May 18, 2021 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 and some were present for the entire meeting) Mark McCoy, Mr. & Mrs. Clint Walker, Anne Dare, Lora Holdridge, Susan Bancroft, Michael Hoyt, Bill Martin, Bobby Reed, Rachel Pruitt, Rebecca Williams and Jessie Pohlmann.
Jim made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting, Clifton seconded and all approved and signed the minutes.
Eric Bailey and Dustin Hall with Road & Bridge met with the Commissioners; Lynne made a motion to approve a culvert permit for Doyle Zimmerman on 230th south of Jayhawk, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Eric invited the Commissioners to attend CIC software training on May 20th; Clifton made a motion to allow all the Commissioners to attend if they want to, Jim seconded and all approved.
Eric reported that the MSHAW training will be June 2-4th; Clifton made a motion to allow all three Commissioners to attend the training if they choose, Jim seconded and all approved.
Eric said some road signs had been placed in the County that say street instead of road; he said they are correcting this.
Eric said Frank Young with Ag Engineering is reviewing and will provide recommendations regarding insurance on the dam at Elm Creek Lake.
Eric said the City of Fort Scott had crack sealing done to the road from North National to 13th, which cost the City $38,000. Jim suggested the County get a bid to crack seal Liberty Bell Road from Jayhawk to Campbell, the Commissioners were ok with getting an estimate for a crack sealing machine.
Eric said the road is starting to fail on Jayhawk from 69 Highway to the Railroad tracks; he said Bettis provided an estimate of $35,000 to do 1 ½” overlay for less than ½ of a mile.
Eric said they asphalted last week near Hackberry and 135th; he said they will be doing an area near Hiattville.
Eric gave the Commissioners a list of projects to be considered for the 2021 asphalt program; there was discussion over what should be done. They will start on Arrowhead & 250th and do a dept of around 2”.
Eric said they filled the fish feeders at Elm Creek Lake last week.
Eric discussed the bridge on Victory between 265 & 267th; he said a metal culvert is $3,576 and a plastic (100-year) culvert is $3,761. He will be installing a plastic culvert that is 32 ½’ wide x 60” in diameter.
Eric said the dump truck the Commissioners approved purchasing last week had already sold, but said there will be another one available in September and said he reserved the truck for purchase, (he said it will be the same price and has approximately the same mileage).
Dustin said he viewed a possible bridge truck in Little Rock; he said it wasn’t good and said it wouldn’t start. He did test drive an F-750 and said it looks good and will be DOT ready prior to purchase with 174,000 miles. Jim made a motion to approve purchasing the 2012 Ford F-750 for $27,000, Clifton seconded, Lynne said the funding for this will come out of the equipment reserve fund and all approved the motion.
Dustin said the County has a road grader with 8,000 hours on it with a bad transmission and brake issues; Foley quoted $32,502.48 and Larry’s Diesel Repair quoted $16,289.69 for the repairs. Clifton made a motion to repair the road grader (unit 36) at Larry’s Diesel, Jim seconded the motion and said he felt the difference in the quotes was due to a reconditioned transmission at Larry’s, all approved the motion.
Eric said that Jayhawk Wind had been temporarily shut down due to the wet weather. He said when they start back up, they will be working on culverts west of 20th on Eagle.
Justin Meeks said he and Eric had met regarding an old, metal, tressel bridge on 35th between Yellowstone and 65th; Justin said the property owners there are not interested in the bridge and said there are others like it in the same condition in the County that the Commissioners may need to decide what to do with them due to liability issues with them. He said they may want to give them away for use for walking or bike trails. Jim questioned if they wanted to look at the historical value of the bridge to possibly move the bridge; Lynne said yes. Justin said they could make this a low maintenance road (35th between Yellowstone and 65th); the Commissioners were ok with moving forward with a designated plan. Lynne said Lora Holdridge had been on the radio this morning addressing low maintenance roads; Justin said making certain roads low maintenance roads is a committee type project. Lynne made a motion to start reviewing the bridges, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Lora Holdridge discussed 221st street where the mini packing plant is going in at; she said the City had contacted her, the City will put culverts in & extend 221st, she said this is a County road and said KDOT will deed part of the property to extend the road. Jim suggested that the County accept Hickory Road from the City. Justin said he and Lora will handle both 221st and Hickory Road.
Jessie Pohlmann met with the Commissioners regarding the shooting range on 54 Highway; he said they do shoot the weapons at night. Justin said there was no noise ordinance in the County, he compared a noise ordinance to the dog ordinance that the County previously had and said it wasn’t enforced. Justin said this issue could be a civil remedy.
Rachel Pruitt with the City of Fort Scott met with the Commissioners to discuss the proposed draft NRP Lease to purchase property tax relief program. She said this program was brought to the Commissioner in the fall of 2019, but hadn’t gone any further, but the City Manager asked that this be tried again. She said this program turns businesses leasing property into property owners. She said there are currently 3 options to help business owners; IRB – which is a complete tax abatement, but is for $1 ½ – $2 million projects, EDX – few businesses qualify for this or the NRP program for owners. The NRP lease to purchase property tax relief program is a program to help leasers. The draft of the program states that it would be a 10-year incentive period, residential property would not be eligible for this program, there must be a minimum investment of $100,000 for commercial or industrial property, improvements must conform to all codes, participant can’t be delinquent on any taxes. The draft goes from year one to year ten with year one beginning with 10% of the total property tax due increasing 10% each year until year 10 with 100% due. This program is not transferable with ownership of the property. Lynne suggested that Susan Bancroft review the program. No decision was made on the program.
Susan Bancroft met with the Commissioners; she discussed the sewer district and said when it was created in 2011 the owners then were charged $6,000 to connect to the district, the City is now considering charging any new connects approximately $2,000 + $22/monthly for an ongoing service fee (Susan said this $22 fee would go into a maintenance fund). Susan said the City is putting together a map with defined sewer district boundaries. Susan said the City is in the process of doing an agreement with the St. Marten’s academy, she said they will be billed in arrears. Justin suggested that the City should make the final decision on who can tie into the district.
Clifton made a motion for Kendell Mason to sign the 2012A & 2012B refinancing bonds with a redemption date of June 18, 2021, Jim seconded and all approved.
Rebecca Williams met with the Commissioners regarding the Bronson ballpark; she said that parents and fundraisers have been maintaining the ballpark, but said they need a storage facility there ($4,600), the wooden bleachers are in bad shape ($12,000), need dirt groundwork ($2,000) and do not have a scoreboard ($4,500). She said there were no grants available to help with funding these items and asked the Commissioners to look at what might be available to help with funding this. Lynne said he would talk to the new Economic Development director about this.
Bill Regina was scheduled to meet with the Commissioners about the shooting range on 54 Highway, but didn’t appear at the meeting.
Justin Meeks said he had reviewed and recommended that Lynne sign the amendment to memorandum of agreement between the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas Grant and the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Inc. Clifton made a motion for Lynne to sign the amendment, Jim seconded and all approved and Lynne signed the document.
Jim made a motion for Lynne to sign an addendum to the incubator space (regarding technology issues) lease for Spider, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Justin said he would be meeting with Clint Anderson regarding property values. He said 37 more properties had been uploaded for the tax sale. He said there would be 2 sales in 2021.
Justin said the Commissioners could consider distributing some of the PILOT money to the different ballparks.
Clifton made a motion to go into a 10-minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b) (2) for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship regarding possible litigation, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 10:32, Jim seconded and all approved. Before going into executive session, Clifton made a motion to amend the motion to reconvene at 10:36, Jim seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). At 10:36, Clifton made a motion to come back into open session and said no action, Lynne seconded and all approved. Justin said he would be meeting with Kendell regarding KORA requests submitted and said he would get Lynne involved with one of the KORA requests.
Justin suggested that PILOT money could be used to help fund the Gunn Park bike trails; this will be discussed on May 25th.
Susan Bancroft gave the Commissioners a draft of the current debt service for the County.
Lynne made a motion to get a quote from KCAMP for dam failure insurance at Elm Creek Lake, Clifton seconded and all approved. Susan said she would provide this quote to the Commissioners.
Susan discussed the 2002 County handbook for employees; she said the book says that comp time is not allowed. She said Eric had questioned on whether to allow comp time or not. The Commissioners told Susan to send out a memo to the department heads regarding the handbook policy.
Susan said they are finishing the 2020 audit.
Public Comment: Michael Hoyt said that this was National Law Enforcement Appreciation week, he said he would like to acknowledge what they do for our County. He said he was forming a citizen’s advisory board and said the topic would be law enforcement and criminal justice, he said people interested in being on the board could submit a letter of interest to him at PO Box 1009. He said the board would bring solutions and ask for the Commissioners to take action or ask for their opinions.
Commissioner Comment: Clifton said he would support the advisory board.
Clifton gave an update on healthcare; he said in 2018 72% of healthcare needs in Bourbon County took place outside of Bourbon County. He said that same year over 100 other hospitals closed (in addition to Mercy Hospital of Fort Scott). He said healthcare reimbursements changed around this same time. He said hospitals are businesses and are there to make money; he said Mercy was losing money. Clifton said hospitals are not lining up to come to Bourbon County, he said Mercy built too big of a hospital and said there was no such thing as critical access anymore. Clint Walker said many times facilities have management problems. Michael Hoyt asked what the solution was and where to start; Clifton said that Medicaid wouldn’t have saved Mercy and said the solution starts at Washington with the lobbyists and the politicians. Clifton said they are still working on keeping an emergency room. There was a discussion over billed rates vs. what the insurance companies pay, Clint Walker compared healthcare in the U.S. to Germany.
Lynne said that the BEDCO property was moved on Sunday and said they have started negotiations with a couple on interested entities.
Lynne said the CDBG grant should be completed in the next few days; he said this is a grant regarding COVID relief.
At 11:09, 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
May 25, 2021, Approved Date