August 31, 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: (some were present for a portion of the meeting and some were present for the entire meeting) Susan Bancroft, Shane Walker, Bill Martin and Ben Cole.
Due to COVID, the meeting was closed to the public, but shown on YouTube.
Clifton made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting, Jim seconded and all approved.
Eric Bailey presented the following permits that have been completed: 1741 Soldier Road, 1686 Express & 379 40th, the Commissioners signed the permits.
Eric said there has been a problem with the Landfill phone, he said AT&T is working on this issue, he said they may move this phone number to a cellphone. He said the hours for the Landfill are Monday-Friday 8-4 and Saturday from 8-12. If anyone has questions before the phone is fixed, regarding the Landfill, they can call the Courthouse to talk to the Road & Bridge secretary.
Eric said the valve is still leaking on the asphalt truck, they are working on it again today. Jim said in the past they had Van Keppel do repairs to the vehicle; Eric said Van Keppel would’ve taken three weeks to do the repairs.
Bean permits: Eric said they will be meeting with John George this week and are working on getting a composting permit.
Eric said he had a request for a school bus stop ahead sign at 1436 Wagon Road; Eric felt it warranted a sign there. Jim made a motion for public works to post a bus stop ahead sign at 1436 Wagon Road, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Eric said he will check on an area near the asphalt plant that has a school bus stop ahead sign posted.
Eric said another windmill is going up at 20th & Eagle.
Mini excavator discussion – Eric asked if they wanted to go out for bids to purchase one or not; Lynne said he would like to let Eric do what he needs to run his operation or at least put it out for bid. Jim said he went and looked at the machine; he said they have a difference of opinion and said he sold equipment for 13 years and said he would classify this machine as a mid-sized machine and not a mini. Jim said they will eventually need to spend money on two motor graders and one backhoe and said they could get by without the mini excavator. Clifton said they have a lot of road problems and culverts that need to be replaced. Susan said they could look at the State procurement contracts. After discussion, Lynne made a motion to go out for bids on a mini excavator, Clifton seconded, Jim said he opposed the motion and said they can’t afford the machine.
CIC software discussion: Clifton asked Eric if CIC was fully functionable for his department; Eric said it wasn’t and said it was very hard for them to use. He said there was a glitch in the system and Jennifer lost a lot of work that she had done on CIC. Clifton said if we pay for something he expects it to work. Shane Walker said the software had been sitting there, but it just wasn’t utilized. Clifton said he expected it to be fixed in a timely manner. Lynne asked for a guarantee on a timeline for it to be fixed. Susan said the City doesn’t use CIC, she said when they had it, it was very limited on what it could do, but said the customer service was good. Jennifer Hawkins, the Road & Bridge secretary, discussed some of her issues with CIC: she said she did numerous months of entries for the Landfill billing, but the data didn’t balance and, in the end, CIC deleted all her entries and she lost 4 ½ months of data. She said she wanted to use the map-it program, but was told it would be years before it worked. She said she asked about the work order program, but said they are still working on it 4 months later. She said they have problems with employee reports, A/P vouchers and problems with reports showing rock tonnage. She said their old program had signs data and bridges data, which was supposed to be imported, but said it still isn’t done. She has problems with reports on equipment. She said she is trying to utilize CIC; Lynne asked for a timeline on the fixes, Jennifer said they told her they are working on them. Susan discussed the CIC symposium; she said they take money and work on areas where people want the program improved. Susan said she would help Jennifer get the data she needs. Shane said he didn’t use the software and didn’t know anything about it other than he has it on the server; he said the public works software is old. Clifton questioned Eric about using a different software that Linn County uses. Eric said they needed a program documenting where every County sign is, bridges and a program for work orders; Shane suggested they use Teams for some of this, Eric said that Jimmy had set this up, but said it wasn’t an easy program to use. Shane said people had to know how to use Excel, he wanted to get people from the college here to teach Excel. Lynne said they needed to get CIC to work or find something that will work. Shane said we have a yearly maintenance agreement with CIC and said they have good support. This will be discussed again next week.
After collecting more data, next week Eric will discuss the crack filling machine that the City has.
Jim said the belly-dump trailer is still sitting; Eric said they are looking for a truck.
Lynne said they had a report that 140th & Ivory needed gravel.
County Counselor: Justin Meeks said he had reviewed the yearly CIC maintenance agreement and asked for approval for Lynne to sign it; Susan said they could hold off paying the public works portion of the contract. Clifton made a motion to allow Lynne to sign the maintenance agreement, Jim seconded and all approved. Kendell questioned if they were paying the full amount or excluding the public works portion; Clifton made a motion to withdraw his last motion until Shane has a discussion with them, Jim seconded and all approved. This will be discussed again next week.
Justin said they should have a final draft soon on the Lake Sewer District agreement.
Justin said they are ready to close on the BAJA Investment building.
Tax sale: Justin said this should happen at the end of September or the 1st of October.
Justin said next week they should have information out for the public on a subject they talked about last week.
The Commissioners will have a budget work session at 9:00 am Thursday, September 2, 2021.
Susan discussed the Spark MOU for Baja Investments; she said there is a clause in the MOU that states if the contract has been breached the property goes back to the County, she said the County did what they were supposed to do. Justin said the property will transfer to the County and then immediately to the new owner.
Susan said she received a request from Mental Health for ARPA funds; she said the County could consider this in the next round of funding. She said she has requested the Rural Water districts financial statements and will discuss the ARPA funds again next week.
Susan said the 2020 audit is in the draft stages and said she hoped to present it during next week’s meeting.
Bill Martin, Ben Cole and Beth Tatarko with The Austin Peters Group (by telephone) met with the Commissioners to discuss a salary study that Bill that asked them to do. They compared other counties and cities and a few private employers and reported that the average pay was $20.32 compared to $15.56 for Bourbon County employees (non-elected), she said it would cost an estimated $322,122 (cost of wages only, doesn’t include benefits) to bring the hourly employees wages to the average. She said Bourbon County doesn’t have a scale for pay wages and all employees will eventually make the same amount if they do the same job. She said the elected officials (with the exception of the Attorney) are less than the average as well. She said Bourbon County does have a more generous benefit package and leave time than others. Lynne said Bourbon County is behind and asked Bill what we could do to start moving forward. Lynne suggested having Susan review the study and give them recommendations. Clifton said they know they don’t pay enough. Beth said at times other governments have spread out over a two-year time frame to get their employees to the average. Jim asked Bill what his recommendations were: Bill said the Commissioners plan to reduce the mill levy by 2.5 mills, he suggested leaving the mill the same and setting that money aside for wages. The Commissioners thanked them for the presentation.
Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda for an executive session, Jim seconded and all approved.
Clifton made a motion to have a 10-minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b) (1) to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel to protect their privacy regarding job function and job performance, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 10:35, Jim seconded and all approved. At 10:35, Clifton made a motion to return to the regular session with no action, Jim seconded and all approved.
Commission Comment: Clifton said they have talked about wages for months and know this is a problem. Jim said they hear from business owners daily that taxes in Bourbon County are too high. He said the County needs to grow and if that happens, maybe they could take some of those funds from growth to use for the employees.
At 10:38, Clifton made a motion to adjourn, Jim seconded and all approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman
(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner
(ss) Clifton Oharah, Commissioner
Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk
September 7, 2021, Approved Date