Appearances by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

 Jesus is not happy with the Pharisees. He calls them whitewashed tombs, beautiful (“righteous”) on the outside but “full of hypocrisy and wickedness” on the inside. (Matthew 23:27-28 NIV)

When Dave and I first toured the Florida subdivision where we now rent, I envisioned Aunt Bea taking cookies to a neighbor and Opie fishing in a nearby pond. Aside from the Key West-style homes and the pristine landscaping, what impressed me most were the front porches—welcoming, friendly, a return to a once-upon-a-time era when neighbors sat together and caught up on each other’s lives. Rocking chairs, swings, and padded loveseats all seemed to say, “Come on up and chat a while.”

As it turned out, these didn’t.

For six months I have ridden my bike or taken long walks a few times a week, all hours of the day, expecting to find owners relaxing on their porches or strolling through their All-American, Norman Rockwell neighborhood. Two times (2!) I have found porch-sitters…both who ignored me until I greeted them first. When I meet up with dog-walkers, they speak only if I mention their cute canine. No one has asked my name or started a conversation. What am I to make of this? I mean, such a waste of these charming, inviting porches!

Dave says I’m to make nothing of it. It’s their home and they can use whatever part of it they want. No one has to talk to me if they don’t want to. The way they choose to live their lives is their business. I tell Dave that they probably are all sad people who never learned how to make friends, don’t know Jesus, and I probably should take them cookies. That’s what Aunt Bea would do. Then I reconsider. I know these types. They’ll accuse me of lacing them with arsenic or marijuana. Dave says I am making way too big of a deal out of this.

I tell him that I think our neighborhood is an excellent example of “what you see is not what you get.” It appears inviting, but isn’t. Jesus gave us a great picture of that when he addressed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. (See Scripture above.) Remember, the Pharisees were the spiritual leaders, esteemed, pious Jews who knew “The Law” and insisted that everyone live accordingly. They looked the part and played the part and probably even had “Honk if you obey God” humper stickers on their camels, but their outer appearance defied what was going on inside them. Had Aunt Bea been alive during Jesus’ day, I’m convinced that she would not have been part of the Pharisees’ social registry.

Earlier in Matthew 23 Jesus calls it like it is: Everything they (the Pharisees) do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long. (Side note: phylacteries were small cases containing Scripture that these religious leaders attached to their foreheads; tassels were a grouping of loose threads hanging at the hems of their clothes–reminders of the commandments God gave to Moses). To the Pharisees, wide and long meant bigger and better.

Let’s face it. Appearances can deceive. We can paint it, enlarge it, decorate it, even suspend a “Welcome” banner from it, all which reveal nothing about what’s inside. But isn’t that true of all of us? Could Jesus call me a “white-washed tomb” for expecting others to meet my front porch expectations but not working harder to meet theirs? Could I be that hypocrite? Could Dave be right after all? Could this be a problem that a few chocolate chip cookies could solve?

I think it is. I’m just not sure how long I have to sit on my front porch, waiting for someone to deliver them. But when they do, I’ll invite them to “come on up and chat a while.” After all, you have to start somewhere.

I think Aunt Bea would be proud.

Fort Scott Public Library Sept. Newsletter

Fort Scott Public Library Newsletter
September 2019

Welcome

We hope you enjoy the Fort Scott Public Library newsletter. You are receiving it because you provided us with your email address for library notifications. If you don’t want to receive future editions, you can unsubscribe using the link in this newsletter, or email the library fsplcirc@gmail.com, and we will remove your address from the list.
Previous editions of this newsletter are available on our website: fortscott.mykansaslibrary.org

Programs and information for Adults

 

Coloring for Adults
Wednesdays at the Library from 2:00-4:00

We supply coloring pages, pens and pencils, and snacks. You’re welcome to bring your own supplies and projects, if you prefer.

Ongoing Book Sale
We have a shelf and 2 carts of books for sale downstairs ALL the time!
Paperback     $0.25
Hardback    $0.50
Other Items   $1.00 (or as marked)

Download ebooks, audiobooks, comics, TV episodes, movies, music, and more. All you need is your library card login and a valid email address. Ask us if you need assistance.

Download ebooks and audiobooks. All you need is your library card login. Ask us if you need assistance.

 
 
 
Download ebooks and audiobooks from the State Library of Kansas. All you need is a Kansas Library eCard. Ask us if you need assistance.

For Kids

Storytime
Join Miss Val for Storytime on Tues. or Wed. at 10 am weekly for a themed children’s program! Storytime features stories, crafts, snacks, singing, and sometimes, special guests, all centered around seasonal themes or ideas from attendees. The program is free and open to all ages! Each event also features a play and coloring table, which families with energetic little ones or special needs children find especially helpful. Join us and see for yourself! Upcoming themes: Mermaids, Food, Toy Stories, Llamas, Music, Fish, Fall, and Halloween.
Tell us your child’s theme ideas here.
 
Miss Val is always seeking volunteers to help with programs and prep. Interested? Contact her at vcyouthlib@gmail.com.

 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten
Join our free early literacy program and steer your baby or preschooler toward academic success! Studies show that children who are read to from an early age develop better vocabulary, make more connections in their brains, and form the needed skills to read by themselves much quicker than their average peers who are not read to. Sign up by stopping in at the library for your first reading log, welcome letter, and other paperwork. Take a look at our awesome readers here.
           
Attention: 1,000 Books Graduates! 
Plan to attend our first-ever 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Graduation Party on September 27, 5 – 5:30 pm.
Graduates who have reached 1,000 or more books read before kindergarten will receive certificates, goodie bags, snacks, and will make a craft. All past or current participant families are welcome to attend, and will receive a goodie bag, snack, and be invited to read a book together as a group. Join us in congratulating and celebrating these amazing accomplishments in early literacy!

For Families

Celebrate the beginning of a new school year with fellow homeschool families at our 2nd Annual Back to Homeschool Party!
September 30, 2 – 3 pm.
Enjoy snacks & drinks while participating in activities for kids & teens at this free program. Parents will discuss curriculum and schedules for the upcoming year.
WE NEED A HOMESCHOOL PARENT TO LEAD THE DISCUSSION OR ACT AS GUEST SPEAKER. INTERESTED? Email vcyouthlib@gmail.com.
                     Slime returns to Maker Monday!
September 16, 4 – 5 pm.
Make pudding, fluffy, glitter, borax, and many other kinds of slime!
Enjoy snacks & water and work as a family at this free program. Kids 2nd grade and below must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

TAG for Teens & Tweens

Middle & High School Students, come on Wednesdays at 4:15 p.m. for a free program just for you! Help us shape the program for the upcoming months by suggesting new group names and joining in a vote on September 11. An ongoing reading challenge began last week and will run through the end of next May. Reading prizes and books will be awarded for every 500 pages of reading. The August & September meetings will run as follows:
September 11, 4:15-5 pm: Monster Mash-Up Sewing at the Library
September 18, 4-6 pm: Games & Snacks Night at the Library
September 25, 4:15-5 pm: Book Club at the Keyhole
October 2, 4:15-5 pm: Community Service (Have a project for us?)
October 9, 4:15-5 pm: Mini Pumpkin Painting at the Library
October 16, 4-6 pm: Games & Snacks Night at the Library
October 23, 4:15-5 pm: Book Club at the Keyhole
October 30, 4-5 pm: Halloween Party at the Library
Need a ride from public school to TAG? Parents or guardians, call Joe Allen at 223-0800 to arrange bus transportation for your student.

New books–Adult Fiction

A dangerous man
by Robert Crais

Rescuing a bank teller from an abduction attempt, Joe Pike tackles the most perilous case of his career when the would-be kidnappers are found murdered and the bank teller goes missing. By the best-selling author of The Wanted

Bark of night
by David Rosenfelt

Rescuing a dog who was abandoned at a veterinarian’s office by a stranger, defense lawyer Andy Carpenter searches for answers upon learning that the dog’s real owner has been found murdered. By the award-nominated author of Deck the Hounds

Maps Of Town-Wide Garage Sale This Weekend Available Now

It’s time for the
Fall 2019 Fort Scott
Town-Wide Garage Sale
This Friday and Saturday,
September 13th & 14th!
The official garage sale maps are available at the Chamber of Commerce at
231 E. Wall St., and at the following locations: 5-Corners Mini Mart, Bids & Dibs, Casey’s, Don’s Smoke Shop, and all 4 Pete’s locations.
FOR A PRINTABLE COPY OF THE MAP, CLICKHERE

Burton Harding: New FS City Attorney

Burton Harding in a 2013 photo from Linn County News.
 Burton Harding, 37, is the new attorney for the City of Fort Scott.
His duties are providing legal assistance to the Fort Scott City Commissioners.
Harding was educated at the University of Kansas Law School
 and has practiced law for 10 years.
He and his wife have two children.
Burton’s date of hire for the City of Fort Scott was May 1, 2019.
Harding’s familiarity with Fort Scott helped with procuring the job.
“Of the applicants that applied for this position, we felt Burton was the one who had the most familiarity with Fort Scott and would be committed to represent the City’s legal interests and provide legal counsel to the commission and staff,” Deb Needleman, Fort Scott Human Resources Director said.
His office is located in Mound City.
“Just as our previous city attorney worked out of his own office within his legal firm, so does Burton,” Needleman said.  “Burton’s office is in Mound City but he is in Fort Scott several days a week and meets with staff as needed….just as the previous city attorney did.”

Contact information:

Harding Law Firm, L.L.C.
223 Main St.
P.O. Box 216
Mound City, KS 66056
Ph: 913-795-2285

Buying Locally Benefits Community

This sign is placed at each participating local Bourbon County business owner and includes a list of all the businesses.

There is a grassroots movement across the county to help small towns stay viable.

Bourbon County has its’ own organization for encouraging small businesses.

Live Local BB started in July 2017 to raise community awareness of the benefits to using locally owned business over non-locally owned businesses, including internet businesses.

The initial public meeting of Live Local BB was in September 2017, pictured here. The event was held at Sharkey’s Pub.

Geoff Southwell, president of Live Local BB said his businesses have experienced sales because of awareness that they are locally owned.

Southwell owns Miller Feed and Oil  and The Butcher Block  in Fort Scott.

“Individuals and businesses come in and specifically buy from us because we are local,” he said. “With the Butcher Block, we got some commercial accounts to have us cater, because we are local.”

“Ever since I have “joined the movement” I have really tried to “think Local First” and I think that, being able to be on the board with several other entrepreneurial folks has really brought to light how to ‘think local first'” said Chrystal Cowan, a member of the organization. “In my life I have taken it beyond the normal, everyday items- those are easy…. Get gas locally, buy groceries locally, feed, shoes, etc… the list goes on and on.  Instead I now have the mindset of, how can I utilize my locals.”

She gives an example of a recent birthday party.

“We had a birthday party for my daughter a few weeks back, and I ordered pizza (and) I forgot to pickup ice cream,  and really didn’t want to hassle with going to the other end of town,” Cowan said. ” I reached out to Brita at Papa Don’s (Restaurant)and she was able to sell me a tub of ice cream as well.  I knew going in, that she may not have enough stock to sell me a tub, but I thought I would ask, and that particular time it worked out!  Now ice cream isn’t something that Brita typically sells by the gallon, but it just so happened that her inventory allowed her an extra for me to buy. I could go on and on about how many times I have tried to come up with a way to purchase something from someone local, or called them with weird requests… but I think my point is that it may take a little bit of thinking outside of the box, but I have learned to try and just think local first.”

Cowan has been asked why she got involved with Live Local BB, since she works at a local insurance company.

” My response to that question, and my response on behalf of any of our professional services businesses is this- You can buy what I sell online, you can travel outside of the county and utilize an agent. But if you click the link and fill out the form to get a quote, are you really getting what you need? Are you going to have a person that you can call on a Sunday, or text on a Tuesday night at 10 pm, and the answer to that is, no you won’t…  so why do I think that Live Local is important – every business in this town is important, and it’s important we support each other in any way that we can.”

“The numbers (facts on money benefitting the community) vary slightly depending on the study, but it’s pretty close to 60 cents of a dollar will stay in a community with a locally owned business and 40% with a non-local business,” Bryan Holt, a member of Live Local BB, said. “Retaining 50% more dollars in our community is a great thing!”

The benefits of money staying in the community include job creation, keeping the money in the local economy where it can be respent and also providing community involvement in the form of charitable giving to local organizations, according to the MSU study listed below.

 

Links for reference are the following provided by Holt:

https://ced.msu.edu/upload/reports/why%20buy%20local.pdf

https://www.forbes.com/sites/centurylink/2017/11/20/5-benefits-of-shopping-locally-on-small-business-saturday/#7656510d668b

https://grasshopper.com/resources/articles/small-business-saturday-statistics/

 

The Live Local BB organization is comprised of locally owned businesses within Bourbon County.

“We have over 80 businesses in our group,” said Geoff Southwell, president of the organization.

Locally owned businesses can be identified by an orange sign in the window of the business. To see the list of local business, click below:

live local

Geoff Southwell speaks during the initial Live Local BB meeting in Sept. 2017.

” We have a desire to see the community grow and become stronger,” he said. ” We wanted to give the community a means for identifying locally owned businesses, with owners who live in Bourbon County. We have ‘Live Local’ signage placed at each business which identifies them as locally owned.”

“We feel we have made an impact on the community to use locally owned first,” Southwell said.

 

 

The Live Local BB sign can be seen in local businesses and includes the list of participating businesses.

 

 

 

Police Escort Visitor Out of High School In Sept. 3 Incident

Fort Scott High School.

An unwanted visitor entered Fort Scott High School on Sept. 3.

“We did have a person in the building at the high school early, before school started, Tuesday, September 3rd,” USD 234 Superintendent Ted Hessong, said.

The person was stopped by a high school teacher who asked why the person was in the building, he said.

” One of our custodians made sure the students in the building stayed away from the person while the teacher questioned him about being in the building,” Hessong said. “The custodian also contacted another employee of ours who was headed to the high school to assist with the situation, just in case additional support was needed. This employee contacted local law enforcement to also possibly assist with the situation. Police officers escorted the person out of the building, without incident.”

The high school staff followed the plan of approaching anyone who is in the building, who is not identified as checking in the office first, to see if they need help or to direct them back to the school office to check-in, he said.

 

“I want to commend our high school teacher, custodian, program director, and local law enforcement for managing the situation to make sure everyone was safe in the building,” Hessong said.

KCC Denies Westar Request

KCC denies request that would have cost Westar customers approximately $93 million

Topeka – This morning, the Kansas Corporation Commission denied Westar Energy’s request for ratepayers to bear the cost of its seven-month lease and subsequent purchase in August 2019 of an 8% interest in Jeffrey Energy Center (JEC). Had it been approved, the cost to ratepayers would have amounted to approximately $93 million in increased rates over the next 15 years.

 

In rejecting the request, the Commission order states Westar failed to meet its burden of showing that its new lease and purchase agreement was a prudent decision for its retail customers and that Westar entered into the agreement knowing it did not need the 8% portion of JEC to satisfy its capacity requirements and the settlement agreement would increase customers’ rates.

 

Prior to the August purchase, Westar and Kansas City Power & Light owned 92% of the Jeffrey Energy Center (JEC). Midwest Power Company owned the remaining 8% and leased it to Westar. The power generated was sold to Mid-Kansas Electric Company through a Power Purchase Agreement. The lease and purchase agreements both expired on January 3, 2019. Westar then opted for a new lease and subsequent purchase of the 8% and asked the Commission to approve the recovery of costs through its Retail Energy Cost Adjustment (RECA) which is included in customer rates.

 

Today’s order does allow Westar to operate the 8% portion of JEC for wholesale sales and retain revenues resulting from that portion of the plant for their shareholders.

The Commission’s regulatory oversight requires balancing the interests of the public and the utility while ensuring reliable and cost efficient service.

Today’s Commission order can be viewed at: http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx?Id=a3473a11-528a-46eb-9195-7b5425701361

 

Child Car Seat Safety

Free Resources Help Parents Ensure Children’s Safety
State Partners Highlight Car Seat Safety During Child Passenger Safety Week

 

TOPEKA – Every day in America, millions of parents and caregivers take to the road with children in their vehicles. While many children are buckled up in the right car seat for their ages and sizes – nearly half (46 percent) are not, and some aren’t buckled up at all. Child Passenger Safety Week is September 15-21, 2019, and Safe Kids Kansas, the Kansas Department of Transportation and Kansas Highway Patrol want to ensure children ride as safely as possible—every trip, every time.

 

“Every 32 seconds in 2017, a child under 13 was involved in a motor vehicle crash,” said Colonel Herman T. Jones, Kansas Highway Patrol. “Using a car seat that fits your child and your vehicle is the best way to keep your children safe.” According to NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children. While fatalities and injuries declined from 2016 to 2017, there is still work to be done to completely eliminate these preventable tragedies. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts can make all the difference. “In 2017, there were 312 children under the age of 5 saved because they were using restraints,” said Col. Jones. “Car seats matter.”

 

Too often, parents move their children to the front seat before they should, which increases the risk of injury and death, even if they are buckled up. The safest place for all kids under 13 is in the back seat.

 

“As parents and caregivers, we have a long list of things we do for our children to show our love. One of the simplest and most important things on the list should be to make sure they are in the right car seat for their age and size,” said Cherie Sage, Safe Kids Kansas. “Get your car seats checked. Make certain they’re installed correctly, and that your kids are in the right seats and are buckled in correctly. Even if you think your child’s car seat is installed correctly, get it checked with a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, so you can be sure that your child is the safest he or she can be while traveling.” To find a car seat inspection station near you, visit www.kansascarseatcheck.org.

 

According to a 2018-19 observational survey, if the driver is belted, about 97% of the observed children are belted too. If the driver is not belted, about 30% of the observed children are belted.

 

“Drivers play an important role in not only getting to a destination safely, but ensuring all passengers are buckled up,” said Julie Lorenz, Kansas Secretary of Transportation. “Seat belts are for everyone because your life and your passenger’s lives depend on it.”

 

For optimal safety, it is recommended to keep children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible,” or all-in-one car seat. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness (always use the tether). After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use seat belts safely. And if children are under 13 years old, they should always sit in the back seat.

 

Remember to register your car seat or booster seat with the seat manufacturer so you can be notified in the event of a recall. Parents and caregivers can find more information on how to choose and use car seats safely at www.ultimatecarseatguide.org.

Bourbon County Commission Minutes August 27

August 27, 2019                                              Tuesday 9:00 am

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

Tammy Helm with the Fort Scott Tribune and Nancy Van Etten were also present.

Jeremiah Hill met with Jim Harris, Jerad Heckman and the Commissioners; he said the motor grader had cut a diagonal ditch across the road on Poplar between 205-215th; Jerad said he felt the water was coming from the driveways cutting the ditch in the road. Jeremiah said when a ditch gets cleaned the dirt is getting pushed into the fence; Jim said they have been instructed not to do this if there is a fence there. Jeremiah discussed an area where this was done, Jim said they have to clean up the shoulders to build the road that he has requested, Jim said when it is dry enough they will go back and smooth out the area; Jeremiah said when this is done, it changes the flow of water. Jeremiah discussed the drive entrances now being higher than the road. Jeremiah discussed the roads and the intersections getting narrower. Jeremiah presented pictures of piles of dirt and debris that the graders are leaving on the roads.

Jeff discussed KDOT’s grant for bridges, he said there is $5 million available; Jeff said he felt they needed to prioritize the bridges and apply for some of the grant money.

Jim said they are out of chips and are planning to start making chips today; Jim said they will probably have to buy ice control this year.

Lynne discussed the revenue from the Road & Bridge Sales tax; he said it was down $6,500 for August and $10,000 for July. Jim suggested that the revenue from Road & Bridge Sales tax be monitored weekly.

Jim said the older New Holland tractor has a cracked block.

Jeff discussed the road north of Redbud Nursery; he said a few years ago the County reclaimed the road and said the root of the problem there was that a contractor had filled in a ditch forcing the drainage under the road. Jeff said he has witnessed the same issue around the County in other areas.

Lynne discussed gravel in the ditch at Range and 105th; Lynne said the gravel was washed off of the road due to concrete placed in front of a culvert in the area.

Jeff said he received a report from Jim’s neighbor about the ditch north of his property; Jim said they are building a ditch in the area.

Cheryl & Frank Adamson met with the Commissioners regarding a hearing that was held between the City of Fort Scott Commissioners and Kevin “Skitch” Allen. Kevin won a place on the General ballot for a Fort Scott City Commissioner. The City Commissioners claimed that Kevin was not a city resident; after the hearing and based on the information that the City presented at the hearing, it was determined that Kevin met the criteria to be a resident. Cheryl questioned the ordinance that stated the candidates needed to be residents; Kendell said it is a City of Fort Scott ordinance.

Lynne made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Jody Hoener, Kendell Mason and Richard Goldstein). No action was taken.

Bill Martin, Bobby Reed, Ben Cole and Alvin Metcalf met with the Commissioners to discuss the 2020 budget. Also present for this meeting were Frank and Cheryl Adamson, Nancy Van Etten, Rachel Pruitt, Dave martin, Robert Uhler and Tracy Reed. Bill Martin said he was reviewing the 2020 budget and asked for an explanation of the proposed budget. He said he noticed a $39,674 increase in the Sheriff departments wage budget, he questioned if this was to cover the wages of the Sheriff Deputy that has been being paid by a grant, Lynne said no this wasn’t the reason for the increase. Bill said the position is still there, but isn’t being paid for by the grant any longer; Bill said he will be over in wages in 2020. Bill said he noticed that each one of the elected officials was getting a pay raise in the budget; Bill said he only requested a 3% increase for his wages, Bill said he wanted no more than a 3% increase. Bill discussed two of his exempt employees that there was not a raise budgeted for (Bill said the two employees hadn’t received a raise since 2012 or 2013), but other exempt employees getting a raise. Bill said when the hourly employees received raises last year, his exempt employees did not receive a raise; Bill suggested finding money to get them a pay raise as well, he said they are good employees that do above what is expected. Bill said he wasn’t attacking a person, but questioned the budget for Economic Development; he said in 2019 $60,000 was budgeted, but in 2020 $100,000 has been proposed for the Economic Development budget. Lynne said Economic Development is the only way to turn the ship around by addressing what is causing the population decline. Jeff Fischer told Bill he admired how Bill had tried to address wages and retention; Jeff said they had previously adjusted his deputies’ wages to help address retention and said at that time they had planned to address salaried individuals in the future. Jeff previously compared the wages of Bourbon County to other like counties and said they realized there was a gap in some areas. Jeff said other like counties pay their Sheriff $67,000, Bourbon County pays $45,900. Bill said every year he presents a budget with raises, but said this lacked action. Lynne discussed the Sheriff budgeting $4.00/gallon for fuel, he said they have offered the Sheriff a fuel tank to save money on the fuel, but Bill did not accept the tank. Bobby Reed said they have been kicked to the curb for 7 years; Lynne said each Commissioner was ok with the way the budget was done. Lynne said they were told that the new jail wasn’t going to cost anymore, Bobby said he didn’t say that, Lynne said when the new jail was presented it was promised it could operate on the same amount of money; Bobby asked who said this, Lynne said he (Bobby) did, Nick said this was always told to taxpayers that it wasn’t going to cost anymore; Bill said it was presented that there wouldn’t be any more cost for the employees to run the building. Bill said the operation of the jail is covered by the sales tax; he said the ballot stated that the sales tax could be used to refurbish the old jail, pay the bond for the jail and the operations. Lynne said the County is getting less revenue from sales tax and that we have to be able to make the payments. Bill said he did not want a raise. The Commissioners said they would like to address the exempt employees next year; Bobby said it could be addressed if they are still here. There was a brief discussion over Allen County receiving reimbursement from inmates for medical care while in jail, Jeff said he hasn’t seen any reimbursements for Bourbon County inmates; Bobby said this is submitted to the County Attorney and it is then up to the court to collect the money. Alvin Metcalf said when he goes to work every day, his family doesn’t know if he is coming home or not. He said other people don’t have the same worry. Alvin said when they come to the Commissioners nothing gets accomplished. Lynne said other departments budgets have been reduced significantly. The Commissioners said it is budgeted in 2020 and planned to give a longevity bonus based on years of service. Jeff said in January of 2020 they will assign a value to each position. There was a discussion over the declining population and the healthcare costs that the County has incurred. Bill said he didn’t feel comfortable taking a raise with the unknown. Bill said he didn’t do his job for the pay, but was doing it for the civic duty. Jeff said a large portion of the previous raises given were given to his department. Lynne said they realize that in a few years they will have to address wages for the hourly employees. Jeff said that previously the Sheriff’s department was losing employees to the City of Fort Scott and the County Commissioners addressed their wages then, he said they are making progress and it is getting better. Jeff said they need to be working together to move the community forward.

City of Fort Scott representatives Rachel Pruitt, Cheryl Adamson, Randy Nichols and Dave Martin, as well as Jim Fewins, Jody Hoener and Barbara Ritter met with the Commissioners. Rachel Pruitt presented a draft document of a Property Tax Relief for the City of Fort Scott. This program is to help local businesses prosper and grow. This is a program they are trying to create to help move current businesses from building lease to business building owners. Rachel discussed property taxes being a barrier to owning property for the businesses. If the program is created there will be different qualifications. If approved, the program will offer the approved applicant different percentages of the taxes that they have to pay over a ten year period. Barbara Ritter said the tax burden keeps them from purchasing, so they continue to lease. Rachel said this program would be to help with business retention and is an expansion tool to keep current businesses. Jeff questioned the impact for the other counties that are doing this.

Lynne said Joe Bisone presented him with a picture of a development they are working on; they hope to build 107 units near Hammond on Condensory Road made out of Hempcrete. The plan for the first phase will consist of 7 units.

Lynne made a motion to go into a 30 minute executive session for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.

Lynne made a motion to go into a 3 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.

At 12:02, Lynne made a motion to break for lunch and reconvene at 1:30, Nick seconded and all approved.

Emergency Manger Will Wallis met with the Commissioners, Jeff made a motion that Lynne sign the EMPG Funds document, Nick seconded and all approved and Lynne signed the document. Will discussed disaster KDEM #4449; 70 Kansas counties (including Bourbon County) are a part of this disaster and there are nearly 500 applicants in the program. Will said he would question if there was a 6 month debris removal deadline.

Deb McCoy presented a letter to Jeff and Kendell; the letter from Deb thanked Kendell for the work she does.

Economic Development Director Jody Hoener met with the Commissioners; they discussed the strategic plan and the vision for Bourbon County.

Nancy Van Etten met with the Commissioners regarding research she had done; previously Fort Scott Lake property owners met with the Commissioners regarding a possible building of condos on a lake lot. In September 2004, Mel Cummins petitioned Bourbon County to subdivide a lake lot for multiple single dwellings. At that time, the Cummings property was outside the 3 mile zone, so the County had jurisdiction over the Cummins property. The County Commissioners held a hearing in October 2004 and the Commissioners denied the petition to subdivide the property.

Lynne made a motion to go into a 5 minute executive session for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.

At 3:56, Lynne made a motion to adjourn, Nick seconded and all approved.

THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS

(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jeff Fischer, Commissioner

(ss) Nick Ruhl, Commissioner

ATTEST:

Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk

Approved Date 09/03/2019

 

Fort Scott News