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December 14, 2021                              Tuesday at 9 am

 

The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with Lynne, Jim, Clifton, the County Counselor and the County Clerk.

 

Also present for the meeting were, (some were present for a portion of the meeting, some were present for the entire meeting) Clint Walker

 

Clifton made a motion to approve the minutes from December 7, 2021. Jim seconded. All approved.

 

Eric presented a permit for Oscar and Mary Gonzales at 727 240th.  Jim made a motion to approve a culvert at 727 240th Street.  Clifton seconded.  All approved.

 

Eric stated the last week of July he asked commissioners to lower speed limit to 35 mph on 130th from Arrowhead to 39 and then on Cavalry from 7 to 130th for the construction of the bridge.  We talked of revisiting the speed limit when bridge work was done.  It is now complete.  Clifton made a motion to remove the 35 mph signs and replace with the original speed limit.  Jim seconded.  All approved.

 

Landfill compost permit process is nearly finished.  We started on the pad for the compost this week.  Should have all paperwork in place by the end of the year.

 

Kansas Dept of Agriculture needs a little more information, detailed plans, for Elm Creek.  He will try to finalize that by the end of the year.  Once we have all permits we’ll get Wildlife & Parks to see about draining to get the level down.  We will be doing a lot of the work ourselves and try to meet the match of the grant.

 

Local roads safety program grant plan.  We sent in our match of the money so they should be getting started on it soon.

 

Thomas quarry will be tentative to do a blast next Tuesday.  Removed overburden to do this blast.  They are drilling today in preparation.

 

Had several holes show up on a bridge on Wagon Rd west of 205th.  We removed the bridge decking.  Hoping by the end of the week to have it opened back up.  Eagle Rd east of 130th we got filled in underneath the bridge.  Should have that bridge back up and running soon.

 

Windmills are still reclaiming intersections.  They have done a good job in keeping the roads in good shape.

 

Lynne reported a resident on Soldier Rd, east of 62nd, asked that a whistle be cleaned out so that the landowner can mow the ditch.

 

Jim requested to have the roadwork session as early as possible next year.  Two areas need ditched and if we have a dry spring that would allow you to get started early.  Also, Jim said he would like for Eric to discuss with them any equipment purchases he is planning.  Eric stated he is planning to look at getting a truck but with the price of used trucks being so high he is thinking we may want to look at new.  He said that the wait is about a year for a new one.  Jim suggested he check with Lester from Anderson County as he relayed to Jim that they were going in another direction and that might help Eric.  Jim suggested they think about buying a crusher.

 

Eric mentioned that the Purple Wave sale ends on January 11, 2021.

 

Lynne requested that Rob Harrington be appointed as representative for Bourbon County to the SE Kansas Regional Planning Committee.  Jim made a motion to appoint Rob Harrington as representative of Bourbon County to the SE Kansas Regional Planning Commission.  Clifton seconded.  All approved.

 

Ashley Shelton stated that the employees that have been here two full years will have to have all of their vacation used by December 31st.  The problem we run into is they accrue a day of vacation on the second pay in December and they have to have it used by the end of the year.  If you have very many new employees in one department it’s difficult for everyone to get that day in.  Ashley recommended that there be an extension to give employees time to get that day of vacation in.  Clifton made a motion regarding the accrued day on the second pay in December could be carried over in 2022 but has to be used by April 1, 2022.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Clifton made a suggestion, that now that Susan Bancroft is with us, to look at accrual rates and HR as a whole and make changes to the pay and vacation policies.  Susan stated that she would like to set up an employee counsel that pulls in all these different facets of Bourbon County and talk through what the issues have been in the past and how do we move forward.

 

Ashley also asked about the covid sick time that is still out there.  It was a one-time thing and the county commission voted to extend but there was no end date put on that.  If someone used it then it is no longer available to them.  Clifton made a motion that the covid time be ended on December 31st.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Clifton made a motion to allow Susan to form an employee committee to discuss benefits package, handbook and employee related information.  Jim seconded.  All approved.

 

Ashley stated that mowing/snow removal bids were to be opened at 9:30am.  A bid from G & G mowing in Schell City, MO was $575.00 per cut for a total of $15,525.00 for the year including picking up trash, edge all curbing, weed eat, blow off clippings.  They have $2,000,000.00 liability insurance. The bid is for mowing only.  They did not submit for snow removal.  The second bid was from Randy Phillips Lawn Care from Fort Scott, KS.  Lawn service per service $600.00.  Randy Phillips Lawn Care also gave a bid for snow removal of $700.00 per incident.  Jim made a motion to table the bids for two weeks.  Clifton seconded.  All approved.

Justin requested executive session for 20 minutes.  Clifton made a motion for executive session 75-4319(b)(1) To discuss personal matters of an individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy including three commissioners, Justin Meeks, Susan Bancroft and Rob Harrington for 15 minutes returning at 9:47am.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Clifton made a motion to return to normal session.  No action.  Jim seconded.  All approved.

 

Clifton made a motion for executive session 75-4319(b)(1) To discuss personal matters of an individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy including 3 commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Justin Meeks and Rob Harrington for 15 minutes returning at 10:02am.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Clifton made a motion to return to normal session.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  No action.

 

Clifton made a motion for executive session 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 for 15 minutes returning at 10:23am including 3 commissioners and Justin Meeks..  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Clifton made a motion to return to normal session.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  With Action.  Clifton made a motion to allow Justin Meeks to work with Noble Health on the lease contracts and possible assumption of the building and the contract relating to that assumption.  Jim seconded.  All approved.

 

Justin gave an update on the tax sale.  There are 79 parcels.  There are another 108 parcels for the next sale.  January 13, 2022 is the date of the scheduled tax sale at the Courthouse in the Main Lobby area.  Parcels that don’t sell will go to the landbank.

 

Susan stated that she needed to request a special meeting on December 28th.  We need to amend the budget.  The funds affected are Road and Bridge Fund, Road and Bridge Sales Tax Fund, Landfill and Sewer District #1.  The Jayhawk Wind Generation money was put into the Road and Bridge fund which made it appear that they had more money than they did.  They were making decisions based off of that.  Luckily, sales tax is up and we have the money to cover the expenses.  That is no fault of Public Works.  We will make adjustments at the end of the year.  We’ll move the Jayhawk Wind money out of there.

 

Susan stated that we will do a press release dependent on the decision that the commission makes.  The most recent tax statements that went out had a clerical error on them.  Municipalities set their levy and send that information to the clerk.  The clerk enters the information into what is called an abstract.  During that time that she is working on all that information Matt is doing stuff in his office with mortgages, etc.  Then there are errors that they work through and it could be a month’s time.  With the new Revenue Neutral Rate timeframe they basically lost 30 days of work time because it pushed everybody’s dates back.  Budgets used to be due August 25th and they are now due August 1st if you are exceeding the Revenue Neutral Rate.  The clerk really can’t start until after October 1st.  We have to get information to the printers.  Patty always sets that up.  We had a place held for November 15th but with the election and everything going on we didn’t meet that deadline.  We got it to them by the 15th but we lost our place in line.  Tax statements were printed a little bit later than normal.  It’s a perfect storm in all of this.  By the time Ashley got information from the state it was December 6th.  We had to go ahead and print tax statements.  At that point we realized there was an error and so with the error anybody within the USD 234 Recreation Levy.  The levy was entered incorrectly.  They had levied 2.6 mils and the levy that was entered was 4.4 mils.  We’ve talked to people at the state, people at the software company and you as a commission have two options.  We can go ahead and levy at the higher rate and those tax dollars will sit until the next fiscal year.  So in 2023 when we do levies basically your levy will drop by the amount of tax that has already been collected.  The second option would be to collect the tax and then do a refund in January which would be very time consuming because it is probably the biggest taxing entity in Bourbon County.  The cost of getting out new statements, the cost of running checks to refund people would be an additional cost.  For someone that has a $50,000.00 home they would pay $10.00 more this year and then the next year they would see a reduction of $10.00.  For someone with a $150,000.00 home they would pay $31.00.  Of course, commercial properties will be hit a little bit harder because they are at a higher percentage.  Clifton stated that it is partly due to the unrealistic timeframe set by the state.  Susan stated that the software doesn’t have any type of warning of a jump in mils.  It leaves room for human error.  Ashley stated that she talked with the software company and in the future there is a way to print a report and can be reviewed by more than one set of eyes.  This information was not known to her prior to the error but has now put this in place to keep this from happening in the future.  Clifton wants to point out that 30 days loss was due to the State of Kansas.  Clifton feels that the Revenue Neutral Rate has been very confusing to everyone.  Susan stated that next year the budget would have to be ready by June 1st.  You have to do projections 6 months ahead of what could potentially happen.  Clifton made a motion to continue with the recreation levy as it is.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Susan stated that this will be a violation in our audit and it will be on the county as it was a county error.  Clifton wanted to reiterate that this process has been challenging and people need to reach out to their state representatives and let them know that this process is confusing.

 

Clifton made a motion for executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(6) For the preliminary discussion of the acquisition of real property with the session including three commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Eric Bailey and Justin Meeks returning at 10:57am.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 10:57am.  No action.  Jim seconded.  All approved.

 

A gentleman stated that he lives in Northwest Bourbon County on 3 Highway and own some property from 65 and 3 junction.  The road is in terrible shape.  The commissioners referred him to Eric Bailey who took the gentleman to look at a map and figure out a plan to help.

 

Clint Walker stated that he was pleasantly surprised that this commission has not been inundated with requests for covid money.  Other counties in the area have.

 

Lynne made comment that there is a benefit this Friday evening for the Nelson Blythe family and encouraged all to attend.  Jim made a motion to let the public know that all three commissioners may attend the Blythe benefit this Friday at the Liberty Theatre from 6pm – 9pm but no business will be conducted.  Clifton seconded.  All approved.

 

A gentleman stepped up and stated that a ditch at 1384 Wagon Road needs to be dug out.  Lynne stated he would let Eric know.

 

Clifton made a motion to go into executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(4) To discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust and individual proprietorships with the session including 3 commissioners, Susan Bancroft and Justin Meeks, City commissioners and Noble Health representative at 12 noon at 200 S Main, Suite 2 for 30 minutes.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Clifton made a motion to return to normal session at 12:30pm.  No action.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Clifton made a motion to go back into 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 29 minutes resuming normal session at 1:00pm.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Clifton made a motion to return to normal session at 1:00pm.  Jim seconded.  All approved.

 

Clifton made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Jim seconded.  All approved.

 

Meeting adjourned at 1:01pm.

 

 

 

THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS

(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth Commissioner

ATTEST:

Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Clerk

December 21, 2021, Approved Date