Category Archives: Government

Fort Scott City Commission Agenda Jan. 15

The Fort Scott City Commission meets every other Tuesday. The next meeting is at 6 p.m. on Jan. 15 at City Hall.

This is the agenda of the meeting.




III. INVOCATION: Pastor Norman Tillotson, First Baptist Church

IV. PROCLAMATIONS/RECOGNITIONS: Recognition of Alpha Money and Randy Ballweber – Codes Certification


  1. Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of December 18th, 2018.

  1. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1230-A totaling $581,238.41.

  1. Resolution 1-2019 designating the official City newspaper.

  1. Resolution 2-2019 designating the official City depositories for public funds

  1. Certificate of Appropriateness – 7 South National Avenue and 6 East Wall

  1. Certificate of Appropriateness – 10-12 East Wall Street

  1. Certificate of Appropriateness – 124 E. Wall Street

  1. Resolution 3-2019 – Notice of Hearing with Reference to Alleged Unsafe and Dangerous Structure located at 1612 E. Oak – Public Hearing Date – 3/5/2019 at 6:15 p.m.


    1. Election of Mayor – Swearing in of new Mayor
    2. Election of Commission President
    3. Election of Bourbon County Economic Development Council Inc. Representative

    4. Election of Fort Scott Housing Authority Delegate


  1. APPEARANCE: Mark McCoy – Discussion on Visioning Committee

B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute limit per citizen)



  1. Airport Electric Vault Upgrade – Rachel and Seth
  1. Consideration to Solicit Bids – Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (16) – Dave Bruner


  1. Director Updates: Deb Needleman – KCAMP

Rachel Pruitt – Price Chopper Incentives

  1. Commission:
  1. City Attorney:
  1. City Manager:
      1. Health Care Update



SESSION FOR ________________________________ IN ORDER TO

(see below justification)

DISCUSS ______________________________________. THE


MEETING TO RESUME AT ________________.

Justifications for Executive Sessions:

  • Personnel matters of non-elected personnel

  • Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

  • Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative or representatives of the body or agency

  • Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

  • Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property


Price Chopper: No Taxpayer Dollars

The marquee at Price Chopper on South Main Street Wednesday afternoon, announcing the closure of the store.

Price Chopper announced January 7 that they would close the Fort Scott store on South Main Street.

In addition to Price Chopper closing, Dunkin’ Donuts store and Fort Scott Pharmacy, both located in the main Price Chopper building are closing.

The closure of Price Chopper effects 85 employees, said Mike Massey, store manager.

A sign on the doors of Price Chopper Jan. 9.

“Forty full-time employees, some of whom will be going to other Price Choppers,” Massey said.

“It’s a beautiful store, Fort Scott will miss it,” Massey said with a glum face.

There was a full parking lot on January 9, the first day of the closeout sale of Price Chopper.

Dunkin’ Donuts last day open is Friday, January 11, said employee Franklin Dorres. He said they had eight full-time and four part-time employees.

Fort Scott Pharmacy is closing no later than Jan. 18, said Pharmacist Julie Pellett. “Three out of the five employees will go to Iola. The Iola group offers to provide much of the services we provided to our Fort Scott customers. Call 620-365-3176 for more information.”

The sign on the door of Fort Scott Pharmacy January 9, announcing the closure of the pharmacy.

Question about how the closure effects taxpayers received a valid question from the public on how much local taxpayers have provided for the development of the Price Chopper grocery store.

The City of Fort Scott was given the question, which mentioned Industrial Revenue Bonds, and responded.

” There is no negative effect to the taxpayers regarding the closure,” said Rachel Pruitt, Fort Scott’s Economic Development Director. “Reimbursement is only on incremental tax revenue.  The incentive should motivate the developer (AWG)to recruit new business.  If there is no tax revenue the developer does not receive reimbursement on their investment.”

“The incentives were explained in several commission meetings prior to construction,” Pruitt said. “I found a few notes to further explain the city’s involvement.”

This image was provided by the City of Fort Scott Economic Development Director, Rachel Pruitt.

Pruitt added the following to clarify:

“Local Incentives for Price Chopper Development:

  • Developer-funded project costs  were $9.4MM
  • Reimbursement of up to $2.65MM
  • $1.9MM via Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
  • Incremental real property tax and city sales taxes
  • $750,000 via Community Improvement District
  • .05% sales tax

“The State incentive:  IRB state sales tax exemption on construction materials and labor.

“IRB (Industrial Revenue Bond) was a state tax exemption on construction materials and labor.

There was no federal government incentive involved in the property development by Price Chopper.

“The County incentive:  participation in TIF – incremental property tax revenue reimbursed to AWG (the developer).

“TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District pays the developer on the ‘incremental’ tax revenue.  There is no bond obligation to the taxpayers.”

“They were performance-based incentives.”

Price Chopper opened Dec. 13, 2017

At the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Coffee this morning, Jan. 10, Pruitt said even though Aldi’s has been mentioned as a replacement for Price Chopper, that decision is in the hand of the developer.


Kansas Eco Devo Up in 2018

Kansas Department of Commerce Releases Economic Development Statistics for 2018

Topeka, Kan. – Kansas has had much to celebrate in the area of economic development during 2018, according to statistics released today from the Kansas Department of Commerce. 2018 has been an exceptional year for the Kansas economy, with over 11,000 new jobs and $1.7 billion in capital investment added to the state’s economy.

The Department of Commerce reports it participated in 138 successful economic development projects across the state during 2018, yielding 11,548 new jobs and 9,116 retained jobs. The total capital investment on these projects was $1.7 billion and $1.17 billion in payroll.

“I’m proud of what we have accomplished with the economy during my time in office,” said Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. “Unemployment is at record lows, we have more people working than ever before, and job creation is on the rise. Kansas has a brighter future because of the hard work done by so many over the past year.”


Of the 138 successful projects in 2018, the following are among the largest:

o    GEICO announced a new service center in Lenexa, with a $9,800,456 capital investment and 500 new jobs.

o    Great Plains Manufacturing, Inc. is expanding its manufacturing facility in Abilene, with a $10,841,000 capital investment and 200 new jobs.

o    Hospira, Inc., a Pfizer company, is expanding its pharmaceutical plant in McPherson with a $156,000,000 capital investment and 325 jobs added.

o    New Directions Behavioral Health announced it will move its headquarters to the Sprint campus in Overland Park with a $15,500,000 capital investment and 566 jobs added.

o    Orizon Aerostructures, LLC announced it would relocate a manufacturing operation to Olathe, with a $127,285,001 capital investment and 400 new jobs.

o    Palmer Manufacturing & Tank, Inc. announced a $16,642,000 capital investment in its Garden City plant, adding 201 jobs.

o    Shamrock Trading Corporation will build an office tower in Overland Park with a $248,000,000 capital investment and the company will add 1,500 jobs.

o    Spirit Aerosystems announced another major expansion, with plans for adding 1,400 new jobs.


“This has been an extraordinary year for economic development in Kansas,” said Robert North, Interim Secretary for the Kansas Department of Commerce. “The businesses that have made the wise choice to open or expand in the state of Kansas are making substantial contributions to the health of our economy and overall quality of life.”


January is Kansas Radon Action Month


KDHE urges you to have your home and school tested


TOPEKA – Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) proclaimed January 2019 “Kansas Radon Action Month” to help educate Kansans about the dangers of radon exposure and to encourage actions to identify and address radon problems.


“Radon risk comes from prolonged exposure to elevated levels,” said KDHE Environmental Specialist Mark Ungerer. “Mitigation is a small cost compared to the risk posed by living in a home with elevated radon and can be easily accomplished in most cases. KDHE recommends everyone test their homes and encourage their school boards and superintendents to test their schools to have the most complete information about their radon exposure.”


Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring radioactive gas found in soils across Kansas. Outdoors, radon is diluted to low concentrations, but once inside a building, radon can accumulate, exposing the occupants to elevated levels. Radon is the first leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause in smokers.


The only way to know if radon is elevated in a building is to test.  KDHE encourages all Kansans to test their homes for radon to make sure they are not being exposed to elevated levels. KDHE maintains a list of certified radon professionals who can perform radon measurements. Do-it-yourself radon test kits can also be purchased at local hardware and builder’s supply stores, as well as from county extension offices throughout Kansas. Elevated radon levels have been found across Kansas with about one in four measurements being high (above 4 picoCuries per liter).


While the majority of radon exposure comes from the home, Kansans should also be aware of potential radon exposure in other places where they, or their children, may be exposed. Children have smaller lungs and a more rapid breathing rate and are thought to be more susceptible to the risks presented by exposure to elevated radon levels. Kansas law does not require that schools be tested for radon, but Kansans are encouraged to contact their school board or district superintendent to find out if their local school has been tested.


Elevated radon levels can be fixed or reduced through mitigation.  Homeowners are encouraged to contact a certified radon professional if their radon test has a result of over 4 pCi/l.  Additional information about radon and a list of certified radon contractors is available at  or by calling the Kansas Radon Hotline at 800-693-KDHE (800-693-5343).

Bourbon County Commission Agenda Jan. 7


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: January 7th, 2019

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

9:00-9:45-Jim Harris

9:15-Discussion of agreement on Cedar Creek with Rural Water District #2

10:00-Lora Holdridge and Clint Anderson-Information Officers Job

11:00-12:00-Justin Meeks

Executive Session-Privileged in the attorney-client relationship-20 min.

12:00-1:30-Commissioners gone to lunch

1:30-Shane Walker and Rhonda Cole

City of Fort Scott Response to Price Chopper Closing

“The City was made aware of the Price Chopper closing on Sunday, January 6th. We are committed to maintaining a close relationship with Associated Wholesale Groceries, AWG, to assist in finding a suitable replacement as soon as possible.”

I know how hard of a decision this was for Barry (Queen),” Dave Martin, City Manager. “He thinks a lot of Fort Scott. We will work hard to get another business in the building.”

“We are grateful to the Queen family for their investment in our community and wish them as well as their employees the very best during this difficult time.”

KDOT Accepting Nominations

KDOT accepting Transportation Safety Recognition Award nominations

Topeka – Nominations for 2019 Transportation Safety Recognition Awards are now being accepted by the Kansas Department of Transportation. Traffic safety advocates can be nominated in one of two categories – People Saving People Award and the Hero Award.


The People Saving People Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made outstanding contributions to the improvement of transportation safety behavior in Kansas. The Hero Award honors the individual who has risked his or her own life to save someone else when they happened upon a crash or while trying to prevent the likelihood of a crash in a one-time traffic safety-related incident.


More details about the awards and nomination forms can be found at  Nominations must be submitted online or by mail by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 2.


The awards will be presented April 2 and 3 at the annual Kansas Transportation Safety Conference in Wichita.


The 2018 winners include:

Jeff Collier for his efforts as state coordinator for the Drug Recognition Expert and the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing training programs.


Kevin Gamble for advancing traffic safety issues – Gamble manages more than 58 State Farm grants to Kansas traffic safety programs, including the SAFE program, for a monetary amount exceeding $560,000.


Christopher Mann for providing legal representation to drunk driving victims and their families in lawsuits against the drunk drivers. Mann helped to pass DUI ignition interlock law that requires first-time offenders to install ignition interlocks on their vehicles.


Kendall Schoenekase for visiting Kansas universities to promote the “Don’t Text and Drive, Just Drive” pledge campaign as well as 40 Kansas high schools to promote the SAFE program.


Deputy Jason Klepac for running after a moving vehicle and saving the life of its unconscious driver.


Lieutenant Tom Reddin for entering a crashed vehicle setting on its side with smoke coming from its engine compartment and helping the three occupants exit safely.


Toll-free legislative hotline available to Kansas residents


Powered by the State Library of Kansas 


Topeka, KS, —Up-to-the-minute information on the 2019 Kansas Legislature is only a phone call or chat away. Kansas residents can access information about the Kansas Legislature, bill status, legislative process and more by calling 1-800-432-3924 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Questions are answered by experienced reference/research librarians at the State Library of Kansas and are kept confidential.


In addition to calling the hotline, Kansans can chat with a librarian instantly through the library’s Ask A Librarian service found at or use their phone to text questions to 785-256-0733. TTY users should call 711.  Questions can also be emailed to or by visiting the State Library.


Callers can also leave brief messages to be delivered to their legislators as well as request copies of bills, journals, and other legislative documents.


The State Library is located on the third floor, north wing of the Kansas Capitol Building. The library’s hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Grants For New Community Pools for Small Towns

Community Development Block Grant Program Announces Application for New Community Pool


TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Commerce announces its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program now enables communities to apply for funding that can be used to construct a swimming pool.

There are many benefits for a community to consider constructing an outdoor city swimming pool – both for lifestyle and health benefits. Swimming pools offer a means of social interaction, relaxation and stress relief. They give an opportunity for residents to participate in aerobic, yet low-impact exercise. Finally, ADA-approved pool helps people in the community who have special needs.

To be eligible, the proposed facility must include a single pool of water with no elaborate extras, such as lazy rivers, slides or splash parks. The pool can include a maximum of two diving boards. Facilities may be designed to allow for extra features in the future but cannot be part of the application.

For a community to be eligible, it must have population of 500 to 25,000. The maximum grant amount is $1,000,000.  The application has a deadline of May 15, 2019.  The City must still meet the LMI requirements, and a 60/40 match is required (60% CDBG funds and 40% local funds).

For more details and to download the grant application, visit Questions should be directed to Linda Hunsicker, CDBG Specialist, at (785) 215-4484 or


DCF Secretary Issues Statement About Interim Secretary, Child Welfare Grants


Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel issued the following statement on Governor-Elect Kelly naming Laura Howard as interim Secretary of the agency, and requesting to hold child welfare grants:

“It has been my greatest honor and privilege to serve the children and families of Kansas under Governor Jeff Colyer’s leadership, and alongside some of the most dedicated public servants. Together, we have made many necessary changes and improvements in one year.


I brought on board a dedicated leadership team with more than 300 years of combined experience at the agency. We visited all 36 DCF offices and met with judges, legislators, foster parents, mental health professionals, advocates and other child welfare stakeholders. We increased child safety and wellbeing by changing key policies and procedures and implementing further mandated training. We successfully piloted a 24/7 phone line in Wichita where law enforcement and hospital workers can immediately report abuse or neglect instead of calling the Kansas Protection Report Center (KPRC). DCF also overhauled the KPRC, streamlining key processes and implementing Structured Decision Making (SDM). The child protection vacancy rate has dropped by 60 percent. The number of missing and runaway youth has dropped 26.7 percent. Risk Removal Staffing’s have kept 86 youth from needing to enter care in the last three months, with a 49 percent diversion rate. We anticipate finalizing 1,500 adoptions in FY 19, double the number of adoptions in FY 18. We have added approximately 150 beds to the continuum of care and continue to add more. With Governor Colyer, we introduced legislation that was passed by the Kansas Legislature to increase agency transparency, and I always made myself readily available to the media. We have made initial necessary investments in child welfare, and Kansas is one of three states currently pursuing the Family First Prevention Services Act, innovative legislation that will bring evidence-based, preventative services to this state.


All these changes and improvements would not have been possible without the hard work of DCF’s staff, our contracted providers, judges, legislators, foster parents, advocates and other child welfare stakeholders. I will be ever thankful for their tireless work and their dedication to the children and families of Kansas.


Since the agency announced the new case management and family preservation grants, we have been honest, transparent and forthright with the Child Welfare System Task Force, advocates and the general public about the changes in the grants and the bidding and review process. It should also be mentioned; the grants were constructed after gathering valued feedback from the public and child welfare stakeholders—we received more than 400 concerns about the current child welfare contracts. The bid review process was extensive and robust. Two internal DCF teams, consisting of DCF staff from across the state, analyzed and blind-scored each bid submission offsite for three days. These new grants are necessary to improve child welfare in Kansas and are in the absolute best interest for Kansas children and families. With that being said, DCF has been fully transparent and forthcoming with information about the grants with Governor-Elect Kelly’s transition team, and we will continue to collaborate with them and hold the grants, as has been requested. I personally called each provider this morning to express the new administration’s desires on this matter.


I wish Laura Howard the best in her new position, and I will be readily available to her in the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition. From the moment Governor-Elect Kelly was integral in my unanimous confirmation as Secretary, I have enjoyed an honest and candid relationship with her. I wish her and her administration the best.”

Register For Statewide Job Fair

Statewide Job Fair Employer Registration Now Open


Topeka, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Commerce, in partnership with KANSASWORKS, will host the KANSASWORKS Statewide Job Fair on March 7, 2019. The annual job fair will provide employers, veterans, and job seekers with the unique opportunity to connect face-to-face.

“Meeting the workforce needs of Kansas employers is a primary goal for this Department,” said Interim Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary Robert North. “The Statewide Job Fair offers the opportunity to unite the businesses we work so closely with to the skilled and valuable employees they need to fill crucial positions within their companies.”

The Statewide Job Fair is also an opportunity for veterans of any status and their families to meet with a variety of employers in various industries and fields. Veterans at any stage in their career search are invited, including active duty, reservists, or National Guard.

“The Kansas workforce is made up of talented, highly-skilled individuals with a passion and drive that brings an inherent value to everything they do,” said Mike Beene, Kansas Department of Commerce Director of Employment Services. “Our workers make up the fabric of this state, holding it together through their commitments to hard work and excellence.”

The event will take place at 11 different locations across the state, including Colby, El Dorado, Independence, Kansas City, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Manhattan, Overland Park, Salina, Topeka, and Wichita. The job fair will be open to all job seekers from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Registration for the Statewide Job Fair can be done via the following links:

Colby, Independence, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Manhattan, Overland Park, Salina, Topeka:


El Dorado:


For more information, job seekers and employers may visit any Workforce Center or call (877) 509-6757.