July 11, 2022, Monday, 6:00 p.m.
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners and the County Clerk present.
Clint and Rachel Walker, Tiana McElroy, Ann Dare, Mary Pemberton, Matt Quick, Patty Love, Dustin Hall, and Ben Cole were present for some or all of the meeting.
Clifton made a motion to approve the previous meetings minutes. Lynne seconded. All approved.
Judge Mark Ward thanked Lynne for his years of service. Judge Ward discussed budget. He explained the increase is due to added courtroom on 2nd floor. Wages are due to budgeting for benefits that were not included before. Clifton Beth made a motion for executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(12) to discuss matters relating to security measures, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize such security measures including three commissioners, Judge Mark Ward, Rhonda Cole, Justin Meeks, and Shane Walker for 8 minutes returning to this room at 6:13pm. Lynne seconded. All approved. Clifton made a motion to return to normal session at 6:13pm with no action. Jim seconded. All approved.
Eric Bailey stated the following culvert permits have been completed: Travis Schilling, 895 209th Terrace; Josh Sharp, 255th & Osage; William Pope, 2500 Tomahawk; Gil George had two at 95th & Maple and one at 85th & Osage; Larry Snyder, 250th & Hwy 31; Craig Haake, 225th & Native; Joe Warren, south of 1161 50th Street. Bridge #518 on 215th, two miles south of Fulton, KDOT will be here tomorrow to inspect the bridge. Schwab Eaton suggested we go that route this year. We do have a contract that you need to sign. Justin has reviewed. This will be KDOT’s engineer inspecting the bridge. They are going to try to get a quick turnaround on this. Clifton made a motion to allow all three commissioners and Ashley to sign the Federal Aid State-wide Bridge Inspection Master Agreement. Lynne seconded. All approved. Eric stated that 215th will be closed tomorrow from 7am to 5pm. Eric gave a reminder that next Tuesday, from 1pm to 5pm in the Commission Room, will be the LRSP (Local Road Safety Program) workshop. KDOT will be presenting of what they have found so far. We’ve got about 500 feet of asphalting completed. The laydown machine is still acting up. We’ve got it in a shop being looked at. When we get it back we’ll move forward. We made contact with the Onyx contractor last week and we are looking at the end of the month or first of August for that. There was some talk earlier about running the belly dump and we are on the days we’ve been able to asphalt. Jim asked if Eric was well staffed enough to get aggressive with ditching. Eric stated we are trying to use our grader operators as best we can. We are also trying to pull from everywhere to use the sheep’s foot if we need to. Our culvert crew has done some for us with the excavator. Also doing some bridge repair out at 60th & Grand on the support columns underneath. Have a new employee that has some guniting experience so we’re going to try to do a little guniting and see how it holds up. Schwab Eaton thought that would be a good idea. We’re working on our hard surface roadside mowing. Got one side-arm mower down. We’ll be getting our side roads before school starts.
Susan Bancroft stated that the budget for Public Works will be moved to next week.
Bobby Reed discussed the Bourbon County Fair Budget. Thanked the commissioners for the yearly support. We are asking for the same amount as last year.
Kelly Zellner, City Manager of Fort Scott discussed that the city is demolishing a lot of houses and one of the things that we would like to offer an incentive to individuals so they would actually pay for a contractor themselves. We would allow them to dump at half price. If you agree to this, the individual would have a letter on Fort Scott City letterhead to present to the attendant at the landfill and they would keep track of the tonnage and they would have to prove that to us. It will save the city money. Justin Meeks stated that we would have to check on this as to not be in competition with contractors. We can’t compete and we also can’t give an incentive to a private contractor. Justin stated he would check with Bob Farmer, City Attorney on this. Mr. Zellner stated that they would like to have a city-wide clean up this fall at the landfill. The city would provide roll offs, a tractor and two or three employees. Instead of the county sorting, we would actually sort it in the roll offs and then pay to have it hauled off if there was any kind of other debris that wasn’t acceptable for the landfill. We’ll have the limb dump open for limbs. Also, would have a roll off for metal since metal is at a decent price. Jim clarified that there would be no cost to the county. Kelly stated no. Kelly stated he had one last item to discuss. The landbank board presented this to us last week and they were requesting for a full-time position and were asking if the city would pay half and the county would pay half. The goal of the landbank is to become self-supporting. He stated that city commissioners approved contingent on the county doing the other half. Jim stated the county’s half would be roughly $40,000.00 and I don’t know where we’re going to get it. Clifton stated he isn’t for it, at all. What about Uniontown, Bronson, Mapleton, Fulton, and any other city left out. It’s not a good idea. It was presented to me one way and then it ends up being another. Clifton asked if there was a plan for what is there now? I’ve never seen a plan. Lynne asked if HB2237 could be used for this. Kelly stated maybe an option would be funding for starter homes. Jim asked Kelly about the water on the north side of courthouse. Kelly stated he is working with Shane and that we need to look at roof drains that drain under the sidewalk.
Justin Meeks deferred his items to the next meeting.
Susan Bancroft asked to amend the agenda to add an executive session. Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to add an executive session. Lynne seconded. All approved. Clifton made a motion for an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy including three commissioners, Susan, Justin Meeks, and Shane Walker for 7 minutes returning to this room at 6:50pm. Lynne seconded. All approved. Clifton made a motion to return to normal session with action. Lynne seconded. All approved. Susan stated that at the last meeting we discussed the EMPG grant. We had a carryover at the end of the year. We need to make a transfer of those funds to the general fund. We can transfer to help offset the general fund expenditures or we can increase the Emergency Management budget. The amount is around $27,000.00. Clifton made a motion to move the $27,000.00 to the general fund for now. Moving forward we would hope it will be processed correctly. Lynne seconded. All approved. Susan stated that we have been fortunate enough to have some retirees work for us and the way our handbook currently reads we can only get benefits at 35 hours. We would like to adjust that down to 30 hours because we have a couple of people that don’t work a full 35 but they are very instrumental to us in the Public Works area and so we would like to drop that to 30 so they can still get their benefits at the discretion of the supervisor. From the federal level, 30 hours is what pushes you into do benefits. We only have two right now that would be involved. Clifton made a motion to approve resolution 11-22 to amend employee handbook whereas the board of county commissioners of Bourbon County are changing the definition of full-time employee (35-hours) to the federal standard of (30-hours) per week. Therefore, any full-time employee who works 30 hours per week or more will be eligible for benefits described in the Bourbon County employee manual. Lynne seconded. All approved. Susan gave a shout-out to Jennifer who has done an excellent job. She took over the EMS billing and making sure that everything is being filed appropriately. One of the things she has run across is how our collections process works with the current third party that we have been working with. As of today, they send out two statements that would be 30 and 60 days and by that third month they write everything off. We are losing a lot of money when we don’t at least leave it open a little bit longer. I don’t know if they are willing to do that, but it’s at least something we need to bring back in-house and still bill for a couple of more months. As of today we’ve lost $80,000.00 in 2022 by not pursuing that. Clifton suggested asking Omni if they would extend billing for 6 months before writing off. Susan said she would check into it. They also have the opportunity to do an EFT and set up an ACH on the backside. So our carriers can pay directly into that and it’s directly going to our bank account. There were several checks that our carrier said were never cashed. That would be less opportunity for it to get lost in the mail. Susan made a budget presentation. The presentation will be posted on the County website (bourboncountyks.org) for review. The presentation was followed by question and answer session.
Shane Walker – No comment
Public Comment: Anne Dare asked how many more years is the county going to be funding Bourbon County REDI with $130,000.00? Lynne stated it was for three years and this is the first year. Clifton stated that this is not tax dollars funding this. Anne also asked if there is a federal courtroom in the post office and if so, is it being used? Lynne stated that it would take a lot of money to bring it up to where it needs to be. It is currently not being used. Anne asked if the commissioners have considered a reduction in their salaries this year? Lynne stated that he doesn’t use the benefits of the county. Jim stated he didn’t use the benefits either. Clint Walker talked about an article in the paper about some grants that the county might be able to use. A comprehensive safety plan is required for eligibility of the grant. Mary Pemberton talked about the landfill agreement that may happen between the city and the county with regards to demolition of homes. She stated that there are homes in the small towns and even in the rural areas in Bourbon County that could use the same discount. It would need to be with landowners. That would help clean up the rest of our county as well.
Ashley Shelton, County Clerk, asked if we could schedule the next meeting for Monday, July 18th @ 6pm and would the commission allow her to use the commission room for the next two weeks for early voting.
Commission Comment: Clifton stated that he feels the demolition landfill agreement that was presented would be a policing nightmare. Trying to figure out who is bringing what and who is supposed to be bringing what. I think people would take advantage of it. I do agree it should be county-wide instead of just city. Clifton also clarified that he does use the county insurance. He said currently he takes 4 to 5 calls per day regarding county business and I’m going to say that I’m not doing it for free. Lynne agreed. Commissioners do far more than people realize. Clifton thanked Lynne for his years of service as commissioner. Jim stated that he would also agree that it should be a county-wide clean up at the landfill rather than just the city. Jim also stated that being a commissioner is not just a 3 hour per week job. If any candidate thinks it is, this isn’t the position you want. Jim also thanked Lynne for his service.
At 8:27pm Lynne made a motion to adjourn. Clifton seconded. All approved. The meeting was followed by a budget work session which included Register of Deeds, Corrections/Sheriff’s Office.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
(ss) Jim Harris, Chairman
(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner
Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Clerk
July 18, 2022, Approved Date