May 31, 2022, Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners and the County Clerk present.
Matt Crystal, Donald Coffman, Anne Dare, Susan Bancroft, Pete Allen, Alan Drake, Bill Martin, Kevin Davidson, and Robert Harrington were present for some or all of the meeting.
Clifton made a motion to accept previous meeting minutes. Lynne seconded. All approved.
Eric Bailey presented a form for signature for a culvert that was approved in a previous meeting. The address of the culvert is 1941 Jayhawk, Ryan Coon. He will be installing following our policies and procedures. Eric gave updates on road conditions with all the rain. They are starting to see several sink holes with culverts blowing out. We are making a list and dealing with them as we can. We are out pothole patching today. 205th & Kansas in the ditch there is a hole that has shown up. When the rain subsides we will do some exploring and see what is going on. We have ordered more chemicals. Last year we came to you regarding an F750 for our special bridge that will be coming up for sale from Kansas City. I’m asking that you give me authority to bid on it when it comes up for sale. Eric estimated he thought it would be priced at $40,000 or $50,000.00. Clifton clarified that this purchase would be with funds that are already budgeted for. Jim made a motion to allow Eric to move forward with the purchase of 2012 F750 using general practices on the price. Clifton seconded. All approved. Eric will be gone on vacation next week. Dustin will be in charge. Jim asked to check on a tree covering a stop sign off of 54 going south on 240th. Clifton stated that there is a tractor and three trucks at the hospital that Eric could use for Road & Bridge. The other two commissioners agreed.
Clifton made a motion for executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(4) to discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual proprietorships including three commissioners, Justin Meeks and Susan Bancroft for 10 minutes returning at 9:14am. Lynne seconded. All approved. Clifton made a motion to return to normal session at 9:14am with no action. Lynne seconded. All approved.
Susan Bancroft spoke on behalf of Deb Needleman stating that Bourbon County Senior Citizens has received $45,600.00 in the past. They have lost their funding from United Way which was $10,000.00 per year. Therefore, they are asking for an additional $10,000.00 this year in their budget. They do programs like Meals on Wheels and subsidized transportation. Jim asked what happened to the United Way funding. Susan said she knew United Way has changed. Jim also asked if the city of Fort Scott funds this. Susan stated no.
Justin Meeks gave an update on taxes for 2017 & 2018. Demand letters went out last week for 2018. Collections are going pretty well. Properties in Fort Scott will be presented to the Land Bank on June 13th.
Susan Bancroft requested an executive session. 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 for 20 minutes including 3 commissioners, Susan Bancroft and Justin Meeks returning at 9:38am. Clifton made a motion to return to normal session at 9:38am with no action. Lynne seconded. All approved.
Shane Walker – CIO: No comment
Public Comment: Anne Dare thanks the commissioners for going to Garland for a commission meeting and asked if there were any plans for more evening meetings. Commissioners stated they would work on the schedule for that. Anne asked concerning the shooting in Uvalde TX has there been any conversation about moving forward with school security in our districts. Jim stated that as a grandparent he has met with two school board members and there is discussion with reviving group meetings with the new superintendent, sheriff and city police. Anne asked about ARPA funds or any other grant money that maybe could be used for security. That would be a question better answered by the school.
Pete Allen stated that there is a new structure being placed in Marco Estates that doesn’t appear to be in line with our protective covenant. The building is a house trailer and the minimum requirements are 1,050 sq feet. I don’t believe that structure is that big. Also have a problem with a high pressure gas line on that property. When you apply the rules and regulations of setback lines, there isn’t anywhere on that property that you could build a 1,050-foot structure and be off of the property lines with the required distance. Also, he is hearing that the person that is going to move in there is going to start an automobile rebuilding business in the backyard which is against the covenants. I need some guidance on where to go from here. Lynne asked if Pete had spoken with Matt Quick, our Appraiser. Pete said no that he had just learned this information. Matt stated that his department would have nothing to do with the gas lines. He said his guys had been out there and told them what needs to be done as far as a septic system. Justin Meeks said he would need to check with Lora in the Deeds Office to see if the covenants are on all deeds. Justin stated that according to the covenant put in place in 1968 was for 30 years then another 10 years. The enforcement arm is the people of the homeowners association. The majority of the people of the subdivision has to write this person who they believe is in violation and move forward with the damages. Justin stated that in what he is reading it could be that this ended in 2008 possibly. It isn’t real clear. Clifton said it sounds like a civil suit where others in the subdivision would have to file a civil suit. Justin stated that he is not giving legal advice.
Alan Drake thanked the commissioners for what they do. He stated he worked with Susan a long time ago and she is doing a good job. He lives in Marco Estates and they have some work and research to do but thank you for listening.
Commission Comment: Lynne stated that they had a good Memorial Day. Jim stated that he spent time at the LaRoche field. Lots of people in Fort Scott and Bourbon County. Very good outing. I spoke with some of them and they are staying in and eating in our restaurants and that’s good for our community. Anne Dare asked if there was some way to gauge what something like that brings in. Susan Bancroft stated there is a tool that Rob Harrington can help you with. Jim Harris mentioned it’s Good Ol’ Days this weekend. Lynne asked the community to bear with us as we try to keep the roads in shape with all the rain we’ve had. Clifton stated that Covid is back so be careful. We probably won’t know the full scope because people are home testing and not reporting in so they won’t have to quarantine. Clifton also stated that every budget request that has come through so far has asked for an increase with some asking for 20% increase. Where do they think the money is coming from? Times are tough. Everyone needs to tighten up. I would have a hard time approving anything that is an increase. I’m not in favor of raising taxes. Jim stated that he too is not going to approve any increases in budgets this year. I would like to lower the mill levy again this year. I would encourage other taxing entities to tighten their budgets as well. Clifton stated that these other taxing entities need to be called out. I’m tired of us taking all the blame. There are two other big taxing entities in our county and one of them is setting on a bunch of ESSR funds and another is buying buildings at a rapid rate. We do things wrong, too but the public is struggling to pay bills we can’t just give money away. Jim stated we all have to work together to make things better. Clifton stated that we need to try to reduce the taxpayer’s burden as much as possible but with that, there is a good possibility that services may be reduced also. The two other commissioners agreed.
Bill Martin stated that the new superintendent for Fort Scott and also a new superintendent for Uniontown. We have spoken with the superintendent in Uniontown and have another meeting with him tomorrow. One thing that was brought up in regards to financing of the SRO since the grant will be expiring so we are opening up the dialogue of what can be done. I request the agenda be amended. I put in a request last week in regards to the retirement of one of our K9 dogs and the contract to sign that dog off. We signed him over to one of the deputies. I’ve already presented the contract to Justin earlier this morning. It came to light that Susan wasn’t included in receiving a copy of the request and contract. Jim asked that the contract be tabled until next week which would allow Susan and Justin time to review to see if there is any financial or liability issues. Bill stated that he felt this was a conversation between elected officials. He stated he worked very diligently on the contract and he didn’t see why there needed to be outside resources except for the council who has looked over it. Jim stated that Susan is our CFO and HR Director and I want her to review it. I would also like Justin to have more time to look it over to make sure there are no financial or liability issues.
At 10:13am, Clifton made a motion to adjourn. Lynne seconded. All approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
(s) Jim Harris, Chairman
(s) Lynne Oharah, Commissioner
(s) Clifton Beth, Commissioner
Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Clerk
June 7, 2022, Approved Date