April 28, 2020 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session in the EOC room, the Commissioners and Justin Meeks were all present, and Kendell was present via telephone. The meeting was posted on Facebook.
Lynne made a motion to go into a 5 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). Lynne made a motion to remove the 11:00 presentation regarding MRI Global from the agenda for today, Nick seconded and the motion passed. Nick made a motion to stop everything with the MRI Global and not to support it moving forward, Lynne seconded and the motion passed.
Jim Harris reported they have been mowing, hauling gravel and installing culverts. They have done patching on Yale, near Hubert Thomas’s residence as well as Soldier Road. He said they will be pulling shoulders on 215th and will be pulling shoulders at Fort Scott Lake, they will wedge at the Lake when done, Jim said even if they don’t overlay there they could still ditch. Jim said they are waiting on the Sales Tax Revenue report before deciding the asphalt plan for the year. Lynne said he and Terry Sercer discussed the Sales Tax fund; he said they weren’t able to transfer as much as needed due to the amount collected being down and they did more overlay work in 2019 than anticipated. At the last Commission meeting the Commissioners nominated Josh Jones to chair the renewal process of the Sales Tax fund; the program is very important since the County uses the money for the hard surface road program. In the past 2 years, the County did 31 miles of asphalt. Jim said that asphalt is currently approximately $50/ton cheaper.
Jim said it was likely that a piece of equipment had hit a deck on a bridge on Unity just west of 95th.
Jim said they are waiting on a report from Ag Engineering to see what to do with a crossing at 60th & Grand Road.
Jim said they are short one person for mowing and one person for asphalt work. He said his staff is staying safe regarding COVID-19; his employees are keeping their distance, using sanitizers, masks and gloves. Lynne said the County has a sanitizer spray that can be made at a cost of .25 cents a gallon.
Jim said the City of Fort Scott wanted to meet with him; Jeff and Nick thought it was a good idea to meet.
Nick said Road & Bridge could use the pickup truck that the Appraiser wants to trade in; Jim said they don’t have the funds to buy the truck but suggested trading bulk fuel for the truck. No decision was made on the truck.
Jeff questioned the Road & Bridge department pushing a windrow of dirt against a fence; Jim said they will do this if it’s too wet and then will come back and move the dirt once it’s dry enough.
The Commissioners received bids to finance two 2021 Mack Dump trucks; City State Bank quoted a lease amount of $223,538 with 2.28% financing and no fees with semi annual payments of $23,567.63 with the first payment due 6/5/2020. U.S. Bank quoted financing $223,538 with 1.98% interest and a factor of 0.10466 for 5 years with two payments a year of $23,396.25. Jim Harris recommended financing through City State since they are a local bank. Nick made a motion to finance the trucks through City State Bank, Jeff seconded and all approved.
The Commissioners received one bid for fish food for Elm Creek Lake; Big Sugar bid $19.35 for a 50lb bag or $774/ton for Purina Catfish food. Nick made a motion to accept the bid, Jeff seconded and all approved. The County receives some funding from KDWP for the fish food.
The Commissioners briefly discussed the City asking for a portion of Indian Road being closed for the airport runway expansion; Jeff said there is a 12 month window for grievance claims if the road were closed. There are 3 possible detour routes; Jim Harris said he preferred the route that goes south to Hackberry and then west to the blacktop curve. Lynne said the closure could be considered once the new road is asphalted and open.
The Commissioners requested bids for tax sale work; Security 1st was the only bidder, but the Commissioners did not reveal their bid. Justin Meeks and the Commissioners discussed having a tax sale; Justin said he believed with people’s budget a tax sale could be more difficult due to the current economic times. He said in the past they tried to help people save their homes, Justin said there is a lot of cost with a tax sale especially since Hidden Valley properties are now included in the tax sales. Justin said he had met with Hidden Valley representatives, he said there is a high turnover of those properties on the tax sales. Justin said he is an advocate of the Land Bank. He said he hopes some landowners would sign over their properties to the Land Bank. He said if a tax sale was held it could cost $48-$50,000 for the tax sale and said the sale probably wouldn’t collect ½ of that back. He said it is difficult to get a clear title on tax sale properties. The Commissioners discussed delaying a tax sale; Jeff made a motion to postpone the title work required for a tax sale, Nick seconded and all approved.
The Commissioners discussed the current location of the Commission meetings; Justin said he had calls from a concerned citizen regarding KOMA. Justin said the current meetings meet the required standards. Currently the Courthouse building is closed to the public due to COVID-19; the Commissioners discussed how operations would work once the building opens up to the public. Currently the Commission meetings are streamed on Facebook, Jeff suggested having citizen’s schedule a time on the agenda with their subject and questions submitted prior to the meeting and the Commissioners could call them during a scheduled time. Justin said some Counties are doing Zoom meetings and some are doing their meetings the same as Bourbon County. Currently it is safer and easier to do a virtual meeting. Once the courts open up, there will be a large amount of people entering the building; visitors will be using the elevators, stairs and the entryway by the Commission room. The County will be spraying disinfectant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Justin said the current building could be updated or we have a facility that could meet our needs. Jeff questioned if there was any potential of adapting the hospital space as the court space; Lynne said there are no easy answers.
Rachel Pruitt the Economic Development Director from the City of Fort Scott met with the Commissioners over the phone regarding the airport runway expansion. She said in June 2018 she met with the Commissioners regarding the partial closure of Indian Road should the airport runway be extended. She said she needed our current Commissioners to agree to a partial closing should the runway be extended, she said she needed Commission minutes stating if the runway was extended the Commissioners would go through the procedure to close the road. Lynne said the road closure procedure would have to be followed. Before the traffic would be impacted on Indian Road a road would be built. Nick made a motion if the runway expansion goes in they would close Indian Road after another road is built and they have gone through the road closure process, Jeff seconded and all approved. Rachel said their next step is to hold a public hearing after a 30 day notice.
Lynne made a motion to go into a 30 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 10 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.
At 11:41, the Commissioners went to lunch and reconvened at 1:30.
Emergency Manager William Wallis met with the Commissioners; Jeff made a motion to allow Lynne to sign an application for the Emergency Management Performance Grant Funds, Nick seconded and all approved and Lynne signed the document.
Will discussed the disaster declaration; he said they filed for 16 different mitigation projects. He submitted areas that Road & Bridge identified as areas that are always a problem. He filed for reimbursement of additional loads of gravel. Areas that were damaged during the flooding and the estimated cost to bring the area back to pre-flood damage state was submitted; if approved this cost could be reimbursed. Will estimated that more than $130,000 could be reimbursed to the County from KDEM for the flooding that occurred in the summer of 2019.
Lynne discussed the Bourbon County budgeted revenue; he said he felt that the shortfall in the budgeted revenue (both from sales tax revenue and property tax revenue) would be a problem. He felt they would have a better idea of the shortfall amount after April 2020. He felt the Commission should address this sooner rather than later. He said he was looking at an initial 15% across the board budget cut, but said it could be 20% by the end of the year. Lynne said it would be up to each department to see where to make that cut. Bourbon County needs to have sufficient funds to finish the year. Lynne will write a draft letter to the department heads to notify them of the initial 15% cut to their budget.
Lynne asked Terry Sercer to present the 2019 audit on May 5th, 2020.
Since COVID-19 and the closing of the Courthouse to the public, there have been drop boxes installed on the outside of the building. People are using the drop boxes, mail and the internet to conduct business which would have previously been done in person.
The Commissioners discussed how to hold future commission meetings once the Courthouse opens up to the public (due to COVID-19). They discussed using other larger facilities to hold the meetings in. The May 5th commission meeting will be held outside (weather permitting) on the front east steps, or if the weather doesn’t permit this, the meeting will be held in the lobby of the 1st floor. Public comment/questions will be allowed to be scheduled from 1:30-2:30, people wishing to comment or question the Commissioners will have 5 minutes each, the time needs to be scheduled and the subject/question needs to be submitted prior to the meeting. If the meeting is held outside, it will not be posted on Facebook live.
At 2:50, 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
May 5, 2020, Approved Date