September 11, 2023 Monday, 5:30 p.m.
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with Commissioners Jim Harris and Clifton Beth and the Deputy County Clerk present.
Jon Lowery, Michaela Lucas, Clint Walker, Anne Dare, Kathy Brennon, and Rachel Walker were present for some or all of the meeting.
Jim opened the meeting with the flag salute followed by a prayer led by Mark McCoy.
Clifton made a motion to approve the consent agenda which includes approval of minutes from the 8/28/23 and 9/7/23 meeting, approval of payroll totaling $237,409.87, and the approval of accounts payable totaling $408,015.91. Jim seconded the motion and both Commissioners approved.
Matthew Wells, Mayor of Fort Scott, was present to request the Commissioners waive the fees at the Bourbon County Landfill for the disposal of the building at 2 S. National. Mr. Wells stated the building is currently privately owned and will be demolished, and new building erected, and then rented to the state. Jim asked Mr. Wells if he knew an approximate tonnage and he stated he did not. Clifton said there are three buildings being demo’d downtown and we are not giving them free dump fees. Mr. Wells stated the city is demolishing the building as an in-kind donation to the state for the project to be located downtown. Clifton said as a Commissioner he is not here to use taxpayer dollars to support private businesses. Jim stated his concern is that we would be setting a precedence if we do it for you, we will have to do if for the next one as well. Jim said he will not be making a motion tonight since Clifton already said no but told Matthew he could come back when Nelson gets back if he would like.
Anne Dare asked about page 12 of the accounts payable report and why we are paying four different law offices. Jim said the Sheriff’s department has one in Kansas City on fees all the time and we have to pay the different attorneys appointed by the judges for individuals who do not have an attorney. Anne asked what the proposed payment to REDI will be for next year and it was explained zero at this time the money was put into a contingency fund, and it will be discussed at the beginning of next year. Anne requested that in the future the name of the recipient of the Meals on Wheels payment be changed for clarity.
Kathy Brennon with Southeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging came in to provide a corrected handout outlining the services they have provided. Kathy stated they have provided over 15,000 meals as well as an array of services that equate to a $225,000 in Bourbon County. Kathy said there have been comments made about the frozen only meals and stated there are other Meals on Wheels providers not associated with their agency which is why they try to call their program as 60+ Nutrition. Kathy said if there is a problem or complaint to please call her. Clifton said he wanted people to understand you provide more than just meals and that you are not funded to the level you should be by the government. Clifton stated there is a misconception that programs like yours and others are flushed with cash coming in from the federal and state governments and that’s not true. Kathy said it is a requirement of the Area Agency on Aging program to go out and ask for donations and stated they pay for the food, gas, and have had to raise their minimum wage to $10 an hour just to get people in to work and that if they do not receive donations that will put them in a deficit.
Michael Hoyt handed out copies of the Constitution. Michael spoke about a public notice in the newspaper raising water 3%. Michael also handed information out to the Commissioners regarding a property that is being condemned by the city that is in both the city and county limits and asked the Commissioners to look into the matter.
Eric Bailey, Public Works Director, handed out the monthly culvert report for the Commissioners to review and sign. Eric stated they have completed 6 miles, or 12 lane miles, of the chip and seal project on 215th Street and are now down to Soldier Road. Eric said that Linn County has graciously allowed us to use their machine so that we are able to chip and seal this year. Eric stated they are evaluating their budgets to determine whether they will do more chip and seal or move to asphalt as fuel prices are up and continuing to go. Eric said they submitted two applications for an off-system bridge grant and was selected for our bridge at 60th and Grand Road. The total cost of the project will be $916,000 with our share being $75,000. Eric said the bridge on Jayhawk between 195th and 205th Streets was not selected and the application for the Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program bridge on 215th Street and Valley Road over the railroad tracks was not selected either. Eric stated they have two belly dump trailers hauling rock, are mowing ditches, and cleaning ditches out as well.
Selena Alvarado, Deputy County Clerk, presented a letter from Kristen Duffey who has resigned as Marmaton Township Clerk due to moving out of state. The Marmaton Township Board has met and submitted a recommendation letter asking that Debra Duffey be appointed to fulfill Kristen’s term. Clifton made a motion to appoint Debra Duffey as Marmaton Township Clerk per their request. Jim seconded the motion and all approved.
Jon Lowery with Bourbon County EMS informed the Commissioners that they received a $4,000 grant from Walmart which they are using to purchase furniture for their day room as what they currently have came from patient rooms when Mercy closed. Mr. Lowery thanked Rob Harrington with Bourbon County REDI stating they were instrumental in getting the paperwork completed for the grant. A copy of the runs through the end of August was handed out and it was stated 60 more runs were made this year compared to the same time frame last year.
Teri Hulsey, EMS Director, came to the Commissioners regarding the standby services for the Marmaton Massacre race. Teri stated that when they provided standby services for the race in the past EMS was under the City of Fort Scott who did not charge for the services. Teri asked if the Commissioners wanted her to bill their normal $75 per hour rate. Clifton said no because we standby for football games. Jim stated it is a big event for Fort Scott and Bourbon County. Teri informed them that they do bill for football games. Jim said they probably shouldn’t bill for football games. Clifton asked if it is an extra crew, and Teri stated that an off-duty crew comes in to provide the standby services. Clifton said in his opinion we either charge everybody or we charge nobody. Jim said in his opinion we should not charge any of them. Jim said he would like to not charge them this time since it such short notice and Clifton agreed and suggested they re-address in the future.
Justin Meeks, County Counselor, requested a 10-minute executive session for attorney client privilege with possible litigation. Clifton made a motion to go into executive session under 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 for 10 minutes with both Commissioners and Justin Meeks present and will return to the Commission room at 6:17. Jim seconded the motion and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 6:17 with no action. Jim seconded the motion and all approved.
During the Commission comments section Jim stated FSCC baseball will be in town this week and FSHS football will be at home Friday.
Clifton made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:19. Jim seconded the motion and all approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
ATTEST: ___________________, Commissioner
Jennifer Hawkins, Bourbon County Clerk
9-18-2023 Approved Date