The Winter 2019 Issue of the WaterFront is now available!
Make sure to save the date for Kansas Water Day in the Capitol on March 21.
The Winter 2019 Issue of the WaterFront is now available!
Make sure to save the date for Kansas Water Day in the Capitol on March 21.
March 1, 2019
Turnaround is the halfway point in the legislative session. It is a point when bills die that have not passed the originating chamber or have not been in an exempt committee. The Senate exempt committees are Federal & State Affairs, Tax, and Ways & Means. Generally, there is a major push to work as many bills as possible before the turnaround. My first year in the legislature we worked long hours for several days, including 24 hours the last day before turnaround. This year was much different. We worked several bills and then Senate leadership decided to take off the last day before turnaround. Needless to say, it was disappointing. While I appreciate the meticulous pace in working legislation, we could have worked another day on the floor and completed more of the State’s business.
Taking an approved Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course will qualify most drivers for a reduction in their motor vehicle insurance. Some insurance companies offer as much as a 10% discount. The course must be completed every three years. Currently, an online course takes four hours to complete, while an in-person course takes eight hours to complete. Senate Bill (SB) 94 would make a course four hours, regardless if online or in-person. The bill passed the Senate unanimously.
KS Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) requested SB 49 that would remove the cap on cabin rentals owned and operated by KDWPT. I did not support removing the cap and raised the question – should state government be in the business of competing with private sector lodging accommodations? The bill passed the Senate with 29 Yes and 11 No votes.
Eudora Community Library District Act, SB 50, would allow the city of Eudora and the local township to continue to be a library district. Eudora was a class 3 city that formed a library district with the local township. However, Eudora became a class 2 city because of an increase in population, which forced a change in the library district. This may not seem like important legislation but it is because most library districts are taxing authorities. Statewide, Kansas libraries collect approximately $114 million a year in property taxes. The new Eudora Library Board would first be appointed, not allowing voters an opportunity to select their representation. While I support libraries, I am a stronger advocate for elected representation. The bill passed Yes 27 to No 12. I voted No.
Law enforcement must obey the rules of the road as we do. SB 34 would give law enforcement some leeway when the rules impede law-enforcement action. The bill passed the Senate 34 Yes to 4 No. I voted Yes.
Advance Ballot Signatures: SB 130 would require county election officers try to contact each voter who submits an advance ballot that is not signed or the signature does not match the signature on file, allowing the voter an opportunity to correct it before final canvass. While I have concern as to the logistics, especially in larger counties, we need to make every attempt that all legal ballots are counted. The bill passed the Senate unanimously.
There were many more bills debated and passed, too many to list here. Many legislators support transparent government, myself included. As a result of this effort committee meetings and daily sessions are available online. Legislation and the meetings can be found at www.kslegislature.org.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.
Bourbon County Commission Room
1st Floor, County Courthouse
210 S. National Avenue
Fort Scott, KS 66701
Tuesdays starting at 9:00
Date: March 5th, 2019
1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________
2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________
3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________
County Clerk-Kendell Mason
10:30-11:00-Bill Martin-Juvenile Placement
Executive Session- Attorney Client Privilege-15 min.
Executive Session-Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel-30 min.
12:00-1:30-Commissioners gone to lunch
1:30-Christi Keating-Update on EMS
KDHE’s KIC Website Offers New Data from Emergency Departments
Tool makes diagnoses and other statistics available online for first time
TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has added a new dataset to its online health data query tool, Kansas Information for Communities (KIC). Emergency department data from the state’s general hospitals is now available on the KIC page.
“Using KIC, individuals and policy makers will be able to see the diagnoses that bring almost 900,000 residents to emergency departments at Kansas hospitals,” said KDHE Acting Secretary and State Health Officer Lee A. Norman, M.D. “This information can provide an insight into the injuries and illnesses affecting Kansans, many of which are preventable.”
Using the KIC emergency department data, individuals will be able to produce statistics on the number of ED visits by county, race, ethnicity, sex and various diagnosis categories. The diagnosis codes are grouped using a clinical classification software developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The same categories are used in the hospital discharge or inpatient diagnoses that are reported in the KIC hospital discharge query tool.
KIC can produce counts, rates and age-adjusted hospital ED or inpatient rates. Other datasets contained in KIC include hospital discharge procedures, births, deaths, pregnancies, cancer and population. Data used in KIC is deidentified with some small counts or unreliable rates suppressed. The KIC web site also hosts a variety of other statistics, data and resources. The URL is http://kic.kdheks.gov.
Governor Kelly outlines first seven weeks in office, encourages focus on schools
The following statement is from Governor Laura Kelly:
Good morning. In the seven weeks since the inauguration, my administration has been hard at work.
I presented a plan that balanced the budget, prioritized schools, paved the way for Medicaid expansion, invested in children and families, enhanced public safety, and left the largest ending balance in two decades.
My budget was structured to stabilize our fragile state finances and pay down the record amount of debt racked up during the last eight years. Not only that, my bipartisan Cabinet hit the ground running with the long, hard task of rebuilding our state agencies.
Together, we’ve increased transparency by sharing, honestly, the severity of the problems we uncovered at the Department of Corrections, Department for Children and Families, and Department of Revenue. We’ve shed light on the number of no-bid contracts hidden throughout state government.
Contracts worth tens of millions of dollars, that didn’t go through the proper channels, and may not be in the best interests of Kansans.
My team at the Department of Administration is currently in the process of developing new, stricter standards of ethics and accountability in the procurement process. We look forward to announcing that plan once it is finalized in the coming weeks. And we are just getting started. We understand the urgency of our work. Our work touches the lives of Kansans every day and we take that very seriously.
Unfortunately, I’m disappointed that the Legislature has yet to act with the same level of urgency, especially given the breadth of our challenges and the deadlines we face.
As a former legislator, I have deep respect for the legislative process. It is not unusual for many of the biggest issues of the session to be resolved later in the session. This is not a race. But the deadlines are real. And they are right around the corner. It’s frustrating that little progress has been made on the most critical issue of the session: school funding.
After seven weeks, I worry that some legislative leaders have allowed serious deliberations and the development of policy alternatives give way to partisan games and unnecessary name calling.
In 2011, the first year of the previous administration, the Legislature debated and acted on 99 more pieces of legislation by this point in the session than they have this year. At this moment, halfway into the session, just one piece of legislation has reached my desk.
I’ve met with leadership. I’ve met with lawmakers of both parties. And my door continues to be open. I’m eager to find bipartisan consensus when lawmakers return for the second half of the session. I’m looking forward to seeing their plans so we can begin negotiations.
On election night in November, I was hopeful that lawmakers could put our differences aside and work together on behalf of Kansas families. Today, I choose to remain hopeful. I am ready to find middle ground.
I was elected to rebuild our state following years of mismanagement and failed policy. I offered a plan to do just that. I hope lawmakers will join me in earnest when they return.
In the meantime, my team will continue to do our work – cleaning up messes and charting a more responsible path forward. We will continue to put the best interest of families first. We will prioritize schools, health care, roads, and job growth.
Thank you for coming today.
The Bourbon County Commission’s Economic Development Director has launched a survey to gather information from business owners to develop a strategic plan.
The survey began March 1 and will end April 19, 2019.
“Our goal at the county is to make Bourbon County the place people want to live, work, and play,” said Jody Hoenor, the county’s economic director. “By increasing our population we can lessen the weight of taxes on the individual with more citizens sharing these costs. By being strategic in our planning and involving the community in the process, we believe we will be able to lower taxes.”
The survey is sponsored by the Bourbon County Commission, the Kansas Department of Commerce, with assistance from the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, Live Local Bourbon County and the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team.
Survey results will inform the county on how to develop an economic development strategic plan and process.
” We will develop measurable goals with actionable items and report progress to the community through several communication channels,” she said.
“Like any other community, there will be many opportunities that will be identified in the survey,” Hoenor said. ” We do not have the capacity or resources to address every single issue. Through a transparent process of gathering community input through both a community perception and business retention and expansion survey, soliciting feedback from focus groups all over the county, and analyzing primary and secondary data we will be able to articulate how the priorities in the strategic plan were identified and determined by Bourbon County citizens years from now.”
The target people for the Business Retention and Expansion Survey, is Bourbon County business owners, CEO’s, and upper management, she said.
“That is everything from at home, e-commerce, farmers, ranchers, long term businesses, to our new healthcare providers,” Hoenor said.
She listed the objectives of the survey as:
- “Obtain a source of primary data to develop a measurable county-wide economic development plan.
- Aggregated regional survey results will be used to inform regional strategic planning with the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission.
- Voices of business owners will be used to participate in the process of improving the business climate, validate local needs, and advocate for regional, state, and federal resources.
- Build and maintain strong relationships with businesses.
- Develop a better understanding of the concerns, problems and opportunities of businesses in the area and leverage perceived strengths with perceived barriers within the community.
Confidentiality: Information will be protected closely so no one will be able to connect responses and any other information that identifies businesses. Responses will be combined with those of other firms to form an overall aggregate result in percentages, sums, or averages at the county and regional levels.
Final Report: A copy of the summary of findings will be available to all firms that participate in the survey.”
Interested survey respondents should contact Hoenor at email@example.com for a link to complete the survey.
Hoener’s office is located at 210 S National Ave., Fort Scott, KS 66701 and she can be reached at 620-223-3800 or 620-215-5725 Mobile or www.bourboncountyks.org
CITY OF FORT SCOTT
CITY COMMISSION MEETING
The regular meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission was held February 19th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Commission Room, 123 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas.
Commissioners Adamson, Bartelsmeyer, Mitchell and Nichols were present with Mayor Parker presiding.
INVOCATION: Pastor Paul Rooks, Grace Baptist Tabernacle, said a prayer asking God for guidance for the City, our Government and City officials.
AUDIENCE IN ATTENDANCE: Jason Pickert, Rhonda Dunn, Darrell Parker, Michael Mix, Paul Ballou, Deb Needleman, Robert Uhler, Michelle Wooldridge, Jara Martin, Nick Ruhl, Josh Jones, Darren Crays, Bobby Duncan, Alex Swank, Chalia Swank, Deb McCoy, Jeff Fischer, Larry Gazaway, Dave Bruner, Brian Allen, Paul Rooks, Rod Hughes, Michael Miles, Shawn Goans, Max Fanning, Kevin Allen, Jason Gorman, Patrick J. Wood, Stuart Gulager, Rachel Pruitt, Clayton Miller, and representing the press, Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune and Sarah Jane Tribble representing Kaiser Health News.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND APPROPRIATIONS/CONSENT AGENDA:
Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of February 5th, 2019.
Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1232-A totaling $505,644.58.
Bartelsmeyer moved the Consent Agenda. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED CONSENT AGENDA.
B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute
limit per citizen) –
Michelle Wooldridge – She stated that she lives in the 400 block of Crawford and there is a water drain issue there. She said she had called City Hall and reported it. She walked the street and it is coming from an organization’s yard from a drain that is a block and a half away.
City Manager asked her for her phone number and he will get her an answer tomorrow on this.
Bobby Duncan – He stated that in May of 2017 the City updated to the 2012 IBC Code. He said that Dave Bruner, Deputy Fire Chief, recommended the update of the code and to stay current with the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office. He said that the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office still has the 2006 IBC Code. He said Mr. Bruner’s statement is incorrect. He also stated that he believes the purchase of the fire trucks should go to the voters in November. He stated figures given by the former Director of Finance, Jon Garrison, regarding expenditures and carryover of funds for 2019. He stated that we will be spending more money than bringing in. He said that the current commissioners have proved that they do not possess the kind of integrity that is derived from good judgement.
Mayor Parker thanked them for their comments.
Mitchell moved to open the Public Hearing at 6:07 p.m. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.
OPENED PUBLIC HEARING AT 6:07 P.M.
6:00 p.m. Final Closeout Public Hearing – 124 E Wall – CDBG Grant – Approval for Mayor to sign closing documents – Rhonda Dunn, Director of Finance, informed the Commission that this public hearing is being held to close out the CDBG grant for 124 E. Wall. Susan Galemore, with Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission, was unable to attend due to the weather conditions. She asked if there were any comments from the public regarding this project. Seeing none, she asked the Commission to approve for the Mayor to sign the final closing documents on this project.
Bartlesmeyer moved to approve for the Mayor to sign the final closing documents on the CDBG grant for 124 E. Wall. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED FOR THE MAYOR TO SIGN THE FINAL CLOSING DOCUMENTS ON THE CDBG GRANT FOR 124 E. WALL STREET.
Nichols moved to close the Public Hearing at 6:09 p.m. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.
CLOSED PUBLIC HEARING AT 6:09 P.M.
Discussion on Fire Trucks – Paul Ballou, Fire Chief, appeared to give the Commission and the public further information on the Fire Department’s need for two new fire trucks. He said that the department currently has five trucks in its fleet. Two of the trucks have reached the 25 year mark in their service. According to the National Fire Protection Agency standards, when vehicles reach that age they should be replaced. He said that there is an option to refurbish, but it is not recommended by the NFPA. He said that due to the age of the trucks, it is difficult to find parts when repairs are needed. One of the trucks is a 1992 pumper truck and the other is the 1993 ladder truck. The pumper truck has nearly 40,000 miles on it. If the purchase of the trucks goes through, he would like to find another fire department for the pumper truck, but it would depend on liability.
City Attorney said that given the liability issue, he didn’t recommend doing that.
Chief Ballou said that the ladder truck has been a great truck and seen a lot of use. The truck is showing its age and wear. In 2012, the department did apply for a grant to refurbish the ladder truck and discovered the cost would be about $370,000 plus an additional $100,000 to rehabilitate the engine. He said that the fire trucks would be purchased from Conrad Fire Equipment from Olathe, Kansas. He recommended upgrading to the ladder truck with the 100’ ladder. Their current ladder has a 75’ ladder.
Mayor Parker expressed that this is much needed equipment even though it has caused some tension. This is very critical and we also need to think about the fire fighters, putting their lives in danger for us, and the equipment that they need.
City Manager stated that the City is not increasing taxes to fund the fire trucks.
Rhonda Dunn, Director of Finance, shared a calendar regarding the steps to issue General Obligation Temporary Notes. On February 5th, 2019, the City Commission approved the Resolution authorizing the Notice of Intent to purchase two fire trucks. It was published in the local newspaper on February 9th and February 16th. On February 17th, the 60 day protest period began. On April 5th, the protest period will end. No action can take place until that protest period ends. The total costs of General Obligation Temporary Notes will not exceed $1,915,000. Proceeds from the bonds would be used to fund the purchase and money from sales tax for utility debt would be used to pay down the purchase over time. It will be funded out of our existing budget.
Commissioners thanked all of them for the additional information.
Consideration to solicit RFP’s for new life insurance benefit offering – Deb Needleman, Human Resource Director, asked the Commission for approval to send out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for life insurance benefit offering. This life insurance product would be available for the employee to take with them when they leave City employment without conversion to a higher premium rate. It would be no cost to the City and include a guarantee issue for the employee, their spouse, children, and grandchildren. She would send out the RFP and come back to them for final approval.
Adamson moved to approve to solicit RFP’s for new life insurance benefit offering. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.
APPROVED TO SOLICIT RFP’S FOR NEW LIFE INSURANCE OFFERING.
Ambulance Update: Dave Bruner – Mr. Bruner introduced Sarah Jane Tribble with Kaiser Health News. She is working on the closure of Mercy and how the City is dealing with the future.
In February, there were 96 calls with 56 transfers. This was during the 18 day closure with no emergency room. Those transfers went to Pittsburg, Nevada, Girard, and Iola. He said that they anticipated the worse but didn’t have the worse time. They did add a fourth ambulance but are now back to three crews. Last week two new transfer vehicles were donated to the Bourbon County EMS with one donation from Timken and the other from Mercy Health Foundation. These will be utilized for long distance transfers but can also be utilized on calls.
Consideration of Bids – 16 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus – Dave said that bids were taken for 16 SCBA’s. A grant was received for this purchase in the amount of $99,524. Four bids were received with one company submitting a no bid. Casco Industries, Inc. of Oklahoma City submitted a bid in the amount of $94,185; Weis Fire & Safety Equipment of Salina, Kansas submitted a bid in the amount of $100,102.26; and Conrad Fire Equipment of Olathe, Kansas in the amount of $104,112.23. He asked for approval for the low bid from Casco Industries of Oklahoma City in the amount of $94,185.00.
Parker moved to approve the low bid from Casco Industries, Inc. of Oklahoma City in the amount of $94,185.00. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.
approved the low bid from Casco Industries, Inc. of Oklahoma City in the amount of $94,185.00 for purchase of 16 self contained breathing apparatuses.
Health Care Update: Dave Martin – Dave stated that Sarah Jane Tribble is doing a great job chronicalizing all the steps the City has taken since the announcement of the closure of Mercy.
Dave stated that this started with the announcement of the closure of Mercy on October 1st. They formed a task force and have met with a lot of people. They relied on Via Christi and CHC to assist us. He met with Randy Casen of Ascension Via Christi last week. He is convinced that Via Christi has very high hopes to provide health care in our community and partnering with CHC will be a part of that. The task force is still in place and we have to make sure that what happens in 2021 is what Fort Scott needs. He invited Dave, Rachel and Robert to a Chamber coffee that was held at Via Christi last week. They have a vision for rural health care. Senator Moran was in Fort Scott today. His office helped assist Via Christi meet guidelines to get the emergency room operating quickly here. Dave said that we would not be here if the doctors hadn’t signed contracts with CHC.
Rachel thanked the medical community for staying here in this community to work.
Finance Update: Rhonda Dunn – Rhonda passed out the quarterly report that will be published in tomorrow’s paper. The quarter ending in September will also be published. She said that the books are balanced every day by Marlene Braker to Landmark Bank. Sales tax is looking very favorable right now.
Legislative Update: Robert Uhler – Robert gave the Commission a quick update on the legislative issues going on in Topeka. In Kansas, so far, there are 585 bills filed. The City is tracking about 120 of those bills. The total for the year there will be over 1,000 bills that are filed. In the end, there will be only about 80 or 90 bills that are passed. There have been lots of meetings with the new Governor and new Secretary’s and bringing them up to date on happenings in Fort Scott. He has also been in contact with Senator Moran’s office in keeping the federal level updated also.
Commissioner Nichols asked if there were any major bills he was tracking.
Robert said the 911 bill, utility issues, and some public service wire issues are major bills he has been tracking. He testified on the ROZ which is the Rural Opportunity Zone in support for Senator Hildabrand and is also working with KDOT on Highway 69 to get the rest of the four lane constructed.
Bartelsmeyer – Thanked all the people who reported tonight. It was good information to have.
Adamson – Said she has heard really great things about our ER and that people are really happy it is open again. She said if anyone in the community has questions about the fire trucks to seek them out and they will try to answer them the best they can.
Nichols – He echoed Commissioner Adamson’s comments.
Mitchell – Nothing to report.
Parker – Nothing to report.
C. City Attorney: Nothing to report.
City Manager: Nothing to report.
Mitchell moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:59 p.m. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.
ADJOURNED MEETING AT 6:59 P.M.
The next regularly scheduled meeting is to be held on March 5th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
DIANE K. CLAY
The Fort Scott City Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday March 5 at city hall, 123 S. Main.
I. ROLL CALL:
ADAMSON BARTELSMEYER MITCHELL NICHOLS PARKER
II. FLAG SALUTE
III. INVOCATION: Pastor Paul Martin, Community Christian Church
V. CONSENT AGENDA:
Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of February 19th, 2019.
Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1233-A totaling $286,874.02.
VI. APPEARANCE/COMMENTS/PUBLIC HEARING:
B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute limit per citizen)
C. PUBLIC HEARINGS/COMMENTS:
6:15 p.m. Resolution 5-2019 directing the repair or removal of an alleged unsafe and dangerous structure located at 1612 E. Oak Street
Consideration of Resolution No. 6-2019 of the governing body of the City of Fort Scott determining the advisability of issuing Taxable Industrial Revenue Bonds for the purpose of financing the acquisition, reconstruction, remodeling, furnishing and equipment of a commercial facility located in said city and authorizing execution of related documents.
Consideration of Ground Lease Bids for land at Wastewater Treatment Plant
Consideration of quote for raw water testing for cryptosporidium
Consideration of Bids for Leak Noise Correlator
Health Care Update – Dave Martin
EMS Update – Dave Bruner
Waggoner Engineering – Robert Uhler
Fire Truck Purchase – Rhonda Dunn
I MOVE THAT THE CITY COMMISSION RECESS INTO EXECUTIVE
SESSION FOR ________________________________ IN ORDER TO
(see below justification)
DISCUSS ______________________________________. THE
EXECUTIVE SESSION WILL BE ___________ MINUTES AND THE OPEN
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
IX. MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT: ROLL CALL
There will be a meeting of the Fort Scott Land Bank held on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. in the City Commission meeting room at 123 S. Main Street. This meeting will be held to continue the discussion on the policies of the Land Bank. There will be a majority of the City Commissioners present, but no City Commission business will be conducted.
Redfield’s City Council is working to improve their town.
One of the ways to improve is the way the council is elected.
“We will have elections every two years, like everyone, but not everybody running for office at the same time,” said Beth Guss, acting Redfield City Clerk.
“When my husband (Ed Guss) took office, everyone but Wilma Graham was new, and nobody had known what to do,” she said.
They visited with neighboring Uniontown Mayor Larry Jurgensen and City Clerk Sally Johnson about the issue and were told about staggering the election so all are not new members at the same time, she said.
Following protocol, the City of Redfield published the proposed changes in the Fort Scott Tribune on Feb. 9 and 16.
This ordinance will take effect 61 days following the final publication.
An election of city council members will take place this November 2019, with succeeding elections every two years for the positions of those whose terms have expired.
This year Wilma Graham and L.D. Morrison will be up for re-election.
“Anyone can register to run,” Guss said.
Other members of the council in addition to these two are Clarence (Ed) Guss, Kirby Martin, and Michael Beerbower.
Beth Guss said she is the acting city clerk until a replacement can be found.
It is difficult to find citizens who will serve in a community of Redfield’s size, 157 people, “not counting the dogs,” she said with a laugh. The town is located in the middle of Bourbon County.
“We’ve got small-town issues, like all small towns,” she said. “We are working to make our town better.”