October 23, 2023 Monday, 5:30 p.m.
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners and the County Clerk present.
Karla Cox, Dale Bollinger, Clint Walker, Michael Hoyt, Jason Silvers, and Deb McCoy were present for some or all of the meeting.
Jim opened the meeting with the flag salute.
Clifton made a motion to approve the consent agenda which includes approval of minutes from 10/16/23, approval of payroll totaling $342,018.24, and approval of accounts payable totaling $694,895.54. Jim seconded the motion and all approved.
During the public comments Dale Bollinger stated he spent 28 years providing fire and EMS services for the City of Fort Scott and felt obligated to come speak. Mr. Bollinger asked for clarification on the amount that Clifton had previously stated it would cost to put an EMS barn in the western part of Bourbon County. Jim stated a new ambulance is around $350,000 and Clifton added we need new ambulances now then to add additional for a western EMS barn plus the payroll for additional employees. Mr. Bollinger stated he was trying to make suggestions on ways to operate and suggested putting an ambulance at the Uniontown Fire Station. Jim asked why we haven’t received a request from those out west for an EMS barn in their part of the county. Mr. Bollinger asked questions regarding the current EMS processes and abilities and it was suggested to him that he speak to EMS Director Teri Hulsey. Mr. Bollinger voiced his opinion on the necessity of an emergency room stating that EMS could stabilize and transfer to the nearest appropriate health care facility and asked Commissioners not to get in a hurry funding 1.5 million of taxpayer dollars. Clifton said Dale’s opinion is we don’t need an ER and his opinion is that we do. Clifton stated he has spoken to two doctors that he trusts that advised him we need an emergency room. Clint Walker stated Allen County EMS just ordered an ambulance and is on a two year wait list. Mr. Walker asked that Bourbon County be proactive instead of reactive and informed the Commissioners of a water program he heard about and suggested it be looked into to see if Elm Creek might qualify. Pete Allen stated we have excellent EMS service in Bourbon County and that we need to get an ambulance to people as quickly as possible which is why he suggested putting an ambulance in western Bourbon County. Mr. Allen questioned the need for an emergency room in Fort Scott and stated our taxes are already high and that we can’t afford to lose more residents. Clifton asked if Mr. Allen knew the estimated loss of industry in Bourbon County if we don’t have an emergency room and stated it is 20%.
Jennifer Hawkins, County Clerk, provided the Commissioners a letter of support to sign for CHC SEK’s transportation program grant application. Jennifer asked the Commissioners to approve the 2024 calendar so that workdays could be submitted to KPERS. Clifton made a motion to pass Resolution 16-23 designating 2024 holidays for Bourbon County. Nelson seconded the motion and all approved.
Jennifer Hawkins requested a 5-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. Clifton made a motion to go into a 5-minute executive session under KSA 75-4319 (b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy to include all three Commissioners, Jennifer Hawkins, and Susan Walker and will return at 6:20. Nelson seconded the motion and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 6:20 with no action. Nelson seconded the motion and all approved.
Justin Meeks requested a 5-minute executive session.
Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to allow for an executive session. Nelson seconded the motion and all approved.
Clifton made a motion to go into a 5-minute executive session under KSA 75-4319 (b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy to include all three Commissioners and Justin Meeks and will return at 6:27. Nelson seconded the motion and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 6:27 with no action. Nelson seconded the motion and all approved.
Eric Bailey, Public Works Director, stated the asphalt on Eagle Road from the railroad tracks east to the state line is completed. Last week the crew worked on building the base and replacing crossroad tubes on Eagle Road from 69 Highway to 230th Street. Eric said the crusher quit this afternoon and threw a code so they contacted the company and are waiting to hear back from them. Eric told Jim he looked at the culvert near 30th Street and Highway 39 and that the crew would have to fix it as it had fallen in. Eric said they have added oversize rock to the boat ramp at Elm Creek. Eric stated Murphy Tractor has reached out about going to Iowa to tour the factory where the graders are made. Jim said he wouldn’t be able to go until spring but it is worth the trip. Nelson verified that the 4-way stop that was approved last week was placed and Eric stated he will make sure it is up. Jim suggested speaking about speed limits on gravel roads next week.
Nelson said that 30% of people who go to the emergency room are for non-emergency issues and that people call an ambulance when they could have waited and gone to the clinic the next day. Clifton stated that the problem didn’t happen overnight and won’t be fixed overnight. Clifton spoke about opinions that are posted online and in the newspaper as fact. Jim stated he has been contacted by individuals and businesses who have stated if we do not have an emergency room that they would have to leave Bourbon County. Jim said there is a Community Connection Luncheon hosted by the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday but Nelson and Clifton couldn’t attend so Jim will be attending. Jim discussed the candidate forum that will be hosted at Fort Scott Community College on Wednesday evening. Jim made a motion that all three Commissioners may attend the candidate forum at the Ellis Fine Arts Center on Wednesday with no county business being conducted. Nelson seconded the motion and all approved.
Clifton made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:40. Nelson seconded the motion and all approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
ATTEST: ___________________, Commissioner
Jennifer Hawkins, Bourbon County Deputy Clerk
10-30-2023 Approved Date