Category Archives: Bourbon County

Health Survey: Info Needed To Provide Grants For Local Entities

Jody Hoener, CEO of the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team.

The Healthy Bourbon Action Team has created a community health needs survey to provide future grants to entities such as local governments, businesses, and schools.

The data needed for the grants must come from the community they serve.

“We need you to inform our work,” said Jody Hoenor, CEO of the team. “Take the community health needs survey today and earn $10 to spend at Fort Scott Farmers’ Market or Uniontown’s Union Station!”

Click here to take the survey: https://redcap.kumc.edu/surveys/?s=FKEN3PP9AT

The following is from an interview with Hoener:

What is the survey intended for?

“The survey is part of a bigger community health needs assessment.  With this survey, we are getting information straight from our community member’s mouths on our health and wellness needs.  As the saying goes, ‘Straight from the horse’s mouth.’  This information tells us where we need to focus our time, efforts, and financial resources.  To put it bluntly: Where should we direct our money?”

 

How long will it take to do the survey?

“The survey can take up to 20 minutes to complete.  We realize this can be a long survey.  We are giving $10 vouchers to Farmers Market or Uniontown’s Union Station for responding to the survey because we understand there is some time spent on it.”

 

How will this survey benefit the community?

“This survey will provide the primary data for grant requests.  We help write grants for local governments, businesses, schools, — the whole community.  Because of the last community health needs assessment in 2016, we were awarded the BCBS Pathways to Healthy Kansas Grant.  Since then we have brought in close to $2 million.  This money is directed to projects throughout the entire county.”

 

The following are provided by Hoener as examples of previous grants :

“In Uniontown: Union Station Gas Station and Convenience Store was awarded grant funds around 2017 for promoting locally produced food.

Uniontown City Council drafted a plan for sidewalks and biking.

“Uniontown’s School District USD 235 was awarded funds for the flashing crosswalk, water bottle filling stations, healthy vending machine, brand new gym equipment, and money for the locker room/shower

Other examples:

“Worksites throughout the county received $12,500 for worksite wellness equipment

“16 Local grocery stores and restaurants were awarded grant dollars to encourage healthier environments and promote local food.

“Bike share was started with the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce.

“Fort Scott’s School District .USD 234 was awarded funds for exercise equipment, the FSHS courtyard, and water bottle filling stations.

“Financial support for events like the Maramaton Massacre (a bike race event), Farm to Table events, and others that boost community morale and encourage healthy behaviors.

“Water bottle stations (still yet to come, grant funds have been given to the City of Fort Scott to purchase) throughout the community parks in Bronson, Uniontown, and Fort Scott.

“Lights for safe walking at trails like Riverfront Park and the Fort Scott Community College walking trail.

“FSCC received grant funding for the 24-hour access employee gym.

“The Bourbon County Courthouse has an entire workout room with weights, treadmill, and more.

“Trail equipment purchased to build and maintain walking or biking trails.

“The Nazarene Church was awarded $16,000 to start a truck farm and a program to mentor and help those on the outskirts of society (led by David Goodyear).

“Funds granted to Chamber of Commerce’s LEAD program to put together a Downtown Walking Trail that will have historical markers and education along the route in Downtown Fort Scott.”

“Plus lots more.  We are constantly seeking grant funding to help our Bourbon County community members. We want to use our resources where the community tells us it is needed.”

 

What is the expected outcome?

“Many other community law enforcement agencies, governments, school districts, and non-profit organizations use these assessments and surveys to apply for outside funding.  It will help every local entity with needed financial support for operations, programs, and projects.”

 

Who is collaborating with the survey?

“We are working with the University of Kansas on the community health needs assessment.  They are paid through our Blue Cross Blue Shield KansasPathways Grant to help us with this process.   The survey responses go directly to KU and are 100% anonymous.  We are also collaborating locally with Ascension Via Christi and Community Health Centers of South East Kansas.”

 

Where can interested people get a hold of the survey?

“We are seeking 60% of all households to complete a survey.  The survey link is on our website at HBCAT.org.  Tablets and stands to fill out surveys are available at Via Christi Emergency Room and Primary Care Office (Dr. Burke), Uniontown’s Union Station, and soon to be placed at Community Health Centers of Southeast Kansas primary care in Fort Scott.  Anyone is free to reach out to me at jhoener@hbcat.org for a paper survey.”

 

Salary Study: Bourbon County Employee’s Wages Less Than Other Counties

The Bourbon County Courthouse.
Bourbon County wages for their employees is less than other counties, according to a study presented at a recent commission meeting.
Bourbon County employees are paid on average $15 per hour compared to other counties at $20 per hour, Sheriff Bill Martin said in an email to fortscott.biz.
Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin. Submitted photo.

On August 31, Martin went to the commission meeting to discuss salaries for county employees.

Martin,  Bourbon County Undersheriff Ben Cole and Beth Tatarko, Vice-President of the Austin Peters Group, Overland Park https://austinpeters.com ( who was present by telephone), met with the commissioners to discuss a salary study that the  Austin Peters Group had developed, according to the commission minutes.

“I wanted it done to see if our wages were competitive with other deputies’ salaries of equal or same size as us,” Martin said. “The (study) funding was split between the sheriff’s office and the county attorney’s office. Mine came out of the VIN inspection account.”

The salary study compared other counties and cities and a few private employers and reported that the average pay was $20.32 for those entities as compared to $15.56 for non-elected Bourbon County employees.

Tatarko said it would cost an estimated $322,122 to bring the hourly employee’s wages to the average, which didn’t include benefits.

Elected officials, except for the attorney, are less than average as well, according to the minutes.

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.

Tatarko said Bourbon County does have a more generous benefit package and leave time than others, according to the minutes.

All three county commissioners asked Martin what his recommendations are.

Martin answered that the commission planned to reduce the mill levy by 2.5 mills,  and he suggested leaving the mill levy the same and setting money aside for wages, according to the minutes. However, the commission decided to stay with the reduction of the mill levy.

Commissioner Lynne Oharah suggested having Bourbon County  Financial Director Susan Bancroft review the study and give the commission recommendations.

At the Sept. 2 commission meeting, Bancroft stated she did include a 10-year recap for each Bourbon County department in this year’s budget proposal.

There were major sheriff’s office changes from the time when the jail was built, according to the Sept. 2 minutes. Commodities and contractual items both stayed about the same but there was a shift in personnel services.

The jail was completed in 2017.

Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center, October 2017

“Contractual items include meals, health and records management, etc.,” Sheriff Martin said. “Commodities: fuel, office supplies jail repairs/maintenance and outside medical. ”

Bancroft said that contractual for corrections has gone up in 2020 due to the food services industry and having a lot of inmates; depending on how many inmates there are, will determine that cost.

As of last Friday’s tally, the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center jail is holding 45 inmates, with five from other counties.

 

Lynne Oharah

Following a Bourbon County Commission executive session on August 31, Commissioner Clifton Beth said the commission knows this is a problem, and yet, Commissioner Jim Harris said, they hear from business owners that Bourbon County taxes are too high, according to the minutes.

Clifton Beth from Facebook.

Harris said the county needs to grow and if that happens, maybe the commission could take some of those funds from growth to use for the employee’s wages.

Jim Harris.

 

 

The Learning Tree Tourism Trail Grand Opening is Oct. 7

A panel in the Gordon Parks Museum.

The Gordon Parks Museum is pleased to announce the grand opening and ribbon-cutting event of the Learning Tree Film Trail and the “Lunch and Learn” presentation
“Gordon Parks: Fort Scott and The Learning Tree Revisited”.

The grand opening and ribbon cutting of the Learning Tree Film Trail will be Thursday, October 7, 2021, at 8:00 a.m.

The grand opening will be at Gunn Park, Shelter House #1, 1010 Park Ave. Fort Scott.

This is one of the locations that was used during filming in 1968.

Brochures with maps will be available to help locate the other signs on the trail.

This will be the kickoff event of the 17th & 18th Annual Gordon Parks Celebration events and will also be held in conjunction with the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Coffee.

The film trail is a series of signs located at the different locations where the filming of The Learning Tree took place. The signs will also include QR codes along with a virtual tour of the identified scene locations of the film.

There will also be a “Lunch and Learn” presentation later the same day Thursday, October 7, 2021, with keynote speaker, John Edgar Tidwell, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Kansas.

The presentation titled “Gordon Parks: Fort Scott and The Learning Tree Revisited”.

This will be held at Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center from 11:50 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The event is free to the public and participants are able to bring their lunch and drinks with them. Box lunch and drink are available for $8. Dessert will also be available.

Local historian Arnold Schofield will open with a short presentation on the history of Gordon Parks and his return visit to his hometown of Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1950, as documented in the book Back to Fort Scott.

Mr. Schofield will then introduce keynote speaker, John Edgar Tidwell, for a presentation on Gordon Parks’ The Learning Tree legacy in comparing and contrasting the book and film.

The presentation will also cover the importance of the cultural and historical impact of them both, along with the story and subject matter compared to today.

The Gordon Parks Museum has received a grant from the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation and Humanities Kansas to assist with funding support for this project.

The Gordon Parks Museum extends an invitation to the public to attend both of the events, especially the citizens of Fort Scott, Bourbon County, and the four-state area.

About Humanities Kansas
Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit spearheading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, our pioneering programming, grants, and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with our partners and supporters, we inspire all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home. Visit humanitieskansas.org.
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Starlite FCE Minutes of Sept. 16

The September meeting of Starlite FCE was held on the 16th at the Yeager building on the Bourbon County Fairgrounds.  The meeting was called to order by President Glenda Miller. The Flag Salute and Club Collect was led by Joyce Allen

 

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.  Twelve members were in attendance.  They reported that they had recycled 225 pounds of paper and had five volunteer hours.

 

Doris Ericson presented the treasurer’s report.  Karen Peery announced that the Council will meet on Monday.

 

Glenda Miller reported that the baskets for the First Responders had been delivered and were a big success.  She also announced that Fall Follies will be October 19th in Bronson.  The program will be on Bee’s.

 

Deb Lust reminded the Club about our upcoming collection for Preferred Living, which is totally funded by donations.

 

New Business consisted of selecting a candidate for Heart of FCE award.  Terri Williams nominated Doris Ericson; Jackie Warren seconded the motion.  Terri Williams moved that the nominations cease, Letha Johnson seconded the motion.  Doris Ericson was elected to be our Heart of FCE candidate for 2021.  Glenda also announced that our yearly reports are due into the county office by December 1st.  Our November project will be making bags for Veterans.  Glenda Miller passed a sign-up sheet for items to be placed in the bags and brought to the next meeting.  Glenda also announced the lessons for the upcoming year.

 

The Club wished Letha Johnson a happy birthday.

 

Joyce Allen moved the meeting be adjourned, Helen Carson seconded the motion, motion carried, meeting adjourned.

 

After the meeting Terri Williams presented the program Under Pressure- Meals in Minutes.  The lesson was on how to use and Instant Pot and its advantages.  Refreshments of BBQ chicken sliders, rice pudding and apple crisp prepared in an Instant pot, mints and water was provided by Claudia Wheeler and Terri Williams and enjoyed by all.

 

Prepared by

Terri Williams

Bourbon County Commission Agenda for Sept. 21

Agenda

Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

 

Date: September 21, 2021

1st District-Lynne Oharah                                                                Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jim Harris                                                                      Corrected: _______________________

3rd District-Clifton Beth                                                                              Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

 

   

MEETING HELD IN THE COMMISSION ROOM

 

Call to Order

 

    • Flag Salute
    • Approval of Minutes from previous meeting
    • Eric Bailey – Road and Bridge Report / Open Mini-Excavator Bids
    • CIC Contract
    • Clifton Beth – Elm Creek Cabins
    • County Counselor Comment
    • Susan Bancroft, Finance Director Comment
    • Public Comment
    • Elected Officials Comment
  • Commission Comment

Unofficial Minutes of the Bourbon County Commission Meeting, Sept. 14

September 14, 2021 Tuesday 9:00 am

The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners and the County Deputy Clerk present.

Susan Bancroft, Ann Dare, Michael Hoyt, Robert Coon, and the sheriff’s department were also present.

Clifton made a motion to approve the previous meetings minutes, Jim seconded, all approved.

Jim made a motion to amend the agenda to discuss opening the commission room to the public, Clifton seconded, all approved.

Jim asked for Clifton for his opinion.

Clifton said that our numbers are down and everyone has had the chance to get the vaccine that wants it. He said that if people feel comfortable and want to come, they can and if they want to wear a mask, they can but they don’t have to.

Jim made a motion to open the Bourbon County commission meetings back up to the public, Clifton seconded and all approved.

Susan stated that there are four cemetery boards that are required to have revenue neutral rate hearings as well, they are on standby for questions. Their boards have already had hearings and adopted resolutions, but the county needs to formally adopt those resolutions. You will have to have four separate hearings to do it properly.

Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to add revenue neutral rate hearings for four cemetery boards, Jim seconded and all approved

Lynne stated that the cemetery boards have been invited.

Susan stated that the first one is Barnesville Cemetery and they are going to increase the levy from 2.238 to 2.708.

Lynne stated that public comments are limited to five minutes each.

Michael Hoyt explained that it is an exercise to raise taxes because it is not that we are going to remain revenue neutral it is that we are not going to remain revenue neutral and we are going to collect a dollar more than we did in the previous year. He stated that just like the county is going to collect $42,000.00 more so it is a not revenue neutral rate.

Clifton stated that it is called a revenue neutral hearing and that they cannot change the name of it.

Michael stated that he was only trying to clarify what it is that we are allowing, that we are allowing the taxes to go up and they could go up even more.

Susan stated that they cannot levy more than what is approved.

Michael explained that Senate Bill 13 is to keep valuations from going up due to normal repairs.

Lynne stated that every year we set our mill levy and in our budget hearing we stated that we are raising the mill levy based on the increase in the assessed valuations. He also stated that all Senate Bill 13 does is require you to hold a hearing to be held and next year letters will be sent to every property owner in the state of Kansas if they go over the revenue neutral rate.

Susan stated that Barnesville levied for $2873 previously and are asking to increase to $3119.

Lynne made a motion to close the Barnesville budget hearing for revenue neutral, Jim seconded, all approved.

Clifton made a motion to open the revenue neutral rate hearing for Glendale Cemetery, Jim seconded, all approved

Susan stated that Glendale’s revenue neutral rate is 2.261 and the proposed tax rate is 3.150. Last year they levied for $2442 and this year they are asking for $2780.

Jim made a motion to close the Glendale budget hearing for revenue neutral, Clifton seconded, all approved.

Clifton made a motion to open the revenue neutral rate hearing for Lath Branch Cemetery, Jim seconded, all approved

Susan stated that revenue neutral rate is 0.954 and the proposed tax rate is 1.019. Last year they levied for $2557 and this year they are asking for $2755.

Jim made a motion to close the Lath Branch budget hearing for revenue neutral, Clifton seconded, all approved.

Clifton made a motion to open the revenue neutral rate hearing for Rosedale Cemetery, Jim seconded, all approved

Susan stated that Rosedale’s revenue neutral rate is 0.982 and the proposed tax rate is 1.443. Last year they levied for $5200 this year they are asking for $5500.

Jim made a motion to close the Rosedale’s budget hearing for revenue neutral, Clifton seconded, all approved.

Lynne stated that the resolutions all state the same thing for Barnesville Cemetery, Glendale Cemetery, Lth Branch Cemetery, and Rosedale Cemetery. Lynne said he would read one and then read the resolutions numbers for the others.

Lynne read the Barnesville resolution 01-2021 a resolution of the Barnesville Cemetery, Kansas to levy a property tax rate exceeding the revenue neutral rate; Clifton made a motion to adopt the resolution 01-2021, Jim seconded, all approved.

Lynne informed that the next resolution is for Glendale Cemetery and is the same as the previous resolution but with different rates, the resolution number for Glendale Cemetery is 01-21; Clifton made a motion to adopt resolution 01-21, Jim seconded, all approved.

Lynne informed that the next resolution is for Lath Branch Cemetery and is the same as the previous resolution but with different rates, the resolution number Lath Branch Cemetery number is 01-21; Clifton made a motion to adopt resolution 01-21, Jim seconded, all approved.

Lynne informed that the next resolution is for Rosedale Cemetery and is the same as the previous resolution but with different rates, the resolution number Rosedale Cemetery number is 01-21; Clifton made a motion to adopt resolution 01-21, Jim seconded, all approved.

Clifton made a motion to open the budget hearing for the 2022 Bourbon County budget, Jim seconded, all approved.

Susan stated that last year the county levied 64.931 this year we are levying 62.500 the revenue neutral rate is 62.130. The amount of property tax that the county levied for last year was $7,171,700.00 this year the amount of property tax levied this year is $7,127,242.00 which is $44,458.00 less than you levied last year because you were able to capture a little because the assessed value went up. Susan stated that last year the assessed valuation was 110 million and this year it is 114 million; the county cut the amount of property tax that was levied for by $44,458.00 but it is still above the revenue neutral rate.

Public Comment: Ann Dare asked what the combined total for all the cemeteries is? Susan stated she thought $4000. Clifton said it wasn’t that much it was more like $1100. Ann said that wasn’t very much she expected it to be more than that. Susan stated that their assessed valuation isn’t very high. Ann thanked the commissioners for working hard but she would like to some information on the school districts and where their money comes from, is it part of the 7 million? Lynne informed that there are several different separate taxing districts in the county and they have their own budgets and that they levy for in their district. Ann said there is a website that has a pie chart that sections off all the schools and city. Susan said that the city taxes just the city, the county taxes just the county but a school district has an area that is both in the city and the county that they tax on. Ann said then she would need to look at her tax statement to see what district that she is taxed on. She said that if the county and city work hard to decrease their budget but the school district goes way above their revenue neutral rate and budget then a person may not see any savings. Susan said yes it could be a wash. Ann advised to go to the school board meeting on September 20th at noon at the board of education office.

Michael Hoyt: How could the public comment when they weren’t allowed in the meetings for a month and a half and did not have the information to follow along at home. Last year during the work session documents were available. Lynne stated that Susan made the offer that the information was available to the public. Michael said he was not aware of that and if he cares enough to come to a meeting then he should be given the information to follow along without having to ask and last time he did not receive anything. Susan said that was not correct. Michael said that in a previous meeting that Commissioner Oharah caught an error on a page in the budget and Susan said it was right on the next page but no one watching the meetings could see what they were talking about. Also the two individuals that were brave enough to throw their hat is for the county clerk position didn’t even know that their salary was going down, that was sad to witness. Jim asked Michael if the commissioners are concerned with Covid and the number of people in the room should they have just canceled the meetings all together? Michael said no but he should have been able to come in here and get the documents. Clifton said that he was pretty sure that the offer was made for that information to available to the public. Susan said that it was in the detailed budget information that it was available in the clerk’s office. Michael said if he had that information then he would have known that it was available. Susan said that it was published in the paper. Michael expressed that it was said in the previous meeting that there were some discrepancies in the audit that the auditor would meet with the commissioners individually. Clifton said that that doesn’t have anything to do with the budget and would go in public comment. Michael asked how we could have a budget for next year if we don’t have confidence in last years. Susan said she was provided preliminary number in order to complete the audit. Michael asked if the federal audit has any effect on the budget? Susan said no and they are waiting on Terry Sercer for the completed audit.

Jim made a motion to close the 2022 Bourbon County budget hearing, Clifton seconded, all approved.

Eric stated that the sheriff’s department has a van that they are willing to donate to Road and Bridge. Bobby Reed stated that it is a 2009 white van that we had in our capital outlay that we were able to replace this year. It runs and drives and we are glad to donate to another county entity. We want approval from the commission to give them the van. The markings on the vehicle, identifying it as one our vehicles, would need to be removed. Lynne said that because it was already county property that they did not need a motion they could just give it to the other department.

Eric stated that he has culvert permits. Commissioners signed them. Kansas and 145th to the west has a bus stop ahead sign in that area. He spoke with the school and there is currently no school bus route in that area and asked permission to remove the sign. Jim made a motion for the sign to be removed, Clifton seconded and all approved.

Eric stated that he received a letter from the state for the landfill that they are now in compliance with the berms. As far as the beans go we are still out of compliance. We have until August 2022 to have those composted. Half have to be composted by April 1st. Had a meeting with John George, Ag Engineering, last week and he is working to get our permit so we can begin composting and receiving beans back at the landfill again.

Buying bridge inspections time for our bridges. Schwab Eaton has given us a proposal for 139 bridges. We have two fracture critical and they gave us a proposal to do our 30 low water structures that they may have done that for us before but it has been awhile. I make a recommendation that we have this done. There is a place on the form for you to sign if we want to move forward. Total cost is $20,951. Some are due in January, some in February and some in March. Jim made a motion to approve the inspections for bridges. Clifton seconded. All approved.

235th between Poplar and Quail we had a concrete box culvert give way last week. We replaced it the next day and have the road back open.

125th & Wagon, had some paperwork given to me last week, regarding the bridge. The northern 3 foot of it needed to be closed until repairs are made. The concrete guard rail was knocked over a while ago and it bent one of the supports underneath and caused quite a bit of damage. Went ahead and closed the 3 feet down. Still able to get a car or truck across but heavy equipment or farm machinery won’t be able to go through. The paperwork stated that we would have to have an engineer on site when we do the work. I have an engineer, Frank Young, that will be here next Wednesday and we will start repairing the bridge.

The Mac truck that you approved for us to look at and if we saw fit to purchase, it was in Fort Worth and Premier Truck Group took it upon themselves to help us out and brought the truck to Joplin. We’ll be going down late this afternoon or tomorrow. Provided the motor’s not knocking or the transmission has some big problem we’ll purchase the truck.

Windmills, there are four built in Bourbon County, seven in Crawford County. They ran into mother nature last week with the wind. It was too dangerous for their safety protocols and shut down. Was not able to use the top crane. Scheduled to start back up today weather permitting. Of the 70 sites in Bourbon and Crawford County they are completed with their excavation, rebar has been installed and concrete poured for all sites. They will be tearing down the concrete plant in the near future. Jim asked how many pieces are included in the tower. Eric stated 3.

Eric stated that Jim had asked about the cracked sealing. He has a call in to Pro sealing waiting to hear back from them. Jim stated he liked the idea of doing the work ourselves. Eric isn’t sure they will have the time to get to it so he is going to get a price and then we can make the decision once we get it.

Lynne Oharah asked about asphalt going south. Eric stated he hoped to be finished this week. He said they had 1.8 miles left, and are hoping to move on to 125th.

Justin Meeks stated that the discussion regarding the CIC contract would need to be delayed until next week. Our IT person has made phone calls to them and they have not been returned.

Justin also asked that the agenda be amended moving David Neville’s executive session to the end of the meeting. Clifton Beth made a motion to move Mr. Neville to the end of the meeting. Jim seconded. All approved.

Robert Coon talked about bail bondsmen responsibilities. Bourbon County has had some pretty bad people. The sheriff’s department is our first line of defense. I recently went to a CEU class and they had some good, astounding, information actually. Two-thirds of all felonies in the state of Kansas are drug related. Robert had a KBI report that he printed from the internet. Crime in Kansas is through the roof right now. I support our sheriff’s department. If you look up Taco Bell salaries you will see that some of them make those salaries out there. The world is changing, inflation is coming up and all of sudden these wages aren’t so high. Apparently our county is behind. What put me in a position to come talk about this is that I’ve gotten to know some of these deputies through my position. We had a deputy who left from here to go to another county for 3 to 4 dollars an hour more. Go for a ride with a deputy and see what goes on. We’ve got to keep our crime rate down and our community clean. I suggest you look at this jail thing again. I think you need a research team to look into housing inmates from other counties. According to Gov Kelly’s current numbers it would pay $492,000 for us to take 16 inmates at $75. per day for one year. Feeding them is $8.50/day, roughly $50,000 you are going to send down the way. It sounds like it could be a way to make more money and pay these guys. Would the county entertain a research team presenting their findings?

Clifton stated that we can’t stop anyone from doing research. Jim said he would encourage a study be done and bring it back to us. Clifton asked about if the jail would be full with people from Bourbon County. That would cost us more money. You have to look at all sides. Lynne stated the jail was supposed to be 6.85 million dollars when built and end up at 9.2 million. Robert stated that he asked how much more manpower it would take to house 16 additional inmates and he said he was told none.

Kevin Davidson, deputy, thanked the commissioners for the opportunity to speak. All deputies are here minus a couple. We take an oath to protect our community. We know that we are not going to get rich. Five years ago, Sheriff Martin did a survey and we were 26% below average. Sheriff Martin does another survey and we are now at 30% below the minimum pay for like counties. It’s concerning that there’s not a lot talk about it. 3% is .46/hour, $5.52 more per shift because we work 12 hour shifts, $44.16/pay period, that’s every two weeks, $1,148.16 more per year. Every little bit helps. A 30% increase to get us to the minimum of like counties would give us $11,000. more per year. That’s a big difference. Life-altering. I’ve been with the sheriff’s office for going on 8 years and have had 1 raise. The first three years my pay went down $800 due to insurance premiums. Kevin asked the commissioners if they knew of anyone that would work for that. Lynne Oharah said yes. EMTs do that. Kevin asked Lynne to put some of the “fire” that I heard in your voice regarding EMTs and put it toward the sheriff’s department. Lynne said he cares for all employees. Kevin continued stating that some deputy’s take home $600 and some $800 per pay. Not many people do that. We miss holidays, birthdays. We miss out on family time. Why? Because we care about Bourbon County. Our department doesn’t feel like we have your support. We feel like there is a rift between Sheriff Martin and Mr. Oharah. When Mr. Martin comes to speak, I’ve seen Mr. Oharah get his phone out just like this and I’ve seen Mr. Beth do it. If your phone is more important than what we are saying that speaks volumes. I demand your attention fully. Jim Harris said that he admires everything that department does. I believe your department deserves pay raises, but tell me what the solution is. You brought me a problem, tell me how to fix it. Kevin said he doesn’t have all the answers. My responsibility is to protect our county. Your part in this is figuring out the solutions. That’s why you were elected. Jim stated one of our choices is raising taxes. Bill Martin stated that several months ago there was a group that came up here, brokers, different consultants to give you ideas as what to do to save money. One group came up and said that within the first year they could save Bourbon County $100,000. Then after that for the next 5 to 7 years based on the information high risk $1.5 million saved. But when the time came to listen to the plans you guys didn’t give them an opportunity. You decided to stick with the same contract we’ve had for 3 additional years. Clifton stated that the group couldn’t guarantee the savings. Jim stated that any insurance company can make any kind of promise they want to. Susan Bancroft stated that Commissioner Oharah asked her to go back and look at the numbers from 2020 and based on not base pay, but total pay, based on deputies the average they get is $44,000/yr, if you include benefits that would be closer to $56,000/hr. If you take $56,000. and divide it by 2,080 hours, with overtime and straight time, they are right at the market average in this report. Jim stated that he supports the sheriff’s office. I agree they need more money, public works needs more money. I’m not willing to increase property tax and keep businesses from coming to Fort Scott because our taxes are too high. Trey Sharp said that he works over 100 hours per pay not because he wants to but because he has to. Lynne said maybe we need to look at cutting overtime and giving raises. Kevin stated that every time they get overtime they have to keep a running document of the overtime hours and why they worked overtime. He asked if any of the commissioners bothered to look at the overtime report and Lynne said they have never received it. Ben Cole stated they were provided to them a few years ago. Lynne stated that they do not receive them on a weekly basis. Susan Bancroft stated that to reduce overtime more staff will need to be added. The biggest question is where do we find the funds to give raises. Kevin stated there is no way in law enforcement that you can eliminate overtime. Jim Harris stated that he didn’t want to see the overtime sheets because he trusts him to do the right thing. Kevin stated that he wants the commissioners to see the overtime sheets so that they will understand. He said there is a silent evil in Bourbon County called narcotics. No one in this county knows that a week ago we assisted the DA in a task force combined with several agencies to help them intercept 6 lbs of meth headed for Bourbon County. Susan stated that to eliminate overtime more people have to be hired. Nick Trim stated he took a 57% cut to come here. The only way I can afford to do this is because of my previous pay from previous job. Jim asked Bill if he has been asked to meet with the commissioners regarding staffing. Bill stated that he has through budget hearings. Susan said that to be clear if additional staff is added, annual salaries will go down because additional staff will reduce overtime. If base pay is raised $2.00 per hour that would be $45,000 to $50,000 with taxes. Jim requested a work session with Bill and try to figure out staff and overtime. Kevin Davidson said there is a new position open at the Medical Building and wants to know what they are making. My understanding is they are making $21/hr. Susan clarified that it was $19.92/hr. Lynne said that is temporary as we are working on bringing in a new hospital and that position will go with the hospital. Kevin asked if they can understand how that would cause frustration? Kevin asked if he could get each commissioners word that they are going to get with Sheriff Martin and work together to figure out how to fix this. I realize nothing is going to happen overnight.

Lora Holdridge stated she wanted to say something. All you sheriff deputies work really hard and I know you put your life on the line for all of us, but you all chose that. Just like I told Road & Bridge, they work in the rain and snow. You all deserve a lot of money but so do a lot of us inside the courthouse that also hasn’t gotten raises. My deputy and I hardly ever get to take our days off because we only have two people. You can’t run my office with just two people. You guys are not the only ones out there that need help or a raise. You guys are asking them to commit to getting you up to speed. You guys put your life on the line and I am so thankful for that. But you guys make it sound like that you guys are the only ones who put your life on the line. I don’t know who is coming into my office and may get upset. You guys are putting it to the commissioners that you want something done for you and they need to do something for all of us. Bill I have nothing against you at all but you bring your whole department in here to talk about raises knowing budget time that didn’t look good. How often does your undersheriff go out on the road when they’re on vacation? Bill responded a lot. Ben doesn’t turn it in as overtime when he could because he’s trying to help the department and community. Lora asked considering overtime how much does your guys make an hour? Lynne stated $20/hr. Mr. Coon stated that overtime is not benefits. Quit acting like they’re getting paid a ton of money. Quit talking about it. Talk about base pay talk about what really matters.

Mr. Coon then asked Lora if she was an elected official. She said yes. He said she should be ashamed of herself for being in here discussing this. Lora said she doesn’t get any time off. Lora and Mr. Coon were then asked to take their discussion out of the room so that the commission meeting could continue.

Justin Meeks stated that Lora Holdridge’s executive session is actually on my time. I need to go in for that reason. I’ve got actually to help Mr. Hoyt to understand my position on this executive session. I do have one, two, three, four matters that are all attorney client privilege, possible litigation, HR issues that we have to address that have a huge legal background in them. Then, the other three parts are possible litigation. So, I could if you want go in for attorney client privilege for the issues of attorney client privilege and come back out and talk about possible litigation on an HR issue but I really think they are all the same. We learned in our training we can combine those if we clarify what they are. Lynne stated that if we are able to combine them to please do so to save time. Justin stated he would need twenty minutes. Clifton made the motion for executive session with all three commissioners and Justin Meeks. Justin stated there are incidents that have occurred that could lead to litigation and then an employee matter that could potentially lead to litigation returning at 11:28am. Jim seconded and all approved.

Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 11:28am with action. Jim seconded all approved. I have Miss Holdridge in the room we would like to be able to work with Ashley and Miss Holdridge to petition the commission at a near future date to reopen a road. We have been working on this for about a year and a half. I did talk to Kansas Association of Counties about a month ago, our resolution is to reopen the road and at some point we would petition again to close it back down again. I am asking for permission from the commission to get this done. Clifton made a motion to allow County Counselor Meeks to work with Lora Holdridge and Ashley to future petition of road open/closure. Jim seconded all approved. Justin also asked for motion to allow him to work with Jim Harris and Eric Bailey on a issue with one of the roads with a right-of-way from a rail line on two separate roads. Clifton made a motion to allow Justin Meeks, Jim Harris and Eric Bailey to work on a couple of right-of-way areas in dealing with the railroad. Jim seconded all approved.

Justin stated that the publications for the tax sale will start on Saturday or possibly Wednesday of next week. Still projected to have a sale in October. We’ve had a lot of properties either sell or be redeemed so we are doing well in the collection part. This year the tax sale team is doing a great job. Probably will have 3 different sales next year.

Susan Bancroft had no comment.

Bill Martin provided a copy of the MOU for the School Resource Officer. The school board has signed and am asking for Mr. Oharah to sign. I’ll turn it over to Clerk’s office to be stamp filed and I will keep a copy of it. Clifton made a motion to allow Lynne Oharah to sign the MOU for USD 235 for the School Resources Officer. Jim seconded and all approved. Lynne Oharah signed the document. Bill asked for a phone conference with Susan Bancroft, himself and Austin Peters Group.

David Neville asked for a 5 minute executive session. Clifton made a motion for an executive session for non-elected personnel including all three commissioners, Justin Meeks, Susan Bancroft and Ashley Shelton and David Neville. Returning back to normal session at 11:45am. Normal session resumed with no action. Jim second all approved. David Neville wanted to discuss his wages. My current wages are $14.50/hr. A study was done 15 years ago stating that the maximum pay for myself should be over $15.00. I would like to request to be moved up to that. Lynne looked at current study that was done and the minimum wage should be $16.29. Lynne stated that the new study wasn’t apples to apples. David requested he would like to be brought up to at least the minimum of the new study. Clifton stated that they have been asked by multiple people today for raises and he is not willing to give one raise without looking at all of them. Lynne stated that the budget has 3% raise in it. Jim stated that he appreciated everything David does and that they would discuss and get back with them.

Jim Harris requested an executive session for non-elected personnel. Clifton seconded and all approved. Session includes all three commissioners and Justin Meeks. Normal session will resume at 12:05pm.

Clifton made a motion to resume normal session with no action. Jim seconded and all approved.

At 12:05pm, Jim made a motion to adjourn. Clifton seconded and all approved.

THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS

___________________, Chairman

___________________, Commissioner

___________________, Commissioner

ATTEST:

Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Deputy Clerk

_______________, Approved Date

 

Chamber is Accepting Registrations for Leadership Program

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce is now taking registrations for the 2021-2022 class of LEAD Bourbon County. LEAD, acronym for leadership exploration and development, is a program designed to develop and engage the leadership skills of potential and current leaders through exposing participants to the principles of the Kansas Leadership Center and diverse aspects of our local community.

Registration is open to anyone living or employed in Bourbon County and individuals may sponsor themselves, or employers often sponsor one or more employees. The program includes eight sessions on the third Thursday of each month from October through May followed by a graduation celebration.

Facilitators for the 2021-2022 class will be Katie Casper of Union State Bank and Deb McKenney of Fort Scott Broadcasting. Both Katie and Deb have completed leadership training through the Kansas Leadership Center and are passionate about developing leadership skills in others and connecting the class with other leaders in the community through guest speakers and business tours during each session.

Those interested in the program may print the application or register online at fortscott.com by October 13th. The first class is scheduled for October 21st. Contact the Chamber for more information at 620-223-3566 or email information@fortscott.com.

***

Bourbon County Commission Minutes of Sept. 7

September 7, 2021                               Tuesday 9:00 am

 

The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners and the County Clerk present.

 

Susan Bancroft and Rob Harrington were also present.

 

The RNR hearing and the CBDG hearing was open to the public and the rest of the meeting was closed to the public due to COVID precautions, but broadcast on YouTube.

 

Clifton made a motion to approve the previous meetings minutes, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

RNR hearing: the RNR hearing was published, Lynne made a motion to open the RNR hearing, Clifton seconded and all approved.  Public Comment: Michael Hoyt presented the following, “Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR) hearings to increase property taxes are going on now! KPI has posted a list of hearings scheduled in counties across the state: http://www.kansasopengov.orp/kog/databank#report id=90 KIS

(Keep it Simple); if the governing body votes to go above the Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR), they have the option to increase the amount of money collected in property taxes from the previous year.  If they do NOT vote to go above the RNR, they cannot collect one penny more than the previous year in property taxes.

The mil levy may decrease, but if the governing body votes to go above the RNR – then they have the option to collect more money in property taxes.  That is what matters to most Kansans – will you be paying more money in property taxes.

Transparency in government has been and should be a top priority.  After hearing from Kansans on our complex property tax system, I led an effort to find solutions for Kansas.  As a result, last session, legislation was passed to eliminate automatic property tax increases as a result of the valuation of property increasing.  Senate Bill (SB) 13 requires local governments, including schools, to provide notice and vote at a publicized hearing before they can collect more money in property taxes than they did the prior year.

The governing body cannot tax in excess of the Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR) without public notices (next year these notices will be letters mailed to property owners) and a RNR hearing held between August 20 and September 20.  At the hearing there will be time for public comments and the governing body to vote on a resolution or ordinance that approves the body to collect more in property taxes than the previous year. Taxpayer funded lobbyist and some government officials testified that this legislation wasn’t needed because they are transparent.  That is apparently not the case.  I’ve been listening to constituents complain about the lack of transparency on the meeting notices and proposed increases.  Last week, a county commissioner told county employees to show up to the RNR hearing, but didn’t mention it to others.  Only one Commissioner in that County voted No on an 8% increase, the rest voted Yes. Ouch!

Some officials are voting YES on the resolution/ordinance to go above the RNR, but saying they didn’t increase property taxes because they lowered the mil levy.  When they vote to go above the RNR and collect more money than the previous year-that is a tax increase! Taxation with representation – let your voice be heard.”

Clifton compared the 2021 budget to the 2022 budget and said the 2022 budget is $44,000 less than last years.  Michael Hoyt said the RNR is a shell game being played in the state of Kansas and said this is a tax increase; he said the purpose of SB 13 was to freeze the rate. Clifton said anyone concerned with SB13 should call the Senators and House of Representatives since they voted for this. Susan said that the County needs $7,127,242 in ad valorem taxes to operate and said because the assessed valuation went up, they are able to capture more money. Jim made a motion to close the public hearing, Clifton seconded and all approved.  Clifton made a motion to adopt Resolution 26-21 and to give Chairman Oharah permission to sign this resolution, Jim seconded and all approved and Lynne signed the resolution.

Clifton made a motion to open the public hearing for the CDBG Rural Water District, Jim seconded and all approved.  Amber Dean with SEKRPC was present for the hearing as well as Michael Hoyt.  Jim questioned the County’s financial responsibility in this grant, Amber said this all falls on the Rural Water District.  She said the County or City has to apply for the grant on behalf of the Rural Water District; she said this is a $1.5 million project (to install water lines) and said they were applying for a $700,000 grant. Susan Bancroft said the insurance company or legal counsel might have to litigate if there are any problems in the field on the project.  Amber stated that Rural Water is responsible for all finances of this project and said any change orders have to be approved by the County.  Mark Pohlmier (by telephone) stated that they want to replace the water lines on Maple Road that are 60 years old.  Mark said an outside contractor (that is insured and bonded) will install the lines.  Mark said this is a $1.5 million project that they will pay ½ of and said they were aware that any change orders would cost them more money.  Clifton made a motion to suspend the CDBG public hearing for approximately 45 minutes until legal counsel looks at the contract, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

Public Works Eric Bailey: Eric said the northern and the northwestern part of the County received 6” of rain this past weekend, so they are hauling rock to that part of the County.

 

Crack sealing machine: Eric said a new machine cost $50-$55,000 or they can rent a machine for $500/day + materials are approximately $1,300/pallet.  Eric said they may be able to share the City’s machine.  Jim said Liberty Bell Road and Locust Road needs some crack sealing done.

 

KDOT Safety grant: Eric said they applied for this grant in April and Bourbon County was chosen to receive the grant.  He said they will do a safety plan on the 257 miles of collector roads and the 16 other miles. Bourbon County’s share of this plan will be $5,265.  Eric said Justin Meeks had reviewed the contract.  Jim made a motion to approve Eric working with KDOT on the safety road grant and our portion being $5,265, Clifton seconded and all approved and signed the document.

Windmills: Eric said there are three up in Bourbon County.

 

Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to move the discussion about CIC until after Susan talks and move the County Counselor after Susan as well, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

Susan reported that the Rural Water District for Allen/Neosho/Bourbon County requested $18,251 in ARPA funds for meters, she said Shane Walker requested $26,000 in ARPA funds to upgrade the EMS software (computers used for maps and reporting).  SEK Mental Health requested $212,500 in ARPA funds (Susan said she hasn’t asked if this money will stay in Bourbon County).  Clifton suggested waiting to decide on the EMS request.

 

Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda for an executive session, Jim seconded and all approved.  Clifton made a motion to go into a 7-minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b)(4) to discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 10:18, Jim seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Rob Harrington and Susan Bancroft).  Clifton made a motion to resume with no action, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

CIC annual contract: Susan said she and Shane had a conversation with CIC and CIC dropped the ball on issues. She said they are trying to resolve issues, but said she didn’t think the work order portion would work for Bourbon County and said they are looking at a different software company for this.  Susan suggested waiting until the issues are resolved before signing.  This will be discussed again next week.

 

Jim made a motion to move forward with the $18,251 of ARPA funding for the Allen/Neosho/Bourbon County Rural Water District for new water lines, Clifton seconded and all approved.

Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to move the County Counselor portion of the meeting until after the Commissioner Comment, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

Commissioner Comment: Jim made a motion to amend the agenda for an executive session, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Justin Meeks arrived at the Commission meeting.

 

Jim 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 to discuss job performance, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 10:34, Clifton seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Justin Meeks and Ashely Shelton).  At 10:34, Clifton made a motion to resume the meeting with no action, Lynne seconded and all approved.

 

Lynne made a motion to suspend the Commissioner comment and resume the CDBG grant hearing, Clifton seconded and all approved.  Justin said he had reviewed the CDBG grant before and felt it was good to go. Clifton made a motion to adopt Resolution 27-21, Jim seconded and all approved. Clifton made a motion to accept Resolution 28-21 and that Lynne be able to sign the CDBG documents, Jim seconded and all approved.  Clifton made a motion to close the CDBG public hearing, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

Commissioner Comment: Lynne said he had been the “keeper” of the KMDO radio spot, but said he wanted to make a motion to assign this duty to Susan Bancroft, Jim seconded the motion, Clifton asked that Susan reach out to the other agencies or public officials

we support to see if they want to participate in the radio spot as well, all approved the motion.

 

Justin Meeks apologized for being late, but said he had to be in Linn County this morning.  Justin said he received a call from legal counsel from a person representing a sewer issue outside the City of Redfield.  He said the County has done some sewer variances before and said they are looking at a parcel that could have an easement for lateral lines, he said he is still reviewing this.

 

Justin said he may have the Lake Sewer District agreement next week.  He said the 1st tax sale will be October 7th.

 

Clifton made a motion to allow the three Commissioners to attend the Republican party meeting on September 9th when a new County Clerk will be appointed, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

Justin briefly mentioned the shared services for the HR director between the City and County, (25 hours at the City and 15 hours at the County).  Jim made a motion to allow Chairman Oharah to sign for a shared services for HR director at 15 hours/week for the County beginning January 1, 2022, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Clifton made a motion to allow Chairman Oharah to meet with Justin and whoever else is needed regarding the sewer district agreement, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

Clifton made a motion to go into a 7-minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b) (1) to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel to protect their privacy to discuss job performance and job function, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 11:06, Jim seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Eric Bailey and Justin Meeks).  At 11:06, Clifton made a motion to resume the normal session with no action, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to allow Eric Bailey to discuss equipment, Jim seconded and all approved.  Eric said he found a replacement truck; it is a 2014 Mack truck in Fort Worth for $51,000 with 271,000 miles.  Jim made a motion to allow Eric to move forward with purchasing this truck for $51,000 with Eric’s approval, Clifton seconded and said this money will come from reimbursed money from the insurance company, and all approved the motion.

 

At 11:10, Jim made a motion to adjourn, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS

(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner

ATTEST:

Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Deputy Clerk

September 14, 2021, Approved Date

 

Leadership Program Registration Starts

HE CHAMBER IS EXCITED TO KICK OFF OUR
LEAD BOURBON COUNTY PROGRAM
FOR 2021-2022
LEADERSHIP PROGRAM OF THE
FORT SCOTT AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
REGISTER YOURSELF OR SPONSOR AN EMPLOYEE!
DON’T DELAY ~ REGISTER TODAY!
Co-facilitators for this class will be:
Katie Casper, Union State Bank
Deb McKenney, Fort Scott Broadcasting
8 Sessions will be held the 3rd Thursday of the month from October to May, 8am-3:30pm
The morning of each session follows the leadership curriculum, principles, and competencies of the
Kansas Leadership Center.
And, the afternoon of each session features a guest speaker and tour of a local business or organization, speaking to putting leadership into action in their workplace or through volunteerism.
CLICK HERE FOR A PROGRAM BROCHURE.
CLICK HERE FOR A PRINTABLE REGISTRATION FORM & PROGRAM OVERVIEW.
YOU MAY ALSO REGISTER ONLINE HERE.
Classes will start October 21st.
Deadline to register October 13th.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR CHAMBER BOOSTER MEMBERS BELOW!

Uniontown High School Homecoming Sept. 17

Uniontown Fall 2021 Homecoming Candidates
Front row, from left: Alexa Fuhrman, Gwenyth Fry, Mason O’Brien, Kaydra Woods, Danielle Howard.
Back row, from left: Bryce Eck, Dawson Dreisbach, Korbin Miller, Luke Perry, Ian McClure
The USD 235 school district community homecoming events  that will take place on Friday, September 17th:
2 p.m.  — Homecoming parade
2:30  — Pep Rally at the football stadium
6 p.m.  — Uniontown FFA free tailgate and Booster club games
6:30  — King & Queen Coronation
7 p.m.  — UHS Varsity football vs. Pleasanton
At game halftime, there will be the results of a Kiss-A-Pig contest following the UHS band performance.
Update on the concession stand and rest room project adjacent to the football field, from Superintendent Bret Howard:
“The cement slab is completed and the electrical work and plumbing work will begin soon to get water and electricity to the building. Our contractor is expected to begin work on the building within the week.”

New Service Station Opens on South Hwy. 69

K.C. Mart owner Harjit Kaur waits on a customer on Sept. 8.

A new gas service station/convenience store, K.C. Mart, has opened at 946 S. Hwy. 69, near the LaRoche Baseball Stadium, south of Fort Scott.

The station was opened August 23 by the owner Harjit Kaur.

In addition to gasoline, the station offers dine-in seating space for customers to enjoy food, beer, and soft drinks.

Offered also are off-road diesel fuel, regular diesel fuel and racing fuel (leaded 110), and Octane 93 premium fuel, Kaur said.

“Semi-truck parking is allowed in the back of the station,” Kaur said. “No prior arrangements are necessary.”

Semi-truck parking is allowed in the back of the K.C. Mart Station at 946 S. Hwy. 69.

Harjit and husband Binder Singh also opened a K.C. Mart at 2191 Soldier Road,  hear Hammond, north of Fort Scott in October 2020. KC Mart: Gas Station Service to Northern Bourbon County

“We wanted to establish more business,” Kaur said. “People would come from this area to our store near Hammond for Opie’s Pizza that we serve. We thought we would come here to provide it.”

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information or to order a pizza, call 620-644-9867.

K.C. Mart, 946 S. Highway 69, across from the LaRoche Baseball Stadium.

 

Bourbon County Bridge Replacement Part of KDOT Improvement Program

Governor Laura Kelly Announces Counties to Receive over $7 Million for 13 Bridge Replacement Projects

TOPEKA – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz today announced 13 counties will receive a combined total of $7.5 million through the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Off-System Bridge Improvement Program.

“My administration is committed to improving the overall transportation system in our state, including bridges owned by cities and counties in need of long-overdue repairs,” Governor Kelly said. “We look forward to fostering further partnerships among all levels of government to continue building the kind of robust, responsive infrastructure system that moves people and goods as efficiently as possible across Kansas and boosts our state and local economies.”

In Kansas, there are more than 19,300 locally owned bridges, of which 1,230 are in “poor” condition and an additional 3,844 are either unable to carry legal loads or accommodate modern truck sizes. Off-system bridges are located on roadways not otherwise eligible for federal aid.

State funding for the 13 projects will be enhanced by a minimum 20 percent match from each recipient, resulting in $10.4 million in total local infrastructure improvements. KDOT received 87 applications requesting $46.4 million as part of the Off-System Bridge Improvement Program.

“There is clearly a high demand for transportation infrastructure investments across our state,” Secretary Julie Lorenz said. “By partnering with KDOT, our communities are better able to help local road systems do the job they’re intended to do – like moving people and goods – and thus promote economic development and create more opportunities for growth.”

In addition to this federally required program, KDOT reinstated the Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program bridge program as part of the Kelly Administration’s 10-year, bipartisan Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program to assist cities and counties with the local roadway system.

For federal fiscal year 2023, the county, locations and amounts awarded for the Off-System Bridge Improvement Program include:

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