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August 11, 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.

Also present were the following, (some were present for a portion of the meeting, some were present for the entire meeting), Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune, Anne Dare, Michael Hoyt, Hazel Swarts, Mary Pemberton, Jim Harris and Jerad Heckman.

The Commissioners discussed the SPARK grant; Monica Murnan with Greenbush (who is administering the grant for Bourbon County) met with the Commissioners and Jody Hoener to review and update the Commissioners on the SPARK grant. The Federal Government gave Kansas counties money for the CARES SPARK act, Bourbon County will receive $2.9 million for SPARK funding, this money has to be expended by the end of 2020. There will be a second round of funding coming for SPARK funds. Initially Bourbon County split the allocated money into different buckets and a formula was created to help distribute the funds fairly and transparently. Lynne said that Jody Hoener and Greenbush have been gathering data and applications; he commended the work they have done in a short period. Monica said the goal today is to bring the data to the Commissioners and to meet Friday’s deadline to upload the County’s direct aid plan. The action needed to take today is to approve the plan and concept and to submit the plan and wait for approval from the State and if approved start paying the SPARK funding out. Greenbush will reconcile the SPARK money each month. The online application process was open for two weeks and after the application period closed, Greenbush compiled the data from the applications together and presented data regarding the applicants and the amount requested to the Commissioners. The buckets created for the SPARK funding is as follows: pre-approved reimbursements allocation of $329,042 ($298,082 has been requested for reimbursement and $25,604 requested for direct aid), economic development allocation of $490,000 ($363,538 has been requested for direct aid), health care allocation of $735,075 ($555,613 has been requested for direct aid), education allocation of $490,094 ($490,000 has been requested for direct aid by 10 licensed schools/daycares), collaborative projects of $612,562 ($718,800 has been requested for direct aid) and small business/nonprofit grant program of $122,512 ($172,250 has been requested through 67 different applications by verified businesses) and administrative costs of $146,278. The initial proposed distribution grand total amount (after adjustments) is $2,770,165 leaving $155,398 to still be distributed. The formula used for distributing the education money to public schools was based on enrollment. FSCC had been approved for $95,000 for SPARKS’s funds for two vehicles used for transporting students, St. Marys originally applied for funding for a van for transportation, but initially was denied; Hazel Swarts questioned why they were denied and questioned why the college got a vehicle, but the Sheriff didn’t get approved for a transport vehicle through the SPARKS funding; Jody said that no one asked for a vehicle for the Sheriff’s department. Small business/non-profit maximum amounts were initially adjusted down to a maximum of $4,000 in order to distribute the funds fairly.

After discussion on where to distribute the remaining $155,398 of funding the Commissioners decided the following: increase the small business direct aid back to the maximum amount of $5,000 and minimum increased to $2,000, allocate $50,000 to TFI (making sure not to duplicate expenses for reimbursements to TFI), allocate an additional $50,000 to St.Mary’s for a vehicle to transport students (making their grand total of $80,000), remove Christian Learning Center from small business and put them in the education bucket with $5,000 + $3,199 for a grand total of $8,199 and allocate and additional $3,199 to Christian Heights for a grand total of $4,199 to Christian Heights; Lynne made a motion to adjust the allocated numbers as discussed, Jeff seconded and all approved the motion.

At 11:27, Lynne made a motion to break for lunch and reconvene at 1:30, Jeff seconded and all approved.

The Commissioners held a 2021 budget work session. Lynne asked that they hold any public comment until they are through with the budget. Jeff stated that he wanted to review the dollar amount spent for health insurance benefits as well as review the jail’s contractual and commodity expenses. Lynne stated that the 2021 County Counselor budget for contractual needed to be changed to $90,000 and the wages and commodities for that department should be zero; Lynne said the County Counselor proposed to be paid through a 1099 with no benefits and the County Counselor if needed would pay for help with the tax sale (Justin Meeks said he will hire and pay for out of his own pocket for tax sale work, he said he was taking a pay cut by not having benefits). Jeff stated that during the budget process the County Counselor pay went from $60,000-$90,000. Jeff said the County needed to open the position for County Counselor and accept applications for $60,000; Lynne said he wasn’t going to do that, Jeff said the average County Counselor pay for a like County is $31,857/annually. Jeff moved to approve the County Counselor positions pay to $64,900 (the same as 2020), the motion died due to a lack of a second. Jeff stated that 4 years ago Justin Meeks was the County Attorney and the County Counselor with an annual budget of $250,000, but now the cost of the County Counselor and the County Attorney is $387,000. Lynne asked that the 2021 budget for the County Counselor be $90,000 (all budgeted in contractual). Jeff suggested adjusting the salary for the Road & Bridge supervisor position once Jim Harris retires; he said the pay for the position should be based on experience, Jim said he didn’t feel the County would be able to hire a qualified employee for his salary, Jeff questioned if the position should be hourly instead of salaried, Jim said he wouldn’t do the job for an hourly wage and questioned how you would track his hours worked since he works various hours throughout the day and night. Jim Harris said he would like his last day to be no later than October 2, 2020. The changes the Commissioners made to the 2021 budget are as follows: reduced the grand total for the County Commission budget to $69,900, budgeted a grand total of $334,324 for the County Attorney, budgeted a grand total of $77,747 for Register of Deeds, removed $157,212 from the General Government Contingency contractual, budgeted a grand total of $90,000 for County Counselor, changed Road & Bridge capital outlay from zero to $45,033, changed the grand total for Mental Health to $90,000, added $39,333 for the SRO grant revenue, changed the grand total of the Sheriff salaries to $620,943 (to cover the wages for the SRO officer) for a grand total for the Sheriff to $822,346, changed Correctional Center salaries to $559,608 for a grand total of $1,119,608 for the Correctional Center, changed Economic Development salaries to $75,000 and Economic Development to $25,000, changed the Health Board to $90,750. Jeff questioned if the County jail sales tax could be used to purchase a transport vehicle and questioned if there were ways to save with healthcare costs or food service costs for inmates; he questioned if the public health department could provide some healthcare services for the inmates. Jeff also questioned if the County was getting any reimbursements for out of county housing. Jeff asked that Kendell ask the Correctional Center and the Sheriff for a 2019 detailed list of expense items. Lynne said the IT budget has the expenses for the healthcare mall in it. Kendell will provide the updated 2021 budget changes to Terry Sercer and Lynne will call a special meeting once they have a revised budget from Terry Sercer. The Commissioners asked for their June and July 2020 month end reports.

Nick reported the overtime being paid on 8/13/2020; Election 46.25 hours, Treasurer 14.5 hours, Attorney 5 hours, Road & Bridge 49 hours, the Jail 114 hours and Sheriff 129 hours.

At 3:50, Jeff made a motion to adjourn, Nick seconded and all approved.

(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman
(ss) Jeff Fischer, Commissioner
(ss) Nick Ruhl, Commissioner
Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk
August 26, 2020 & September 1, 2020, Approved Date