March 2, 2021 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners and the County Counselor present, the County Clerk was able to watch the meeting live on YouTube. The meeting was held at the City of Fort Scott Commission room.
Also present were the following; (some were present for a portion of the meeting and some were present for the entire meeting), Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune, Jody Hoener, Susan Bancroft, Anne Dare, Nancy Van Etten, Mr. & Mrs. Clint Walker, Kim Simons, Michael Hoyt and Mark Mccoy.
Lynne made a motion to amend the agenda to allow Juliana to speak with the Commissioners (over the phone) regarding Apex energy, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Juliana told the Commissioners that the wind project is on track, she said they have secured the proper financial funding and they will begin building this year. She told the Commissioners that WEC Energy Group had purchased Jayhawk Wind. She said they would oversee the project and IEA would be the general contractor for the project. She said a renewable power purchase agreement has been executed. Jim Harris said he had read on the internet that the power they produce will be sent to Nebraska; Juliana said the energy will go onto the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and the energy will flow to where the demand for it is needed. Jim questioned if Evergy wasn’t a player anymore with the wind project; Juliana said that agreement had been mutually dissolved. Lynne asked who the owner of the substation is for the project; Julian said the substation was an asset of Jayhawk so it is now owned by WEC. There was a brief discussion over the recent controlled power outages due to the weather, Lynne said that outage was controlled by SPP. Justin said the contracts for the windfarm are still valid. Juliana said they would be starting doing grading the end of this month. She said Jeff Spangler is still a contact for this project. Anne Dare discussed who owned the substation; she said Jeff Spangler told her it was owned by Evergy. Juliana said there are two structures; the substation is all of the underground collection cabling that goes to the substation which then goes into the switchyard (the switchyard is owned by Evergy). Anne Dare discussed the new weight restrictions of 20 ton from K47-K7; Lynne said the County has no control over the weight restriction on those State highways. Apex/Jayhawk was not scheduled on the Commission agenda, Anne Dare was disappointed she didn’t know they were going to be speaking today, she asked the Commissioners when they learned they were speaking today; Lynne said he learned yesterday and Clifton said he learned today, Lynne said he received a call from Juliana and an email with the announcement of the selling to WEC.
The Commissioners signed culvert permits for Nick Leighty at 651 160th St., Kyle Brown at 1163 250th St. and Joyce Flanner at 2542 Locust Road.
Eric Bailey said the bridge crew is working in an area east of 215th & Xavier. He said they had finished a project on Maple near the Blythe ranch.
Eric reported damage to signs from an accident on 240th; he said they are putting the signs back up. Eric said the rock crusher is now working and they are working 10 hour days to try and get caught up. Eric said they are working with Buckley Powder to schedule a blast at the Beth Quarry (blast should be in 2-3 weeks).
Eric asked if the north door outside of the Public Works entrance could be unlocked during business hours so that customers could meet with the Public Works office, later in the meeting Jim Harris made a motion to unlock the north door of the Courthouse during business hours, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Eric said the County should receive approximately $5,700 from FEMA for the 2019 flood. He said they are still working on this.
Clifton said he had been asked why the stop signs in front of the FSCC rodeo dorm had been placed there and asked if they were needed; Lynne said the signs were put up to control the speed in the area.
Clifton made a motion to go into a 6 minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b)(1)to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel to protect their privacy to discuss employees seeking medical leave, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 9:38 am, Jim seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Eric Bailey and Susan Bancroft). At 9:38, Lynne made a motion to come out of executive session and resume the normal meeting and said no action, Jim seconded and all approved.
The Commissioners discussed unlocking the east doors of the Courthouse; the request to unlock the doors was made because law enforcement had issues getting into the Courthouse on a recent call for help. Lynne said he asked the person letting people in the Courthouse (taking temperatures and handing out masks) if they could control people entering if the doors were unlocked, their response was they couldn’t control them and they would come in without a mask if they chose to. Lynne suggested working with the IT department to allow access by a key fob at the north, west and south entrance. Clifton made a motion that he be allowed to meet with the Sheriff and Police department and he make a decision regarding the northeast door of the Courthouse and that he work with Shane on this issue, Jim seconded, Bobby suggested giving every employee a key fob, Susan suggested placing a lockbox with a keypad and a key inside the building to enter the building, all approved the motion.
Bobby Reed said the Sheriff asked the Commissioners to clarify the stop signs and the speed limit near the college rodeo dorms, he said going one direction on the bridge is 35 mph vs. going the opposite direction which is a different speed.
Bobby previously met with the Commissioners to request that debris from the 4-H building roof be deposited at the Landfill for free; he clarified that the 4-H building is a 501c5, Justin said they are a not for profit organization. Jim made a motion to allow the Fair Board to dump the roof debris from the 4-H building at no charge, Clifton seconded and all approved. Bobby will work with Eric Bailey on the dumping of the debris. Clifton made a motion to allow Justin to work with the Fair Board (pro bono) to help them transfer from a 501c5 to a 501c3 if they want to, Jim seconded and all approved.
Justin Meeks told the Commissioners they had bids (Justin did not have the bids at the meeting) to make the restrooms A.D.A. compliant at the Drivers License building; Jim made a motion to accept the low bid to make the restrooms there A.D.A. compliant, Clifton seconded and all approved.
Justin said they are still moving forward with the tax sale.
Justin briefly discussed a Commissioner quorum and ways to avoid a KOMA violation.
Clifton made a motion to allow Jim Harris to visit a micro processing plant on March 12th in Springhill, Lynne seconded and all approved.
Justin said they are still emailing between St. Martens academy and trying to figure out the paperwork on how they joined the sewer district. Susan Bancroft said they are looking at putting a meter on their lift station and said no sewer district map exists. Nancy Van Etten asked Justin if he was still working on an interlocal sewer district agreement; she said there still isn’t an agreement in place on what someone has to pay to connect to the district. Susan said they are still working on this. Nancy asked if the sewer district bonds had been refinance; Lynne said they are still working on refinancing them.
Anne Dare asked when the Courthouse front steps were going to be done; Lynne said they are still working on them, Justin said they were waiting for the weather to dry up to apply a needed product.
Anne told the Commissioners that masking is a mandate and not a law. She asked what the status was regarding the meeting Will Wallis had with the Commissioners regarding the City of Uniontown’s higher gas prices due to the recent cold weather (Uniontown purchased gas in bulk for distribution to their customers and ran out of that gas, but will now be charged a higher rate from the supplier); Lynne said the City of Uniontown is going to discuss this at an upcoming meeting.
Clifton commented that Jayhawk wind is a multi-billion dollar company and said companies don’t let anyone know the decisions they are making until the decision is made. He said the windfarm has no control over how the energy they produce is dispersed; he said their energy is added to the power pool. Jim said he was disappointed that the energy wasn’t staying in this area.
Jim Harris suggested the Commissioners have a work session to discuss a larger rock crusher; this will be discussed again at a later date. Susan said the City has a work session on Tuesday evenings and said this could be incorporated with their work session.
At 10:48, 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 Beth, Commissioner
Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk
March 9, 2021, Approved Date