These minutes were taken from the Bourbon County website.
November 12, 2021 Friday at 2 pm
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with Lynne, Jim, Clifton, the County Counselor, and the County Clerk.
Also present for the meeting were Eric Bailey and Susan Bancroft.
Justin advised that meeting was being held due to some activity that is happening at Beth Quarry and wanted to make sure all of the commissioners were on the same page. There are two areas to discuss, the right of first refusal and the land itself. Ms. Beth also has a request to make.
Justin said we’re talking about a seam that runs to the west of our current location so at the query basically the rock went from the east to the west and the east part of the seam is a creek that runs through, and you can’t go any farther east. You can’t go any farther north because that’s a different property line. If you go south there’s a county road so you can’t go that way, so the only way to go is to the west on this property. Before the commission either accepts or denies the right of first refusal Ms. Beth has a request for some aggregate out of that area.
Ms. Beth was contacted by phone and said she would like to request that she can take approximately 15,000 tons of her own rock to the west of the current quarry.
Justin said he was contacted by Eric Baily on Monday and asked to go to the Beth Quarry to see what had happened and to get it to abide by the contract. What Ms. Beth is requesting is we’ve run out of our current our current mapping area and so for us to take the election under the contract there’s a right of first refusal. Justin said he is assuming this commission is going to vote to enact that right of first refusal and have our query move to the west but before you accept that she’s requesting that she could take x amount out of her rock from that area.
Jim made a motion that we accept Ms. Beth’s request and extend our option to lease to the west that description that’s on the nail and allow her to pull out fifteen thousand tons. Lynne seconded the motion.
Justin said that before they move forward with discussion, he wants commissioner Beth to talk about waiver of any self-dealing.
Commissioner Beth stated ”I have no right to that land, it is owned by my mom fully and she controls it. My sister farms the ground i have no financial incentive on that property at all.”
Justin said he had some clarifying questions “commissioner you’re not you’re not in the will or any of any estate stuff you’re not going to inherit any of that land?”
Commissioner Beth answered “Correct, I am not so there’s no financial there’s no financial incentive whatsoever for me in that property.”
Justin said that he just wanted to clarify that on the record.
Commissioners Oharah and Harris Voted in favor, Commissioner Beth abstained, motion carried.
Justin said he would like to speak regarding the contract with Beth Quarry and some clarifying issues that they’ve had some difficulty with. First is section 10., which was just used as the right of first refusal. The commission has designated the first sentence or the first couple lines which are of interest for the next comment with regards to some aggregate that was in the quarry. If any minerals as distinguished from sand gravel and rock shall be found on the lease premise they shall belong to the lessor, but the lessee has the right of first refusal an option to mine them under such terms and conditions as the parties they may agree. The first writer first refusal was just done but there is another part in the royalty section that says that the leaser has a personal use for the ground. The reason why these two are important is that there was some rock that was taken from the east side of the quarry. It is yellow rock and was taken from the actual wall itself on the east side. It needs to be defined what happens with the overburden, the leftover waste, the stuff that’s laying around the field that hasn’t been touched for 20 years. How does that tie into this contract? Justin said it is tough to figure out because if someone would come in and want to take some that overburden to put on their pond dam, that is different than aggregate. If they want some of that yellow rock that is on the side of the all, how does how does that language work out within the contract? Justin said he thinks these are some of the things that need to be talked about for future. He said he was Thomas Quarry this morning and the overburden is immense, they would love to have someone come in and take that off if that is legal because we’re going to be trucking that to the to the south of that query. He said they need to figure out the language that is needed for the future so that they will not have this problem again. He said he likes to solve things for 20 years down the road and this contract didn’t help with that.
Clifton stated “I mean let’s be clear the, contract’s a joke. It was taken, it was the absolute taking advantage of a grieving widow at the time. Pathetic by the past commission and road and bridge department.”
Jim stated, “Let’s make it very clear here that I wasn’t here then.”
Clifton stated, “This was previous of everybody here.”
Jim recommended getting a new contracted for Beth Quarry.
Lynne said there is waste at all of the county quarries and if you can get rid of it why don’t we?
Jim said that you have to take into consideration the reclamation agreement we sign with the property owner which states and we will not remove that dirt.
Lynne said that a lot of them don’t get reclaimed, they are turned into lakes.
Jim agreed but said the contract was still signed stating that it wouldn’t be removed.
Justin advised that this is learning process and things change but would recommend talking with the landowners to determine what their intent for the land is in regards to the reclaiming process and the contracts.
Jim said he thinks that is a great idea right but that is something that would have to be presented to the state.
Justin said we would want to dot our I’s and cross our t’s but it changes the ideology of what happens with that overboard.
Lynne said that the next time we move over overburden we better find a permanent place for it because right now it’s going to cost us a lot of money to get some of that overburden going.
Jim said If you remember, two years ago Jeff Fisher stopped us from moving that.
Lynne agreed that he did but we also paid thirty thousand dollars to get that overburden moved and we moved it to the wrong spot.
Justin said he is not the county administrator, I’m not paid to be the county administrator. There is some legalese that we just took care of and we have one more little hiccup here that I want to make sure we bright line but the county needs a person to touch these types of things. We need somebody to be the go-to person on these so that we can centralize these types of issue.
Justin said that the reason Eric is here is if we need him to talk about what that east wall had for rock. It is very yellow, and it was there forever it hadn’t been touched and we can’t do a blast there. The Beth family would still like to use some of that, they have used some and they didn’t really understand the process with the contract. The right of first refusal was done today and there was maybe a little hiccup there too but I just know we’re working really well together and I want to keep that going. So if we can figure out a way to deal with this overburden and this stuff that we’re never going to use, I mean I’ve never seen yellow rock on the road, it turns to powder. We can’t go any farther east because there’s a creek there and that’s where allegedly that’s where this rock came from.
Jim said he believes that 100 percent but someone needed to tell him and the public that so they will get off my hind end.
Justin said he wants to clarify this for future because we learned something here, this contract was written in 2012. None of us in the room were here. If we need to we can rewrite it but i think the overburden issue is something we could clarify with all four quarry owners and see what their intent I, because Shepard especially we have a lot of overburn that we’re going to have to move to the south because the seams have some clay in them and it’s got some dirt and stuff in it so we can’t go any farther to the to the west so that overburden’s going to have to be pushed pretty far. If that person is wanting to have a have the reclamation occur or reclaim it then i think the overburden idea would be different their and Thomas especially because we’re going to have to move some dirt a really long ways away if we’re going to have that reclaimed.
Jim said the goal at Thomas Quarry was always to move it to the south border and constructive permanent berm.
Justin said that didn’t happen.
Jim said he knows it didn’t but they tried for almost three years to get that done.
Justin said that the reality is that there is a mountain right in the middle of our blast area.
Jim said a lot of it we created and some of it Mr. Thomas was involved in. He said that the county created some of it because we continued to blast and the commission of that era at the time didn’t want us moving it so we just continued.
Justin said there is absolutely zero fault here. One other thing legally that is the difference between the Beth quarry contract and the other ones is the aggregate that the family gets. I think the other queries have a certain percentage that is piled up for the family use, Shepherd gets so many tons, Thomas has to buy every ton. I don’t know, I wasn’t there in the negotiations in 2012 but we do have an inconsistency with what happens with the gravel.
Jim said that he would suggest we get Ms. Beth a new contract it’s like the rest of them. I believe him, he said that she was taken advantage of and we shouldn’t do that.
Justin said he is all for writing a new contract because it really helped him clarify some things.
Jim made a motion to allow county counselor Meeks to draw up a new contract for Ms. Sandra Beth as we move further onto the new lease property.
Clifton advised that he will abstain from it again just for the sake of argument although he doesn’t think he should have to.
Lynne seconded the motion.
Lynne said that one of the things should be discussion with the landowner to do is see if we can get nailed down what their intent is. One of the things that have been discussed is some of the overburden is built as a wall for the blast that we can’t get rid of course, by the state statutes we’ve got to keep it for reclamation which really makes not too much sense for the simple fact that most of the trash is already out of the quarry and there is going to be a hole there no way if ands or butts about it.
Justin said he wanted to go back to another issue and not just talk about the reclamation, He wants it to be really clear that at the Beth Quarry we have run out of space. Our initial contract is and this goes to Jim’s point, it’s an open road you can almost see the query from the road but there’s a fence line that runs north to south and we’ve basically butted up to that fence line, so for us to go any farther west we have to really take that right off for some new contracting. Lynne said we’ve had discussion more than once about going west in that quarry because that was our only option prior to Jim being a commissioner.
Justin said he will talk to talk to Ms. Beth and just for the record I don’t represent or have any legal representation, she’ll have to hire an attorney to review the contract I have never done any work for her at all.
Lynne and Jim both voted in favor, Clifton abstained, motion carried.
Justin advised that that under the new contract he thinks we should probably go to some aggregate being given by a certain percentage to the to the land owner the reason I’m saying to do that instead of having them buy it for four dollars a ton is that we have a really hard time managing what’s being taken out.
Clifton said that there are no scales so it’s impossible to weigh.
Justin but if someone puts a pile in a pile in another location and that’s their pile.
Jim said you should be able to measure by the bucket.
Justin agreed, our trucks have a better guess than just letting them come in and buy it.
Lynne said that it is not cost effective to buy scales and weigh everything.
Justine agreed and said that if they have their own pile we know kind of what was dumped there we have really good control of within a couple of tons of what’s in that pile.
Jim make a motion to adjourn, Clifton seconded, all approved
Meeting adjourned at 2:18 pm
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman
(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner
(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner
Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Deputy Clerk
November 23, 2021, Approved Date