October 5, 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: Ann Dare, Michael Hoyt, Clint Walker, Jason Silvers, Rob Herrington, Jes Pfannenstiel, and Harvey Felzke (some were present for a portion of the meeting, and some were present for the entire meeting)
Clifton made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. Jim seconded and all approved.
Eric Bailey had no permits today. He reminded commissioner Oharah of a meeting at 1:30 at the Sheriff office with the sheriff, KHP, commissioner Oharah, and himself regarding oversized loads. Eric said that the asphalting on 125th started yesterday on the north end and made it almost one pass to Tomahawk yesterday. Roadside mowing completed one pass through and after a heavy frost we will see about going back through and getting closer to the fence and up to the property lines. The culvert marker on 240th was installed and some pot holes out by the lake have been filled. KDOT has closed Hwy 39 on October 5th from 7 am to 7 pm due to some culvert issues. They closed it at Hwy 3 going west but it should be reopened later today.
Eric gave an update on the windmills; 27 towers have been erected, 16 in Bourbon County and 11 in Crawford County. They are tentatively planning a crane crossing on highway 3 on October 11, 2021. The reclaim work has begun on the public road radiuses and private accesses
Eric said that they have received a contract from Schwab Eaton in regards to the bridge that the county received a grant for. This is part of the engineering that was in the packet, but I had Justin review the contract.
Justin said that it is basically a normal field survey culvert design and they are doing everything that it is needed to fix the bridge. It is $35,000.00 and is easily terminated by either Schwab Eaton or the county if needed. The contract is 6 pages and Justin said he has reviewed it and it is a good contract and is the way to move forward. You need the engineering plans to fix the bridge right. Eric stated that the amount was included in the original estimate. The bridge is between Fern Rd and 160th.
Jim made a motion to approve the contract between Bourbon County and Schwab Eaton for project number 15.0-U2 for a bridge on 160th to move forward with the engineering and the right-of-way establishments. This contract can be broken at any time, per the Bourbon County Counselor. Clifton seconded, Lynne asked if the motion included signatures and Jim responded yes, all approved.
Lynne stated that there were three sealed bids for insurance for the county that needed to be opened. Jim opened the bids and they are as follows:
Atkins Insurance at 3 Wall Street in Fort Scott, KS with a premium of $64,326.00 for workers compensation coverage.
KWORCC with premium of $33,347.00 for workers compensation coverage.
KCAMP with a premium of $248,638.00 for comprehensive coverage.
Jes Pfannenstiel with KWORC for workers compensation said he had been down about a month ago and spoke with the commission but wanted to let them know that the county is doing a great job. He said that the experience mod which is basically your safety rating that is put out by NCCI and stays on for 3 years actually went down from a 1.14, anything over a 1 is iffy, to a 0.75 which is really good. That effects the rate on work comp because it is a multiplier, they would love to keep the county on and hope the numbers speak for themselves.
Harvey Felzke with KCAMP said since no one bid against them he doesn’t need to sell much but Bourbon County has been with them for a long time and they are more than just insurance they are about risk management, as well. He said that in the last six plus years the county has utilized attorney assist to the tune of $17,600.00, contract reviews another $860.00, defensive driving $1,406.00, KCAMP Online U $18,500.00, LLRMI $36,000.00 (legal liability risk management for the sheriff’s department), legal base jail guide $1,495.00. The county has received a loss ratio award of $600.00 and has used risk avoidance grants totaling $9,966.00. So, what you have utilized outside of paying claims is $86,367.00 in the last 6 plus years and that is where KCAMP is different than the commercial insurance market. KCAMP provides additional coverages above the property, general liability, and auto coverages including public officials liability and cyber crime coverage. Unless there are any questions, he feels that they need to keep the relationship between KCAMP and Bourbon County together.
David, an administrator with KCAMP said that they had the same result the previous day in Montgomery County and this is why pools were formed. He said that Bourbon County was a charter member of KCAMP when they joined with 36-37 other counties to form the pool and this is exactly why because the commercial market is in then out. They raise the rates but then drop them when they bid and then they go back up. We are in this for the long haul, we are here for Kansas Counties and Kansas Municipalities only, we are not going anywhere. We have had to raise rates in the last couple of years, but we hadn’t for a long time and our goal is to provide you with stable rates year to year and help you manage the risks. We provide the services to help you get those losses down and rates stable and we really enjoy the partnership. The legal liability risk management institute model policies and procedures that we have for law enforcement now for all counties across the state, was in part because the Bourbon County Sheriff served on a working group with other sheriff’s from other counties and looked at different products and went with that product partly because of his input. This really is a partnership and Bourbon County’s participation is appreciated.
Lynne stated that they had agreed to have Susan Bancroft look over the bids before they decided and make sure that they are apples to apples and he appreciates them coming in and will let them know when it is put on the agenda to make a decision.
Lynne said that the face letter from Atkins Insurance reads ” You will find the quote for Bourbon County workers compensation policy. We were unable to obtain a quote for the property and liability insurance as we did not receive all of the information we requested from the sheriff’s department and some of the cyber liability information. I would like to thank Kendell Mason in the Clerk’s Office, they have been excellent to work with. If you decide to go with our quote on workers comp, we will need some additional information, mostly regarding volunteer employees and or subcontractors. We appreciate the opportunity to quote the county’s insurance and we will be looking forward to quoting in the future. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact our office.” Lynne said that he would give the bids to Susan to review.
Will Wallace presented a grant that is supported by KDEM and he applies for it every year for the county. He said that it supports anything to do outside of even his budget for emergency management here in the county and this is one of many forms that has to be filled out. They also look to see if he is certified, which he is, and that is done every two years. They also have to preform every year; there are two exercises which have both been done and a three-year calendar of exercises has to be planned, as well as many other things. The commissioner chairman has to sign the forms to complete them so that they can be submitted to the state; this is for calendar year 2022. It is relatively the same amount year-to-year unless a county might drop off or be added. It is around $17,000.00 and one of the things it helps pay for is the utilities and any upgrades for the building out back (Emergency Management and IT/GIS offices). The grant comes from the Federal Government; the state gets it and disperses it. Each emergency manager must qualify for the grant and there are a lot of things that have to be done throughout the year that have to be done such as the article I put in the paper each week about preparedness and speaking to the public.
Clifton made a motion to allow commissioner Oharah to sign the application for the emergency management performance grant funds for 2022. Jim seconded, all approved.
Ann Dare presented a letter she wrote expressing her concerns regarding the county audit. She thanked the commission for their hard work but she has lots of questions. Ann expressed her concern regarding some of the errors in the audit and the effect that it would have on the county’s ability to receive grants. She said that she has heard that the county has been passed up for a grant throughout the year and wondered if this is part of the reason. She said that there are issues with several departments that are ongoing and go back several years. She is also concerned about the effect it could have on the county’s bonds. Ann stated that some of her biggest concerns relating to the audit are; preparation of financial statements was listed as a significant deficiency but he did not clarify how to rectify that issue. Rotation of duties, everyone in the office should have understanding of how the office works and not just one particular job. Public works landfill and culverts billings for 2020 were not being done, it says that the landfill billings are now being done but what about the culvert billings and have they all been paid? How did this happen and what is the county doing to prevent it from happening again? The next departments are at least four years old if not longer, department of corrections has a continuing problem with inmate funds. The attorney’s office has the same problem with the diversion fund having only one person involved in that process. Responsibilities of the treasurers office, there are a lot but seeing how everything the county does goes through there that only stands to reason. Reconciliation of cash to bank to the county’s accounting records needs to be done in a timely fashion. Checks that are over two years old need to be voided, full understanding and use of the computer software need to be implemented and in Ann’s opinion now, reconciliation of the annual tax roll needs to be printed off in a timely fashion and reconciliation done in October after the close of the tax year, is there are specific date in October? Audit adjustments to the accounting records, special care should be taken in connection with coding the receipts and expenses in the accounting records and that is not being done to the best of the offices ability. Has new process been implemented so that is done in a more timely manner? Treasurers’ motor vehicle fund states that IRS does not allow employers to pay employees contract labor, some travel was reimbursed at a higher rate than the IRS approved travel reimbursement, are other departments paying employees contract labor? Ann said that the audit also stated that he had the full cooperation of all staff involved, there were no disagreements, no difficulties in dealing with management nor did management consult an outside auditor. As a citizen, she is growing weary of the pass the buck style of government to seems to be prevalent no matter what government entity you talk about. However, as the head of the county, when things go wrong it lays at your feet and it is time that the commission take a more active role in seeing that these issues get taken care of. Especially, now that the IRD and federal government will be taking a more active role in how the county conducts its business and accuracy on which it records said business. I ask that you declare a deadline and that these departments attend every county commission meeting with a report on the progress they are making until these issues are corrected. I would also like to ask that all department heads give either a monthly or quarterly report. There is a place on the agenda for elected officials and I would like to see them take a more active roll or at least a more set schedule of who is coming and just give an update on what is going on in their department. She would also ask that consent agenda items be added to the weekly county agenda. Also she would like to see a written policy as to how these audit errors are going to be prevented from happening again in the future.
Jim stated, that as a new commissioner, he would like to get Susan heavily involved and have regular meeting with her and Patty to solve these problems. There is no reason for them to happen again next year. We have people on board now, we can work together. We will have work sessions and we will be reporting on those work sessions weekly. They have no intention on this happening again next year and that is his goal.
Clifton said that the one thing that he was going to request was that at least every two weeks we have an update from the treasurer on the stuff being fixed. This has been a 3-4 year problem and it could potentially affect the county’s grant status and bond status. On the preparation of financial statements we do have Susan involved now, but if we don’t have accurate records, how do we give accurate financial statements? As for rotation of duties, we cannot force an elected official on how they transfer their employees; Eric, Shane, and Lora all cross train their employees. The landfill/public works billing is Clifton’s understanding that it has been taken care of. We are going to try to oversee the treasures office with weekly or every other week updates because four years is too much.
Lynne said that corrective actions had been started prior to the audit and when you talk about the management involvement, Susan was our coordinating person to work with. Terry and Susan did lots and lots of cleaning up but ran out of time. That is why we have a financial director and as far as responsibilities for the elected officials, we approve their budget and that is about as far as we are able to do with anything with elected officials. The culverts billings have been taken care of and are current with the billings from 20, they may not all be collected, but they have been billed. There were well over a hundred-thousand dollars worth of receipts that weren’t billed for and they have all been billed and we are collecting on them, but we can only do so much on collections.
Ann stated that Susan’s’ contract was only for a year, what will happen then? Clifton said that they can renew her contract. Lynne said that it is their intention to renew the contract. Ann asked if they would consider hiring someone just for the county instead of a shared service. Clifton said they are in discussion regarding that. Lynne said they know what needs to be done but the timing is not right.
Lora said that the state came in and talked about closing Deer Road. There are only two landowners but if they closed the entire road, the county would not maintain it so they discussed it further and the state is now only wanting to close a portion of the road. It would close 750 feet by 25 feet of Deer Road starting at the highway entrance onto Deer Road. It will just need to be published in the paper and brought before the commission for approval or denial and would recommend using the shorter description when advertising in the paper due to cost.
Jim made a motion to approve the application for permanent road closure on Deer Road as outlined in the legal description of this document, as well as the legal description that Lora is going to change it to for the Kansas Department of Transportation. Clifton seconded, all approved.
Lynne advised that the District Court needs them to approve a copy of their budget to send to the state and this is something that they do every year.
Clifton made a motion to allow chairman Oharah to sign the district court budget for submission to the state. Jim seconded, all approved.
Jim made a motion to go into an executive session under KSA 75-4315(b)1 to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel to protect their privacy for performance, three commissioners and county counselor, for 10 minutes, return to this room at 10:09. Clifton seconded and all approved.
Clifton made a motion to return to normal session at 10:09, no action. Jim seconded and all approved.
Justin asked to move his comments to the end of the meeting to allow for the elected officials to comment first.
Clifton made a motion to switch county counselor and elected official comments. Jim seconded, all approved.
Sheriff Martin stated that back in July he had submitted a grant application to hire two additional deputies who would be assigned as drug investigators. So it is creating two positions within the sheriff’s department through this grant and their main focus would be drug investigations. Neosho County recently made an arrest with 82 pounds of meth during a traffic stop. The Bourbon County Sheriff’s office assisted with other state and federal agencies to intercept six pounds of meth headed for Bourbon County. This past Thursday, Sheriff Martin met with Derek Schmidt who is part of the Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council for this grant and would like to unofficially announce that Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office was awarded $113,292.00 to add to the additional personnel to do their drug investigations. Sheriff Martin said that the total amount requested from all counties was 5.4 million dollars from 45 entities and only 2.3 million was available. Sheriff Martin said that he has checked with the County Clerk and the budget can be modified as long as it does not increase the mills, which this does not. The grant money will last approximately two years and then they will have to re-evaluate and see what needs to be done to maintain those positions.
Sheriff Martin asked if Commissioner Beth had received the report on the roof. Do we need to discuss before it is brought to open session? Clifton said he did not receive the second email.
Jim thanked Sheriff Martin for applying for the grant and said they can never have to much drug investigation and he also said that he feels they should act quickly on the roof situation.
Public Comment: Michael Hoyt said that he is pleased to announce, and this is a program that he has already talked to Sheriff Martin about, having a GED program within the jail. Late last evening a donation was received for $1,500.00 to handle creating a GED program. There are a few criteria that will have to be worked out with Sheriff Martin, they have to be incarcerated and held for what appears to be at least 60 days, if they are going to transfer to DOC after that they would not qualify because the DOC already has a GED program in place, and the last criteria is that they are a person that would likely be released back into Bourbon County. The donation would cover the cost of the materials, testing, and incendiary items such as that of the advisory board that is overseen by Mr. Hoyt. He will be working with the sheriff regarding the program. Sheriff said that Mr. Hoyt has spoken to him about this and they have not had a program like this at the jail in a long time and he feels it is a good thing and will work with Mr. Hoyt and Major Reed to get it in place.
Rob Herrington advised that he would like the county to consider approving a NRP program (neighborhood revitalization program) for the city. The county already has one in place and the city did but it has lapsed and he feels that it is a good program and would like the county to consider approving it again. There is a lot of opportunities for individuals within the City for Fort Scott to get either abatements on developments throughout the community for housing and commercial so it is a great program that the city desperately needs. There are projects on hold due to the lapse of the city’s NRP program. If the county would consider redoing and agreeing to that abatement once again It would be appreciated. Jim asked why this is just the city and Rob responded that the county already has one in place this is just the city that has lapsed.
County Counselor Meeks requested an executive session under KSA 75-4319b4 to discuss data relating to the financial affairs of trade secrets over corporate partnership trust and individual proprietorships. The session would include the three commissioners, Counselor Meeks, Matt Quick, and Rob Herrington for 7 minutes.
Clifton made a motion to go into executive session under KSA 75-4319b4 to discuss data relating to the financial affairs of trade secrets over corporate partnership trust and individual proprietorships. The session would include the three commissioners, Counselor Meeks, Matt Quick, and Rob Herrington for 7 minutes to return at 10:31. Jim seconded, all approved.
Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 10:31 with no action. Jim seconded, all approved.
Justin said that there is a personnel issue and they may need to go into executive session to discuss names, but it is a letter that the city is wanting a county employee to sign but they are not a city employee and that is probably not a good idea. Lynne said he thinks that they should go into an executive session to discuss further.
Clifton made a motion to go into executive session under KSA 75-4319b1 to discuss personnel matters of an individual and non-elected personnel to protect their privacy, it will include the three commissioner and Counselor Meeks for five minutes and return at 10:37. Jim seconded, all approved.
Clifton made a motion to return to normal session at 10:37 with action. Jim seconded, all approved.
Clifton made a motion to allow commissioner Oharah to send a letter to the interim city manager concerning an HR issue with a county employee. Jim seconded, all approved.
Meeks said that he was in contact with the interim city manager last week and concerning an MOU for the shared HR director that would be shared by the city and the county. Counselor Meeks advised that there are some errors in the contract that need to be cleaned up. It has not been signed so he is going to correct it and get it back to be signed by both parties. The contract has a January 1, 2022 start date so there is plenty of time. He stated that there was an operational landfill issue that has been taken care of.
Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to allow Treasurer Patty Love to talk since she missed the elected official comments since they were moved up in the meeting. Jim seconded, all approved.
Patty said that she wanted to give an update on everything we have been working on last week and addressing problems with the audit. On balancing the tax roll, all of the reports have been ran and she has been working on that and will continue and should have that balanced by the end of next week, that is one of the big adjustments that needed to be made. The August bank rec is here and balanced and they are working on the ACH account, which was an account that was set but they are doing away with it because it has caused so many problems, it should be gone by the end of this month. Waiting on the September bank statements to come in and we are ready to process that and we should see some big improvements there and rid some of those outstanding balances. In the audit the statement regarding the contract labor and the previous treasurer set up a service award based on years of service but that has since went away with the new longevity pay started last year by the commission, when that was set up it was ok’d with the state prior to paying it out but that should not be a problem anymore.
At 10:48, Jim made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Clifton second and all approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman
(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner
(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner
Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Clerk
October 12, 2021, Approved Date