February 2, 2021 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commissioners 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 and some were present for the entire meeting), Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune, Jody Hoener, Susan Bancroft, Mr. & Mrs. Clint Walker, Nancy Van Etten, Anne Dare, Josh Jones and Jeremy Frazier.
Josh Jones introduced the new City of Fort Scott Manager Jeremy Frazier.
Eric Bailey reported the County recently had slick roads due to bad weather; he said all of their trucks were working and said the truck with the hydraulic issue worked for about 2 hours before the issue surfaced again.
Eric said he talked to Chad Brown with the City of Fort Scott on how the City does their street signs, they make their own; they will show the County how to make their own signs to save money, he said they may eventually share sign making equipment as an interlocal agreement.
Eric said they have been filling potholes and burning brush, they trimmed at the Fort Scott Lake. He said they have met with the Gordon Parks foundation regarding installing the learning tree signs around the County.
Eric said the tuck pointing is complete on a header of a rock at Elm Creek Lake.
Eric said they will be moving to the Beth Quarry next week; all of the Commissioners were ok with looking at a new contract for the Beth Quarry.
Eric said they are working on a bridge on Ivory between 20th & 30th; he said they will close the road there while working on it.
Regarding the bridge inspection manual; Eric said they are working on installing signs.
Eric said a property owner wants a road built around a low water crossing at 250th & Deer Road; Jim Harris recommended (and the other Commissioners were in agreement) that Eric and Frank Young decide what size of box to install there since there isn’t room to install the needed culverts.
Eric reported a culvert was plugged at 250th & Cavalry, but said it is now clear. He said they are still looking at a culvert in that area that may need some ditching; the Commissioners said they would need to get a written agreement (created by Justin Meeks) if the work to be done is on private property.
Eric Bailey and Justin Meeks plan to meet with Apex on Friday to discuss the road use agreements. Apex has been working with KDWP; Justin said they did a study on endangered species in the area and were cleared. Lynne said Julianna from Jayhawk said they would be starting the project in the near future. Lynne said the engineering money is in an account at the County.
Lynne reported that Evergy installed a substation on Calvary west of 3 Highway.
Lynne reported on Unity between 95th – 105th is washed out and said it is a bus route and that it needs a culvert.
Lynne told Eric to get a low water crossing back open near 95th & Unity and 65 Highway.
Lynne said near 75th & Yale the road was tore up for one mile to get a good base there, but said 2 miles were approved there, so one mile still needs to be torn up. Jim Harris suggested working with the City of Fort Scott on renting a larger reclaimer to do Yale Road and Cooper Street at the same time.
Eric said he would view Hackberry Road north of Redfield.
Lynne made a motion to have an asphalt work session on February 24th @ 9:00 am, Jim seconded and all approved.
Jim discussed moving the meeting dates and times to accommodate the public. Lynne made a motion to have a Wednesday meeting once a month beginning on February 24th from 3pm-6pm, there will not be a Tuesday meeting during the week that has a Wednesday meeting, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Lynne discussed the Chief Elected Officials agreement between the 17 Counties in Southeast Kansas and Kansasworks; he said the workforce development board is ran by the 17 Counties, and said it doesn’t cost the County any money to be on the board, but said it is a commitment from the County to be on the board, Justin reviewed the agreement and approved it, Clifton made a motion to give Lynne permission to sign the Kansasworks agreement, Jim seconded and all approved and Lynne signed the agreement.
Register of Deeds Lora Holdridge met with the Commissioners; she has been reviewing Resolutions for road closings/openings. Justin Meeks said there would be a disagreement from landowners on a few of the openings/closings. She has been reviewing records from 20+ years ago, she said some roads were closed and records are still showing them as being an open road. Lora said she had looked at road records from 1947-2009; the Commissioners thanked her for reviewing these records. Lora said a fence viewing from 1990 has a typo error on it with the location of a fence; she said Security 1st has it on the title policy, Lora said she would work with Kendell to do a new corrected resolution.
Lynne and Shane Walker attended an apprenticeship Zoom meeting regarding retraining people for tech jobs to keep them local. Shane said Bourbon County would be the first County in Kansas to do this, he said there is money from the State for entities to do this. Jim made a motion to allow Lynne and Shane to move forward with the apprenticeship program in Bourbon County in order to help the County and businesses, Clifton seconded and all approved.
A cereal malt beverage license was scheduled on the agenda, but will be discussed next week; Clifton made a motion to move the cereal malt beverage license to next Tuesday, Jim seconded and all approved.
Lynne made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel to protect their privacy, to discuss job performance, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 9:53, Jim seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). At 9:53, Clifton made a motion to go back into open session, and said no action, Jim seconded and all approved.
Jim made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel to protect their privacy, to discuss job performance, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 10:09, Lynne seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Eric Bailey). Lynne made a motion to go back into open session, and said no action, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Justin Meeks discussed the tax sale; he said the title company is doing the abstracts and they are getting ready to file cases. Justin said there is $12,000 of budget money set aside for someone to do the tax sale work. He said if they don’t get personal service for the tax sale documents, then a purchaser could have to wait up to 15 years to get title insurance on the property. He said if they get a Landbank, he expects the amount of properties on the tax sale to diminish.
Justin said he had reviewed and approved of the Receipts and Representation taxable general obligation bonds for the refinancing of the jail bonds. Lynne made a motion that he be allowed to sign the document, Clifton seconded and all approved and Lynne signed the document.
Justin said he and Susan Bancroft had met to discuss budget issues in preparation for the audit.
Anne Dare met with the Commissioners; she wanted to give an update on the Jayhawk Wind project. She said she had met again with Jeff Spangler and learned the following: the transfer station is being constructed, letters are being sent to leaseholders, Jayhawk plans to do public meetings and they will survey the roads and bridges to be used. Anne said she would like for Jim Harris and Will Wallis to be involved in the surveying of the roads and bridges. Anne said she would like to and plans to attend the meeting Friday with Justin, Eric and Jayhawk Wind. Anne said she learned from the city parks advisory meeting that there may be construction workers move into Gunn Park to stay for up to one year, she questioned if there were any other facilities that they may move into.
Regarding the tax sale – Anne Dare questioned if there was any grant money available for the tearing down of properties, Justin said no, he said when a tear down occurs the property is still owned by the homeowner. He said properties are sold based on State Statute.
Susan Bancroft said the City is trying to get the Landbank active in order to get properties back on the tax roll. She said there are grants for housing rehabs.
Anne Dare said it was on Facebook that CHC is buying Price Chopper; the Commissioners did not comment on this.
Nancy Van Etten said she was glad to see the Commissioners set a work session for roads. She suggested the afternoon meetings start at 5:00 pm to allow for the public to attend. She mentioned the apprenticeship program and said she encouraged the Commissioners to look at the cost vs. the benefit of any program. She said she hoped the healthcare mall is still progressing and said she would like for them to get a third tenant in there. Nancy discussed the Commissioners having so many executive sessions for personnel matters; she suggested sharing an HR person between the City and the County so that the Commissioners can focus on other issues. Lynne said HR is a goal they are working towards. Clifton said the County is working on a sustainable healthcare system in Bourbon County; he said we have to have an Emergency Room. Clifton said that Bourbon County does not own the Mercy building.
Jim Harris said they had an emergency meeting last night for the Landbank; he said the Landbank accepted the property at 10 N. National in Fort Scott. Jim said the Landbank will get aggressive with the tax sale.
Jim Harris said he had received complaints that the Treasurer’s office wasn’t selling commercial vehicle tags, Justin reminded the Commissioners that the only authority the Commissioners have over an elected official is policy and budget. Jim said he was bringing the issue up so a Commissioner could meet with Patty Love about doing the commercial vehicle tags. Patty Love told the Commissioners that she repeatedly told Lynne that this would happen, she said she lost an employee that had been in her office for 5 years, she said a person would need to be trained to sell the tags and at this time Topeka isn’t doing any training. Patty said she is still short one employee. Patty encouraged the Commissioners to talk to her anytime they had an issue; Justin reminded the Commissioners that once they leave the Commission room they are no longer a Commissioner. The Commissioners plan to discuss this again on February 16th.
At 11:02, Jim made a motion to adjourn, Clifton seconded and all approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman
(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner
(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner
Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk
February 9, 2021, Approved Date