Bourbon County Commission Minutes of August 12

August 12, 2021                                   Thursday 9:00 am


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners, the County Counselor and the County Clerk present.


Also present were the following: (some were present for a portion of the meeting and some were present for the entire meting), Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune, Bill Martin, Ben Cole, Donnie Coffman, Clint Walker, Michael Hoyt, Lora Holdridge, Rob Harrington, Michael Braim, Josh Jones, Robert Coon and Ryan Coon.


Clifton made a motion to approve the minutes from the July 27 Commission meeting, Jim seconded and all approved.


The Commissioners opened the 2 sealed bids they received for the building located at 17 S. Main, they were as follows: Tracy Dancer bid $62,500 for the property and the contents and Coon Rentals LLC bid $158,000 (including uninstalled windows, excluding juke box and other owned personal property).  Justin briefly reviewed the contract and said that one of the bids didn’t meet the specifications.  Lynne said some of the equipment is almost impossible to remove.  Clifton made a motion to accept the high bid from Coon Rental for 17 S. Main, Jim seconded and all approved.  Justin said he would get the title process started and said that BAJA currently still owns the property until the transfers occur.


Eric Bailey met with the Commissioners, he presented 3 culvert permits.  Jim made a motion to allow public works to install the following culverts: one for Paula Russell at 2286 Poplar, one for Albert Nelson at 379 40th and one for Sarah Shepherd at 130th & Arrowhead, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Jim made a motion to allow Public Works to install 45 mph signs on 250th between Arrowhead and Indian Road, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Eric said they had installed stop sign ahead signs at 180th & Fern.  And said the signs were up in the area of 130th & Arrowhead.


Eric gave an asphalt update; he said they are to Eagle Road and will move to 125th next.


Eric said they had done dust control around the County.  They replaced tubes at 2088 Wagon and 2645 Unique (they also did ditching in this area).


They plan to crush at the Blake Quarry next week and will move to the Thomas Quarry after the Blake Quarry.  Jim said he had noticed that the crusher is starting to cost money for repairs; he asked that Eric start tracking expenses for the crusher.


Lynne said the wheel loader is starting to get a lot of hours on it.  Eric said they have 2 dump trucks down – one is being fixed and one is being looked at.

Eric said the Sterling truck has issues and said he had located a Kenworth Freightliner on Purple Wave with low miles and said he would like to bid on it.  Jim made a motion to put the Sterling truck on Purple Wave and authorize Eric to bid up to $50,000 on the Kenworth with the low mileage, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Eric said he had an employee in need of donated vacation time for an illness; Jim made a motion to allow Eric to get leave time for the employee, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Eric said there was a bridge at 60th & Grand that the last heavy rain had eroded; he said he had been working with someone regarding what needs to happen to fix it.


He said they cleaned off a bridge at 120th & Unity, put rock down and asphalt on the top.


They fixed a low water crossing on Kansas.


Eric said they are training with CIC and are looking at using the timeclock in the future.


Eric discussed the soybean removal; he said they have to get the soybeans composted.  They can have the engineer help get a permit filed and once they have a permit, they will have to move the site about 50 yards.  Jim made a motion to allow Public Works to work with the engineer to get a permit with KDHE and start a compost pile, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Eric said it is in the budget for them to get a piece of equipment, he said he would like to get a mini excavator; he said they have over 100 tubes that need replaced.  Jim said he thought a mini excavator has its place, but thought the New Holland might be getting ready to quit, he said a backhoe has 6-8 more feet and can do more, he said a mini excavator is limited on what it can do.  Lynne said they are behind on ditching and tubes, Eric said they did maintenance on the backhoe last week and said he thought it had several hours left.  Eric estimated a mini excavator to cost between $80,000-$100,000 and a backhoe to cost $125,000.  Jim said he didn’t support buying a new excavator.  Clifton asked Eric to get prices on both pieces of equipment and present those to the Commissioners.  Eric will get the total hours on the backhoe and the maintenance log as well.


Windmill update: Eric said he gave them the approval to use 30th & Arrowhead to Cavalry and 60th & Birch to Cavalry, Eric said they did an excellent job of building up the roads.  They did a crane crossing at 20th & Eagle.


Lynne said he had a request for the County to install children playing signs on Indian around the Bourbon Allen Lake; Eric said installing those signs could be a liability issue.


Clifton reported potholes at the Hospital – one on the curved driveway and one at the FSCC entrance.  Eric said they had dug out the ambulance barn’s driveway entrance.  Eric asked if the County owned the parking lot to the west of the hospital; the Commissioners said no.


Lynne asked Eric to look at the crossing on 95th ¼ mile south of 65 Highway.


Don George was scheduled later on the agenda, Lynne made a motion to allow Don George to speak now to discuss grants, Clifton seconded and all approved.  Don George said the County had received a Kansas Wildlife & Parks community fisheries assistance program grant for the renovation of the dam at Elm Creek Lake.  The total cost of the project is $161,000 and the reimbursement grant is for $40,000.  The County’s portion totaling $121,000 is for labor and supplies (the County will have to track man hours and expenses).  Eric said they drilled and feel they found where a seam is leaking; they will dig down and fill it with clay, (this is in an area northeast of the boat launch).  Jim said he was good with fixing this if they have a long-term plan for the lake; Don George said he would help with the long-term plan.  Clifton said he wanted the dam fixed correctly.  Jim asked if this quote included fixing the leak around the pipe; Eric said it did not.  Don said the lake is an economic asset for the County and said the buildings there are a prize.  Don said Bourbon County is lucky to have a lake like this and said they need to promote it so that people will come use it.  Clifton made a motion to accept the grant and to allow Lynne to sign it, Jim seconded and all approved.  Don will work with Eric Bailey on this project.


Don George said the Uniontown school pond dam needs repairs and said they received a grant for the repairs.  He said the County has rock and said the City of Uniontown needs rock for the repairs.  Jim made a motion to allow Eric to work with the City of Uniontown to haul in big rock at the Uniontown school pond, Clifton seconded and all approved.


David Neville met with the Commissioners to discuss the Renodry proposal and rising damp report regarding a study they did on the Courthouse.  The report showed there was moisture in the Courthouse, David said he knew this and said they are seeing deterioration and said he thought something is needed, but at this point he didn’t understand the Renodry process.  Jim suggested allowing David more time to understand this and then make recommendations.  Jim suggested that David contact Mid Continental as well.  David said the chimney needed a cap; the Commissioners were all in favor of him getting a cap for the chimney.


KCAMP provided Bourbon County with new bylaws; Clifton made a motion to adopt Resolution 23-21 and to allow Lynne to sign this, Jim seconded and all approved.


Clifton made a motion to adopt Resolution 24-21 (a salary resolution for elected officials), Jim seconded and all approved.


Clifton made a motion to adopt Resolution 25-21 (a wage resolution for non-elected personnel), Jim seconded and all approved.


Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to move Bill Martin’s meeting time above Jim Harris’, Jim seconded and all approved.


Bill Martin, Ben Cole, Alvin Metcalf and Leroy Kruger met with the Commissioners to discuss the leaks at the law enforcement facility.  Bill said the leaks were brought up with the prior Commissioners; he presented pictures from September 2019 and pictures now.  He said that condensation from the rooftop a/c is pooling and sitting on the roof.  He said they didn’t install a pipe for the HVAC units to drain the units.  Bill said in 2019 a meeting was set up that he wasn’t invited to that included the contractors, architects, the County Counselor and a Commissioner; he said he wasn’t sure what was addressed or how it was taken care of, but said now there are additional issues including water leaking into a pipe that is exposing wires and water sitting inside the HVAC unit.  He said he had a roof inspection done to see where the leak was coming from, they also have a leak(s) coming through a light fixture.  Bill asked what do we need to do to get this corrected?  Alvin said phones have been ruined and said when the water hits the sensor the fire and smoke alarms go down.  Bill has a meeting scheduled with GGA (August 23) and the contractors that installed the roof.  Bill asked Lynne what took place at the meeting that was held in 2019 and asked if the building had been signed over to the County Commissioners yet?  Lynne recommended that a Commissioner attend the meeting to go over their concerns, Jim said this needs to be fixed and said if it is a contractor issue, they can address that later. Lynne said the bill for the inspection (approximately $2,000) would be paid out of General.  Lynne made a motion to allow Clifton to attend the meeting with GGA and the Sheriff for a resolution with the roof issues and if not satisfactory get it fixed, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Clifton said that Bill Martin needed to replace the 2012 body camera system; Bill said the bids for replacement are $87,000 & $132,000, he said there is some money in the VIN account and said he could use some of it for the cameras.  Bill said the following wasn’t a scare tactic to get what he wants, but said they have a 1932 Tommy gun, he said money is tight and sometimes you need to have a garage sale and said it might be time to have a garage sale.  Lynne asked if there were any grants that could be applied for, Bill said the grant people he works with said there is no grant money available.  Clifton said maybe there is some of the ARPA money that could be spent for this, they will ask Susan about this.  Lora Holdridge said the Tommy gun is a piece of history and said the HPA would prefer to get a case and put this on display. Bill said if the gun certificate were on display in a bigger location, with Fort Scott mentioned, it might bring people to Fort Scott to visit.


Jim made a motion to go into a 20-minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b) (1) to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel to protect their privacy, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 10:57, Clifton seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Fort Scott Mayor Josh Jones and Justin Meeks). At 10:57, Clifton made a motion to resume the normal session with action, Jim seconded and all approved.  Jim made a motion to allow Chairman Oharah to work with Shane and the City of Fort Scott making a transition on a timeline for HR director and joint services, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Lora Holdridge asked that the elected officials comment portion of the meetings be moved after the public comment section; she said she previously had come to a meeting to correct someone that didn’t have their facts straight during public comment and said by moving this the elected officials would have a chance to respond. The Commissioners asked that this be moved below public comment.


Justin said Susan Bancroft had meetings scheduled next week regarding the County health insurance, Justin said the quotes couldn’t happen without a broker; the Commissioners said that Susan could discuss this with them next week.


Justin said he had a request that the Commissioners move the Commission meetings to Thursdays since the City also has meetings on Tuesdays, Clifton and Lynne were both ok with Thursdays, but Jim wasn’t.  Jim made a motion that starting next week they move the Commission meetings to Wednesday’s, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Clifton made a motion to go into a 9-minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b) (2) for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship concerning a procedural issue with the tax sale and a lease agreement, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 11:19, Jim seconded and all approved.  Clifton made a motion to resume the normal session with action, Jim seconded and all approved. After the session, Justin said during the executive session he had presented a lease agreement between the Bourbon County Commission and the City of Fort Scott for basically a shared services with regards to this structure, Mr. Farmer has reviewed that and has approved it.  Justin said he would ask the Commissioners to be allowed to have the Chairman sign this, he said it is basically a term lease and there are ways to get out of it, he said these two things as an attorney he would want his clients to know.  Jim made a motion for the Bourbon County Commissioners to enter a lease agreement with the City of Fort Scott on shared services within this building for a term as stated in this contract and allow the Chairman to sign this agreement ($1,000 a month, ten-year term), Clifton seconded and all approved.


Justin said he had learned that there was another employee with COVID; he had requests by the Emergency Manager and the Health Department recommending that the County go back to COVID conditions by closing the Commission meetings to the general public and streaming the meetings and that elected officials and department heads be given discretion to require masks if they so choose.  Clifton said he has had COVID twice and said he had been very sick and that the COVID case numbers were above what they were a year ago.  Clifton made a motion that they go back to closed sessions and stream the meetings to the public and that elected officials and department heads use their own discretion if they want to require masks, this will be for the foreseeable future and that they re-evaluation this monthly, Jim seconded and all approved.


Public Comment: Lynne said they were limiting public comment to 3 minutes.  Michael Braim said he was glad everyone was here and healthy, he said he thought Lynne Oharah got personal and called out a woman that was here a few weeks ago, he thought he was way out of line and felt he tried to intimidate and embarrass her and said he could have spoken to her in private.  He said as an elected official he doesn’t get to tell someone that they can’t criticize him.  He said Lynne gave himself $17,500 for flooring; Lynne said this was a legal document and said the money went to his wife’s business.  Lynne said he wasn’t going to bring his wife’s business or personal affairs into this, Mr. Braim said he would be back next week.  Mr. Braim said that BEDCO was a field experiment and said it was time they tried something else; he said the list of completed projects was short.  He suggested putting the money in places it was going to matter like police, roads and sewer; he said that is economic development.


Michael Hoyt questioned the closed Commission meetings and asked if there was a way to send public comments in; the Commissioners suggested they be emailed to Kendell prior to the Commission meeting and Kendell will forward them to the Commissioners.


Clint Walker (regarding internet service around the County) questioned the IT money and asked if the Commissioners had a handle on this and if they were putting in more towers; Lynne said they are moving forward with 5 towers in different areas.  Justin said at the end of September the dishes are coming off the tower the County owns East of town and they will make the tower active around the end of September.


Commissioner Comment: Clifton said BEDCO is a change in path from the past and said it had only been in existence for 4 months and said they need 1-2 years to see if it’s going to work; he said it has his full support.  Lynne said it is modeled off other communities that have been successful.


At 11:37, Jim made a motion to adjourn, Clifton seconded and all approved.




(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner


Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk

August 18, 2021, Approved Date

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