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October 12, 2021                                 Tuesday 9:00 am


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners and the County Clerk present.


Jason Silvers, Clint Walker, Rob Harrington and Anne Dare were also present.


Jim made a motion to approve the previous meetings minutes, Clifton seconded, all approved.


Eric Bailey had a permit asking for a driveway entrance for Susan Bancroft at 2029 Maple Rd.  Jim made a motion to approve a culvert installation at 2029 Maple Rd.  Clifton seconded, all approved.


Eric presented for signature for the mini on the loan.  Clifton made a motion to have Chairman Oharah sign the loan documents.  Lynne seconded.  Jim opposed.  Eric stated the mini is working out very well for them.


Eric stated that with storms over the weekend they found some weak limbs; dead limbs that had come down.  Got those cleaned up.


Asphalt on 125th, got half way on one lane and will do what we can this week.


Jayhawk Wind Update: high winds and rain slowed progress last week.  They have 49 of the 70 base mids erected, 33 of the 70 are topped out.  Nineteen erected in Bourbon County and 14 in Crawford County.  They plan to build two today and then cross Highway 3 tomorrow if wind and weather allow.  When they cross Highway 3 KDOT will be there as well since they’re crossing state highway.  They’ll close down at 39 and Arrowhead and be down for approximately 3 hours.  Late morning to early afternoon.  They have started reclaiming some of the roads or the turn radiuses and they are following the road use agreement.


Eric stated that we are battling the corporate world with employees.  We are starting to lose some, I can’t blame them.  I’ve had a couple go for five dollars more an hour with a $500 sign-on bonus.  Lose another for four dollars per hour and lost one for three dollars per hour.  Jim stated that they are planning to meet with department heads beginning in November.


Lynne Oharah received a call regarding Stateline and Zinc Road.   There’s a culvert that’s plugged.  I don’t know if it’s on the Missouri side or our side.  I’ll text you his number and you can call him and find out what is going on.


Eric stated that he did make a call regarding Elm Creek and that was solely based on assumptions and we are good there.  Eric also stated that they are working on Overbrook today.


David Neville presented Ron Brown from Reno-Dry.  Jim stated that David was to get with another company and compare prices.  David did contact them and stated that their part would be excavating around the foundation and making sure the water can be removed which would address the water coming in, but Mr. Brown is addressing the water that is wicking up in the stone and the other company wouldn’t address that.  Mr. Brown stated that the inventor of this process is a Hungarian Engineer that worked on it in the late 80’s and early 1990’s.  They developed this process and it’s dried out some of the biggest and oldest buildings in the world in Europe.  We were able to get the rights to this product here in the United States.  Jim asked if there was any way to measure what this system has done a year from now?  Mr. Brown stated that there is a way to measure which includes drilling into the masonry and taking samples.  Doing a coating on the outside would be a good idea as this process will keep outside wall dry as well.  The water coming up has salt which is bad for the foundation.  The price for this system is $12,356.00.  Jim asked if David had a recommendation.  David stated that Mid-Continental told him that Nevada Courthouse had done both.  They had Mid-Continental come in and do their outside piece and also have the system Mr. Brown is referring to and they are satisfied.  Lynne talked about putting it on the agenda for next week.  All agreed.  Clifton stated that he would like to make a few phone calls prior to discussion next week.  Mr. Brown stated that in 3 years the building will be dry or 80% of payment will be refunded.


Jim Harris made a motion for an executive session to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel.  The session included three commissioners, Susan Bancroft and County Counselor for 10 minutes reconvening at 9:38am.  Clifton seconded.  All approved.


Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 9:38am.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  No action taken.


Anne Dare appeared asking if the significant deficiencies in the 2020 audit are being taken care of.  Last week you assured me that the landfill bills had all been sent but that there will still payments to be received.  During the county counselor comments Mr. Meeks reported that there had been a problem with the day-to-day operations, a billing practice concerning a landfill issue that had been resolved but need tweaking.  To be honest, I was a little concerned to hear this especially after you telling me that all the issue have been taken care of.  What assurances can you give me that this billing issue won’t happen again?  This department is under your control.  It concerns me that approximately $100,000. of the billings were not sent out until late 2020 and the county hasn’t received all payments due to the county.  It especially concerns me because departments come in every year asking for more money and yet some departments can’t seem to bill customers in a timely fashion.  It seems to me that in order for a department to run efficiently that it would be vital to know how much money they have.  Has the reconciliation of the tax rolls been completed?  Documentation kept showing that the tax role has been reconciled and all related reports printed off.  Whose responsibility is to see that the quarterly financial statements have been published?  Have any been published this year?  When is the next time they should be published?  Has the department of corrections made changes so that there is more than one person overseeing the deposit of inmate funds?  Has the county attorney’s office made changes so that diversion funds deposits are overseen by more than one person?  The last two seem small but have been happening for four years and so it would be ridiculous for these two items to be the thing that would cause the federal government to say that the county can no longer receive money from them through grants, etc.  However, it does speak to the ability of the county to hire those that do their jobs with excellence.  There were four violations to the Kansas statutes.  What are the consequences to these violations?  You’ve also stated that the county has now hired a financial director and that it is her job to point out errors and deficiencies.  It seems to me that you’ve given a lot of power to an unelected official.  Who is overseeing this position?  The commission has stated that the only control you have over each department is how much money you allow for their budgets and yet each department head goes into an executive session with you every time they need to hire someone or meet with you about an HR problem.  You are all the gatekeepers and in the end it is you that bears the responsibility if the federal government has to get more actively involved in how the county operates.  Jim stated that he could address the landfill issue as far as billing.  We’ve had changing personnel and changing director position and one of the things that was created last year was a lot of people were going through changes and a lot of people changed positions.  It was nothing illegal, it just wasn’t done, but with the new people on board with the personnel changes and also the director changes they’re on top of it.  Anne stated that Justin Meeks said there was a problem.  Justin Meeks stepped forward and stated that we raised the rates on tires that were being brought in.  It was seven cents per pound and that’s gone to 10 cents per pound.  The reason is because the price of everything has gone up so the landfill gets charged 185 dollars a ton and so we were losing money on the tires that were coming in so they’re weighing them by the pound now instead of per tire.  We are basically breaking even on the tires.  Jim stated that the landfill doesn’t receive any tax dollars so it’s not a budget.  Clifton stated that it really wasn’t a billing issue it was the fact that we weren’t charging enough.  Lynne stated the landfill itself doesn’t make money.  Construction and demolition does.  We are providing a service and that service is not tax payer funded.  Justin Meeks stated that years ago the county looked into actually selling the transfer station to make money.  Obviously, it’s a tax-funded service that we had long conversations about with regards to how it processed.  The actual transfer station itself does not make money; it breaks even.  If we actually made money like some other disposal services with the region we would not be charging what we charge now.  The C & D does make money but not a whole lot, but once again it’s a service.  We’ve had couches and tires in the ditches and that just causes Road & Bridge to go out and pick that stuff up.  When we looked at the landfill to actually sell it the cost of doing business was going to go up substantially.  It has value.  We had an independent appraisal done when Mr. Harris was the Road & Bridge Director.  The appraisal came back over a million to sell it but when we did the math it made sense for Bourbon County to have that service so that we wouldn’t have stuff in our ditches and it wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.  Our goal is to break even.  If it makes a little extra money that’s great but if it does it goes into equipment because we don’t really have the equipment fund built in.  Lynne stated it does make money off the C & D side and that’s the only way it can be self-funded.  It’s a fine line on the trash service because we can’t raise rates where we’re not competitive with the surrounding landfills because of the cost it takes to transport the trash to other landfills.  Justin Meeks stated that we are losing because of our rates, we are losing business to other in-the-ground service providers.  Because the difference between us and someone that’s really close is they actually put in the ground and we don’t.  We transfer it.  So when fuel costs go up it our margins tighten up.  Lynne stated going on down the line a little bit.  Susan is working to make sure some of the items are being corrected from the treasurer’s office.   Jim stated that working with Susan and Patty, all the department heads, I look for January to look really well with her help.  Susan stated that she could give a little bit of an update.  She printed everything from January to the end of September to start doing a review of the trial balance and there are several journal entries that we need to make and some of those are coding errors.  Some are that the auditor would like to see bond and interest payments split out. Right now what he has to do is go in and make adjusting entries which at the end of your audit letter you saw all those journal entries that had to be done.  That is because he is breaking out the principal and interest and any kind of fees.  In our financial statements we’re not showing it that way so that’s all stuff that’s going to have to be cleaned up before the end of the year.  Those are some of the major things that we need to work with the departments.  Your main departments that do that would be Sheriff’s, and Public Works.  I think the County Attorney has a bond payment.  So that’s what we’ve got to work on.  That’s going to take those conversations with each department head to do that.  The other thing is that I spoke with Patty and she told me that they were pretty much reconciled up through current.  August would be the most recent that I would think would be completely finished.  I haven’t talked with her since.  Right now we would be working on September close-out.  In a perfect world, to be presented about the middle of October that should be expected that there should be some kind of presentation of financial statements.  I’m going to bring how I present our financial statements at the city over to the county and give them an example of what we should be doing each period to reconcile cash.  If I were to look at a cash statement today for August, we have violations.  You cannot spend more than what you have in the bank and we have a couple of funds that have done that.  One is a bond payment and what is going to have to make up that bond payment until the money comes in.  It’s a sewer bond debt that’s repaid each month.  The city is capturing those revenues on the sewer payment and then we send those over to the county to make the sewer bond payment.  The bond payment comes before you have enough money in the bank so technically the general fund is making up for this until the end of the year.  The other thing is we just closed out a CDBG CV Grant and we’re eight thousand dollars in the hole.  I’m going to have to contact the state to find out if we didn’t draw those funds down, what was charged there, if that was an error because you can run grants in the hole because it’s a reimbursement back but we closed that grant so that’s a concern.  Another fund, the EOC upgrade is in the hole eight dollars but that would need to be transferred back to the general fund to cover that expense because I assume that’s a grant that’s been closed out.  Those are the kinds of things you have to look at, at the end of each month to make sure that you don’t have any violations.  This is not necessarily in Patty’s area.  She works with the revenue.  It’s a partnership between the Treasurer’s office, the Clerk’s office, and myself to make sure that we’re following all the statutes correctly.  Monthly reports are a must to make sure that you’re tying out your cash.  We have a fund status report that gives you all your cash balances.  We want that to reconcile back to bank statements.  Some of the other things I’m checking are state payments and the state gives a printout that shows you exactly what’s coming.  I go back to the trial balance and make sure they have hit the bank and they’re in the right fund.  Regarding the landfill billing, we had about a $100,000 that was not billed out.  When Jennifer got on board that was the very first thing that we attacked.  We got all that billed out and because some of the bills were very large we are working with because it was about six or seven months they hadn’t been billed.  We are working with them to make payments, but most everybody is caught up.  I think we only have one that outstanding.  You can definitely see that in the revenue for this year.  Jim stated that when he came back to Director in 2013, there were 11 citations of violations from the state.  We did such a good job out there.  Now we get zero citations.  Now when anyone goes to the landfill they’ll notice how clean it is.  Lynne stated that the earlier question from Anne regarding the attorney’s funds and diversion funds.  Susan stated that we can do an annual internal audit.  I can review their records and make sure everything looks kosher.  If they don’t have enough staff to rotate that position it becomes a problem.  Clifton Beth reiterated monthly reports are a must.  Clifton stated that Anne said that the county hires those that do their jobs with excellence.  I would change that statement to the county to elect those that do their jobs with excellence.  We don’t get to hire the Sheriff, Treasurer or Clerk.  Do I think they do a good job, that’s between me and them.  Also, Anne asked who is overseeing Susan.  The answer is we are.  In regards to executive sessions to hire someone for one of our department, I don’t know why it was ever that way.  It’s up to the department heads to hire their help.  Justin Meeks stated that the commissioners are responsible for hiring the county Appraiser, the Road and Bridge director, and Maintenance.  When you talk about performance issues with those specific people you have to go into executive session.  An elected official has to go into executive session to talk about their specific employee.  Clifton stated that some of the executive sessions they have gone into had any reason or right to go into executive session.  Clifton stated to Anne that elected officials need to do their jobs.  Justin Meeks asked to go back to Commissioner Beth’s statement.  It’s important to clarify this.  We went into executive session recently on something happening in the appraiser’s office.  We had to go into executive session for that.  There was no offense, but you’re talking about specific people, their job performance and what they were going to get paid.  Clifton stated that wasn’t what he was talking about.  Justin stated that what Commissioner Beth was hinting at was a COMA violation.  Clifton stated that he was voicing his opinion.  He said that the point he was trying to make was that an elected official needs to hire their own staff.  Jim stated that if someone wants to add additional staff to meet with Susan to make sure they do it budget-wise.  Clifton stated that he is sick and tired of being blamed by elected officials for their problems.  Susan stated that when an elected official asks for an executive session, a lot of times it’s based on performance.  They have issues in their department and they don’t know how to handle it.  That places liability on the county and these folks need to be involved when there’s any kind of liability involved.


Jim requested a 5 minute break.


Lynne stated break over.


Clint Walker stated that when a person gets a grant for new employees some of the questions that the commissioners might have missed, and they may come back and ask for later is equipment or vehicles to accommodate additional staff.


Susan mentioned when putting together all your department rates and stuff that you’re asking for.  I think one thing that would help is if we have something in writing that we can hand to the employee that’s considering leaving the county is information regarding the benefits and how much value they bring to you and your family.  If you can put that in an hourly rate form that may make or break a decision.  The benefits are rich here.  Jim stated that we might want to take that a step further and not wait until they’re getting ready to leave us but could put in their check stub every quarter to make them aware of their benefits and the value.  Susan suggested that the comp statement be included with their W-2.  Susan stated that she doesn’t know many places that give almost 9% into your 401(k) and that goes into your KPERs.  There are a lot of things that need to be brought to light for an individual.


Susan read the letter from Atkins Insurance Agency.  In closing it states that we were unable to obtain a quote for the property and liability as we did not receive all the information that we requested from the sheriff’s department and some of the cyber liability information.  So they were not able to quote your liability so you really only have one bid on liability.  Their work comp was almost double what KWORKS was.  I’ll go back and compare and bring a recommendation next week.


Just Meeks asked for permission for he and Mr. Harrington to start working on the potential of a fire station or additional fire hydrants west of Fort Scott city limits to pass the airport.  There are some construction projects going on out there that are substantial, and we’d like to get the insurance rates down and we need fire hydrants and possibly a new fire station.  We understand it’s a lot of work.  It’s been talked about before, but we need to move forward and handle that situation so see what we can do to do our due diligence.  I’ll help with the legal part and Rob will help with any grant funding or anything we can get at the state and federal level.  If we have to have community involvement, which we will, we’ll work with them to move the process forward.  We’ll need the help from the city, the lake residents, people that live around the golf course in the area of Justice Lane and 205th.  There’s a lot happening out there and it’s great stuff we just need to start doing some infrastructure improvements out there.  I need a vote to have the ability to do that with Mr. Harrington and I’d actually have one of the commissioners to help us with that too be awesome.  We would like to work with an existing fire district.  This is a preliminary starting point and we’re not asking anybody to do anything else except for Rob and I doing some due diligence to see what we can get.  If it’s some crazy number to put fire hydrants out there then we’ll come back to the board.  Clifton asked when we were going to look at hydrants in the rest of the county.  Justin said we can do that, but there are a lot of houses out on 205th, but we can look at county-wide.  We’re just trying to get a starting point.  Jim made a motion to allow county counsel to meet with Rob Harrington and the possibility of one commissioner to do feasibility study and move forward with the possible fire station and increasing some water line size in some areas of construction and fire hydrant protection.  Justin Meeks clarified that there would be no county or city funds used.  Jim Harris volunteered to be involved in the process if they need a commissioner.  Jim asked that the motion be amended to include fire protection throughout the county.  Lynne seconded.  Clifton abstained.  Clifton said that when the discussion began it was for a particular section of the county and not the whole county.  He said that that’s been one thing that’s irritated me about this county and city for years is that we try to help one certain person instead of the entire group and I think it needs to be the entire county and not one set of individuals.  Clifton asked why their insurance rates are more important than mine.  Justin stated that the pandora’s box has gotten opened.  We haven’t had a good banter in awhile so I’ll go down the rabbit hole.  We had conversations about paved roads.  Data drives decisions in my opinion.  Everyone pays taxes.  I completely understand that, but to put a fire hydrant out in northwestern Bourbon County for one house is not as cost effective as putting a fire hydrant in a housing development that has 20 houses and 7 of them are half million dollar homes.  The fire district came up because of what is happening in that area.  There’s an explosion of housing rates for the price of a lot and then there’s also new construction that’s happening along 205th street.  I think there was an e-mail sent by a patron that is looking to help with those rates when you build a half a million dollar home your insurance rates are going to be higher if you don’t have good fire protection.  It’s just part of the conversation that we’ve had for years now trying to get our base expanded so we can have more property taxes and more people moving here.  If there is going to be a possible expansion at the lake with additional lots being sold, I mean I noticed one’s up for auction coming up and there’s another three lots that are going to be for sale.  If they open another 10 of them, you know, we’d love for 20 houses to be built up by Fulton so we can expand the fire district but there’s not 20 houses being built there right now.  There’s potentially seven or eight that are being built on the lake area and then along 205th street.  Everybody is important in the county, we’ve always said that but it’s data driven.  If you have 5000 people driving down a road a day and you have 100 driving down another road a day the road that has 5000 people on it should be looked at first before the 100.  I’m just county counsel trying to help.  I’ve had some administrative responsibilities given to other people which I’m very grateful for but this, to me, is a liability issue on some levels, also just trying to make our community grow so we have a better base.  I will look at putting fire hydrants all over the county if I can but I know just common sense would say that fire expansion for fire hydrants in a certain area of the county is not going to be cost effective and we’re not going to get a lot of bang for our bucks.  I’d love to have another fire station up in northwestern bourbon county but we’re not going to get the volunteers.  The other thing that has been talked about is actually paying firefighters in our rural areas because the lack of volunteers.  I think the districts we have and the volunteers we have and what they’ve done is awesome.  This is just a starting point.  Lynne stated that the county really doesn’t have a dog in the fight.  Justin stated that other than using the rights-of-way, there wouldn’t be a lot for the county to do.  Clifton asked if that be so then why are we voting on it.  Justin stated that he could do this as a private citizen but would be a little afraid of doing that.  Lynne stated that the county doesn’t have a problem with Justin doing this.  Jim stated that we need to look at projects like this all over the county which would encourage development.  Susan stated that we would be more likely to get a grant in areas where there’s growth.  Lynne stated that the volunteer fire departments do a great job on the services they provide.


Justin’s second request is with NRP.  We have a county-wide NRP.  The city of Fort Scott at this point does not.  We need to work with Mr. Harrington to make a county-wide NRP.  There’s a couple of projects that I’m aware of that are actually being delayed because of the lake of NRP within the city.  With your permission I’ll have to contact the Attorney General’s office to see if we can amend our NRP to make it county-wide.  It already covers all municipalities except for Fort Scott with our current NRP.  It would really change our NRP would be the historical district in downtown Fort Scott.  They have a 15-year refund on those properties that are rehabbed.  REDI is now running your NRP with the administration part coming through one of your directors who the commission is responsible for.  There’s a fee that’s associated with NRP.  I think it’s $50.00 per application.  You would only have to worry about the City of Fort Scott, FSCC and USD 234.  I don’t know if legally an amendment can occur to include or change the NRP but once again that has to be approved by someone higher up than us.  I’m making an assumption again, but we would just copy the old NRP with the city of Fort Scott and then get it active again.  There’s still the baseline but any improvements would be 100 perfect refund.  Clifton made a motion for County Counselor to work with Rob on the NRP to figure out how to include the city into ours therefore since theirs has lapsed.  Jim seconded.  All approved.  Justin extended an invitation to the commissioners to attend two presentations, one in the city of Uniontown, one in the city of Bronson.  You would need to make a motion to allow for all three of you to be in those meetings if you want.  I think there is one meeting tonight and one tomorrow night.  There’ll be some checks presented and some really good information happening.  Clifton made a motion to allow all three commissioners to be present at those meetings if they wish.  Jim seconded.  All approved.


Clifton Beth clarified a statement that he made earlier.  He was not self-reporting a COMA violation.  I was trying to make a point.  To my knowledge, I believe that we have not had a COMA violation on any executive session I have been on since I became a commissioner.  It is my opinion, though, that some of those, although legal under state laws, were not warranted.  Justin stated in the last commission we talked about giving budget authority or budget amount to an elected official and let them spin it how they see fit.  The problem we’ve run into is that some elected officials don’t stay within their budget.  Then you have major problems trying to make that money up so there’s a real yin and yang.  Giving them the budget authority and if they go over budget or a natural disaster happens or snow plows have to be out for a week because we have a mega snowstorm things get cumbersome with the budget.  Clifton stated that with the directors we control we don’t allow them to have overtime, but we can’t do the same thing with our elected officials.  They’re going to go over budget anyway.  It has happened for the last eight years with one.  Justin stated that the citizens of Fort Scott elect that person to run that department and if they fiscally believe that person’s doing their job correctly they re-elect that person.  Lynne said the only way to stop that is that if you go over the budget, we’ll quit doing budget amendments and then you go into no fund warrants then it goes back to the elected official.  Susan clarified that if you go into no fund warrants and you have funds in other funds you have to cover them.  So you can’t do that until you put the county in cover up.  Lynne stated we don’t do a cover up; we go through and do a budget amendment to cover the shortfall every year.  Susan stated you would have to basically break the county before you go into no fund warrants.  The general fund continually keeps picking up all those overages.  Clifton stated that the public needs to be involved in decisions.  We had a meeting and only 15 people showed up.  Lynne stated that he hears from the public about taxes being too high.  Justin stated that people want their property taxes lower but they also want to have fire protection, they want to have roads and bridges, they want to have police protection, they want to have paved roads.  The list goes on and one.  It’s a matter of priorities.  Justin stated that he recently moved out of the city into the county on a dirt road.  I made that choice.  Clifton stated that the people that built the $500,000 homes made those choices, too. Justin stated that without investment in infrastructure you will never have development.  You should have those half a million dollar houses to be built and should give them every advantage you can because it will increase your base.  Justin stated that he wants the county to grow because without growth you’re dying.  Private public partnerships are the future of rural America.  Data shows that you have to have the ability for government to think outside the box and you have the ability of private citizens wanting to invest in rural American to make it grow.  The budget is a big deal and controlling it is really important because that’s really what you guys have been voted into office for and having elected officials go over budget, it’s been happening a lot of years.  You can’t wave a magic wand and get rid of elected officials.  Jim stated that with Susan helping us to monitor it differently we ought to be able to tell elected officials in October that you have to do something different.  Justin said that you can make the suggestion to the elected official to watch their budget closer.  Anne asked how to find out how many times this official has gone over budget and Susan said she could give her the answer.  Justin stated that no one has ever asked that question.


During Commissioner Comment, Lynne announced there would be no meeting next week as the commissioners will be attending the KAC meeting.  The next week there is early voting so there will be no meeting.  Jim suggested that week be used for a lunch with the city as a group and talk.  Susan said she would check and see if that can be worked out and let them know.  Jim made a motion that we will not have a meeting in this commission room on October 19th because of KAC, October 26th due to early voting and November 2nd because of the election with the possibility of meeting with the city of Fort Scott at lunch on the 26th with the possibility of all three commissioners.  Clifton seconded.  All approved.


Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to allow Mr. Hoyt some comment time as he was not here during public comment time.  Also, allowing Rob Harrington some time at the podium as he was not here during that time.  Jim seconded.  All approved.


Michael Hoyt asked about early voting.  Ashley stated that she is working on the schedule and lining out people to work and planning to do an evening and a Saturday morning if possible.  Michael invited everyone to the VFW hall to witness a presentation that he will present on a veteran’s road to 100% disability.


Rob Harrington stated that he was there to ask the county commission a very specific question.  There is the McDonald Hall building downtown Fort Scott.  It is a very important building to the downtown area.  It is the second oldest building in Fort Scott, built in 1865 I believe.  The condition of that building has been deteriorating for the last four years while the taxes have not been paid.  The taxes are currently $15,635.78.  What I’m asking from the commission today is to agree to waive that upon the purchase of the building by a new individual and on condition that the building be renovated and then used thereby raising the property values.  Jim asked if that was the old Chop House building.  Rob stated that the entire building is actually three spaces but one of the spaces have already been redone and is being used in the antique store.  Those facilities are dilapidated.  They have not been taken care of.  When the assessor goes in there the assessment will probably be lowered on that facility because of the condition it’s in and so what I’m asking is the county to agree to waive the $15,600 on the condition that the new owner renovates the facility to therefore making it assess at a higher value.  Jim asked if the county taxes only would be waived.  Justin Meeks confirmed.  Jim continued with if the new owner does nothing with the building do we have the power to put them back on.   Clifton stated that we would be setting a precedent.  Justin Meeks stated that this is the first time this has happened in the time I’ve been county counselor.  He went on to say that he presents the potential new owners so he didn’t want to create any conflict.  I can answer questions that are broad-based but I can’t answer any questions that would be specific to that building.  I wanted full disclosure so if you need to get another attorney to answer those questions.  Lynne asked if the taxes weren’t waived that would hinge on the sale?  Rob confirmed it would and the building’s just going to continue to dilapidate more.  I do not believe the current owner will end up paying.  It’s been four years since they’ve paid and that’s why it’s such a high amount.  Clifton asked what the city’s position is on this as it is in the city limits.  Susan stated the city has been working with the owner to gain access and to try and find a buyer.  Jim asked if the city was going to waive their portion of the taxes.  Susan stated she couldn’t answer that.  Lynne said that would be nice to know.  Susan stated that they could make it contingent on that.  Jim made a motion for the county to waive its portion of the back taxes on the Chop House/McDonald building downtown Fort Scott contingent on the city of Fort Scott waiving their portion of the taxes as well and depending on the sale and this is not sold and renovated the taxes will be reinstated.  Clifton seconded.  All approved.  Clifton did say that he is very concerned of the precedent that we are setting.


At 11:31am, Jim made a motion to adjourn, Clifton seconded and all approved.




(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner


Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Deputy Clerk

November 9, 2021, Approved Date