Bourbon County Commission Minutes of August 18

August 18, 2021                                             Wednesday 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 meeting) Susan Bancroft, Rob Harrington, Brian Allen, Jimmy Kemmerer and Rob Harrington.

 

Due to COVID; the meeting was closed to the public, but broadcast on YouTube.

 

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

 

Eric Bailey reported they have been asphalting on Eagle Road, but they had to stop due to a leak in the oil distributor; he said this is getting fixed and once the 2.7 miles are completed on 250th they will move to 125th.

 

They are crushing today.

 

Eric said the oil line came off of the motor on the Freightliner, he said they are waiting on the oil line to get this fixed, but the part has been delayed.  He said they are also waiting on the parts for the Mack truck.

 

They are putting tubes in near Garland, on State Line Road.  They are also working near the wood top bridge at Victor and 265th.

 

They are ditching and putting a tube in at 245th & Wagon Road.

 

Eric said they completed training on the CIC software last week and will now be tracking signs and bridges with the software.  They may start using the timeclock and said employees would clock in with their phone or on a computer, Jim questioned what they would do for employees if they didn’t have a phone or computer; Eric said they would cross that path when they come to it.

 

Eric said they have four mowers out mowing in the County.  Lynne said they needed to mow on Range between 105th-125th.

 

Eric said that State Tractor and Equipment brought a mini dozer for the County to try, Eric invited the Commissioners to come see this work.

 

Windmill update: Eric said they are working on 60th between Birch and Cavalry.  He said there is one windmill up in Crawford County and said we should start to see them in Bourbon County in the next few weeks.

 

Jim Harris said that last year there were 44 bridges that needed replaced or shut down; Jim said he would get Eric this list if he needs to, but asked for a status on the bridges.

 

KWORCC annual voting delegate; the KWORCC meeting will be October 18, Jim said unless the COVID conditions change he would not be attending the meeting, Lynne said he wasn’t going to put his life on hold.  Clifton made a motion that Chairman Oharah be the voting delegate for Bourbon County and that he be the alternate voting delegate, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

Jim made a motion to approve the cereal malt beverage license for KC Mart at 2191 Soldier Road, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Clifton made a motion to go into a 15-minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b) (1) to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel to protect their privacy to discuss job performance and job function, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 9:32, Jim seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Matt Quick, Justin Meeks and Susan Bancroft).  At 9:32, Clifton made a motion to resume the meeting with no action, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

Mary Pemberton (on the phone) discussed a topic she brought up a three weeks ago regarding County employees pay and benefits: Mary went over an email that she had sent to the Commissioners, she discussed benefits & time off for County employees and said the average employee gets 8 weeks off per year and said more employees are needed to cover all this time off.  Some of the County employees work a 35-hour work week; Mary suggested everyone work a standard workweek of 40 hours, she said this would result in a savings that could be passed on to the employees. She suggested modifying the vacation to 2 weeks/year and to allow time to be carried over and eliminate the use it or lose it policy.  She suggested changing the 13 County holidays to 8 or 10, changing the sick days to 3/year and make short term disability available, changing the pay scale, suggested discontinuing the longevity bonus and replacing it with an efficiency bonus.  She said by making these changes it would increase efficiency, reduce turnover and increase morale. Lynne said the only employees working 35 hours a week are a few offices at the Courthouse.  Lynne said a 35-hour workweek was offered years ago in lieu of a pay raise, he said they would need to question employees to see if they are willing to work 40 hours. Mary discussed fuel savings the Sheriff plans to start using and said all departments should be doing this.  Mary asked the Commissioner’s to use the PILOT money to lower the mill levy and not create any new spending with this money.  Lynne said so far $125,000 of this money has been used for economic development.

 

Jim Harris had scheduled an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel, but made a motion to amend the agenda to cancel the executive session until another person can be here, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

County Counselor: Justin said the sewer service agreement had been reviewed by Mr. Farmer and said that he, Susan and Mr. Farmer would meet soon to finalize this, he said he hoped this would be done in approximately 45 days.

 

Justin said the tax sale is moving forward and said he Patty and Lora would be looking at the properties on the list.  He said they are doing well with collections regarding the tax sale.  Justin said personal service is impossible on a lot of the properties.

 

Justin said he had talked to the title company regarding the parcel on Main Street; he said it should be done soon and said the following would occur… the MOU would be waived, the property would be given to the County and then go to the new owner and then the money would go to pay the note off.

 

Justin read parts of an article from USA today where areas close to us were encouraging people to move to their area by offering incentives to move there.

 

Justin said he thought some of the PILOT money should be used to cut the mill levy.

 

Susan Bancroft: Susan gave the Commissioners a condensed version of the rules and regulations for the ARPA funds.  She said $800,000 had been delegated for healthcare (hospital feasibility study) and $200,000 delegated for broadband.  She said it is possible that wages for the Sheriff’s office could be paid with this money; Lynne said this may be a way to offset some of the expenses in the Sheriff’s office and said this money could be used to support public health, mental health and housing.  Lynne said the County has $400,000 left for this year’s allotment of the ARPA money.

 

The Commissioners will have a 2022 budget work session on Tuesday, August 24th at 9:00 am.

 

Susan said she had scheduled 8 different meetings with insurance brokers and consultants wanting to quote the County insurance.  Currently the County is insured through the State Health Plan – and if the County were to sign a contract to continue the County will be locked into this contract for 3 years or get out of the contract by paying a penalty of 2 ½% of the premiums for every month left on the contract.  Susan said the State will not release the claims experience, she said due to this, the companies wanting to quote will not bid a price, but will present a policy.  Lynne said he was torn on this matter since the County spends so much on health insurance premiums.  Susan said the company Captive might work; Clifton said the County is already in a captive program with the State and said they would be just going from one to another.  Jim said several employees had asked him not to change insurance companies; he said the premiums are high, but said there are so many unknowns. Jim said this is a benefit that is great for our employees.  Clifton said he wasn’t a fan of being locked into a contract for 3 years; Susan questioned Justin if there would be anyway for the County to use a specific Statute to get out of this contract if there were financial concerns.  Jim suggested with Susan’s help, over the next 3 years they consider a self-funded option for the health insurance.  The meeting had to be temporarily suspended due to a technical difficulty.  Lynne suggested the process be started earlier for deciding on insurance, he said if the County went to self-funding, we would need a savings for the insurance.  Lynne and Jim both suggested the County stays where we are insured at and work towards a self-funded plan in the future. Lynne said the County could sign the contract and start the process next year, Clifton said the timing is bad and said there are things that could happen in the future.  Lynne made a motion to stay with the current Healthcare provider – the State, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

The Commissioners asked Kendell to check on getting insurance for the underground diesel storage tank at the hospital; Kendell told them she would.

 

Susan said she had been working on the 2022 budget and with the changes she has made the levy is currently flat.

 

Commissioner Comment: Lynne said Mary Pemberton mentioned that the County should be using a discounted fuel program; Lynne said that Public Works has been doing this for a long time and said some other departments have used this, he encouraged all the departments to use this.  Jim agreed and said this is a good way to save money.

 

Clifton made a motion that all three of the Commissioners be able to attend if they choose the 30 X 30 meeting on August 25th @ 6:30 at the Sale Barn, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

At 10:45, Clifton made a motion to adjourn, Jim seconded and all approved.

 

THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS

(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner

ATTEST:

Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk

August 25, 2021, Approved Date

 

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