December 8, 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, Mr. & Mrs. Clint Walker, Anne Dare, Mark McCoy and Michael Hoyt,
Road & Bridge director Eric Bailey met with the Commissioners; he presented the 2021 bridge inspection proposal from Schwab Eaton. Jeff made a motion to approve the Schwab Eaton bridge proposal of 23 structures not to exceed $5,175.00, 1 fracture critical inspection for $1,500 and 5 low water crossing inspections for a total of $475, Clifton seconded and all approved and the Commissioners signed the agreement.
Eric Bailey reported the motor had gone out on the rock crusher; he said they are getting quotes and said a high estimate would be $35,000 if the engine needs replaced, but said they are still getting quotes and opinions.
Eric reported the County had hauled 69 loads of gravel to an area where the fiber optic had been installed; he said he is working with the contractor that did the install. Lynne complemented the County’s work to repair those roads.
Eric said they are working on roads near 115th & Poplar/Quail.
Jeff Fischer reported that Shirley Hurd asked the County for help removing large cedar trees that needed removed in the Lath Branch cemetery; Lynne said in the past the County has given cemeteries gravel or moved dirt. He said cemeteries are taxing entities that operate on a limited budget, he said in the past they have given the public works director the discretion to do work in the cemeteries. Eric said the County will help with the work, he said it would be a joint effort between the County and an individual that wants the wood from the trees.
Jeff made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel in another office and reconvene at the Commission room, Clifton seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Patty Love). After the session, Lynne said they would have further discussion on the topic later today.
Jody Hoener gave a SPARK update; she said they will do a report to the State by Thursday this week, she said William Wallis needed to earmark $5,000 of the SPARK money received for the cost of a single audit.
Jody said BWERC is helping businesses with State reporting as well as helping businesses complete applications for revolving loans. She said Health Bourbon County is now a partner with BWERC. Jody reported BWERC will be hosting the Chamber coffee on 12/10/20; she said they will be requiring masks and social distancing, and said if someone feels uncomfortable doing this they should reconsider attending the coffee. Jeff made a motion that the Commissioners be able to attend the coffee, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Jody Hoener met with the Commissioners to discuss the OMNI lockbox option; she said OMNI has waived all fees for the lockbox (the lockbox is a bank account where ambulance payments would be made). Jody said the payments would be applied to patient’s accounts in a timelier manner with a company that has the knowledge of customer service, OMNI has a HIPPA compliance policy in place and OMNI could streamline the payment process. She said the lockbox would close the gap between the billing company and the customers. OMNI would collect a % of the money collected for their service. Lynne said they had temporarily fixed the EMS receivables problem, Jody suggested considering a long term solution. Lynne said they needed to work through issues before making a decision on the OMNI lockbox. Jeff made a motion to amend the agenda at noon today for an executive session for non-elected personnel, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Lynne made a motion to amend the agenda to discuss an annexation from the City of Fort Scott, Jeff seconded and all approved. Jeff discussed the adopted Resolution 19-2020 from the City of Fort Scott annexing Peerless property into the city limits; Peerless requested that the City annex some of their land into the City of Fort Scott, this land is located east of the hotel. Jeff made a motion to approve annexation from Resolution 19-2020 from the City of Fort Scott, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Terry Sercer met with the Commissioners regarding the 2020 budget amendment; he said the Landfill and Public Safety had large expenses in November and said the Landfill and the Jail were down in revenue. Terry said he will add the SPARK grant funds to the amendment. Terry said there was a coding error in the Road & Bridge Sales Tax and said a transfer will need to be made. Lynne said they would use approximately $75,000 of the Special Machinery money for Road & Bridge expenses. Clifton made a motion to approve the 2020 amended budget for publication, Jeff seconded and all approved.
Bill Martin, Ben Cole, Bobby Reed and Lesley Herrin (filming) met with the Commissioners. Bill Martin said he appreciated the major and the captain getting a raise after not getting one for 7 years; he said now his #3 employee is making more than his #2 employee (the undersheriff). Bill said in 2017 he requested open communication with the Commissioners; Bill said he sent emails to other Sheriff departments on how they met with their Commissioners, Bill said other Sheriff’s talk to their Commissioners outside of the Commission room so they can understand the issues they are dealing with; Bill read some of the responses he received. Lynne said the Commissioners no longer represent the County when they step outside the Commission doors. Justin said it is a KOMA violation to meet with two Commissioners @ two separate times about the same issue; he said this is called streaming. Bill said once again he is reaching out to the Commissioners and said he was willing to meet any of the Commissioners outside of the Commission room to discuss issues that are going on; Lynne questioned what was wrong with meeting publicly in an open forum about those issues, Bill said it becomes a fight publicly. Bill said a former Commissioner used to go office to office to find out elected officials concerns. Michael Hoyt gave the Commissioners documentation on advisory boards; He suggested developing a citizen’s advisory board to bring issues to the Commissioners. Jeff made a motion to give Clifton the authority to talk to the Sheriff when needed so they can better understand their needs, Clifton seconded and all approved. Lynne said he would entertain the discussion of a raise for the undersheriff; a raise was not discussed.
Anne Dare met with the Commissioners to discuss BEDCO; she requested a detailed copy of the BEDCO budget, Lynne said she should ask Greg Motley for a copy of the budget. Anne discussed the County giving money to BEDCO and said if a County employee was hired as the BEDCO director it could eliminate a job at the City or vise versa. Lynne said that BEDCO is not a County organization. Lynne discussed what BEDCO is trying to accomplish and compared it to Thrive Allen County; he discussed what Thrive Allen County has done for Allen County economic development. Lynne said BEDCO is looking for someone with experience and someone with grant writing abilities; and said everyone has the opportunity to apply for the position. Clifton said he believed in the BEDCO program and said he would be watching the program carefully. Anne questioned if the County could afford to give $130,000 to BEDCO: Jeff said they compare Bourbon County to other counties and said it is evident of counties that don’t have economic development as a priority. Anne asked that the Commissioners consider all options so that they still were funding BEDCO in five years, Lynne said the County has helped fund BEDCO since it was established. Anne discussed Justin Meeks and his position and the Commissioners discussion over hiring another person to handle different duties; she said if he couldn’t handle the position then maybe the Commissioners should return the position to a full time job. Lynne said Justin’s contract if for part time County Counselor; he said changes with our organization (with EMS, emergency room, HR issues and others) a business manager could handle internal issues and said the County could save enough money to pay for this position. Lynne said Justin doesn’t charge for additional hours worked over his contracted time. Justin said he is the County Counselor (he said his current salary is $64,000 + benefits), but said he has worked on other issues and has volunteered his time, he said he sees the organization changing and said there are changes that he doesn’t have the skill set for.
Jeff Fischer said the COVID cases were up nationwide; he said people’s behavior will determine how severe the economic impact COVID will be on our community. Clifton said as a nurse, they are getting tired. Clinton Walker discussed the impact to businesses where business owners had gotten COVID or had died from COVID. Anne Dare said some people are mad that the mask ordinance isn’t being enforced.
Jeff made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, to meet in another location and to return to the Commission room at 11:27, Clifton seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and David Neville). After the session, the Commissioners requested from Kendell what was done regarding carrying over vacation time from 2019 to 2020; the Commissioners will address this issue on 12/15/2020.
Jeff made a motion to go into a 60 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, to meet in another location and to return to the Commission room at 12:28, Clifton seconded and all approved. The session included the Commissioners, Justin Meeks and Jody Hoener. No action was taken.
Lynne made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel in another location and to reconvene in the Commission room, Clifton seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). After the session, Lynne made a motion that he attend a meeting with the City of Fort Scott on 12/9/2020, Justin Meeks said he would also like to attend the meeting, Clifton seconded and all approved.
At 12:50, 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 15, 2020, Approved Date