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September 29, 2020                                                  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, some were present for the entire meeting) Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune, Anne Dare, Mary Pemberton, Kim Simons, William Michaud and Clint Walker.


Jim Harris reported they are finishing the Riverfront area today.  He said this is his last Commission meeting to attend as the Public Works director.  Jeff thanked Jim for his service, he said it had been encouraging to work with him when there have been issues.  Jeff said the goal is to serve the public and said his people have done a good job, he said he admired the longevity of the employees in his department.  Jim said he believed in the saying if you surround yourself with good people you will be successful.  Lynne said he liked the way customer requests have been handled and said Jim had done a good job over the years.


Lynne said work needed to be done to 125th; Jim reported they had done patching there yesterday.  Jim said he had requested the cash balance report from the Treasurer; Lynne said they needed watch the budget closely.


Last year Road & Bridge did 17 lane miles of asphalt. Jeff questioned how many had been done this year; after calculating it was calculated that they completed approximately 4 total miles.  Jeff asked if there were plans to do more miles; Jim said it would depend on if there was any money left.  Lynne discussed the Road & Bridge Sales tax issue on the ballot; he said if this doesn’t pass then plans will have to change.


Jim Harris reported they had placed MC30 on roads for dust control; he said the customer pays for this and they will do a minimum of 200’.  He said this will last 1-2 years.  Lynne reported that he had received multiple compliments on the road grader that works in his area.


All of the Commissioners may be participating in a Zoom meeting with the 6th Judicial District on September 29th.


Clifton made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Kendell Mason).  Jeff made a motion to go into a 5 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Lynne second and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Kendell Mason).  After the session, Jeff made a motion to proceed with making an offer to an applicant for the Public Works Director position and moved that he be granted permission to have a conversation with the applicant, Clifton seconded the motion, Lynne opposed the motion, the motion passed.


Monica Murnan with Greenbush met with the Commissioners and Jody Hoener to give a SPARK update; she said all parts of the plan for Bourbon County were approved by the State.  She said all applicants receiving Spark money will have an electronic folder with their application, a memo of understanding, a W9 and payment history; she said if the Spark funding was ever audited the audit would come to Bourbon County.  She said the spreadsheet for reporting had changed again and said because of the change, there is an extension of the memo of understanding.  She said there may be applicants that back out of the grant or that may not have as many expenses as they received grant money for or may have more expenses.  She said any extra money would have to be re-allocated.  She said they were able to fund most applicants, but said most of the applicants did not receive the full amount they requested.


Lynne made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, Clifton seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Jody Hoener and Monica Murnan).  After the session, Lynne made a motion to go into a 2 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Jody Hoener).  After the session, Lynne made a motion to go into a 5 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners).  No action was taken.


Economic Development director Jody Hoener met with the Commissioners regarding the Spark funding and a food distribution and business and employment resource center. BAJA investments a locally owned company plans to open this business. This will be located in Fort Scott on Main Street and the project will have to be complete by 12/31/2020.   She said this is addressing a public purpose with one building and many resources.  Jody said through a multi-partner collaboration of County government, PSU Small Business Development Center, Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, Fort Scott Community College, Kansas Works and Baja investments they are addressing the urgent COVID related crisis in Bourbon County.  This will be a location for distance learning and telework, childcare center relief in fulfilling educational requirements, illegal childcare incentivized to become legal, businesses will be given the tools and technical assistance needed for an online model, assistance to obtain capital needed to sustain, unemployment and job seeking assistance, this will increase access to healthy food and builds capacity for local food assistance programs.  Jody said Bourbon County is ranked 4th worst in the state of Kansas for both the 2020 projected overall food insecurity rates and child food insecurity rates.  She said this program will offer a process and a place for local producers safely selling direct to consumers. She said Bourbon County has the Beacon food pantry and said that CHCSEK is actively working to deliver locally produced food to those in need.  CHC plans to use space in the business to store food they will deliver.  Jody read the following:

“Bourbon County SPARK Memorandum of Understanding

Direct Aid

Grant to Address Food Insecurity

August 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020

The state of Kansas is facing both a public health and economic crisis. The pandemic and public health emergency of COVID-19 which has resulted in illness, quarantines, school closures, and temporary closure of businesses resulting in lost wages and financial hardship to Kansas citizens.

The federal government through the passage of the CARES Act is supporting states in their efforts to address the health and economic emergency of COVID-19. The State of Kansas has created funding resources for counties through CARES Act funding that is called Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK).  Bourbon County Kansas is responsible for the disbursement of these funds using guidance from the state of Kansas Office of Recovery. This Memorandum of Understanding outlines expectations for your entity.

Food insecurity has been defined by the Bureau of Health Promotion as the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources.  Food insecurity may be long term or temporary.  Factors that increase risk of food insecurity include income, employment, geographic location and lack of transportation.

Whereas, The Kansas Department of Health and Environment data show Bourbon County’s food insecurity rate is 15.9%, ranking the county amongst the worst in the state.

Whereas, Because of this rate, Bourbon County has been identified as an area of high need by the Bureau of Health Promotion.

Whereas, The August 2020 unemployment rate is 7.2% with a 2.8% increase over the year change according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

Whereas, According to Feeding America, the 2020 projected Overall Food Insecurity Rate has seen a 5.2% and the 2020 Child Food Insecurity Rate is projected to reach 11.4%.

Whereas, Bourbon County is forecast to be ranked the fourth worst county in the State of Kansas in terms of Overall Food Insecurity and Child Food Insecurity for 2020.

Whereas, The Bourbon County community has very limited resources to address such significant and urgent need. Current community resources are limited in geography, hours of operation, and in cold storage.

Whereas, Bourbon County citizens have felt a shortage of food supplies due to COVID related packing plant closures. A system for selling direct to consumers does not currently exist for our local producers, farmers, and ranchers.

Whereas, CHCSEK currently provides food delivery to Crawford County residence and is seeking suitable food storage and warehouse space to serve the Bourbon County area.

Whereas, KansasWorks estimates there are approximately 15 unlicensed daycares within Bourbon County.

Whereas, There are only two childcare centers county wide and each have submitted applications for relief.

Whereas, The community has felt the impact of at least nine business closures from March 1, 2020 through September 25, 2020 from the services industry.

Whereas, Bourbon County and the City of Fort Scott have seen over thirty local businesses from the services industry temporarily closed at one point in time since March 1, 2020 for health and safety related causes as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The objectives of the Bourbon County Commission’s Economic Development/ Resilient Food Systems Grant are to:

Manage current and immediate conditions as a result of the COVID pandemic March 1-December 31, 2020;

Implement financially sustainable programs to address current food insecurity;

Increase access to nutritious and safe food for all residents;

Enhance economic activities and build resilient food systems related to local food production and consumption;

Bring stakeholders together and provide mechanisms to address current needs that build capacity of local non-profit food delivery systems and address a public purpose;

Coordinate and collaborate with new and existing programs within the community and other county and state food policy organizations regionally;

Support local producers, processors, and distributors of food products

Knowing all parts of the community are experiencing negative impacts of COVID-19 which requires a proactive approach to providing immediate financial relief and long-term economic investment, Bourbon County Kansas is entering into an agreement with Baja Investments, LLC.

Baja Investments, LLC

William Michaud, President

7 North Main

Fort Scott, KS 66701

To ensure effective and timely oversight of local spending, Baja Investments, LLC will comply with reporting requirements established by Bourbon County and the State of Kansas. In addition, Baja Investments will comply with long-term outcomes or repayment of grant will be required in full:

Through 2023, Baja investments will provide CHCSEK food delivery a reasonable amount of space for food storage.

Through 2023, Baja Investment will maintain hours of operation Monday-Saturday a minimum of 12 hours open and Sundays a minimum of 8 hours open.

Through 2023, a reasonable amount of space for locally produced food will be available.

Baja Investments agrees to not sale or transfer purchased assets or real estate acquired with SPARK funding through 2023.

Second floor space of 5500 square feet will remain available to BWERC collaboration for a significantly discounted pre-negotiated rate through December 31, 2020.

BWERC will be given the right of first refusal to continue programming on the second floor to implement a pilot program for the PSU SBDC or any other programs that arise to address a business or workforce need.

Through the application process and approval by the Bourbon County Commission, your entity has been awarded a total $450,000 in direct aid funds.  (______) INITIAL

A breakdown of approved budget:

BAJA Investments Investment: $200,000

Acquisition costs: $62,500

CHCSEK Food Distribution and Storage: Basement with alley door for loading. Floor leveling. Built-in walk-in coolers and freezers. $67,000

BAJA, HBCAT and Local Farm/Ranch Food Coop/Grocery Space: First Floor space with shelving, coolers and freezers. Local produce and meat counters and space. HVAC, flooring, and paint. $361,000

Bourbon County Workforce and Entrepreneur Resource Center (BWERC) Multi-Collaborative Partnership on the Second Floor. Staircase, HVAC, paint, flooring, framing of classroom space, telework and distance learning stations, and offices. $106,621

The following documentation will be required:

  • Signed Direct Aid Memorandum of Understanding and W9 (this document). A signed version will be emailed from DocuSign. (_____)INITIAL
  • Receipts for approved amounts: These receipts are to be scanned as one document and emailed to per the timeline for spreadsheet submission (see below). (_______)INITIAL
  • Direct Aid Expenditure Category Spreadsheet: This spreadsheet will be emailed upon signature of the MOU to your authorized signature contact email as designated on your application. The email will come from This spreadsheet should be completed and emailed monthly to prior to each monthly date:

October 22, 2020
November 25, 2020 (must be final with projections for expenditures in December)

Because of the nature of the funding and the immediate needs of our community, the Bourbon County Commission will issue the full amount to your entity with the understanding that full documentation will be provided in a timely manner.  These funds may be taxable, please consult your tax advisor.

I, as a representative of the entity, understand by signing this Memorandum of Understanding that the entity is responsible for all reporting requirements as outlined above. If the funds are misused, the entity will be responsible for returning funds to the county. “


Jody asked that Baja Investment (William Michaud) sign the document and that the Commissioners approve the chairman to sign the document.  Jeff made a motion to give the Chairman permission to sign the Spark memo of understanding, Clifton seconded and all approved and William Michaud and Lynne Oharah signed the document.


Jeff made a motion that the Chairman sign a MOU for the extension of the Blue Cross Blue Shield grant, Clifton seconded and all approved and Lynne signed the MOU.  Jody Hoener said there is $8,000 left of the phase 1 funds, she said the money has been earmarked for the wholesale food directory and has to be spent by 12/31/2020.


Anne Dare met with the Commissioners regarding the Apex/Jayhawk Wind Farm; she said she filed a KORA request with the State and said there were inconsistencies with Apex.  She said it is not a regulated entity, she said the KCC doesn’t regulate them.  She said KDHE had no record of being contacted by Apex.  She said there were inconsistencies with the total acres and the total amount of wind turbines of the planned windfarm. She said the F.A.A. website page lists 118 turbines.  She asked the Commissioners to curb the expansion or halt the project all together.  Lynne said that Jayhawk has agreed to meet to clarify questions.  Jeff said the total windfarm is 195 megawatts; he said approximately 150 of those are in Bourbon County and the rest are in Crawford County.  Jeff said the map does show some near the Hiattville Lake; he said this is an older map and said Jayhawk knows they can’t build close to that body of water.  Anne questioned if they could continue to expand and if so, what compensation will Bourbon County receive for the expanded boundaries.


Lora Holdridge met with the Commissioners regarding the condition of the west parking lot at the Courthouse; Justin Meeks said that Jim Harris reported that Chad with the City of Fort Scott is going to patch the parking lot to temporarily fix it, Justin said the water leak in the parking lot would be a long term fix.


Justin Meeks reported that the OMNI bill had increased for September; he said they will need to order a new ambulance (possibly ordering in October).  He said it’s hard to find paramedics and said some entities pay for the paramedics training and then the paramedic works for them.  Justin said the healthcare mall concept is still moving forward.


On September 22nd, the Commissioners were given permission to all attend the Multi-County Health Department meeting on September 29th, Jeff questioned riding together to this meeting;  Justin said they could ride together to the meeting, but could conduct no other business.


At 10:57, Clifton made a motion to adjourn, Jeff seconded and all approved.




(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jeff Fischer, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner





Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk

November 10, 2020, Approved Date