December 1, 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,
Clint and Rachel Walker, Jessie Walker, Anne Dare, Mark McCoy and Dale Arnold.
Eric Bailey met with the Commissioners; the Commissioners told Eric Bailey to contact KCAMP regarding applying for the $2,000 grant to be used for the repair of a tarp used on the hauling trucks.
Eric Bailey said there are 17 bridges due for inspection; he said Schwab Eaton will provide a proposal for the inspections. He said he would talk to them about the needed repairs for a bridge North on 69 Highway.
Eric said he has asked a contractor to give a quote on repairs for a guardrail south of Soldier Road on the old highway that was damaged in a hit and run accident.
Jeff Fischer said he would provide Eric Bailey contact information for the Federal Fund Exchange Program so that he can apply for grant money for the blasting work that was done at the Shepherds Quarry.
Eric reported that there may be a landowner contact the Commissioners regarding a road that has been closed at 45th & Unique; he said they may be coming to re-open the road since their property is landlocked.
Eric said that Phoenix Coal Company has petitioned to close out their mining operation; he said Phoenix Coal had 4-6”of gravel placed on the road in the area, Eric said it appears there are ditches in the area and said that portion of the road is better than the portion going south of there, he felt the road met or exceeded the requirements; Justin Meeks said he had reviewed the release for Phoenix Coal Company. Jeff made a motion to sign the release for Phoenix Coal Company (regarding an area on 260th) and said they had met the contractual requirement, Clifton seconded the motion and all approved and Lynne signed the release.
Eric reported that the exhaust manifold had cracked on a dozer; he said he is trying to find someone to weld this; he thanked the City of Fort Scott public works department for diagnosing what the problem was.
Eric reported they had cross trained an employee from the quarry to do grader work. Jeff suggested using the gravel road maintenance manual as a reference for the road grader operators.
Eric said the beavers had built dams in the culverts at Range and 235th; he said the City of Fort Scott helped blow open the culvert pipes. Jeff described a process that could be used to remove blockages in the culverts; Lynne said a lot of the culverts are blocked due to a lack of ditches.
Jeff made a motion to go into a 7 minute executive session for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, the session will be located in the old I/T office and the Commissioners will convene back in the Commission room when the session is over, Clifton seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Eric Bailey and Justin Meeks). Jeff made a motion to go back into session, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Lynne reported that the road is a mess (due to clay in the road) on 95th south of Soldier Road; Eric Bailey said due to the way the fiber optic was installed in the road, this will be an ongoing issue. Jeff suggested re-visiting the right-of-way policy and to have a bond in place prior to someone doing work on a County road; Eric said we already have this requirement, but said we will need to hold the companies accountable for this.
Eric said they have a grader broken down.
Monica Murnan (by phone) met with the Commissioners regarding the Spark grant funds. Lynne said there will be $11,815 leftover funds that will need to be allocated, he said it was suggested to use these funds for contact tracing, Jeff said USD234 requested a contact tracer and said two people had been hired to do contact tracing. Jeff said Tri-Valley had requested $5,900 in Spark funds, it was stated that the County I/T could use the funds for a broadband project. Monica said she was hesitant to bring in an entity that didn’t go through the original application process, (she said Tri-Valley did not go through the original application or MOU process), she said the original process was very transparent. Monica said the Health Department’s request is a direct COVID expense, Rebecca Johnson from the Health Department said they could also use funds for the COVID vaccination process. Jeff made a motion that the $11,815.57 be assigned to the SEK Multi County Health Department for the purpose of contract tracing (both payroll and supplies needed for contact tracing) due to COVID, Clifton seconded and all approved. Monica said there is still approximately $40,000 remaining of the appropriated money to Greenbush for administrative fees; she felt they should let William Wallis use this money to purchase COVID PPE supplies. Clifton made a motion that the remainder of the administrative funds be directed towards William Wallis for PPE, Jeff seconded and all approved. Monica said they are still trying to gather approximately $1 million worth of receipts from Spark grant recipients’.
Jessie Walker met with the Commissioners regarding Unique Road west of 95th; he said he met with the Commissioners a few years ago where they discussed if it was an open or closed road. He said a few years ago the County bladed the road and provided the Commissioners with a case from the Supreme Court where there was a ruling that if a road had been maintained by a County then it would be required to be an open road, but said that didn’t mean they would have to keep the road maintained. Mr. Walker asked that the road be graded or maintained a few times each year. Justin Meeks said they started this process two years ago and said in 1986 the County re-did their maps, he said they have a lot of roads that they were unsure of if they were vacated or not. Justin said in 1986, there were public hearings held about roads that were opened or closed. Justin said they are looking for a Resolution from 1986 and said then the Commissioners can decide whether or not to maintain the roads. Mr. Walker said he had a load of gravel put on this road and asked what his liability was for doing this. Justin said there is a process to petition to have a closed road opened.
The Commissioners discussed the OMNI lockbox option; Justin said adding a new endeavor would create a new universal position and that position could do the work regarding a new building, accounts receivable and budgets, HR director functions, business management, medical mall; Jeff said OMNI had been contracted to do the EMS billing, but said the universal position could possibly do the billing. Lynne made a motion that he be allowed to work with Justin Meeks to come up with a comprehensive list of items for this job description, Jeff seconded and all approved. The Commissioners recently hired a 1099 person to do the EMS receivables. Lynne said they could identify different areas where they could save money by hiring a universal employee.
The Commissioners discussed the holiday gift cards for County employees; Jeff said he had received feedback that employees were in favor of supporting local businesses, Lora Holdridge said getting Chamber Bucks helps local businesses and helps the Chamber. Jeff made a motion to select Chamber Bucks for the holiday gift cards, and that each employee (non-elected, elected, part-time and full-time, with the exception of the Commissioners) receive $25 worth of Chamber Bucks, Clifton seconded and all approved.
The Commissioners discussed the proposed longevity pay; Jeff said the County currently has longevity pay plan, he said some employees have worked for the County more than one time, he suggested taking the prior service time and combining it with current service to come up with the total years of service. Jeff suggested doing $100/year for year 5 and on. $51,000 has been budgeted for 2020 for the one-time longevity pay. Jeff said this is a one-time payout, but said if the County could afford it in future years it could be paid out with each paycheck. Bobby Reed questioned if the employees would still receive their current longevity pay; the Commissioner said yes, Bobby asked if department heads came to the Commissioners with future budget requests asking for a wage increase for employees if they would be told they were given longevity pay instead of a raise; Lynne said the discussion of the longevity pay instead of a wage increase was never discussed. Jeff made a motion to do a one-time longevity payout, in addition to the current longevity pay, of $100/year of service beginning at year 5 with the effective date of 12/31/2020, excluding elected officials, (5 years of service as of 12/31/2020 = a one-time $500 longevity payout) to be paid by 12/31/2020 on a separate check and to include prior years of service, Clifton seconded, it was stated that an elected official doesn’t qualify, but if in the future they came back to work for the County as a non-elected employee, they would have elected and non-elected years of service combined, all approved the motion.
Clifton made a motion to go into a 20 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, and reconvene in the Commission room, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.
Clifton made a motion to go into a 24 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, and reconvene in the Commission room, Lynne seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). Clifton made a motion to go back into session, Jeff seconded and all approved.
Lynne made a motion to amend the agenda to discuss department head salaries, Clifton seconded and all approved. Lynne said the 2021budget included raises for two employees in the Correctional Center and for the I/T department, he said they needed to do a salary resolution for the increases. Lynne made a motion to give the two employees in the Correctional Center (major and captain positions) a 10% increase and to give the I/T person a $10,000 raise in 2021, Clifton seconded and all approved. Lynne said these positions weren’t given a raise last time and said they had given the I/T person a lot more responsibility and said they expect that job function to increase.
At 12:16, Clifton 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) Clifton Beth, Commissioner
Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk
December 8, 2020, Approved Date