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Letter to the Editor: Deb McCoy

Honesty is the best policy.

George Washington I want to encourage each and every one of you to get involved and not become complacent in what is happening among the City Commissioners. If you cannot attend the meetings they can be viewed live or at a later date on youtube.com. Simply type Fort Scott City Commission Meeting into the search bar. Become involved! City Policies, Procedures and Ordinances. Why do we even have them? Because it gives guidelines for everyone to follow when presented with different situations. It provides consistency. It provides fairness. It provides cohesiveness and takes the guessing game out of what should be done. We have been provided guidelines of all sorts since the beginning of time. Ten Commandments, Parliamentary guidelines, Constitutions, Bill of Rights, State guidelines, Kansas League of Municipalities guidelines, Professional guidelines, Workplace guidelines, Organizational guidelines, Meeting guidelines etc. Where in the Rules of Professional Conduct does it say that we can manipulate the Rule of Law to fit our needs? It doesn’t. It states as a professional, the Rule of Law should be followed and respected. Why are we wasting so much time on trying to get around or making exceptions as to what is written as an Ordinance or a State Statute? Why don’t we do what is right? We certainly have bigger things to be concerned about. Put aside your personal agendas and start working for the citizens who voted you in and who are concerned about where our city is going. Where are the written strategic plans for 5 years and 10 years? Why have we spent thousands of dollars on surveys and have not yet been given the results of these surveys nor have we seen any productive implementation of these studies. We could have spent a lot of that money on infrastructure. The fact is, without a good foundation, we don’t have a solid ground to build upon. Without strategic plans we have no vision. We need more action and less rhetoric over what should and should not be.Why don’t you just follow the Rule of Law! They are not in place for you to manipulate, they are there for you to follow.

Sincerely, Deb McCoy

Obituary of Duane Ketron

Duane Ketron, age 67, passed away on August 16, 2022 at Medicalodge of Fort Scott after suffering from a long illness. He was born February 19, 1955 in Fort Scott, Kansas, the son of Arthur Hursh Ketron and Mary Louise Clark Ketron.

Duane graduated from Fort Scott High School and worked at Peerless in Fort Scott for many years. He still owned his first car, a 1959 Ford Fairlane 2-door sedan named “Old Betsy”, that he dreamed of restoring. He had a wonderful sense of humor and a winning smile with those he encountered. In addition, he was an avid Royals fan and loved dogs and cats.

Survivors include two sisters – Kathee Light of Hoxie, AR and Carolyn Strauch of Neosho, MO; four nieces – Kamela Light of Hoxie, AR; Shawnta (spouse Randal) Whited of Walnut Ridge, AR; Caroline Green (spouse Steve) of Topeka, KS; and Julia (spouse Gabriel) Carroll of Springfield, MO; eight great-nieces/nephews – Harley Light, Chance Phillips, Memory Light, Hannah (spouse Brandon) Dawson, Weston Whited, Ethan Whited, Zackary Green, and Bradley Green; one great-great-niece – Londyn Light.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur Hursh and Mary Louise Ketron, his younger brother, David Arthur Ketron, brother-in-law Ronnie “Frog” Light, and niece Kristy Light.

Visitation with the family and friends will be Saturday, August 27, 2022, at 10:30 am in the Cheney Witt Chapel

Memorial Service will follow at 11:00 am with interment at Memory Gardens after the Memorial Service.

Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.

The family would like to thank everyone for their prayers, love, and acts of caring for our brother and uncle Duane. We also want to thank the Cheney Witt staff for all their assistance and caring service. Please join us in celebrating and remembering his life.

 

 

 

 

 

Obituary of Margaret Leatherman

Margaret Lucille Leatherman, age 91, a former resident of Ft. Scott, Kansas, and more recently of Joplin, Missouri, passed away Wednesday, August 17, 2022, at the Communities of
Wildwood in Joplin. She was born October 25, 1930, in Deerfield, Missouri, the daughter of Norman Louis Pettibon and Lucille Pilcher Pettibon. Margaret graduated from the Nevada High
School and the Ft. Scott Junior College. She went on to receive a teaching certificate from Pittsburg State Teachers College. Prior to her marriage, Margaret taught at both the Mapleton,
Kansas grade school and the Lath Branch School east of Ft. Scott. Margaret married Donald Leatherman on May 11, 1952, in rural Deerfield, Missouri. Together, they owned and operated
their own farm for many years. After her children were grown, she worked for a time at Master Printers and for Sears in Ft. Scott. Margaret was a devoted wife and mother. She enjoyed
fishing, gardening and tending her flowers. She was a longtime member of the First Southern Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School and was active with the Awana program.

Survivors include three sons, Tom Leatherman (Connie) of Deerfield, Missouri, Steve Leatherman (Debbie) of Joplin, Missouri and Mark Leatherman (Leanne) of Ft. Scott, Kansas, ten grandchildren, eighteen great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Also surviving is a son-in-law, David Cannon of Louisburg, Kansas and a sister, Norma Yoos, also of Joplin.

Margaret was preceded in death by her husband, Don, on January 7, 2009. She was also preceded in death by her daughter, Beth Cannon and her sister, Beverly Davis.

Pastor Clarence Newman will conduct funeral services at 10:00 A.M. Monday, August 22 nd at the Cheney Witt Chapel.

Burial will follow in the Clarksburg Cemetery

The family will receive friends from 1 to 3 P.M. Sunday at the Cheney Witt Chapel.

Memorials are suggested to the First Southern Baptist Church or to Care to Share and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt
Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft Scott, KS 66701.

“Winter Event Securitized Cost” on KGS bills, will range from $4.87 to $6.42

KCC approves settlement and financing order for Kansas Gas
Service to recover winter storm costs using low interest bonds
TOPEKA – The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) has approved a settlement agreement and financing order giving Kansas Gas Service (KGS) authorization to issue securitized bonds to recover $328 million in deferred costs and associated carrying costs resulting from the 2021 winter storm. The use of low interest securitized bonds is expected to save ratepayers $35 to $46 million compared to recovery through traditional rates.

The exact amount of the winter weather recovery charge KGS customers will see on their monthly bills won’t be determined until the bonds are issued. Variables include the length of term and interest rate based on current market conditions. It is estimated the monthly charge, to be labelled “Winter Event Securitized Cost” on customer bills, will range from $4.87 to $6.42 over seven to ten years.  Without securitized bonds, ratepayers would see charges of $9.04 per month over five years or $13.90 per month over three years using traditional ratemaking.

During the winter weather event, the KCC ordered regulated utilities to do everything possible to continue providing natural gas service to its customers, defer the charges, and then develop a plan to allow customers to pay the unusually high costs over time to minimize the financial impact. The Commission emphasized it was in the public interest for KGS to incur the extraordinary costs to ensure the integrity of the gas system and ensure continuous service to its customers.

The 2021 Kansas Legislature later passed the Utility Financing and Securitization Act, which allows utilities to use securitized bonds to pay for extraordinary costs at more favorable terms than traditional financing.

Wholesale natural gas prices are not regulated by the KCC or any other government entity. The U.S. Congress deregulated natural gas prices back in the mid-1980s. Prices are market driven by supply and demand.  The Commission has stated that any proceeds recovered by KGS resulting from state or federal investigations into possible market manipulation, price gouging, etc., will be passed on to customers.

Today’s orders are available here: Settlement Agreement and Financing Order

A recording of today’s Business Meeting featuring Commissioner comments on these orders, is available on the KCC YouTube channel.

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Order Bags, While Supporting St. Mary’s Students

Don’t miss out on your chance to order quality trash bags, while supporting the students at St. Mary’s!
Deadline: September 6th
Thank you to our Chamber Champion members below!
Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

KS State Transportation Plan: Voice Your Comments

KDOT requesting comment on draft 2023 STIP

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) requests comments on the draft Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2023-2026 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) document.

The STIP is a project specific publication that lists all KDOT administered projects, regardless of funding source, and includes projects for counties and cities as well as projects on the State Highway System. The draft STIP document is available for review online at https://www.ksdot.org/bureaus/burProgProjMgmt/stip/stip.asp   Select the draft FFY 2023-2026 STIP- link at the top of the page.

The approval of the STIP requires a public comment period of 30 days, which concludes on Sept. 16. To make comment on the STIP document, contact Linda Fritton at (785) 296-3254 or Gene Ingwerson at (785) 296-0136 with KDOT’s Division of Program and Project Management.

This information is available in alternative accessible formats. To obtain an alternative format, contact the KDOT Office of Public Affairs, (785) 296-3585 (Voice/Hearing Impaired-711).

FSHS Red/White Scrimmage is August 20

Fort Scott Tiger Football Red/White Scrimmage – Saturday August 20th at 8 am at Frary Field.  Freshmen first followed by JV/Varsity.

Football, Cheer, and Dance teams will be introduced.
Admission is free will donation.
GO TIGERS!!!

Submitted by:

Jeff DeLaTorre
Athletic/Activities Director
Fort Scott High School
620 223-0600

USD 234 Special Meeting for Budget Hearings on August 22

NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING OF
BOARD OF EDUCATION
August 17,2022
A special meeting o f the Board of Education, Unified School District No. 234, Bourbon County, Kansas, is hereby called to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, the twenty-second day of August, 2022, at the Board of Education Office.

The purpose of the meeting is a Revenue Neutral Tax Rate Hearing at 5:30 p.m.; approval of Resolution 22- 07 Expressing the Property Taxation Policy of USD 234 Fort Scott with Respect to
Exceeding the Revenue Neutral Tax Rate for Financing the Annual Budget for 2022-23;
a Budget Hearing at 5:45 p.m.; adoption of the 2022-23 Budget; approval of Resolution 22-08 Local Option Budget Percentage; approval of the revised 1,1l6 hour calendar for
the 2022-23 school year; approval of a MOU with Greenbush for an interim special education director; an executive session pursuant to the non-elected personnel exception under KOMA; and approval of the Personnel Report.


By order of the President of the Board of Education of Unified School District No. 234, Bourbon County, Kansas.

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3.0
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BOARD OF EDUCATION SPECIAL MEETING
AUGUST 22, 2022 5:30 P.M.
AGENDA SUMMARY
Call Meeting to Order
Flag Salute
Open the Revenue Neutral Tax Rate Hearing (Action ltem)
3.1 Close the Revenue Neutral Tax Rate Hearing (Action ltem)
3.2 Approval of Resolution 22-07 Expressing the Property Taxation Policy of USD 234
Fort Scott with Respect to Exceeding the Revenue Neutral Tax Rate for Financing the
Annual Budget for 2022-23 (Action Item)
5:45 p.m. Open the Budget Hearing (Action Item)
4.1 Close the Budget Hearing (Action ltem)
4.2 Adoption of the 2022-23 Budget (Action Item)
4.3 Adopt Resolution 22-08 Local Option Budget Percentage (Action Item)
Approve revised 1,116-hour calendar for the 202243 school year (Action ltem)
Approve MOU with Greenbush for an interim special education director (Action Item)
Personnel Matters
7.1 Enter Executive Session Personnel Matters (Action Item)
7.2 Exit Executive Session
7.3 Approval of Personnel Report (Action ltem)
Adjourn Meeting
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6.0
7.0
8.0
Unified School District 234

Chamber Coffee hosted by Museum of Creativity on August 18

 

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce invites members and guests to a Chamber Coffee hosted by Museum of Creativity, Thursday, August 18th at 8 a.m. located at 102 S. National Ave.  Coffee, refreshments, juice, and snacks will be served, and attendees may register to win a special drawing.

Chamber members and guests are invited to Chamber Coffee events each Thursday at 8 a.m. to network, make announcements, hear about happenings in the community as well as learn about the host business or organization.

Contact the Chamber of Commerce at (620) 223-3566 for more information. Visit the Events Calendar and category of Chamber Coffees on fortscott.com for upcoming locations.

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Uniontown City Council Minutes of August 9

The unofficial minutes of the Uniontown City Council

The Regular Council Meeting on August 9, 2022 at Uniontown City Hall, was called to order at 7:00 PM by Mayor Jurgensen.  Council members present were Jess Ervin, Danea Esslinger (7:04), Josh Hartman, and Bradley Stewart.  Also in attendance for all or part of the meeting were Raymond George and Randy Rathbun (Uniontown Ruritan), Bill Delich, Bettis Asphalt & Construction, Jason Thompson and Josh Bales (Green Environmental Services), Mary Pemberton, Carey Spoon, SEK Regional Planning Commission, and Amanda Lancaster, Diehl Banwart Bolton, CPA, City Superintendent Bobby Rich, City Codes Enforcement Officer Doug Coyan, City Treasurer Charlene Bolinger, and City Clerk Sally Johnson.

 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS/PROJECTS

Open Bids for street mill & asphalt project – Bettis Asphalt & Construction Base Bid $127,287.85, Alternate $70,950.15, total $198,238.00.  Killough Construction Base Bid less mill/pack on Seventh St/Sherman St $60,813.24.  Due to one bid not having a complete base bid and not comparable to the other bid received and the other bid was over our budgeted amount for the project, all bids were rejected.  The Council will consider asking for line item bids in the future as they also consider other funding options.  Clerk Johnson will send letter to Killough Construction.

 

Open RFPs for Trash Service – The City is required to follow the procedure laid out in KSA 12-2036.  The procedure was explained by Clerk Johnson.  No RFPs were opened.  Green Environmental Services was given their unopened proposal and Clerk Johnson will return the other with a letter of explanation.  Clerk Johnson will send out a supplemental newsletter with this information.

 

2022 Financial Audit presentation – Due to a misunderstanding regarding the Gas Utility Loan and collection of gas surcharge to repay loan, the Gas Utility Fund expenditures were over budget.

 

Motion by Ervin, Second by Hartman, Approved 4-0 to accept 2022 Financial Audit as presented

 

Ruritan Bathroom Project, Raymond “Skeet” George – Mr George asked the Council is they wanted lever handles in and out or a push bar or the inside.  Lever handles were selected.  Doors will open out and have programmable locks.  Ruritan would like for it to be open to the public during the day.  He is meeting with electrician tomorrow.  There will be a fan in the attic area and can lights.

Randy Rathbun gave a presentation for the proposed addition of a “fire truck” in the playground in honor of Dale Jackson.  Council was receptive of the addition.

 

SEK Regional Planning Commission, Carey Spoon – State of Kansas had a summit last month regarding the Hub they have set up to administer the funds from BIL.  Most federal funding is wanting regional projects and an action plan would have to be submitted before any funding for the implementation could be applied for.  She gave a handout to each person at the table with information explaining Safe Streets 4 All.  CDBG is not accepting applications for street projects this year.  They are not very familiar with KDOT funding sources but will try to help us as much as possible.  They are having a meeting August 23, 11-1 (in person or zoom) on BIL funding.

 

CITIZENS REQUEST

Mary Pemberton gave an update on the progress of their rehab.  Scheduled to pour sidewalk next week.  Codes Officer Coyan will meet with her again.  Inside should be completed by end of August and all work should be completed by end of October.  She also reminded the Council of the Bourbon County REDI vision meeting on August 23, 6PM, at River Room above Luther’s BBQ in Fort Scott.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT

Treasurer Bolinger presented the July 2022 Treasurer’s Report.  Beginning Checking Account Balance for all funds was $371,765.26, Receipts $28,432.97, Transfers Out $3,026.00, Expenditures $27,542.60, Checking Account Closing Balance $369,629.63. Bank Statement Balance $372,396.19, including Checking Account Interest of $1.43, Outstanding Deposits $0, Outstanding Checks $2,766.56, Reconciled Balance $369,629.63.  Water Utilities Certificates of Deposit $30,100.97, Sewer Utilities Certificate of Deposit $18,593.23, Gas Utilities Certificates of Deposit $28,381.43, Total All Funds, including Certificates of Deposit $446,705.26. Year-to-Date Interest in Checking Acct is $208.02, and Utility CDs $168.40 for a Total Year-to-Date Interest of $376.42.  Also included the status of the Projects Checking Account for the month of July 2022, Beginning Balance $0, Receipts $0, Expenditures $0, Ending Balance $0.  July Transfers from Sewer Utility Fund to Sewer Revolving Loan $1,402; from Water Utility Fund to GO Water Bond & Interest $1,624.00, Total Transfers of $3,026.00.  Net Loss for the month of July $2,135.63, Year-to-Date Net Income $45.886.13.  Budget vs Actual Water Fund YTD Revenue $64,623.57 (61.3%), Expenditures $63,375.25 (48.5%); Sewer Fund YTD Revenue $20,413.55 (57.2%), Expenditures $22,756.67 (55.5%); Gas Fund YTD Revenue $87,681.63 (62.8%), Expenditures $84,919.58 (34.6%); General Fund YTD Revenue $100,488.77 (78.2%), Expenditures $88,140.99 (53.3%); and Special Highway YTD Revenue $5625.70 (82.1%), Expenditures $1,041.18 (9.8%).  The August 2022 estimated payables in the amount of $40,671.74 were presented.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

Motion by Ervin, Second by Hartman, Approved 4-0, to approve Consent Agenda:

  • Minutes of July 12, 2022 Regular Council Meeting
  • Treasurer’s Report, Monthly Transaction Report & Accounts Payables

 

DEPARTMENT REPORTS

Superintendent Rich reminded Council he has two weeks vacation time that has to be taken before October 29, then gets three weeks.  He is to take one week at a time.

KCC Pipeline Safety Seminar is October 26-27 in Manhattan.

 

Motion by Hartman, Second by Esslinger, Approved 4-0 to allow Bobby Rich to attend KCC Pipline Safety Seminar in Manhattan on October 26-27

 

Codes Enforcement Officer Coyan reported the deadline for Smith Estate is September 1.  City Attorney suggested preparing resolution for condemnation.  It was suggested to have a structural engineer inspect the property prior to preparing the resolution.

 

Clerk Johnson informed the council that HBCAT needs budget numbers for the placemaking project.  She will add a survey to the supplemental newsletter for community input of what exercise equipment to purchase and/or build pickleball court.

KMEA/KMGA Annual Conference is September 29-30 in Wichita.

 

Motion by Hartman, Second by Ervin, Approved 4-0 to allow Sally Johnson to attend KMEA/KMGA Annual Conference in Wichita on September 29-30

 

We received a letter from FEMA regarding the 30-day data submission notification for the draft flood insurance rate map (FIRM) for Bourbon County.  The draft shows decreased potential for flooding and no special flood hazard areas in the city limits.

There have been requests for fall citywide cleanup.

 

Motion by Ervin, Second by Hartman, Approved 4-0 to have a fall citywide cleanup August 22-26, 8AM-8PM with dumpsters removed when full.

 

Clerk Johnson will also add this and a reminder about school starting to the supplemental newsletter.

The November regularly scheduled council meeting is on election day.

 

Motion by Stewart, Second by Hartman, Approved 4-0 to reschedule the November regular council meeting on November 15, 2022, 7PM

 

The HP color printer/copier has quit.  RTS Electronics said parts are not available and would recommend replacing with a laser color printer instead of an inkjet, more cost effective.

 

Motion by Ervin, Second by Esslinger, approved 4-0 to have Clerk Johnson get a new color printer/copier

 

COUNCIL REPORT

Councilman Ervin – He attended the KMGA Regional Meeting in Humboldt on July 14 (handouts in packets).  BBCO REDI Vision Meeting, August 23, 6PM, River Room, Fort Scott.  He also asked if the dog issue had been resolved.  Clerk Johnson stated that she informed Animal Control Officer Binford and that the dogs that were chasing the kids were back at home and tied up in different areas than before, so dog owner is aware they were loose but she hasn’t been able to connect with him yet.

Councilwoman Esslinger – nothing

Councilman Hartman – received a complaint of a property owner being injured while mowing the easement ditch on his property on Seventh St.  Council asked Rich to look at ditch and talk to property owner.

Councilwoman Kelly – absent

Councilman Stewart – nothing

Mayor Jurgensen – Two lights out in park, northeast corner and west side.  Rich spoke to Evergy today and they said it could be 10 business days before they are repaired/replaced.

 

OLD BUSINESS

American Rescue Plan Act update – Council directed Codes Enforcement Officer Coyan to get bids for the ADA bathroom upgrade at City Hall.  Also asked Johnson to amend the BBCO REDI grant application for this project instead of the public bathroom project.

 

2023 Budget, Gas Surcharge/Loan – Budget has been reworked to add gas surcharge revenue and loan payments.  Johnson also revised the 2022 budget to include the gas surcharge revenue and loan payments.  At this time, it does not appear that we will need to republish.  She asked Council to review the reworked budget and let her know by the end of the week if something needs amended.  She will send notice of hearings to Tribune next week.

 

NEW BUSINESS

Motion by Ervin, Second by Hartman, Approved 4-0 to enter into executive session pursuant to non-elected personnel matters exception, KSA 4319(b)(1), in order to discuss performance of non-elected personnel, the open meeting to resume at 9:28PM.

 

Open meeting resumed at 9:28PM.

 

Motion by Esslinger, Second by Hartman, Approved 4-0 to increase base pay for Animal Control Officer to $12/hr

 

Moved by Ervin, Second by Hartman, Approved 4-0, to adjourn at 9:29PM