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March 22, 2022,                                   Tuesday at 6 pm

 

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, Joe George, Don & Mary Pemberton, Bill Martin, Nancy Holt, Jess Ervin, Matt & Amber Kelley, Kyle Knight, Bobby Rich, Brad Stewart, Jared & Heather Lord, Marla Sutterby, Kevin Sutterby, Beverly Peel, Dale & Lisa Griffiths, Bobby Reed, Roy Dare, Larry & Judy Jurgensen, Kelly Perry, Danielle Minor, Kayla Greenway, Schotze Griffiths, Dana Esslinger, Lyle Robinson, Rob Herrington, Matt Quick, Shane Walker (some were present for a portion of the meeting, some were present for the entire meeting).

 

Jim thanked everyone for coming to the meeting encouraged questions from the public.

 

Clifton made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. Lynne seconded. All approved.

 

Eric Bailey reported a permit for an extension for Paul Hopkins at 2528 240th St that has been completed. There was a second permit for Christian Gospel Chapel at 2305 Maple Rd for a new culvert as well as an extension. Lynne made a motion to approve the permit for a culvert and extension at 2305 Maple Rd, Fort Scott, KS. Clifton seconded. All approved. Eric said that at 240th & railroad tracks the 36” culvert has been extended 10’ and is complete and they are going to Arrowhead just west of 267th but due to weather they have postponed that until next week. Jim asked if the railroad was cooperative. Eric said they were cooperative.

 

Eric said that Schwab Easton was going to be in town either late today or in the morning to do the bi-annual bridge inspections as well as the low water crossings.

 

Eric presented maps regarding speed limit signs on Deer Rd. Eric said there are 30 mph signs on 210th going south and Deer Rd going East. Jim said is there one going North. Eric said not but they could post one going north or take the other two down. Lynne asked if there any residence in the area. Eric said there was one house in the area. Bobby Reed said that going south it is only 30 mph for ¼ mile, he said that he knows that because he has had kids to drop of there on a bus route. Clifton asked if it then went 45 mph. Jim answered that it is 55 mph on county roads when it is not posted. Jim said that he will talk to the individual again and get some more information and then they can discuss it further.

 

Eric said that dump truck #145 caught fire and they have received the insurance check for $57,924.63. Eric asked that with trucks being hard to find if the commission will consider allowing him to purchase one up to a set dollar amount if they find one available with low miles. Jim said he would be in favor of doing that. Clifton made a motion to allow Eric to spend up to $80,000.00 on a dump truck. Lynne seconded. All approved.

 

Eric presented information on a product that he learned more about at the 17-county regional meeting. He said this product would help get some longevity out of the roads they have recently resurfaced. Jim asked if this is in lieu of chip and seal. Eric said that it would replace chip and seal and the cost is very similar. He said that there are several surrounding counties that are using this. Eric said it is turn-key, they do everything from the prep, applying the product, traffic control, and notifying the residents. Eric said this would be something they would want to apply to the roads they recently laid that do not have the crakes in them to help preserve them, Eric also said that the product has a 5–7-year life and will remail black in color for that time which could also in the winter. He said that the name of the company is Onyx and it started in Texas and has worked its way into this area.

 

Eric said that he has submitted a final punch list regarding the windmills today and that they will be wanting to turn the roads back over to the county soon.

 

Don Coffman asked if the material was man-made or natural rock? Eric said it is like sand aggregate. Don asked if it was man made or natural rock. Eric said he was not sure but would find out. Don said that some of the man-made material can really eat up a snowplow blade. Jim assured the public that Eric will do more research and make sure that won’t be an issue if they use it. Eric said he didn’t think it would hurt the snowplows or all these other places would not be using it but he would research it further.

 

Kayla Greenway asked if Eric had a chance to look at the stop sign outside of Bronson, she said she was at the work session last week and had asked about it. Eric said he would have to check with the sign crew and see if they had made it out there, he wasn’t sure, but it is on their list. Kayla also said that John Stokes would like for Eric to contact him in regard to getting some chip and seal for the city of Bronson.

 

Jim said that the resolution has been prepared allowing liquor sales in the county and asked County Counselor Meeks if he had time to review it. Meeks said he did and it was fine as long as the commission approves it. Clifton stated that it will allow liquor sales in Bourbon County but will follow the guidelines set by the State of Kansas. Clifton made a motion to approve Resolution 10-22 allowing the retail sale of liquor in its original packaging and that said hours of operation shall be determined by Kansas law. Lynne seconded. All approved.

 

Clifton made a motion to go into executive session under KSA 75-4319(b)(4)

to discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual proprietorships, it will be for 10 minutes returning to this room at 6:28 pm and will include the 3 commissioners, Justin Meeks, Rob Herrington, and Susan Bancroft. Lynne seconded. All approved.

 

Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 6:28 pm with no action. Lynne seconded. All approved.

 

Clifton made a motion to go into executive session under KSA 75-4319(b)(2)

to discuss matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency, with the reason of possible litigation. It will be for 5 minutes returning to this room at 6:34 pm and will include the 3 commissioners, and Justin Meeks. Lynne seconded. All approved.

 

Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 6:34 pm with no action. Lynne seconded. All approved.

 

Susan Bancroft presented December, January, and February financials. She said that the Treasurer’s Office, Clerk’s Office, and herself have been working together to work through some of the issues there have been in the past. She said that at the end of February the two numbers should match and there are several reconciling items that need to be entered. She said that she has been working with Rhonda Dunn and you should see those cleaned up in March and then you will see less and less of that moving forward. She said there are some training issues that need to happen with the clerk’s office as well as the treasurer’s office as far as reconciling things instead of carrying them, but we are working on those diligently. She said that the clerk’s office is starting to get the daily’s so we are getting caught up on those and she feels really good about moving forward. She said that with the cash balances that carried over, there were some funds that did better than expected which gives the commission the option to increase the budget at the end of the year or just keep it in reserves. The commissioners and Susan discussed how important it is to have up to date information for departments to be able to operate and stay within their budgets. Ashley Shelton asked if everything was closed through February. Susan said that it is. Ashley said that she would try to get end of month reports for February sent out to department heads by the end of the week.

 

Susan asked if the commission had thought any more about the gas provider. She said that Pro Solutions is going out of business and if we don’t do anything before June 1st the service to transfer to Kansas Gas but it’s a higher rate than what we have been paying. She said there is a company, Hamlin Energy, that we could contract with and they would find us the best rate and give recommendations as well as review monthly bills to see if it would be in the best interest of the county to change companies or lock in a price. This would be for both the courthouse as well as the correctional center. She said due to the time constraints and the fluidity of the market she would recommend going with this company at least for now until we have more time to research other options. The commissioners said that they would be ok with that but would like to view the information from Hamlin first. Susan said that she would forward the information to them and have the contract ready for the next commission meeting if that is the option that they choose.

 

Kayla Greenway said that her and Amber Kelly came to the last meeting to represent Bronson and Uniontown regarding the old highway. She said that she did talk to Rob Herrington about the grant that Susan had mentioned and they said they would be great to work on that in the fall when that grant becomes available and they have talked to Bronson businesses about getting the letters that Susan said would be needed and Amber is talking to Uniontown. She said they are working and trying to get the hazardous section of Maple Road between Bronson and Uniontown fixed especially since it is now also a bike trail. She encouraged any business that would want to write letters to go with Susan and Rob to apply for the cost share grant to get the road fixed to please do that and explain why they feel it is necessary. Susan said that she has a meeting with KDOT on another project and while she is talking to them, she will ask if there is any other funding for this type of project due to it being a bike trail as well. Clifton asked if it was the road just North of the gas station in Uniontown. Dale Griffiths said that is the road and it has only ever been redone from the gas station to the top of the hill and it is in very poor condition.

 

Don Coffman asked if the county had looked into the KDOT surplus when looking for trucks. Jim said yes they do, they look everywhere and that used trucks are hard to find right now. Don said that if you can find a KDOT district truck they usually have lower miles and come with a spreader or a plow.

 

Skeet George asked the about the asphalt on the road from Linn County line to Hiattville, and if that was done in two lifts? Jim said that he wasn’t here and that he wasn’t sure. Skeet said that he thought that some areas were and others were not and maybe the areas that weren’t should be some high areas of concern for maintenance. Jim said that it is on the list. Skeet also asked if the county was getting all the rock that it needs? Jim said no. There was discussion of how many hours the crusher operates per day and different options that may help increase production. There was also discussion of needing a bigger crusher.

 

Larry Jurgensen asked if there was any way that if the city pays county for material to chip and seal areas in Uniontown would the county donate the labor. The commissioners said that they would look into that but they were not sure if they would be able to or not but they could look into it.

 

Michael Hoyt said that last year he was locked out of the budget process due to covid and wanted to know if the documents would be available for the public this year. Ashley said that the clerk’s office is now sending all supporting documents that they have available when they send out the agenda so that information is available to the public.

 

Mary Pemberton said that she commends Susan for the job that she is doing and helping to get things updated and operating better at the county. She discussed the audit from the prior year and how it effects the grant application process for the county. She discussed employee benefits and different options to change that as well as letting the employs know what the benefits are worth as well as updating the employee handbook as well. Susan stated that the county has been having department head meetings that have been going really well to build relationships with the departments and they are all working together to update the handbook as well as updating policy and procedures. Mary also discussed concerns with the public works department and the rock crusher operation as well as with their policy for buying supplemental rock when they cannot meet demand. There was discussion regarding the process of operating the crusher. Clifton commented on the benefits the county offers. Kayla Greenway asked if there were other benefits that could be offered such as how the City of Fort Scott offers pool passes and golf course passes. Susan said the county doesn’t have those things to offer and even at the city, the employee is taxed on those benefits.

 

Don Pemberton asked how long the county has been crushing rock. Jim responded that they began in 2000. Don explained that he understood that when they started doing it they were meeting a need, but now that need is not being met and maybe they should look at other viable option other than buying a bigger crusher prior to making the purchase.

 

Dale Griffiths asked when the plan to work on Old 54 Hwy between Uniontown and Bronson. Eric said that he was concerned that they would have to take it down to gravel before they could go back in and asphalt it. Eric said that they drilled and the base is good but they do not have a defendant plan yet. Eric also said the on Yale Rd the base is failing and they will have to redo that. Dale asked why they were mowing and running a brush cutting in January. Eric said they had mowed earlier but were trying to go back in and get up to the fences and between the weather and being short on help they were just doing it whenever they had time and manpower. Dale also asked if the county had an in-house mechanic. Eric said that they do for maintenance but if repair is needed on a large piece of equipment, they outsource that. Dale suggested that may be a way to save money is to have an in-house mechanic that could do that work as well.

 

Kayla Greenway asked who oversees the grant money for the bike trails and could they use some of that to help maintain the road that is a bike trail. Susan said that they are their own board and you would have to talk to the HBCAT board.

 

It was asked about a recreational tax for recreational hunting on land bought by out-of-state people. Clifton said the county is not zoned and that they would not tell people what they can do with their land. Matt Quick added that the land is taxed based on use and it is classified as crop or grass and crop ground is taxed higher than grass.

 

Sheriff Bill Martin thanked the public for coming to the meeting and said that he has an open-door policy and they are welcome to come by the sheriff station at any time and talk to him.

 

Jim thanked everyone for coming to the meeting.

 

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

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:12 pm

 

 

 

THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS

(ss) Jim Harris, Chairman

(ss) Lynne Oharah, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner

ATTEST:

Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Clerk

March 29, 2022, Approved Date