Bourbon County Commission Agenda for May 31

Bourbon County Commission Room
1st Floor, County Courthouse
210 S. National Avenue
Fort Scott, KS 66701
Tuesdays starting at 9:00
Date: May 31, 2022
1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________
2nd District-Jim Harris Corrected: _______________________
3rd District-Clifton Beth Adjourned at: _______________
County Clerk-Ashley Shelton
Call to Order
• Flag Salute
• Approval of Minutes from previous meeting
• Eric Bailey – Road & Bridge Report
• Deb Needleman – Bourbon County Senior Citizens Budget Review
• Justin Meeks – County Counselor Comment
• Susan Bancroft – Chief Financial Officer Comment
o Executive Session – KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy
• Shane Walker – Chief Information Officer Comment
• Public Comment
• Commission Comment
Justifications for Executive Session: KSA 75-4319(b)(1) To discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy KSA 75-4319(b)(2) For consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship KSA 75-4319(b)(3) To discuss matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency KSA 75-4319(b)(4) To discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual proprietorships KSA 75-4319(b)(6) For the preliminary discussion of the acquisition of real property KSA 75-4319(b)(12) To discuss matters relating to security measures, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize such security measures.

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The Bourbon County Commission Minutes of May 17

May 17, 2022 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners and the Deputy County Clerk present.

Anne Dare, Clint Walker, Matt Crystal, Bill Martin, and Robert Harrington were also present for some or all of the meeting.
Clifton made a motion to approve the previous meetings minutes. Lynne seconded.

All approved.

Jennifer Hawkins, Public Works Department, presented two culvert permits. One is for Travis Schilling at 895 209th Terr. The other is for Joshua Sharp on 255th North of Osage Rd. Lynne made a motion to approve the new permits for Travis Schilling and
Joshua Sharp. Clifton seconded. All approved.

Will Wallis, Emergency Preparedness, presented the Hazard Mitigation Plan that was approved back in 2019. This is a new one and the next one will be in 2026. If we were to have a disaster hit the county and FEMA brought in mitigation money then we
would qualify for it. This agreement does that. Clifton made a motion for Chairman
Harris to sign the Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. Lynne seconded. All approved.

Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to add SEK Mental Health before County Counselor comment. Lynne seconded. All approved. Nathan Fawson, CEO, SEK Mental Health along with Dr. Wright, Chief Operating Office, presented budget request for continued services in the amount of $91,800.00 no levy support.

This money goes for those who are unable to pay. The types of services we provide are Psychiatry, Therapy and Substance Abuse. Mr. Fawson gave some history of the decline in mental health services and funds back in the 1990’s and a return to these
services with possible expansions and access which allows us to be more responsive to immediate needs. Dr. Wright stated that in rural Kansas we always kind of come in last place when the state’s voting on how to fund things. Dr. Fawson stated that currently people have a wait time of 3 days to get into a facility. Crisis intervention
center could help lessen that burden. We’ve been exploring possibilities in that area.

Dr. Wright stated they’ve had requests for therapist in the schools and the college in this community.

Justin Meeks, County Counselor, stated the title company has raised their rates from $85.00 to $110.00 per parcel. Wanted to make you aware before Commissioner Harris signs the agreement.

Susan Bancroft presented a financial report including a 5 year look-back of sales tax and then whatever the current year versus previous year to show if we are over or under we’ve brought in for sales tax. We are looking pretty good as we are up $103,000.00 as of the end of April. Alcohol is another one that we are starting to see
some money coming through on those funds assuming that is with the new addition at the south end of town. Other major sources of revenue include culvert sales, landfill receipts, chemical sales, sewer district, EMS and the medical building so we can track month by month so we can see if we are hitting the target that we need to. I am
concerned with EMS and what we brought in last year. I’m going to reach out to OMNI and see if we can get some reporting from them. Susan stated that we had an audit last week. There were a few concerns that Terri will discuss later. No big surprises
which was encouraging. We knew there would be a few violations. Clifton made amotion for an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy regarding contracts and job performance for 20 minutes including three commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Justin
Meeks, and Shane Walker returning at 9:48am.

Clifton made a motion to return to normal session with no action at 9:48am. Lynne seconded. All approved.

Clifton made a motion for an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual personnel to protect their privacy including three commissioners for minutes returning at 9:59am. Clifton made a motion to return to normal session
at 9:59am with action. Lynne seconded. All approved.

Clifton made a motion to allow Chairman Harris to sign contracts for  CIO and Public Works Director. Lynne
seconded. All approved.

The other contract is to go out for a replacement at the

CIO Comment: No Comment

Public Comment: Clint Walker stated that our #1 concern in this area is housing. The thing I’m bringing up to the commissioners today is they are giving money to developers in a community our size to develop apartments and we need to keep track of that and make sure they are aware. Hopefully that will encourage developers in
our area. That is state dollars not federal. There was discussion that the county did the NRP program to help those building or expanding.

Commission Comment: Clifton stated that he received the feasibility study this morning at 7:15am. He received paper form only. We will receive an electronic version eventually. Clifton asked Justin to weigh in on whether the information
should be released to public at this time. Clifton is concerned that there is some proprietary information in the report and shouldn’t be released at this time. Anne Dare asked about getting a copy. Clifton stated we charge 35 cents per page. He said we would eventually have an electronic copy at a later date. Anne asked if she could
make an appointment to come and review the report at the courthouse, not leaving the premises with it. Clifton stated that a potential evaluation of PPS or REH legislation that will be January 2023 we are not part of that legislation currently. We
would have to file an exception to be part of that. We as a county do not apply for that. The operator would have to do that. Anne Dare asked what the next step is now that we have the feasibility report. Clifton stated that now Noble Health is gone we are actively looking for partners to operate the facility. Clifton stated his personal opinion is that we should not be building owners and we have no business running a hospital. Justin stated that he glanced through the hospital feasibility report and there is proprietary information that needs to be removed before it is viewed by the public. Justin will review over the next two weeks and get back with
the Clerk’s office and let them know which parts should be removed.

Clifton made a motion for executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy for job performance including three commissioners and Justin Meeks for 10 minutes returning
at 10:38am. Lynne seconded. All approved. Clifton made a motion to return to normal session at 10:38am with no action. Lynne seconded. All approved.

Anne Dare asked if she could come review the feasibility study and review it in the commission room. They approved.

Jim congratulated USD 234 on hiring a superintendent. Excellent choice. Jim also stated the meeting next Tuesday, May 24th will be held at Garland Community Center at 6:00pm.

At 10:39am Lynne made a motion to adjourn meeting. Clifton seconded. All
(ss) Jim Harris, Chairman
(ss) Lynne Oharah, Commissioner
(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner
Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Clerk
May 24, 2022, Approved Date

Via Christi Adds Pediatric Echocardiogram Program

Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg has added a Pediatric Echocardiogram program, making quality diagnostic imaging services more accessible to families throughout southeast

“Over the last few years we have invested extensively in our imaging programs to bring new technology and innovations to our community,” says Travis Battagler, director of the Heart
Center and Imaging Operations. “We have worked to grow our diagnostic cardiology echo program, including our recent expansion of that service line to Fort Scott.”

The Pediatric Echocardiograms are being offered in Pittsburg, which is just 30 miles down the road from Fort Scott.

Being able to have an ultrasound of the heart performed in a familiar setting is less stressful for children and more convenient for their parents, which in the end may help to recognize life-threatening conditions faster.

“This is just one way we can better serve our community and the surrounding areas now and in the future,” says Tyler Matthews, lead echocardiography technologist.

For more information about Ascension Via Christi in Pittsburg go to
About Ascension Via Christi
In Kansas, Ascension Via Christi operates seven hospitals and 75 other sites of care and employs nearly 6,400
associates. Across the state, Ascension Via Christi provided nearly $89 million in community benefit and care of
persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2021. Serving Kansas for more than 135 years, Ascension is a faith-based
healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to
persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the leading non-profit and Catholic health system in

What’s Happening in Fort Scott May 26 Newsletter

What’s Happening in Fort Scott!
May 26th Weekly Newsletter
So much fun coming up in Fort Scott,
share with your friends & family!
Friday 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm
Saturday 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm
$6 adults, $4 children 12 & under
50-minute narrated tour of Historic Fort Scott!
5/27 ~ Friday Night Concerts in the Park – Prairie Sunflower Strings, Heritage Park Pavilion, 1st and Main, 7pm
 5/28-5/29 ~ Kansas 6A Baseball
Tournament, LaRoche Complex
5/27-5/30 ~ KanRocks Memorial Weekend, click here.
5/27-5/30 ~ Symbols of Sacrifice Flags displayed on the grounds of the Fort Scott National Historic Site, volunteers welcome to help put out flags on Friday, 5/27.
5/28 ~ Fort Scott Farmers’ Market, Breakfast on the Bricks will be served by the Richard’s family as a fundraiser for Care to Share, Skubitz Plaza, 8am-12pm
5/28 ~ Angel Gifts Fundraiser, Bass Tournament, BBQ & Bourbon County Revival Band, Union Station, Uniontown, click here for FB event.
5/30 ~ Memorial Day Program, US National Cemetery No. 1, 10:30am.
5/30 ~ Babe Ruth Baseball Tournament
5/31 ~ Parents Meeting Youth Football League, Buck Run Community Center, 6:30pm, click here for FB event.
6/1 ~ Bourbon Girls Night Out – Airbrush Tanning, Better in Bourbon, 5-7pm
6/2-6/5 ~ John Hill Summer Showcase Baseball Tournament
6/2 ~ Chamber Coffee hosted by Good Ol’ Days, 8am, Skubitz Plaza
6/3-6/4 ~ Good Ol’ Train Show & Quilt Auction, Museum of Creativity, See flyer below.
6/3-6/4 ~ Kansas Junior Limousin Breeders Field Day, Bourbon County Fair Grounds
6/3-6/4 ~ Good Ol’ Days Festival, click here for all the details.
6/3 ~ Good Ol’ Days Parade, Starting at 6th & Main St., 6pm, Deadline to register for the parade is May 31st, click here.
6/3-6/4 ~ Model Train Show at the Museum of Creativity, click here for info.
6/4 ~ Car & Bike Show hosted by Old 54 Cycles, Riverfront Park!
6/4 ~ Quilt Auction, Museum of Creativity, 1-3pm, click here.
6/7 ~ Becoming a Destination Business and Community Workshop by Jon Schallert, River Room Event Center, 8am-1:45pm, Register here.
6/8 ~ City Commission Meeting, City Hall, 6pm
6/8 ~ Between the Lines Baseball Tournament
6/8 ~ Eastern Regional Retreat for NetWork Kansas E-Communities, Empress Event Center, 10am-3pm
6/9-6/12 ~ John Hill Summer Showcase Baseball Tournament
6/9 ~ Chamber Coffee hosted by Varia, 110 E 23rd St., 8am
6/10-6/11 ~ Eastern Kansas Swine Show Series, Bourbon County Fair Grounds
The Good Ol’ Days Festival is coming June 3rd-4th. Get your Chicken Dinner tickets at the Chamber ~ only $8 for a 3 piece meal from Chicken Mary’s!
Boutiques-Antiques-Flea Markets & more!
Clickhere for Chamber member
specialty shopping & other retail in
Downtown & other areas of the community.
Fort Scott Area
Chamber of Commerce
In This Issue
Chamber Highlights
Click here for our
Membership Directory.
We THANK our members for their support! Interested in joining the Chamber?
Click here for info.
Thinking of doing business in or relocating to Fort Scott?
Contact us for a relocation packet, information on grants & incentives, and more!
Seeking a job/career?
We post a Job of the Day daily on our Facebook page, distribute a monthly job openings flyer, and post jobs on our website.
Many opportunities available!
Housing needs?
Click here for a listing of our Chamber member realtors.
Click here for our rental listing.
Good Ol’ Train Show & Quilt Auction
6A Tournament Update
Good Ol’ Days Car & Bike Show
The Symbols of Sacrifice “Field of Honor” is available for viewing all Memorial Day Weekend, Friday, May 27 through, Monday, May 30. Guided fort tours daily at 10 am and 1 pm.
Bourbon Girls Night Out – 15 Minute Airbrush Tanning Sessions at Better in Bourbon, 5-7pm
Jon Schallert presents a Destination Workshop in Fort Scott!
Early bird registration by May 31st $50, $75 after May 31st!
Click here to register online.
Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce
231 E. Wall Street
Fort Scott, KS 66701

Traffic by Gregg Motley


When thinking about economic development, one has to put themselves in the mindset of site selectors and those local businesses that are considering expansion.  One of the critical factors often evaluated in this process is traffic counts; a business that relies on local clients has to be visible and accessible.  Also, in my role as a banker, I help clients evaluate potential locations, often looking at current and historical traffic count data provided by Kansas Department of Transportation (“KDOT”) to help us make decisions.  In addition to economic development, traffic count information can be helpful to governments in determining where to invest public works dollars.


I have spent a significant amount of time evaluating Fort Scott numbers issued by KDOT and have discovered some interesting trends when comparing 2010 data to that of 2019 (the latest available).  The numbers have to be put in context of what I know about construction projects and events that may have rerouted traffic temporarily.  One also has to look at population trends, which we know have fallen in Fort Scott over the time period considered.


Some observations:

  • As one might expect, local streets have experienced a decline in numbers when 2019 data is compared to 2010. The major streets that I considered dropped an average of 8.97%.
  • Local streets on the West side of 69 Highway generally saw a larger decline in traffic counts than that of the East side. One might conclude that the population loss we have experienced has disproportionately impacted the West side of town.
  • State highway traffic counts, except 54 Highway west of 69 Highway, have steadily risen. The average change over the nine years was 2.77%; knowing that there are fewer Bourbon County residents on the highways, this can only mean that we have more nonresidents driving through our area or coming here for work.
  • Only two local streets experienced significant increases in traffic: Indian Road west of 215th Street and Jayhawk Road east of Liberty Bell Road.  I surmise that increased activity at Lake Fort Scott and ReproLogix, along with more people driving in from Missouri to work in Bourbon County account for those exceptions.  Estimates are that about 1,000 employees in the county commute from another jurisdiction.
  • Sales tax collections have steadily increased, which would seem to indicate that more nonresidents are spending money in Bourbon County.


The good news is that the two major state highways continue to increase in traffic count, bringing more people through Bourbon County.  This is an opportunity that can be exploited.  It is a safe assumption that the completion of the widening of 69 Highway all the way into Pittsburg will perpetuate that trend and continue to help us with sales tax collection.


Bourbon County REDI will continue to focus on data that can help our businesses strategize and make us more attractive to new prospects.  We have a much better chance of economic success by staying informed as a community.

CHC/SEK announces new community award, The Judy 

CHC/SEK board member Judy Westhoff, left, stands with CHC/SEK CEO Krista Postai after receiving the Sheridan Award on Thursday during the annual Employee Service Awards Recognition Banquet.

PITTSBURG — Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas will present a new community service award in conjunction with its 20th year celebration. This award will be named after CHC/SEK board member Judy Westhoff, coined “The Judy.”

Westhoff is one of the original board of directors, having served 19 years without missing one of more than 220 meetings.

The “Judy” award will be given to an individual or an organization that is making or has made significant contributions to CHC/SEK, to the patients in the communities that it serves. Awardees will demonstrate a passion for helping others by exemplifying CHC/SEK’s core values of service, stewardship, excellence and kindness.

“We can think of no better individual in which to name this award,” said Jason Wesco, CHC/SEK President and Chief Strategy Officer during the annual Employee Service Awards Recognition Banquet on Thursday evening.  

In addition to the announcement of the award, Westhoff was also recognized with the Sheridan Award that evening. CHC/SEK presents an annual Sheridan Award to someone who has made an impact on the clinic. The Sheridan Award was named after Mother Mary Bernard Sheridan, CSJ, who in 1903 opened Mt. Carmel Hospital on the land at which the CHC/SEK Pittsburg clinic now sits. Mother Bernard instructed her small group of Sisters at the hospital (there was no paid staff then) to “do all the good we can, in all the ways we can, to all the people we can and just as long as we can,” and their legacy continues to guide the health center today.  

“Our honoree has worked tirelessly for many years with countless volunteer hours to support educational, artistic, social services, healthcare, fundraising, friendraising, advocacy and giving both during her distinguished career in banking and as the downtown development director and in her retirement,” Wesco said. “There certainly hasn’t been a more apt description of her commitment to this community.”

Westhoff has supported, just to name a few, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg Community Theatre, the Colonial Fox Theatre, the YMCA, Girl Scouts, Elm Acres, the Childrens Advocacy Resource Center, Rotary, The Family Resource Center and the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. She has been a Women of Distinction, received PSU’s Rex Crawley Service Award, is in the Pittsburg Family YMCA Hall of Fame, and received the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Pittsburg award.

“I have been able to receive a lot more from Community Health Center than I’ve put in for my family and myself,” Westhoff said. “I can’t tell you of all the people out here who have been so helpful and so kind and care about everything they do. It’s just amazing. I just can’t begin to tell everybody how much I appreciate everything they do. Thank you.”



Fishing and Entertainment At Uniontown This Weekend

A pond hopping bass tournament will start at 6 a.m. this Saturday, May 28 at Union Station Convenience Store on Hwy. 3 just west of Uniontown. There will also be a beer garden, food and live music throughout that day.

The event is a fundraiser to supply Christmas presents for children in Bourbon County in honor of a local service man.

Butch Hall. Submitted photo.

Butch Hall was a 2000 graduate of Uniontown High School who was killed in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2004.

“Butch loved fishing and this is a way for his friends and family to honor him this Memorial Day weekend,” said event organizer Sara Roufs.

“All money made from this event will go to purchase Christmas gifts for local kids in need through the Bourbon County Angels, all in Butch’s honor,” Roufs said.

Registration will be at 6 a.m. at Union Station, with weigh-in at 3 p.m.

The entry fee is $20 person, with a limit of three people per team. There is a 50 percent payback, and a $5 big bass pot.

Fish must be alive at weigh-in.

“Union Station is the main sponsor for the event,” Roufs said. “We also have contributions from K&K Auto, BN Hunting, Don’s Spirits & Wines and Perry’s Pork Rinds.”

Timber Hills. Submitted graphics.

Timber Hills Lake Ranch is donating a weekend cabin stay for our raffle.

“Registrants for the fishing tournament will have a chance to win a knife donated by Ryan Demott with Turkey Forge,” she said.

They will be selling pulled pork sandwiches for lunch, with pork purchased locally through Bronson Locker.

“We will also have baked beans, coleslaw, and Marsha’s Deli potato salad. BBQ dinners will go on sale at noon,” Roufs said. “Union Station will be hosting a beer garden throughout the day.”

“At 3 p.m., we will draw for the raffle prizes and have the weigh-in for the bass tournament,” she said. “Bourbon Boy Bait Co. will handle the weigh-in for the tournament.”

At 4 p.m. there will be live music from the Bourbon County Revival.

All money made from this event will go to purchase Christmas gifts for local kids in need through the Bourbon County Angels, all in Butch’s honor.

“Friends and family of Butch donated trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place,  as well as one for the biggest bass,”  Roufs said.


Splash into Summer at the Family Summer Reading Kickoff Party

This year, the Fort Scott Public Library’s summer reading program will begin on June 1 at 10 a.m. with a family kickoff party at Gunn Park, shelter house #3. The party will run from 10 – 11:30.

Partygoers will play games, create crafts, eat delicious treats provided by donors, drink cold water provided by G & W Cash Saver (with ice donated by 5 Corners Mini Mart), earn prizes, read a temporary story stroll, and play on the park equipment located beside the shelter house. This summer’s theme is “Oceans of Possibilities” and the program will explore oceans, water, fishing, boats, pirates, mermaids, sharks, and other related themes through stories, crafts, and other activities from June 1 to August 10.

Attendees should plan for limited parking at the party site by carpooling or parking in nearby lots and walking when possible. Sunscreen, old clothes, and towels are recommended, as attendees will likely get wet. Seating will be limited, so families that need extra seating may want to bring lawn chairs. Bathroom facilities are also scarce near the party site, so please plan accordingly.

The library will be collecting summer care items for families in need, with a donation box available at the party. Please bring unused swim diapers, sunscreen, feminine sanitary products, etc. to donate. Clothing and food donations will not be accepted. Donated items will be available for anyone to take as needed in the library’s downstairs computer room throughout the summer (while supplies last). The library will also have a donation box for children’s books available at the party. Donated books will be offered as prizes at future summer reading program events.

Families may register for summer reading at the party, or receive an extra prize ticket for each child and teen by pre-registering by May 30 at this link: Online SR Registration Form. They may also register via a paper form available at the library, Buck Run Community Center, Hedgehog.INK!, Rusty Spur Energy and Nutrition, Kansas Teachers Community Credit Union, and Billiard Hammer Hartman Insurance Agency. Patrons may turn in completed registration forms at any library desk, by mail, or by placing them in the after-hours book return, located on the north side of the library.

This party is made possible by the City of Fort Scott, which has waived the rental fee for hosting the event. All library programs are free and open to the public.



Bourbon County Local News