The only person listed on the agenda at the start of the meeting was Marty giving the road report at 9 am and opening sealed bids for a generator at 10 am.
The Slick Rock Bridge project is going to incur an expense of $167,000. The $167,000 will be reimbursed by the Kansas T-Works program. However, the county needs to come up with the $167,000 payment to get the work done before the county can be reimbursed. The commissioners and the clerk determined that there was enough money available.
The current timeline looks like the bridge will take 5 months to build.
One of the county high loaders is using over a gallon of oil each day. It will cost $3,895 in parts to do a rebuild on the engine if the county does it themselves. A new engine would cost $20,200. The commissioners looked over different quotes and options. There was quite a bit of discussion regarding what would be most cost effective.
A citizen called in to ask how to go about protesting their taxes. Commissioner Warren conferred with the Clerk and told them they would need to speak with the Treasurer’s department who would help them setup a review with the county appraiser.
A citizen came in and asked about who is responsible for maintaining a fence between property when one piece of the property is in the CRP program. The commissioners said there is a $7.50 charge per commissioners to do a “fence viewing” where the Commissioners will come out and meet with both owners and then decree which owner is responsible for which part of the fence.
There was some discussion about how property boundaries works. Commissioner Coleman said that if you discover your neighbor has built a fence that is on your property, you have 15 years from the time it was discovered to correct the problem. Otherwise the fence becomes the new property line.
The citizen had to pick which two commissioners he wanted to have view the fence. Commissioner Coleman suggested that he choose Commissioner Warren and Chairman Endicott–even though that meant he would forgo the lucrative $7.50 payment for his service.
There was a bid opening at 10 am for a generator. Commissioner Endicott had five sealed bids. They ranged from $46,079 to $92,500. The Commissioners decided to wait to review the bids before awarding the contract.
GPS/GIS Changing Acreage
Kansas Senator Bob Marshall came in at 10:00 to see what was going on and see what they though of the economic forum in Iola yesterday.
He wanted to talk about citizen Gary Harper who was concerned that his acreage has changed due to the GPS and the assessor process, but there has been no change to the deed. Senator Marshall said that if the assessed acreage changed, it needs to be changed on the deed. Mr Harper joined the conversation and Judy Orr was asked to come up to discuss the issue.
Senator Marshall asked whether or not GPS had been approved to be used for appraisals. Mr. Harper said that he had a 4.5 acre piece of property that has grown to 5.7 acres according to the appraiser’s office.
Senator Marshall pointed out that people can end up paying taxes on their property for years, but when they go to sell it, they can only sell it for the amount on the deed.
Shane Walker (Bourbon County GIS Coordinator) explained that the older maps were not “ortho rectified”. This means they didn’t take into consideration the curves in the land. So the amount of land may change because the property isn’t flat. He said that sometimes a 1,000 foot line on the old maps would turn into a 1,021 foot line.
Mr. Walker said that Mr. Harper’s property change had to do with the way the old maps were made and that instead of measuring to the middle of the river, the old maps just went to the edge of the bank. He also said that years ago land was recorded in an “Atlas Book” and in some cases what was actually sold was very different from what the person thought they had. So the “Atlas Book” may have recorded the land as 80 acres, but in some cases it might have only been 60 acres.
After Mr. Harper and Senator Marshall left Judy Orr (County Appraiser) came in with the deed in question. She read it and most of the measurements in the legal description said things like “about 20 rods more or less.” Shane Walker said that he had seen some descriptions that said, “to the big rock in the middle of the river” or even “to the big oak tree.”
Keith Jefferies (Bourbon County Emergency Manager) talked about some of the emergency preparedness that is taking place. He also said that there is a red flag fire warning today and has placed several public service announcements letting people know that they should not burn. They are working on organizing a deployable mortuary system staffed with volunteers.
Susan Quick said that Dan Meara (the attorney handling the tax sale) should have everything ready by December 1st. Ms. Quick said that Mr. Meara had some cases ready to file, but she had told individuals that they had until December 1st to pay their taxes. She also said it wasn’t fair if some people had the foreclosures started before others because it would give some people more time to pay.
The Commissioners said that they had planned on the lawsuits being filed in groups so they wouldn’t be done all at the same time. The Treasurer said that they had always filed them all together. She feels that the Commissioners have “kicked the rug out from under her” in a number of things and asked the Commissioners to wait until the December 1st date to keep things fair and consistent with what the public had been told by the Treasurer’s office.
She said that waiting until December 1st is legal and that is the way they have always done it. Commissioner Allen said that “this is a new day.” It was brought up that the tax statements said to pay Bourbon County Treasurer Susan Quick. The Commissioners asked why this had changed. Ms. Quick said that this is how it has always been and asked,”Do you think I’m stupid enough to take the checks that are made out to me and cash them?”
She said she would change it next year to just say Bourbon County Treasurer.
Chairman Endicott said he would talk with Mr. Meara and ask him to hold off on filing anything until December 1st.
The Treasurer said that she has collected $58,938 in back taxes since October. She also said that the properties that are not homesteads can be sold one year sooner than the other properties. Joanne Long said that in the past they have only sold properties after 3 years in order to avoid difficulties in determining what is homestead and what is not.
The Treasurer said that all the money in escrow accounts from the payment plan has been applied to the taxes. Commissioner Warren asked if anyone was still on the payment plan. Ms. Quick said that it had been discontinued and no one is currently on the payment plan. Ms. Quick said, no one is being held off of the tax sale.
She gave the commissioners a list of $231,000 in taxes from properties from 2008. They asked for the same report for 2009 and 2010.
So November 30th is the last day people can pay taxes to avoid being on the tax sale. After this point, the property cannot be partially redeemed and the entire amount of unpaid taxes must be paid to prevent a sale.