February 14, 2023 Tuesday, 9:00 a.m.
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners and the County Clerk present.
Jason Silvers, Mark McCoy, and Clint Walker were present for some or all of the meeting.
Jim Harris opened the meeting the with flag salute, followed by a prayer led by Mark McCoy.
Nelson Blythe made a motion to approve the minutes from last week’s meeting. Clifton Beth seconded, and all approved. Clifton made a motion to approve the consent agenda which includes payroll totaling $206,351.07 and accounts payable totaling $85,342.63. Jim seconded, and all approved.
Jim commended the crew working on the parking and sidewalk project saying the concrete looks great. Jim asked Eric if they are keeping a running total on how much the project is costing us to share with the public how much the county saved by performing the work ourselves. Eric Bailey, Public Works Director, stated they are keeping track in their PubWorks software and will be able to provide a detailed report of the project. Eric said they still have two pours left to complete the project, but they are going to be painting lines on a section that is finished to get more parking opened up. The MSHA refresher course was completed last week and the training date for all new hires to complete MSHA certification is now March 13. The drum is in for the crusher, and we will be moving the crusher to Humboldt to have the repairs performed there where they have a crane and all the needed equipment and tools. Purple Wave was here yesterday to take pictures and video of our old crusher to post on an upcoming sale in March. Public Works will also be selling two truck beds on Purple Wave. Eric asked for approval to go ahead and go out for bid for a belly dump trailer which is what the proceeds from the items sold on Purple Wave will purchase. Jim said he has been in support of another belly dump to use during asphalting to get gravel on the roads while the dump trucks are tied up hauling asphalt. Jim made a motion to allow Eric to go out for a bid on a belly dump trailer using cash from the Purple Wave sales. Nelson seconded and all approved. Eric said that he has been visiting with different companies about asphalt oil and currently the prices are down $75-$100 per ton. Diesel fuel is down about $1.00 per gallon which will drop our cost to produce asphalt. Eric said he has another meeting today to find out about the price of sand. Dates were discussed for setting up a roads program meeting and it was suggested to add it to the agenda to once Eric has a complete list of prices.
Susan Bancroft, Chief Financial Officer, presented a 2022 payroll recap. Susan said she plans on doing annual year end reports and including payroll reports to show where you might see fluctuation in numbers indicating turnover. The reports also show overtime by department. Susan explained that some of the overtime is built in due to the way some of the shifts runs. EMS is now fully staffed and you will see the overtime numbers go down due to that. Susan said she can provide these reports quarterly so that the Commissioners can see the numbers as they are happening. The reports that were provided today are strictly payroll, they do not include benefits but Susan plans on creating a report to show benefits in the future. One of the reports provided a breakdown of how many employees each department had for every pay period in the year which showed the amount of turnover. A gross earnings by department report was included and Clifton and Jim questioned why the Clerk and Treasurer’s offices were up dramatically in December. Susan stated that the increase flagged for KPERS and she had to give an explanation as to the increase and those two departments gave their employees bonuses at the end of the year. Susan said she is working this week to close out the end of year and will be able to provide reports showing how each department’s budget ended up for 2022.
Susan presented a request for a letter of support for a moderate income apartment project in Fort Scott. The project is for 16 apartments in what is known as the Van Fossen building but more people know it as the JCPenney building. This project is a partnership between the City of Fort Scott and the developer and all that Bourbon County is asked to do is provide a letter of support for their grant. Clifton stated he is not in favor because they are asking us to do something without knowing anything about the project. Jim asked if the developer gave a presentation to the City of Fort Scott. Nelson asked if this was federal or state grant and Susan said the state administers it but they are federal dollars. Jim said that someone will get the grant dollars, so if it is not this project another community will receive the money. Mark McCoy suggested that the developer come and do a presentation or at least provide a letter detailing all the information we are requesting. Nelson asked if there was a deadline and Susan stated they have not provided her with one. Clifton said he is not going to vote on something and approve something the same day it is provided to him with no information given. Jim said he would like someone to do a presentation or answer questions about the project.
Jennifer Hawkins announced she will be attending some training classes so she can become a certified County Clerk. Jennifer said she has not been able to hire anybody for her office yet and will have to close Thursday, February 16 to attend a class. One of the classes is only offered once a year and it is March 6-10, but she is hopeful that she will have additional staff hired by then.
Clifton made a motion to move the Commission meetings to Thursdays. Clifton stated that the County Counselor is now unavailable on Tuesdays, and this would allow the Clerk and CFO more time to prepare for the meetings. Jim said he was in support of moving the meetings to Thursdays but for the first six months he would not be at some of the meetings due to prior commitments but could join via phone. Nelson questioned when the first Thursday meeting would be and Clifton said next week. Nelson said he would miss next week’s meeting regardless of the day it is held as he will be out of town at training. Nelson seconded the motion to move meetings to Thursdays, and all approved.
Mark McCoy said that on April 5 Fort Scott High School will be hosting a business day where different industries and government entities will be there with tables set up, and he thinks the county should have a booth to give students an opportunity to see what we offer. Clifton stated it is the FSHS Career Fair and it will be 8-12 on April 5 and this is a collaboration with Uniontown High School so we could potentially reach 600 students. Susan Bancroft said she had planned on having a table there with pamphlets about different jobs at the county and would welcome anybody else who like to join her. Jim said he could join her if it was ok with the other commissioners and Clifton and Nelson agreed to this.
There will be a meeting of the Republican Party on Thursday, February 23, at 6 p.m. at the Empress Event Center for elected and appointed officials as well as the committee people. Nelson made a motion to allow the Commissioners to attend the meeting with no county business being conducted. Clifton seconded and all approved.
Mark McCoy talked about Kiwanis 110th Pancake Feed that will be held next Tuesday with all the proceeds going to provide scholarships to local high school students. Last year the Kiwanis provided eight scholarships to students. Mark also announced the Knights of Columbus fish fry that will take place on Friday evenings with proceeds going to rebuild the church.
Jim made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:37. Nelson seconded and all approved.