Edward Jones Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

There was a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Edward Jones office today at noon. Approximately 35 people attended the event. Jamie Armstrong (Financial Advisor) and Tedena Tucker (Branch Office Administrator) will both be working in the new location at 1713 S. National Suite B. The office is right next to subway in a section of the building that used to be the Movie Gallery.

Edward Jones provides financial services to nearly 7 million clients in the United States and Canada.

County Commission Meeting

The only person listed on the agenda at the start of the meeting was Marty giving the road report at 9 am and opening sealed bids for a generator at 10 am.

Roads Report

The Slick Rock Bridge project is going to incur an expense of $167,000. The $167,000 will be reimbursed by the Kansas T-Works program. However, the county needs to come up with the $167,000 payment to get the work done before the county can be reimbursed. The commissioners and the clerk determined that there was enough money available.

The current timeline looks like the bridge will take 5 months to build.

One of the county high loaders is using over a gallon of oil each day. It will cost $3,895 in parts to do a rebuild on the engine if the county does it themselves. A new engine would cost $20,200. The commissioners looked over different quotes and options. There was quite a bit of discussion regarding what would be most cost effective.

A citizen called in to ask how to go about protesting their taxes. Commissioner Warren conferred with the Clerk and told them they would need to speak with the Treasurer’s department who would help them setup a review with the county appraiser.


A citizen came in and asked about who is responsible for maintaining a fence between property when one piece of the property is in the CRP program. The commissioners said there is a $7.50 charge per commissioners to do a “fence viewing” where the Commissioners will come out and meet with both owners and then decree which owner is responsible for which part of the fence.

There was some discussion about how property boundaries works. Commissioner Coleman said that if you discover your neighbor has built a fence that is on your property, you have 15 years from the time it was discovered to correct the problem. Otherwise the fence becomes the new property line.

The citizen had to pick which two commissioners he wanted to have view the fence. Commissioner Coleman suggested that he choose Commissioner Warren and Chairman Endicott–even though that meant he would forgo the lucrative $7.50 payment for his service.

Generator Bids

There was a bid opening at 10 am for a generator. Commissioner Endicott had five sealed bids. They ranged from $46,079 to $92,500. The Commissioners decided to wait to review the bids before awarding the contract.

GPS/GIS Changing Acreage

Kansas Senator Bob Marshall came in at 10:00 to see what was going on and see what they though of the economic forum in Iola yesterday.

He wanted to talk about citizen Gary Harper who was concerned that his acreage has changed due to the GPS and the assessor process, but there has been no change to the deed. Senator Marshall said that if the assessed acreage changed, it needs to be changed on the deed. Mr Harper joined the conversation and Judy Orr was asked to come up to discuss the issue.

Senator Marshall asked whether or not GPS had been approved to be used for appraisals. Mr. Harper said that he had a 4.5 acre piece of property that has grown to 5.7 acres according to the appraiser’s office.

Senator Marshall pointed out that people can end up paying taxes on their property for years, but when they go to sell it, they can only sell it for the amount on the deed.

Shane Walker (Bourbon County GIS Coordinator) explained that the older maps were not “ortho rectified”. This means they didn’t take into consideration the curves in the land. So  the amount of land may change because the property isn’t flat. He said that sometimes a 1,000 foot line on the old maps would turn into a 1,021 foot line.

Mr. Walker said that Mr. Harper’s property change had to do with the way the old maps were made and that instead of measuring to the middle of the river, the old maps just went to the edge of the bank. He also said that years ago land was recorded in an “Atlas Book” and in some cases what was actually sold was very different from what the person thought they had. So the “Atlas Book” may have recorded the land as 80 acres, but in some cases it might have only been 60 acres.

After Mr. Harper and Senator Marshall left Judy Orr (County Appraiser) came in with the deed in question. She read it and most of the measurements in the legal description said things like “about 20 rods more or less.” Shane Walker said that he had seen some descriptions that said, “to the big rock in the middle of the river” or even “to the big oak tree.”

Emergency Preparedness

Keith Jefferies (Bourbon County Emergency Manager) talked about some of the emergency preparedness that is taking place. He also said that there is a red flag fire warning today and has placed several public service announcements letting people know that they should not burn. They are working on organizing a deployable mortuary system staffed with volunteers.

County Treasurer

Susan Quick said that Dan Meara (the attorney handling the tax sale) should have everything ready by December 1st. Ms. Quick said that Mr. Meara had some cases ready to file, but she had told individuals that they had until December 1st to pay their taxes. She also said it wasn’t fair if some people had the foreclosures started before others because it would give some people more time to pay.

The Commissioners said that they had planned on the lawsuits being filed in groups so they wouldn’t be done all at the same time. The Treasurer said that they had always filed them all together.  She feels that the Commissioners have “kicked the rug out from under her” in a number of things and asked the Commissioners to wait until the December 1st date to keep things fair and consistent with what the public had been told by the Treasurer’s office.

She said that waiting until December 1st is legal and that is the way they have always done it. Commissioner Allen said that “this is a new day.” It was brought up that the tax statements said to pay Bourbon County Treasurer Susan Quick. The Commissioners asked why this had changed. Ms. Quick said that this is how it has always been and asked,”Do you think I’m stupid enough to take the checks that are made out to me and cash them?”

She said she would change it next year to just say Bourbon County Treasurer.

Chairman Endicott said he would talk with Mr. Meara and ask him to hold off on filing anything until December 1st.

The Treasurer said that she has collected $58,938 in back taxes since October. She also said that the properties that are not homesteads can be sold one year sooner than the other properties. Joanne Long said that in the past they have only sold properties after 3 years in order to avoid difficulties in determining what is homestead and what is not.

The Treasurer said that all the money in escrow accounts from the payment plan has been applied to the taxes. Commissioner Warren asked if anyone was still on the payment plan. Ms. Quick said that it had been discontinued and no one is currently on the payment plan. Ms. Quick said, no one is being held off of the tax sale.

She gave the commissioners a list of $231,000 in taxes from properties from 2008. They asked for the same report for 2009 and 2010.

So November 30th is the last day people can pay taxes to avoid being on the tax sale. After this point, the property cannot be partially redeemed and the entire amount of unpaid taxes must be paid to prevent a sale.



Common Property Tax Questions

What is the Extension category?

The “extension” category goes to the Southwind Extension District which appears to fund some of the local Extension Offices. In the past, the extension office was only funded by the state and wasn’t paid for by a separate local levy, but now it is.

What is the Other category?

The “other” category is what funds Fort Scott Community College. Sometimes in the past this was labelled as FSCC. The change was due to differences in the way the computer systems handle creating the statements.

How do I protest my taxes?

The County Treasurer’s office has Payment Under Protest Applications. These allow you to pay first half of the property taxes. The protest must be filed by December 20th. The County Appraiser will schedule an informal hearing. After the hearing the County Appraise will notify the citizen of the results. If the citizen wants to further contest the appraisal, they can file an appeal with the Small Claims and Expedited Hearing Division or through the Regular Division of the State Court of Tax Appeals.

Why do we make checks out to Susan Quick County Treasurer?

The Treasurer wanted to make sure the everyone knew that the money doesn’t go to her personally. The instructions on how to pay have been this way for years, so there has been no change in this matter.


Chamber Coffee – Iron Star

This week’s Chamber Coffee was held at The Iron Star Antiques & Such at Main and Wall Street. The Iron Star is owned by Barbara Trimbure and is run as a coop with several  departments with both old and new items. One of the Iron Star’s specialties is taking old furniture and giving it new life. The upstairs in the building hosts the resale shop and they also have a section of baby gifts.

Barbara said the most people think that stores like the Iron Star get the majority of their sales from tourists, but in reality is it the local customers that keep coming back again and again. To cater to local customers, they are constantly changing things around and bringing in different items to keep the store fresh and interesting.

Barbara said that they will be having an open house on December 20th for last minute Christmas shoppers.

Other news and announcements:

The Gala Committee presented the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation with a check for $16,952. Two thirds of this came from the Gala and the rest came from a 50% matching program.

Gala Committee Presents Check for $16,952
  • The Citizen’s Bank Bowl has selected Trinity Valley Texas and Butler as the two teams for the Bowl game coming up on December 4th. (more details)
  • Candlelight Tours at the Fort will be on December 2nd and 3rd. The theme is Fort Scott in 1861.
  • The 300th performance of Life In A Jar will take place in Lebanon, MO at 6pm on December 4th.
  • The Kiwanis Pancake feed will be on December 8th.
  • The Beacon’ Christmas Adopt a Child program will be wrapping up this Friday.
  • The Middle School is hosting their VIP Fall Extravaganza on November 21st. It is a “one-stop shopping and dining experience” and a great way to pickup some baked goods for Thanksgiving.

Other Unpaid Taxes

The Bourbon County Real Estate Tax Statements are starting to arrive and most people are going to see an increase in property taxes this year because of several mill levy increases. The County Commissioners have noted that if all the taxes due were paid, it is likely that the county wouldn’t have needed to raise the mill levy.

But property taxes aren’t the only form of income from the local government. Here is a list from the Kansas Department of Revenue of warrants for some of the other types of unpaid taxes.

Just in Bourbon County, there are over $600,000 in unpaid taxes. Now not all of this money would go to local governments. For example, the bulk of sales tax goes to the state. However, Kansas sales tax has gone up in recent years to deal with revenue shortfall just like the local government bodies have had to raise property taxes.

One of the biggest concerns from this list is that most of these taxes are either sales taxes or witholding taxes. That means they were actually collected from people–most likely Bourbon County citizens–and not remitted to the government. When the government didn’t get the taxes it needed, it had to raise taxes. So in effect, many locals have had to pay taxes twice. Once when it was collected as sales tax for a local purchase and again when the property taxes and sales taxes went up.

Certain types of taxes being unpaid can lead to prison terms for tax fraud which means that the local citizens may end up paying a third time by taxes that are going to cover keeping someone in prison. The best figures I could find for Kansas seem to estimate that it costs about $24,000 per year to keep someone in prison.

Government works when people follow the rules. Unfortunately when some people don’t follow the rules, the costs are distributed to those who do and it is often very expensive.

SALES TAX $104,963.35
FORT SCOTT , KS 667013030
SALES TAX $73,866.20
22 1/2 N MAIN ST
FORT SCOTT , KS 667011435
SALES TAX $44,751.65
FORT SCOTT , KS 667012704
2503 S MAIN ST
FORT SCOTT , KS 667018724
SALES TAX $39,173.48
11221 MARTY ST
OVERLAND PARK , KS 662102627
SALES TAX $39,173.48
11221 MARTY ST
OVERLAND PARK , KS 662102627
SALES TAX $39,173.48
FORT SCOTT , KS 667011531
SALES TAX $31,872.17
FORT SCOTT , KS 667013030
SALES TAX $27,964.88
FORT SCOTT , KS 667013030
SALES TAX $22,608.34
FORT SCOTT , KS 667013030
SALES TAX $22,418.92
FORT SCOTT , KS 667012604
1587 205TH ST
FORT SCOTT , KS 667018306
SALES TAX $9,797.97
FORT SCOTT , KS 667013030
FT SCOTT , KS 66701
FT SCOTT , KS 66701
FORT SCOTT , KS 667013030
SALES TAX $7,593.78
22 1/2 N MAIN ST
FORT SCOTT , KS 667011435
302 BAY ST
BRONSON , KS 667163058
302 BAY ST
BRONSON , KS 667163058
SALES TAX $2,934.24

Arcadia Area News

Clay Carrigton attended the wedding of his brother, Joseph Darel Plotner and Cassandra Marie Blanchard on November 11, 2011 in Galena, Kansas. A reception was held immdiately following the wedding in Fellowship Hall.

Gael & Dave Martin of Spring Hill, Kansas visited her Aunt, Mary V. Shead on Saturday morning in Arcadia and enjoyed lunch in Harry’s Cafe, Pittsburg with her cousin, Charles Corporon. That afternoon, they visited former Spring Hill neighbors who recently moved to Pittsburg. The Martins are former students of PSU.

Doris Schaub, former Arcadian now living in Ft. Scott visited Mae Watt one day last week. Mae’s sons living in the Kansa City Area and Wichita visit frequently and contact her by phone every day.

This past week, friends took Mae to the Veterans’ Day program held in Winfield Scott Elementary School. It was entitled THIS IS AMERICA.

Ava Mae Adams was honored for her birthday one day last week when her cousin, Louise Holland and Judy Rawlings took her to lunch in Pittsburg. Enroute to pick up their guest, the two ladies took Ruth Holland with a prepared lunch to the home of Mary V. Shead in Arcadia where the two old time friends played Dominoes, took a walk and talked about their activities of long ago when Ruth used to live in Arcadia and attended Christian Church. Ruth now lives Rural Liberal, MO.

In the Arcadia Christian Church on Sunday morning, November 13, Clay Carrington was the song leader with Vera and Christie Parrish as his helpers and Charles Cable at the piano. After Scripture Reading from the pulpit, two construction workers appeared with bags of rubbish that Pastor later described as “reasons why people don’t come to church”. The “two workers” are known as Willa Cable & Patty Peterson, teachers of the youth in Sunday School. They received a round of Applause! Those attending JOY Class again gave thanks to Wayne Parrish. President of the church Board for the home baked treats he brings each Sunday morning.

Ralph & Cindy Shead returned to their home in Carl Junction, Mo. after spending Fri night with his Mother, Mary V. Shead in Arcadia.
They left early Saturday morning to speak for Literature
and Teaching Ministries at Union Christian Church, Terre Haute, Indiana. Ralph first visited the church while a college student in the l970’s and stayed at the home of Jean Farr, who also hosted Ralph & Cindy for this visit.
OnThe same weekend his brother, Larry Shead left on Sunday for a business meeting on behalf of Community College, Ft. Scott in Pratt, Kansas. He also returned home on Monday evening.

Mitzi Ray with sons Cademon & Ryan and daughter Atalie of Tulsa spent time with Haley & Mark Shead family in Ft. Scott. Husband, Joel Ray was tiling a home in Joplin with his brother-in-law, Clayton Liston, as his helper. The Ray family spent one night with her Uncle Ralph & Cindy Shead in Carl Junction before returning to their home in Tulsa.

Does Your Insurance Cover An Earthquake?

Most homeowner’s insurance in Kansas doesn’t cover an earthquake unless you specifically add it to your policy. Since the risk is very low, most homes in the Bourbon County area can be insured against earthquake damage for a few additional dollars per month. Be aware that the way deductibles are handled for earthquakes can be different than the way it is handled for other types of damage.

Even if you want coverage, you may not be able to get it right now. At least one local insurance company is unable to write earthquake insurance today. Its underwriters refuse to issue policies in this area due to the recent tremors.  Other companies will let you add coverage with a simple phone call.

If you are unsure of your coverage, your insurance agent can let you know what your policy covers and what options you have.


Bank Foreclosure Sale Rescheduled

There was a bank foreclosure sale for a single piece of property scheduled this morning at 10 am on the county court house steps, but 10 am came and went with no sale. The court house was not open because of Veterans Day and it appears that the sale was rescheduled for December 9th.

Apparently when a bank wishes to foreclose on an owner who is not paying their mortgage, they can’t simply take the property back. The bank’s position against the home must be auctioned off with the bid starting at the amount the bank is owed. If there are no buyers the property goes back to the bank and then the bank can then sell it through a realtor or through their own auction.

Fort Scott Job Fair

Klein, H&H Publishing, and EPOCH tables at job fair

Seven employers had tables at the Fort Scott Job Fair at the performing arts building of FSCC today.  Here is a little about each company.


They didn’t want to say anything about their company without having it approved by their corporate office, but it is reasonable to assume they have at least one position open.


Klein makes water and fuel tanks that are then mounted on the back of large trucks. They are looking for welders, mechanics, drafts persons, and other positions. Klein is based in Fort Scott and the company has been around since the 1960s. They are looking for employees who can help them grow.


Epoch is located in the old Western/Cigna building near Mercy Hospital. Epoch is part of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City. They process claims for Blue Cross and other companies. They have claims and data entry positions coming available and plan to hire 20 to 50 people in the next 3 or 4 months. They also plan to have some customer service positions open the second half of 2012.

Since examining claims is something that takes training, they are partnering with FSCC to create an online course to train claims examiners.

AZZ Atkinson

Atkinson is located in the industrial park in Pittsburg. They make custom enclosures for electrical and waste water treatment facilities. They have a number of floor positions open (electricians, welders, painters, etc.) as well as some office positions. They are looking to hire a total of 25 to 30 people. They are currently running a day shift of 7 to 3:30 Monday-Friday and are getting ready to start a night shift from 8:30p to 7am Sunday – Thursday.


Peerless makes architectural windows and doors and is based in Fort Scott. They are looking for an IT Programmer and a Production Supervisor. Peerless touts their competitive pay, good benefits and stable business history as benefits to potential employees.

H & H Publishing

H & H publishes the Deadline and other advertising. They have current openings for sales associates and are looking to expand business in the near future. With their expansion they will need investigative reporters, sports writers and other writers.

Hospice Care of Kansas

Hospice Care of Kansas provides hospice services to people with terminal illness and support for their families. This includes medical help, but also involves bereavement support and even a summer camp for kids who have lost a loved one. They are currently looking for LPNs and RNs. They have two full time positions available, but there are many opportunities for people who want part time work.

They are also looking for volunteers who can sit with patients or help answer phones in the office.

Kansas Works

While not an employer, Kansas Works had a table at the job fair to let potential employees and employers know about their services. For employees they offer many self service tools via their website. These tools include job search and online resume listing services. There is also a Local Workforce Center in Pittsburg where job seekers can go to get help with their resume and job hunting skills.

Kansas Works also has a number of grants available that allow them to offer in greater assistant for people in certain situations. This can include training and education. In some cases they can even offer on the job training where employers are reimbursed for a portion of the wages they pay a new employee as they learn the skills of a new position.

Kansas Works also offers programs for at risk kids and youth to help them acquire work experience and  gain some of the soft skills necessary to pursue a job in the market.

For employers, they offer a number of services that can help provide grants and tax savings for organizations that are looking to hire. Since they work with a large number of prospective employees they can provide many services for free such as screening, recruitment, and advertising available positions.

Chamber Coffee – VFW

The weekly Chamber Coffee was held at the VFW Post 1165 this morning. VFW Chairman Clint Walker told a little about what the VFW is doing in the community and thanked the businesses for their support.  The VFW sponsors a Voice of Democracy scholarship contest where high school students make an audio essay. Theresa Schafer won for the state of Kansas. (You can listen to her audio essay here.)  The VFW also sponsors a contest for middle school age children called Patriot Pen.

The flags that line the road to the National Cemetery are done by the VFW. Most of them are given in honor of someone. You can buy a flag in honor of a loved one for $35 through the VFW.  Mr. Walker said he would be setting up the flags at 7am tomorrow morning if anyone would like to come out and help.

Mr. Walker told the story of when he was working as a recruiter at the beginning of the first Gulf War. He said a 70 year old woman came in to show him a bag of medals and a newspaper clipping from her son who had died in World War II. The woman said that if she had it all to do over, she would give her son for America again.

A few other announcements that were made at the meeting:

  • There two veteran’s programs tomorrow at 11am and 2pm at the National Cemetery.
  • Jamie Armstrong announced that her Edward D. Jones office is going to be opening next to Subway on Thursday.
  • Everything Pets will be opening on Saturday.
  • The downtown Christmas open house (pdf) is tonight and many businesses will be staying open until 8.
  • Life + Style will have a number of food samples available downtown tonight.
  • The Kiwanis chili feed is tonight.
  • Mercy has a chili cookoff on the 15th.
  • The Citizen’s Bank Bowl will be played in Pittsburg on December 4th.
  • The Chamber Community Guide is looking for content about local businesses.



Fort Scott News