April 19, 2022 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with Jim Harris, Lynne Oharah and the County Clerk present.
Anne Dare, Clint Walker, Don Coffman, Matt Crystal, Mark McCoy, Bill Michaud, Rob Harrington, Lora Holdridge, Annie Clarkson and Bill Martin were present for some or all of the meeting.
Lynne made a motion to approve the previous meetings minutes. Jim seconded. All approved.
Eric Bailey presented an entry permit at 2500 Tomahawk for William Pope. Lynne made a motion to approve the entry permit for William Pope. Jim seconded. All approved. Eric stated the federal fund exchange amount is $110,072.57. If we do the buyback through KDOT at 90 cents on the dollar it will be $99,065.32. Jim Harris signed the agreement. Eric reminded everyone that Thursday is the District 4 meeting at Chanute at 9am. Eric and Dustin Hall will be going. The punch list for Jayhawk Wind’s Road Use Agreement is complete with punch list. We are in the final stages of finishing the RUA. Eric said we should have our roads back in our possession very soon. There is an Open House for Jayhawk Wind for the commissioners to come meet the operators on Thursday from 3pm to 6pm at the Operations & Maintenance building. Eric gave a breakdown of the asphalt meeting broke down by district. Gave a handout of what cost would be. District 3 has no asphalt but would like to do some preventative maintenance. Lynne asked if it could be cut down between Native & maple. Dustin stated possibly a little but they wanted to get around both curves as there is breakdown in the section. Jim stated all districts are important. If money runs out you have to stop. Justin Meeks stated that Clifton is forgoing asphalt in District 3 to try to help out the other two districts. Justin also stated that he and Eric and Susan have discussed the need for a new crusher. Susan stated there is some federal funding we could go after. Susan had some information on the crusher that was handed out. Susan stated we would need some monies from the PILOT fund until some other debt is paid off. We have two years that we have to work with other funds to pay the note. Justin asked how much of this year’s proposed would have to be cut to buy the crusher? Dustin stated between $100,000.00 to $150,000.00 depending on what total price is. Susan stated the other thing we need to think about is so far we have done 3 blasts which is about $120,000.00. To do 4 blasts it’s going to be $160,000.00. That will be $40,000.00 per year for blast #4. You’re going to have $80,000.00 for 2 additional blasts so that we can make enough rock. There is going to be about $136,000.00 per year in expenses to make enough rock and pay for the blasts. Jim asked Eric about federal funding. Eric stated $60,000.00 has to go for the bridge on Fern Rd. Susan stated that there are some projects we can after for funding. The project at Elm Creek dam would qualify so we need to dig into some of the grants. Lynne made a motion to move Eric Bailey to the end of the meeting after commissioner comments giving them time to come up with hard numbers on crusher. Jim seconded. All approved.
Lora Holdridge stated that Caleb Chaplin and they are going to request a road closing at Pawnee. We noticed there is another land owner that owns all the other land to the south and they own everything. Could we contact Mr. Callow who owns the property and ask if we could vacate to save money? Jim said yes.
Bill Martin stated they are part of the Federal Forfeiture group and they are required to send in an annual certification report to make sure that the funds we get from Federal Forfeiture Funds are reported properly. The report states no money has been spent as of now. Lynne Oharah made a motion to allow Jim Harris to sign this agreement. Jim seconded. All approved.
Justin Meeks requested an executive session for attorney client privilege. Lynne made a motion for an executive session for KSA 75-4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship including 2 commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Justin Meeks for 4 minutes returning at 9:43am. Jim seconded. All approved. Lynne made a motion to return to normal session at 9:43am with no action. Jim seconded. All approved.
Justin Meeks stated that 2 weeks ago there was discussion regarding Elm Creek Lake with regards to a public/private partnership. We have some ground work to do on getting bids to fix up the exterior of the 3 structures – The main lodge and two cabins. The idea of the public/private partnership is to have help being the managers of like an Airbnb. Eric is planning to drain the lake in early fall and it will be empty for quite some time in order to repair the dam. This would be the perfect time to explore the partnership. Now that we have Rob and Susan on board and with Shane’s expertise with historical preservation we can maybe at the end of May to go out for bid to see who would be interested in helping us with this public/private partnership. Looking at having canoe rentals, RV hookups, getting water to the three structures. The public/private partnership would manage it. There would be a 60/40 split of profits – 40% to the county and 60% to them. Discuss next week the bid process.
Susan did a 5 year comparison and a 2021 year in review for Public Works. We are going to start implementing this into our budget document for every department. To show people where we have been and what we have accomplished. We are going to add projected projects for 2023. One of the things I want to highlight is the fueling station. We are getting our gas about 40 cents cheaper. Most of the departments are taking advantage of that. I want to praise those who are trying to keep costs down as much as we can and that’s where departments are working together to do that. We had a problem in the landfill last year but have recovered. Susan stated that financials aren’t balanced and we are working through that this week. I’ve notified the treasurer that we have about $20,000.00 variance and so we are working through that. Susan requested an executive session for proprietary. Lynne made a motion for an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(4) to discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual proprietorships for 10 minutes including Rob Harrington, Shane Walker, Justin Meeks, Susan Bancroft and 2 commissioners returning at 10:10am. Jim seconded. All approved. Lynne made a motion to return to normal session at 10:10am with no action. Jim seconded. All approved.
Public Comment: Bill Michaud requested that the county consider a transient guest tax in the county. Anne Dare asked if Elm Creek Lake was a WPA project? Lynne stated that the entirety of Elm Creek Lake was a WPA project. She wants to make certain that research is done so that we are in compliance as this project is ongoing. Susan stated that we have a CFAP program out there. We’ve got to make sure we are standing up to that agreement. Anne asked about the crusher and grants that will be requested for other Road & Bridge projects. The county was turned down for a base grant and it’s been on the news that several cities in the area did receive one. What’s going to change that will give us a better chance of getting one? Is there anything in the works to give us a better chance? Susan stated that yes from the financial perspective. There is oversight and we are doing better in meeting our deadlines. We can’t change past violations and when we submit a grant application we are asked to submit our audit from previous years. It will take us two or three years to get out of that cycle. Not all grants ask for that information, most federal grants do. Anne asked if it is helpful that we are implementing internal controls? Susan stated yes. Anne asked if there have been internal controls in the past? Susan stated yes. Rob Harrington called to ask about the base grant that we didn’t receive. There were several grant requests within Bourbon County and none of them were granted. Twenty grants got a perfect score and underneath that 33 grants tied for sub-perfect scores. They stated we were very close. There is an opportunity to write a letter and ask that a second round of base grants be opened. A lot of the grants went to Johnson and Sedgwick County. Those grants will touch a lot more people being larger counties. One was a $10 million dollar grant in Johnson County for a development up there. The Topeka Zoo got 3 million. Another project received 7.9 million. Tie breakers on grants are usually letters of support. If you think it’s a great project to write a letter of support. Jim responded to Anne’s comments on Elm Creek that there would be a lot of discussion and public involvement before anything is done. Mark McCoy stated that he is no longer a city employee. While employed by the city I made a personal commitment to the city commissioners that I was 100% committed to them and would limit my contact with the county. I am once again in a volunteer capacity at the county working with Emergency Management. He said that he would like to reiterate what Bill Michaud said in that he would like to see a county-wide transient tax. Mark also stated that he would not be in alignment to renting the Elm Creek cabins for a month. I don’t think you want to do a long term stay. Susan stated that after a certain period of time the transient tax runs out. Mark stated he believed it to be at 28 days. Bill Michaud confirmed that to be correct. Mark mentioned that the county website needed to be updated. Ashley stated that Shane Walker has been working with Mat Casner to update the site and changes will be coming. Mark stated that he has been asked to come onboard with Bourbon County REDI as the Small Business Coordinator and have accepted. I’m happy to volunteer. It’s the right thing to do. Mark stated this is a very busy week for Bourbon County. There is a bicycle race, a mud race and civil war reenactment and ball games are starting up. St. Mary’s Gala is this weekend as well. Don Coffman stated Old 69 North (215th) is in bad shape. Jim stated that it is on Clifton’s list. Don stated that it might just need a surface coat. Jim stated that it is on Eric’s maintenance list.
Elected Official Comment: Ashley stated that she and Doretta would be going to Election training the next two days. We hope to learn a lot. No cost for the session. She stated that she is looking into new election equipment.
Commission Comment: Jim asked Susan to look into what it would take to implement the transient tax in the county.
Eric reported on information that he received on the crusher. He got a hard number for the price of the crusher. He checked with another company and it would be a year before we could get what we needed. A new crusher would be far more than what we were projecting. Susan stated that Sourcewell, for equipment and services, will do their competitive bidding. They get the best possible lowest dollar product so that cities and counties are not having to spend all their time doing requests for quotes. Susan asked if the commission chooses to go down this road is for her to have permission to get with the local banks for lease purchase agreements and have them bid on that. Lynne made a motion to purchase the used crusher MR130 Crusher and 953 Screen Plant for $1.356 million which will be paid for with a combination of Road & Bridge Funds, Hard Surface Road funds and PILOT money for down payments and Susan will reach out to local banks for financing of remainder of the balance. Jim seconded. All approved. Susan stated this is a 10-year lease purchase. Anne Dare asked where the machine would be coming from. Dustin Hall responded from Murphy Tractor. Jim stated that 215th off Indian going south to 39th needs to be completed. The lake road needs some work. Do what you can. Dustin Hall stated they are hoping sales tax will be high again this year and maybe will have enough to care of all of it. Lynne Oharah made a motion to approve the asphalt program Eric provided as well as use Onyx for 5 miles as a test. Eric has discretion to trim projects to lower cost to get new crusher. Jim stated to be very selective where they trim. Jim seconded. All approved.
Lynne made a motion to adjourn at 10:57am. Jim seconded. All approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
(ss) Jim Harris, Chairman
(ss) Lynne Oharah, Commissioner
(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner
Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Clerk
April 26, 2022, Approved Date