Bourbon County compared to like counties; at that meeting Jeff discussed the standard deviations of the wages in Bourbon County compared to other like counties. Jeff said the Bourbon County Sheriff’s salary at that time was 2 ½ below the standard deviation, meaning the probability of finding someone that pays less than Bourbon County for that position is less than 2%. Jeff said the Correctional Center has a higher operating deviation than other Counties comparable to Bourbon County; he said he would like to see the Correctional Center’s deviation be closer to the average. Bill told Jeff to give him the facilities that he is referring to and he would review this. Lynne pointed out that in 2015 Bill had hired a company to do a salary study, from that study Bill pointed out that the Sheriff and his staff was underpaid compared to other counties (Bill said yes, but run the raises like businesses do, gradually and not $15,000 in one year). Lynne said they tried to get the elected officials comparable to surrounding counties, he said that the Linn and Allen County Sheriff’s make approximately $76,000. Bill said the Commissioners had commented about the sales tax collection being down and the population declining and questioned how they came up with the money for this type of increase; Lynne said it is the same philosophy when people turn in an 8 mill increase in their budget. Lynne said the goal is to add valuation to our County and add value to our community by economic development. Bill told the Commissioners he would go over his 2020 budgeted amount. He reminded the Commissioners that he had told them he would be approximately $60,000 over budget in 2019 and said he had $63,000 in overtime. He said the $15,000 raise could have helped hire someone to eliminate some overtime. Jeff said the raises that were given to hourly employees a few years ago was an effort to take a step in the right direction and take care of the employees. Lynne said they are working on the longevity pay to help reward long term employees. Jeff said they have made adjustments that are overdue. Bill said some departments are operating more with less and some are operating more with nothing. Bill had previously asked for 3 replacement vehicles for vehicles he said needed replaced, Lynne said once he got the new vehicles he gave the 3 older vehicles to employees to use. Treasurer, Patty Love met with the Commissioners; she said she had asked for a raise for her employees, but didn’t ask for a raise for herself, but said she did appreciate the raise. Kendell said she had not asked for a raise, but thanked the Commissioners for the raise and said it was very much appreciated. Jeff reviewed the salaries for some of the City of Fort Scott employees; the Economic Development director’s maximum salary is $85,000, the Director of Finance maximum is $95,000, the Clerk’s maximum salary is $60,500 and the Police Chief maximum is $80,000. At 12:17, Nick made a motion to break for lunch and reconvene at 1:30, Lynne seconded and all approved. Michael Hoyt met with the Commissioners; Justin Meeks said Mr. Hoyt wanted to go into an executive session, but they couldn’t go into an executive session for the issue that he wanted to discuss. Mr. Hoyt presented a letter written by Justin Meeks to Mr. Hoyt; he asked if the Commissioners authorized the letter. The Commissioners had previously seen the letter, (the letter addresses Mr. Hoyt’s question on how it is determined that someone has a felony conviction and cancelling/restoring their voting rights, the letter stated that Kendell heard in a social setting of a possible felony for a registered voter, Kendell verified this with the Sheriff and cancelled the voter registration); Mr. Hoyt stated that apparently it is ok to act upon hear say information. Justin said yes, often people do their due diligence to see if information is true. Mr. Hoyt presented a list from the newspaper of people who had passed away in 2019; he questioned if all of those individuals were removed from the voter rolls. Kendell explained how a deceased person is pulled from the voter rolls; based on an obituary with a matching birth date or from notification from the Secretary of State’s office. Mr. Hoyt discussed challenging the 2019 General Election; he filed an affidavit of a write in candidacy, Mr. Hoyt claimed that his name did not appear on the reports as required as a write in candidate; but his name did appear on the handwritten abstract reports signed by the Commissioners. Mr. Hoyt asked what authority the Commissioners have over elected officials; the Commissioners stated only budgetary authority. Mr. Hoyt said since they have no authority he would go to the Secretary of State’s office. Mr. Hoyt said he had requested to receive the Commissioners agenda, but had not received it; Kendell told Mr. Hoyt that he had hand delivered and mailed a letter to the Commissioners after the Commissioners last met, requesting to be sent the agenda, both letters were addressed to the Commissioners; Kendell informed him she does not open their mail and only received his request to get sent an agenda this morning; the agenda was sent yesterday. Economic Development Director Jody Hoener met with the Commissioners to discuss the multi use event center; she said they had completed the initial study for the event center and it was concluded that based on the viability study a multi use event center would be a viable project for community horse shows. Jody said this is a good way to bring outside money in. Jody asked permission to move on to the next phase of the economic impact and the feasibility study; Jeff made a motion to give her permission to move on to the next phase of the economic impact and the feasibility study, Nick seconded and all approved. Jeff made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Jody Hoener). No action was taken. Jeff made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Jody Hoener). No action was taken. Nick made a motion to give Lynne permission to sign the agreement between the Secretary of Transportation and the Bourbon County Sheriff’s office, Lynne seconded and all approved. Lynne signed the agreement. Bill Martin said after receiving the signed agreement he would send the agreement to the Secretary of Transportation department. The Commissioners briefly discussed the renewal of the 1% Sales Tax; this will be up for renewal in 2020, the Commissioners may have this on the Primary 2020 ballots. Lynne made a motion to approve Resolution 01-20; 2020 holidays, Nick seconded and all approved and signed the Resolution. Lynne made a motion to approve Resolution 02-20; waiver of GAAP, Nick seconded and all approved and signed the Resolution. Lynne made a motion to approve Resolution 03-20; mileage reimbursement at .58 cents a mile, Jeff seconded and all approved and signed the Resolution. Lynne made a motion to approve Resolution 04-20; designating banks and the newspaper, Nick seconded and all approved and signed the Resolution. Lynne made a motion to approve Resolution 05-20; designating Dr. Gugnani as the Bourbon County health officer, Nick seconded and all approved and signed the Resolution. Lynne made a motion to approve Resolution 06-20; authorizing cancelling the un-cashed checks that are over two years old, Nick seconded and all approved and signed the Resolution. Lynne made a motion to approve Resolution 07-20; a schedule of fees for Bourbon County, Nick seconded and all approved and signed the Resolution. Lynne made a motion to approve Resolution 08-20; a Resolution authorizing $0 to the Rural Opportunity Zone Student Loan Repayment Program, Nick seconded and all approved and signed the Resolution. Lynne made a motion to give Justin Meeks permission to give Tammy Helm the data he had on the Sewer District, Jeff seconded and all approved. Lynne made a motion to go into a 7 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Justin Meeks and Shane Walker). No action was taken. Nick made a motion to go into a 3 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Justin and Shane). No action was taken. Nick made a motion to go into a 7 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin). No action was taken. Nick made a motion to go into a 5 minute executive session for matters relating to the security of a public body or agency, public building or facility or the information system of a public body or agency, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize the security of such public body, agency, building, facility or information system, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Justin Meeks, Shane Walker and Kendell Mason). No action was taken. Jeff made a motion to allow Lynne to provide information to Terry Sercer for a transfer regarding Courthouse security, Nick seconded and all approved. Lynne said he would inform District Court once the transfer is made. Lynne made a motion to give Jeff permission to talk to Rachel Pruitt with the City of Fort Scott regarding the environmental on closed roads, Nick seconded and all approved. Nick left the Commission meeting for an appointment. Jeff made a motion to give Lynne permission to take a trip with Jim Harris to Crawford County to look at new Caterpillars, Lynne seconded and the motion passed. Lynne made a motion to give Justin permission to attend an inter-local agreement meeting with FSCC. Jeff made a motion that he and Jody be allowed to attend a meeting concerning wind energy, Lynne seconded and the motion passed. Jeff made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Lynne seconded, (the session included Lynne, Jeff, Kendell Mason, Deb Schoenberger and Lora Holdridge). After the session; a voucher that Lora had turned in to be paid was discussed; she wanted to pay an employee in her office a onetime pay of a large amount of money, Jeff said a few years ago the Commissioners awarded raises to hourly employees. Raises were recently given to some elected officials, but the Register of Deeds salary was not made equal to the Clerk or the Treasurer’s base pay, she felt all three elected positions should make the same base pay and expressed her opinion about this; she said the Commissioners told her at one time they were going to get the pay back to equal, she repeatedly called the Commissioners liars since this had not happened. The Commissioners have compared the Bourbon County offices wages and staff size to other county offices; Lora said she didn’t want to be compared to other Counties. Lora said that some department heads don’t have to answer to anyone and do additional jobs such as driving busses, coaching or attorneys for other Counties. Lora said she loves her job and does a good job. Before leaving, Lora tore the pay voucher in half and told the Commissioners not to pay the voucher. Nick arrived back at the Commission meeting. At 4:33, Nick made a motion to adjourn, Lynne seconded and all approved. THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS (ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman (ss) Jeff Fischer, Commissioner (ss) Nick Ruhl, Commissioner ATTEST: Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk January 21, 2020, Approved Date