Bourbon County Commission Minutes of May 1

May 1, 2023                                                                                                                         Monday, 5:30 p.m.

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


Robert Harrington, Anne Dare, Mark McCoy, Jason Silvers, Mary Pemberton, Michael Hoyt, Deb McCoy, Don George with KDWP, Clint Walker, and Rachel Walker were present for some or all of the meeting.


Jim Harris opened the meeting with the flag salute followed by a prayer led by Mark McCoy.


Clifton Beth made a motion to approve the consent agenda which includes approval of minutes from last week. Nelson Blythe seconded the motion but asked that a comment he made be corrected to include the word “intentionally” to match the exact verbiage of his comment.


Eric Bailey, Public Works Director, presented the Commissioners with a list of culvert permits that were issued in April as well as the fuel report for April. Jim asked if everybody was still buying fuel from public works except the Sheriff’s Department and Eric replied yes. Eric stated the card reader system is now installed and each employee has a card they swipe and enter equipment number and mileage to obtain fuel. Eric presented a road and use maintenance agreement from NEET Southwest to the Commission for approval. Jim asked if this was for if the company was going to exceed 80,000 pounds. Eric replied yes, they will give us 24-hour notice of heavy equipment such as a crane using our roads and the agreement is in case roads are damaged by their heavy equipment. Clifton made a motion to sign the road use agreement. Nelson seconded the motion, and all approved. MSHA, the Mine Safety Health Administration, inspected the rock quarry last week and Eric said the inspection went very well with only one minor citation issued. Eric said the laydown machine will be picked up tomorrow, and they will be moving to Valley and 267th Street to overlay. The plan is to start at 267th Street and overlay Valley Road to 245th Street, then overlay 245th Street from Valley Road to Soldier Road. Valley Road between 245th and 255th Street will be closed this week to replace culverts. Eric stated they plan to start next Monday on asphalt, weather permitting. Eric said we applied for three bridge grants in 2022, and even though we didn’t get them he recommends applying again this year. Bourbon County REDI assisted with the grant process on the Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program bridge and Schwaab Eaton with the off-system bridges. Jim asked if applying for the small bridge projects will hurt the chance to get the grant for the big bridge project, and Eric said no since they are through two different programs. Jim made a motion to allow Eric to resubmit grant applications for bridges #518, 19.2-Q.0, and 5.0-S.9. Nelson seconded the motion, and all approved. Eric asked for approval to set a maximum to buy a bigger truck, around 500 horsepower, for the landfill. Eric said they have been looking at trucks with under 300,000 miles but if they can’t act when a truck is traded in and available, they will miss out on the opportunity. Jim stated we needed more horsepower to keep up, and asked Eric if there was a number he was looking at. Eric responded they were looking to stay under$100,000. Jim questioned if the truck was going to be purchased out of the landfill and special machinery fund, and Eric stated it will be a combination of insurance reimbursement, auction proceeds, and the landfill fund. Clifton commented that if a Mack truck is purchased to make sure it has a Mack motor. Jim made a motion to allow Eric to look at 500 HP trucks, not to exceed $100,000. Nelson seconded the motion, and all approved.  Eric said that KCAMP will be doing a mandatory training session on Friday from 7:30-11:30.


Don George, with Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, asked the Commissioners if any decisions were made on the grant extension at Elm Creek Lake. Jim asked if this was a 12-month extension, and Don replied that it is a couple of years. Mr. George said if the extension is signed it would give the county the opportunity to find other funding sources and that Bourbon County could apply for another $40,000 grant from KDWP. Eric said that Bourbon County REDI is looking at other grant opportunities and Don said there might be other grants dealing with water that are not KDWP and that he doesn’t want to see the county give up. Nelson discussed the wording of the extension and highlighted some concerns he had. Jim suggested having the County Counselor look at the extension, and Mr. George stated he can come back if they would like counsel to review but stated this was the same contract that had been used during his 37 years with KDWP. Clifton said KDWP has always been a good partner to work with. Jim stated all they were voting on is the extension of the existing contract signed two years ago. Clifton made a motion to sign the extension and Jim seconded. Nelson opposed and the motion passed 2-1. Clifton made a motion to allow Chairman Harris to sign the KDWP extension as presented by Don George and Jim seconded. Nelson opposed and the motion passed 2-1. Clifton asked Eric to work with Bourbon County REDI and Don George to find more money to try to fix the dam. Eric said an engineer really needs to look at the dam. Clifton said possibly for some grants but suggested looking at what’s out there. Don George suggested looking at grants and WPA and stated Eric would need an engineer’s expertise then. Clifton stated he doesn’t want to spend $5,000 on an engineer yet. Don offered to show Clifton and Nelson all the services that KDWP offers. Clifton said that KDWP does a lot more that people know or think. Don asked that he been kept informed and involved during the future discussion of Elm Creek.


Jennifer Hawkins, County Clerk, presented a real property relief application for a property at 1214 S. Judson Street that had been destroyed by a fire. The owner filled out the application, submitted pictures of the damaged structure, and a quote to have the property fixed to be livable again. Since the property damage happened before August 15, an abatement of real estate taxes can be approved by the Board of County Commissioners. Clifton made a motion to accept the real property relief application submitted Danny Magee for 1214 S. Judson. Nelson seconded the motion, and all approved.


Jim discussed having a feasibility study done for an overpass south of Fort Scott, possibly on Jayhawk Road. Jim said the railroad has to sit blocking the intersection, and that he is not picking on them because they do good job. Jim stated he talked to EMS, and they estimated they would be able to reach approximately 2,000 people on the east side of the county if there was an overpass. Jim said he asked an emergency responder how long it would take to get to his address if there was a train blocking the intersection on Jayhawk Road and was told EMS would have to go back to 3rd Street and they would lose approximately eleven minutes in doing so. Jim said this is about getting an ambulance out when it is needed to help save lives. Jim made a motion to allow Eric Bailey and Bourbon County REDI to go out for a proposal or quote for a feasibility study. Jim said the study is needed to go after grants. Nelson asked if this was just a proposal for a feasibility study and that that we are not spending money yet. Jim agreed the county is not spending money yet, just finding out how much it would cost for a feasibility study. Nelson seconded the motion, and all approved.


The Commissioners took a short break and returned to regular session at 6:13.


Clint Walker discussed a grant the grocery store received in Moran and stated there are grant opportunities out there. Mr. Walker said Rob Harrington, with Bourbon County REDI, is doing a good job.


Michael Hoyt said he and Eric Bailey looked at the bridge over Wolverine Creek, and he showed Eric what his concerns were. Eric stated the bridge deck was cleared of gravel, and there were no holes in it.



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 15-minute executive session KSA 75-4319 (b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy to include the three Commissioners and Justin Meeks and will return at 6:32. Nelson seconded the motion, and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 6:32 with no action. Nelson seconded the motion and all approved.


Clifton made a motion to go into a 10-minute executive session KSA 75-4319 (b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy to include the three Commissioners and Justin Meeks and will return at 6:43. Nelson seconded the motion, and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 6:43 with no action. Nelson seconded the motion and all approved.


Nelson said he would like to receive all documents by email in the future to save paper. Jim stated if documents are received by email the Commissioners can’t respond to the emails. Clifton said he would be ok with not getting paper documents and would like to eliminate as much paper as possible.


Jim said that Susan presented a budget worksheet to the Commissioners and sent to the department heads with no response and that he asks all department heads and elected officials to use the worksheet format when working on their budget requests this year.



Clifton said EMS called him about purchasing an ambulance and that it was voted on approximately a year and a half ago, but an ambulance was never purchased. Clifton stated the equipment EMS has is old and it is time to think about purchasing an ambulance. Clifton went on to explain a demo unit was available for delivery fall 2024, if accepted now. If the demo unit isn’t purchased, it would be fall 2026 before a new unit would be delivered. Clifton asked Nelson and Jim to consider the purchase and to reach out separately to Teri and Trace with EMS to discuss the equipment needs. The demo unit would be $295,000 with a $10,000 trade in credit, or it is $285,000 for a remount. Nelson stated if all we received for credit is $10,000, we might as well keep the old one. Clifton discussed the remount and said for $10,000 more we could have a new unit. Clifton said CHC received federal appropriations and asked to speak to Jake LaTurner and legislatures to try to get money to buy an ambulance.


Clifton said more than once they have had meetings outside the courthouse, and he thinks we need to do that again. Clifton stated there was not a meeting held in Fulton or Hammond and he would like to see that happen. Nelson questioned if it would start next week? Clifton said he would like to get on a rotation. Clifton said he would like to start next week, May 8th, but the County Clerk said the public hearing for the 5-year solid waste plan is scheduled for that date at the courthouse. Clifton suggested the following meetings dates and locations: May 15th in Fulton, May 22nd in Garland, May 29th no meeting due to Memorial Day, June 5th in Uniontown, and June 12th in Mapleton. Depending on the turnout at the meeting in Fulton, a meeting may be held in Hammond on June 19th. Jim stated this is a great idea.


Jim and Clifton asked that Teri Hulsey be placed on the agenda next week to discuss the purchase of an ambulance. Nelson stated he doesn’t mind spending money on the purchase of a new ambulance for the county.


Jennifer Hawkins asked to amend the agenda to discuss the real property relief application again. Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda for the County Clerk to speak again. Nelson seconded the motion, and all approved. Jennifer stated there is one section of the application that asks for the percentage of tax abatement the Commissioners are going to approve for the fire damaged property. The Commissioners figured the amount of the year based upon the fact the property was destroyed in February and came up with a total of 91%. Jennifer also presented an updated version of last week’s minutes with the correction that Nelson asked for.  After reviewing the minutes, Nelson made a motion to approve the minutes. Clifton seconded the motion, and all approved.









Jim made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:58. Nelson seconded the motion, and all approved.



Approved 5-8-2023




___________________, Chairman

___________________, Commissioner

___________________, Commissioner




Jennifer Hawkins, Bourbon County Clerk

_______________, Approved Date


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