April 14, 2020 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session via Facebook, the Commissioners, Shane Walker, the County Counselor and the County Clerk (via telephone) was all present for the meeting.
Lynne Oharah said that Josh Jones had volunteered to head a committee to try and get the 1% Sales Tax passed again by the voters. Jim Harris stated that in 1999-2000 a committee was formed and helped get this passed then. Nick made a motion to name Josh Jones to chair the Committee for the 1% Sales Tax for the hard surface road, Jeff seconded and all approved. Josh Jones will start this process immediately.
Nick Ruhl reported that a person had been hunting on their own land on 250th and was hit with bullets from another shooter on a nearby road, after review it was determined that the road belonged to the landowner and the landowner could put a gate and lock up to keep people off of the road; Jim Harris will contact the landowner.
Jeff Fischer asked Jim Harris to review who was responsible for the gravel road maintenance in an area in Drywood Township.
Jim Harris said they had started doing ditch work on the Lake Road. Jim said they hadn’t started work on Hackberry Road due to the water in the area.
Justin Meeks said that the March sales tax revenue was down. The income from the sales tax revenue will determine how much road work can be done. The Commissioners plan to do as much as they can afford. Jeff said in 2019 they paved 17 lane miles.
The County received hay bids for property the County owns on Native Road as well as Elm Creek Lake. Alex Bowman bid $2,800 and Mike Mason bid $1,800 for the mow able hay at Elm Creek Lake; Pat Murphy bid $161 for the mow able hay at 225th & Native Road. Nick made a motion to approve the bid from Pat Murphy for Native Road and Alex Bowman for Elm Creek Lake, Jeff seconded and all approved.
Jeff asked Jim Harris to review a device that is used to clean out culverts; Jim said he would.
Jim Harris said the County needed to get financing options from local banks as well as US Bank for the financing of the 2 new Mack Dump trucks that the County recently took possession of. He said the total purchase price for both was $291,538 less the $68,000 trade in for a total due of $223,538. Nick made a motion to get bids for financing the trucks for a five year note, Jeff seconded and all approved.
Jim Harris said they recently paid off the paver that was purchased two years ago.
Jim said the grader operators have been working; he said one grader is having mechanical issues.
Jim and the Commissioners discussed possibly closing the Landfill on some Saturdays to eliminate overtime; Jim said they could stager the employees at the Landfill to keep the Landfill open on Saturdays without causing overtime.
Jeff reported sharp rock on Fern Road near the Missouri line; Jeff asked Jim to do maintenance on the road.
Nick asked Jim how many keys were out for the Landfill gate; Jim said he didn’t think any since they had changed the lock, but said he would find out.
The Commissioners discussed the work structure due to the COVID-19 virus; Jim said he had issued two warnings to his employees and said they are keeping their employees separated. Lynne said some businesses are taking the temperatures (prior to work) of their employees due to the virus.
Appraiser Clint Anderson and Matt Quick met with the Commissioner regarding trading in their 2013 truck for one used SUV for the Appraiser’s office use. Clint felt that there was enough surplus money in the NRP fund to pay for a vehicle. They had quotes for two used Equinox’s and one Edge with a trade in difference of $6,900-$10,000. Nick suggested before trading in the truck that they consider using the truck for Road & Bridge or sell the truck to the City if they needed it, Matt suggested considering using the truck for the Courthouse custodial use. The Commissioners suggested that they get quotes for a new vehicle and shop locally if they can. The Commissioners decided to wait until after the 2019 audit is complete and review the remainder of 2020 funds to see what funds are available before deciding to purchase a vehicle.
The Commissioners rebid work to be done to the East steps and the South steps of the Courthouse; Mid Continental was the only bidder. They bid $87,505 for the base work and $2,600 for alternate work of the stone cleaning. Lynne made a motion to consider the bid after the 2019 audit is complete, Jeff seconded and all approved.
Economic Development Director Jody Hoener met with the Commissioners; she said that the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team is eligible for a $10,000 grant for the purchase of a mini dozer to be used for the county-wide trail use. She said this equipment could be carried under the County’s KCAMP insurance policy and under the County’s KWORCC work comp. insurance. She estimated the work comp insurance to cost approximately $55 for 100 volunteer hours. She said KWORCC required the volunteer hours be tracked and documented training for the equipment. Jody asked the Commissioners to approve the grant request. Lynne made a motion to apply for the grant for the mini dozer, Nick seconded and all approved and signed the application. Jody said the ABC Trails is now called the Prairie Pathways.
Lynne made a motion to approved Resolution 14-20; a salary resolution increasing the wages for the District Court Bailiff position #1, adding District Court Bailiff position #2 and adding a Personnel Director position, Jeff seconded and all approved the resolution.
Jody Hoener met with the Commissioners to discuss Bourbon County’s goal to facilitate an effective path forward and our work to build infrastructure needed to move from phase one to phase two of the COVID-19 pandemic reopening roadmap. Her presentation follows…
“March 14, 2020 Bourbon County Commission declared a state of disaster as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Shortly after on March 26, 2020 the Southeast Kansas Multi County Health Department Officer issued an order to stay at home. Since that time there has been measurable progress at the county level, building a framework and preparing for when the Governor of Kansas tells Kansans we can reopen.
Bourbon County Commissioners realized the severity of the situation and acted swiftly in declaring an emergency existed. This resulted in opening doors to federal resources. Bourbon County Emergency Management has worked diligently to keep our frontline healthcare workers safe with the necessary personal protective equipment, PPE. Available relief has been communicated through Facebook, email, radio, webinars, and hosting teleconference meetings with state level government officials such as with David Toland our Secretary of Commerce. In three weeks, we have spoken to almost one hundred different businesses and organizations on a regular basis. At this time, we have reports of almost $4.6 million in relief to businesses awarded or applied for in our community.
Our community has responded to the crisis informed, safely, and appropriately. Our framework, the roadmap to facilitate an effective path forward to reopening, has likewise been informed by experts in their field, researched heavily to ensure safety, and appropriate needs have been identified. We do not have timeline, but we know what the triggers are to move to the next phase. Planning for each phase now should begin so the infrastructure is in place when it is time to transition. Phases are identified in the most well renowned plan called National Coronavirus Response: A Road Map to Recovery by the American Enterprise Institute.
The phase we are in right now is called “Slow the Spread.” Experts are saying to move on we must see a slowed rate of infection and our healthcare infrastructure must be scaled up to safely manage the outbreak and care for the sick. This includes using technology available to us, at its full potential, to keep our healthcare workforce, ambulance crews, and law enforcement officers safe.
The next phase is a State by State Reopening and will be determined by Governor Laura Kelly. However, we anticipate there will continue to be some physical distancing measures and limitations mandated on gathering to prevent another accelerated outbreak.
Phase three is when physical distancing restrictions can be lifted. We can reach this point when we are using technology to screen our vulnerable populations and essential workers and collect data regionally, statewide, and perhaps even nationwide. Of course, testing, once available, will be a key component. It is so important that it is worth repeating: Planning for each phase now should begin so the infrastructure is in place when it is time to transition.
The County team diligently on the needed infrastructure for when we are allowed to transition out of the current phase of slowing the spread to the next phase and beyond. For the last three weeks, we have been very intentional and strategic with our efforts with a goal to facilitate an effective path forward.
We have identified our needs in a one pager:
1. Rapid data collection of essential workers
2. Increase communication between public/private healthcare sectors
3. Improve patient communication
4. Promote a consistent message
We have articulated the required inputs to reach our goals in our Quad Chart.
These required inputs include:
1. Access to technology that can be used to tele-triage and screen our healthcare providers, the essential workforce, and the vulnerable populations. This allows for a more targeted approach to containing the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
2. Build many partnerships with experts and essential businesses such as: MRGlobal, Heart to Heart International, the healthcare sector, KDHE, public health, emergency management, nursing homes and assisted livings, law enforcement agencies, and major employers.
3. Funding through public/private relationships.
4. Equipment to keep frontline workers safe with needed PPE, a data base with software to support the self-reporting tele- screening, collection, entry and analysis of data taken during triage, testing, and recovery, and finally ensure our healthcare providers have increased testing capabilities.
There are two critical components that will be required for our community to move forward:
1. Screening and Data Collection
2. Testing and Test Kits
The Federal Government has yet to bring forth a plan. The most prominent plan widely used is the American Enterprise Institute’s Road Map to Reopening. This report calls for the need to screen and collect data on target populations. Like many chambers of commerce, cities, counties, and state governments, Bourbon County has created a roadmap and the framework to facilitate an effective path forward. “We have to have a starting point, and this is our starting point” Lynne Oharah. “This is a long-term process. Our team does an extraordinary amount of data mining and researching expert advice.”
Experts are telling us that to reopen society will require regular testing and a reliable, fast nationwide reporting network. One of the ways identified to contain the virus is to screen patients. Because the virus is so contagious even those who may have the virus need to be quarantined.
This roadmap has been our guide the last three weeks and we have made progress in our effort to facilitate an effective path forward by obtaining one of the key components. We have been working with Dr. Roger Harris, past Vice President of MRIGlobal, on an ongoing basis and through this relationship we have been able to gain access to a screening and data collection software, at no cost to the county, through Heart to Heart International and MRIGlobal. Both organizations are well regarded in their field and have relationships with the Department of Defense. They have experience in responding to pandemics like Ebola with the same type of technology. Dr. Norman himself, our Secretary of KDHE, remarked positively on the two company’s credibility and reputation.
One of the features of the platform is it provides a self-assessment and guides people where to go should they show symptoms of Coronavirus. An algorithm is used to manage key patients over time. We have had measurable conversations with Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Bourbon County Emergency Management. Randy Cason, President of Ascension Via Christi and Becky Johnson, Public Health Department Nurse have been engaged. Community Health Centers of Southeast Kansas, our primary health provider, has been a critical component in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will also be an essential partner moving forward. Our next steps will be to continue to reach out and engage our essential healthcare providers. The new technology should be built and available to our community in the next week.
All three commissioners voiced their full support of the plan in moving forward. “It’s an educational type of thing” stated Lynne Oharah, Bourbon County Commission Chair and COVID-19 Manager, “Educating the community on the plan. We need to move forward with this. Jody’s done a great job getting the framework in place and now we need to get all the players on board and get it out to the targeted groups.””
Jody will do a press release with the data. Jeff said once the COVID-19 is stabilized, the goal is to get people back to work. Lynne said the Emergency Preparedness director obtained P.P.E. for County and responder use. Lynne said tragically there has been one death in Bourbon County from the Corona Virus; he said the public will need to be educated to protect themselves from the virus.
Lynne made a motion to go into a 7 minute executive session for Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.
Lynne made a motion to go into a 30 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.
Lynne made a motion to go into a 10 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.
At noon, the Commissioners went to lunch and reconvened at 1:30.
Lynne made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Bourbon County Attorney Jacqie Spradling). No action was taken.
Will Wallis met with the Commissioners regarding flood damage from April and July 2019. He is trying to complete necessary information by April 24th, for a reimbursement of $130,000 from KDEM for the damages. KDEM has requested but hasn’t received the data needed. Will said he needed to work with Jerad Heckman with Road & Bridge to identify areas (bridges, low water crossings) in the County that suffered damages due to the flooding. Will needs an estimate on the cost of repairs to bring the damaged areas/structures back to the pre-damaged state. Will suggested they review the grader operator maps to identify areas that are always a problem. Will needs to work with Road & Bridge to identify bridges, low water crossings and culverts (that were repaired or replaced) that received damage from the flooding. Will suggested getting input from the grader operators. Jeff will work with Krista with Road & Bridge to identify who worked to fix any flooding issues during the flood so that those worked hours can be charged to the disaster. Nick plans to work with Jim Harris and Jerad Heckman regarding what they need to do for Will.
Fort Scott City Commissioner Pete Allen phoned the Commissioners; Jeff said he had a discussion with Pete, he said Pete wants to promote an Interlocal agreement between the City and County to leverage the strengths, (possibly in gravel, asphalt, HR duties, economic development & municipal court). Lynne said a City Commissioner had also called him, Lynne suggested having the discussion in a different environment. Pete Allen is going to schedule a meeting with an agenda with Lynne and one other City Commissioner to discuss opportunities for integration. There will then be an open meeting scheduled to discuss it further.
Nick made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Justin Meeks and Shane Walker). After the session, Lynne made a motion to put out for bids for all Bourbon County property, (excluding the Law Enforcement Center) an annual bid from contractors for an hourly rate to do any maintenance or installations on heating/air conditioning, plumbing and electrical, the bids will be due May 1st, 2020, Nick seconded and all approved.
Jeff made a motion to give Lynne the authority to make any decisions regarding the HVAC controls and operations at the Law Enforcement Center, Nick seconded and all approved.
The Commissioners approved a Real Property Relief Application for Max & Mary Barbara Fanning.
The Commissioners will not have a regularly scheduled meeting on April 21st, 2020. They will meet again on April 28th, 2020.
At 2:56, Nick made a motion to adjourn, Jeff seconded and all approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman
(ss) Jeff Fischer, Commissioner
(ss) Nick Ruhl, Commissioner
Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk
April 28, 2020, Approved Date