Bourbon County Commission Minutes of Nov. 17. 2020

November 17, 2020                                         Tuesday 9:00 am

 

The Bourbon County Commissioners met in open session with Jeff Fischer present and Clifton and Lynne by telephone, Also present were the County Counselor and the County Clerk.

 

Also present were the following; (some were present for a portion of the meeting, some were present for the entire meeting), Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune, Clint and Rachel Walker, Anne Dare, Nancy Van Etten and Michael Hoyt.

 

Eric Bailey by phone reported that a recent windstorm knocked a few trees down near 245th & Hackberry.  He said they have hauled 50 loads of gravel to the Southeast portion of the County and will be hauling to the Northwest portion next week.  He said they are crushing rock at the Shepherd quarry and the culvert crew is installing culverts.  They are patching at 125th & Tomahawk and working towards 54 Highway and then will be working in the Northwest part of the County.  They are doing roadside mowing South and North of 54 Highway.  He said all of the dump trucks are currently back in service.  He said there have been some hydraulic issues with some of the trucks, but those issues are under warranty.  Eric said they had a tractor that sold on Purple Wave, but the buyer backed out.  He said that two road graders have a power by the hour contract that is due to be renewed; he suggested renewing.  Jeff made a motion to renew the power by the hour contract for the two road graders, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Jeff moved to amend the agenda to talk about longevity pay for the County employees, Clifton seconded and all approved.  When the Commissioners did the 2020 budget they included $51,000 total for longevity pay.  They would like to pay this out to eligible employees before Christmas of 2020.  Jeff said the wage scale is behind and suggested that the onetime longevity pay might help narrow the gap.  Jeff said loosing an employee is a significant cost, he said the longevity pay idea was to build loyalty and provide compensation to employees.  The longevity pay will be a onetime payment based on years of service.  Lynne made a motion to start identifying all eligible employees (non elected) and pay the longevity pay on December 4th, Jeff seconded, Justin Meeks questioned if the pay would be based on years of service or a flat rate to all eligible employees, Lynne said he would look at his previous notes about how the longevity pay was calculated.  Kendell will provide each of the Commissioners with an employee listing with years of service for their consideration when distributing the longevity pay.  Jeff made a motion to table the motion pending additional information and discuss again on November 24th, Clifton 2nd and all approved.

 

Jody Hoener gave a SPARK update; she said that Greenbush is working on the December 4th reporting and said that some entities are marked as complete.  Jody discussed the BWERC grant; she said BWERC was awarded $170,800 in grant money and said they have awarded approximately $100,000 to 20 business for website development, she said they have implemented a child care incentive to help facilities keep up with licensing requirements.  She said Kwowks is offering job seeking opportunities to individuals needing help.  She said Kansas small business development is offering business support and can also help businesses get LLC licenses.   Jeff made a motion to authorize Kendell Mason to sign a disbursement of $17,261.99 worth of CDBG funds, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Jody Hoener said she didn’t want to purchase furniture for the BWERC location where she will spend most of her time until the end of the year and asked permission to move some of her furniture from the Courthouse to that location; Lynne said they would discuss this later today.  They briefly discussed later and Lynne questioned who would use the furniture, Jody said she would use the furniture, she said she has been working there for the past 15 days and her office will be over there, she said she would still have her desk here and said her phone calls roll over to her cell phone.  Lynne made a motion to amend the agenda to have an executive session at 11:45 with the Commissioners and Jody for non-elected personnel, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Lynne asked Jeff Fischer to sign the Stryker bill and the Omni bill; Jeff signed the vouchers to be paid.

 

Register of Deeds Lora Holdridge met with the Commissioners regarding the holiday dinner; Covid was discussed and the concern of having employees gathered together.  The Commissioners will discuss this again next week, (possible meal, gift card or a meal at a later date).  Lora said her office is having a $10 ornament exchange for all employees that want to participate.

 

Jody Hoener discussed the OMNI lockbox option; she said there has been a lag in time that items are being posted regarding the EMS billing.  She said a lockbox could increase customer service, she said the County is responsible for items being posted in a timely manner, she said Patty Love, the County Treasurer feels a lockbox is needed.  Jody said there is a cost associated with the Lockbox, Lynne asked that this be tabled until he can do research; this will be discussed again on November 24th.  Jody said she will be working to enroll the EMS service as a Missouri Medicaid provider, she said we are currently a Kansas Medicaid provider.

 

Jeff made a motion to amend the agenda to allow Kirk Sharp with FSCC to speak about the Gordon Parks Museum, Clifton seconded and all approved.  Kirk Sharp discussed a project they are doing regarding the 1968 film the Learning Tree; they are placing signs at locations that were part of the Learning Tree, they are creating a virtual tour of the locations that were part of the filming of the Learning Tree.  He said the City of Fort Scott is supportive of the placement of signs on their easements and said they are asking the County for a letter of support and asking for permission to approve signs being placed on the County easements; he said they were not asking for the County to fund the project.  Eric Bailey will contact KDOT regarding sign placement on easements.  Jeff made a motion to support the Gordon Parks signage project and to give Eric Bailey permission to facilitate the endeavor, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Justin Meeks met with the Commissioners regarding the sewer service agreement for the sewer district; he said when the district was set up, residents on Indian road were asked if they wanted to join the district then, but didn’t.  He said someone needs to find out the capacity load of the current system, he said if it was at or near limited capacity they would need to limit who connects to the district.  Justin said the City is responsible for maintaining the district.  Nancy Van Etten said that Michael Mix reported to her that the system was designed for 60 single homes; she said the boundaries of the district are well defined.  Justin said the Commissioners had decisions to make regarding if they wanted to limit connections and said they needed to set parameters.  Jeff Fischer said he would review the capacity of the system.  Lynne made a motion to give Jeff permission to talk to Michael Mix to determine the capacity of the sewer system and then Justin will work with Susan at the City of Fort Scott regarding the sewer service agreement, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

On November 10th, Gregg Motley met with the Commissioners regarding BEDCO and requested $130,000 for 2021 for economic development shared services; there was a discussion over Allen County economic development and Thrive.  Lynne said that BEDCO is a 501(3) (c) and because of this they had access to more grant opportunities.  Lynne said once they approve funding, they would look for an economic development person and then the County would eliminate our economic development position.  Lynne said all cities would be represented on this dynamic board to make sure this works.  Lynne made a motion to approve the 2021 budget request of $130,000, Clifton seconded and the motion passed, Jeff didn’t vote for or against the motion.  Lynne made a motion to give Clifton permission to speak to Gregg Motley regarding BEDCO, Jeff seconded and all approved.

 

Jayhawk Wind representatives Alan Anderson and Julianna Planelli met with the Commissioners; Justin Meeks said they want to move the district from the east to the west.  He said they have the ability to use any road in the county, but have to have permission to use the roads to move their heavy equipment and supplies.  Justin said they want to expand in an area where there is an oil field and on land in the Southwest corner of the County.  Lynne said they are not expanding the number of turbines nor are they expanding the megawatts, he said they are just moving locations from somewhere else to the west and said this is a request to move from the east to the west.  Clifton questioned if they were asking to use a few extra miles of roads to get to the property; Julianna said they want to utilize an additional 3 miles of roads.  Clifton questioned if they were improving the roads; Julianna said they would upgrade the roads to support the heavy equipment and said once construction is finalized they would leave the roads in a condition as they are now or better that they currently are and said an engineer would be involved with this.  Julianna said a pre-inventory (between Jayhawk Wind and the County) of the roads would be done. Clifton Beth asked Justin if what Julianna was stating was true; Justin said what she stated is in the parameters of the signed contract.  Jeff said with the current condition of the roads a significant amount of base will need to be on the roads to support their equipment.  Justin said there will be no cost to the County to maintain these roads while they are using them. Lynne asked for a legal description of what they want to expand; Justin said maps had been provided.  Lynne made a motion to allow Jayhawk Wind to expand to the west as indicated on the map and asked that the map be included in the contract, Clifton seconded, Clifton said as a person that wasn’t involved in the negotiations, he believed as a non-zoned County people could do what they wanted with their land, Jeff questioned if they would stay 3 miles from Elm Creek and Bourbon Allen lake; Julianna said there are participating landowners that have signed up near the lakes, but said no turbines will be located within 3 miles of the lakes.  Jeff didn’t vote for or against the motion.

 

Justin Meeks discussed the tax sale; he said they sent the majority of the demand letters to the property owners that have delinquent taxes (some delinquent back to 2016), he said there is $1.4 million in delinquent taxes.  Justin said some are starting to pay the delinquent taxes.  He said demand letters had not been sent to properties with special assessments on them, he said the City of Fort Scott will need to decide what they want to do with properties with specials attached to them.  He said they will sell properties with specials on them at the next tax sale.  There are 75 parcels at Hidden Valley Lake to be sold.  He said eventually he would like to talk to legislature about setting a minimum bid on tax sale properties and about mandating that any payments on delinquent taxes be applied to the oldest taxes due.  Patty Love presented the contract for Security 1st to do the title work on the tax sale properties for $115/parcel, Jeff made a motion to approve the agreement with Security 1st to do the tax sale title work, Clifton seconded and all approved and Jeff signed the contract.   Justin said they do not guarantee title insurance with tax sale properties.

 

Lynne made a motion to allow Anne Dare to speak before an executive session, Jeff seconded and all approved.  Anne discussed the changed agenda and said she wasn’t aware of Jayhawk Wind coming to the meeting today; Justin added Jayhawk Wind to the agenda on Monday afternoon, Anne suggested the Commissioners decide if they wanted the agenda sent on Friday or Monday.  Anne reported that she had met with Jeff Spangler with Apex/Jayhawk Wind to get an update; she said there are currently 118 planned turbine sites and said it won’t be any larger than 185 megawatts.  She said there are two transmission lines in the area, Anne questioned if the County had received $50,000 payment for outside employment of an outside engineer, Lynne said yes, that it was in a line item by itself and said other revenue from Jayhawk Wind will be placed in a revenue account; Anne asked if they could see foresee hiring an outside engineer, Lynne said if they need an engineer they will contact Frank Young with Ag Engineering.

 

Jeff Fischer made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel in Jody’s office, Clifton seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Jody Hoener).  No action was taken.

 

Lynne made a motion to go into a 20 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel in the office next to the Commission room, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks).  After the session, Jeff made a motion to authorize software training for point of service at the Landfill, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Jeff made a motion to hire temporary contracted help for $20/hour to catch up the process of the ambulance claims until the process is up to date, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Jeff made a motion for Eric Bailey to handle a non-elected personnel issue at his discretion, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Lynne made a motion to amend the agenda to approve claim vouchers, Clifton seconded and all approved.  Lynne gave Jeff permission to sign claim vouchers for the following; FSCC $20,956.22 (SPARK funds), Moes Bread $3,000 (SPARK funds), Forensic Medical $9,250, Kansas Employment fund $29.00, Jeff signed the vouchers to be paid.  Lynne gave Jeff permission to sign a voucher to pay the credit card payment as soon as possible.

 

Lynne made a motion to amend the agenda to adopt a resolution regarding the 2020 General Election results, to discuss the medical mall and to discuss COVID, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Jeff made a motion to adopt resolution 29-20, a resolution with the 2020 General Election results, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

Lynne reported there would be a healthcare mall meeting on November 23rd; he made a motion to give Clifton permission to participate in the discussions and appoint him as a successor on the healthcare board, Jeff seconded and all approved.

 

Clifton discussed COVID, he said COVID is spreading and he had received communication from people asking about mask mandates, he asked for permission to contact the health board, Justin Meeks said that Jeff Fischer is on the health board.  Jeff said the health board has supported the recommended State mandates, he said enforcement is an issue, Jeff said there is an increase in cases and said that some have no symptoms, Jeff said the positivity rate is over 50% for the tests taken which suggests that COVID is less controlled than it was in the past, Jeff said a good health practice is to wear a mask when you can’t socially distance at least 6’ apart.

 

At 12:55, Jeff made a motion to adjourn, Clifton seconded and all approved.

 

THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS

(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jeff Fischer, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner

ATTEST:

Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk

November 24, 2020, Approved Date

 

 

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