Bourbon County Commission Minutes of Oct. 15

October 15, 2019                                           Tuesday 9:00

The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with Commissioners Oharah and Fischer present.  The County Counselor and the County Clerk were also present.

Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune, Nancy & Kerry Van Etten and Julie Saker each attended a portion of the Commission meeting.

Michael Hoyt met with the Commissioners to clarify his request from the last time he met with the Commissioners; he said he would like for the County to engage Emergency Manager Will Wallis to test or evaluate all EOP plans in place to see if there is room for improvement.  Mr. Hoyt said the USD 234 plan fell apart in two areas on September 3, 2019 when there was an intruder; the 911 system and notifying the parents of students of the incident.  Lynne Oharah said he had a conversation with Will Wallis and asked what the County’s responsibility was for those plans; Will said he was asked to critique USD 234’s plan, he said he did and felt it was a good plan.  Mr. Hoyt said they had an event or incident and said there was no reason why the County leadership couldn’t take control and evaluate the plans.  Lynne said he would discuss this with Will Wallis again.

Jim Harris and Jerad Heckman met with the Commissioners; Jim said they are mowing and crushing.  He said they are making chips at the Beth Quarry.  The County is making 1,400 tons of asphalt for the City of Fort Scott.  He said they did a 23,000 ton blast.  Jim Harris said they will be doing a snow drill this week.

Lynne said there are potholes at the north end of Devon that need filled and said a culvert may be needed; Jim said they would send the pothole patcher to the area.

Jeff made a motion that Kendell send all department heads a memo asking that they watch and control their overtime since we are over budget in employee benefits (taxes and KPERS are based on compensation, and are elevated due to the extra overtime), Lynne seconded the motion.  Jeff said we need to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s money and said if we don’t reduce expenses it will require a reduction in force.

Jeff discussed the work done on Ironwood and the collapsed culvert there; he said the County did an amazing job there; he complimented the work that Jared Lord did.

Jeff discussed Mr. Phillips property on Justin Lane; he said there is water running from a spring or from a runoff, Mr. Phillips asked that ditching be done there.  Jim Harris said he would view the area.

Lynne reported that 125th & Osage going east and west needs gravel.

Lynne made a motion to go into a 5 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners Justin Meeks and Jody Hoener).  No action was taken.

Bill Martin, Ben Cole, Bobby Reed and Leslie Herrin (who was videotaping the meeting) met with the Commissioners to discuss a bill the Sheriff’s department received from Noxious Weed.  Bill said he had requested gravel (which they have not received) for an area on the north side of the Sheriff’s building.  Bill said they received a $566 bill from Noxious Weed for chemical spraying done by the Sheriff’s building.  Bill suggested that the bill be written off since the property belongs to the County.  Jim Harris said Noxious Weed has to purchase the chemicals and said if Noxious Weed sprays at the Landfill then the Landfill pays for the chemicals.  Jeff questioned how the bill for spraying is different than the bill for fuel delivered to the Law Enforcement Center for the generator; Bill said the fuel for the generator should be paid out of operations.  Jim Harris said they mow the area, but do not send a bill for mowing.  Lynne said they would discuss the bill for spraying with Nick Ruhl when he returns.  Jim Harris said there is a $506 delinquent bill owed from the Law Enforcement Center to Road & Bridge for fuel that was delivered for the generator; however, it was later stated that the $506 bill had been paid.

Julie Saker briefly met with the Commissioners; she announced that she was planning to run for Sheriff in 2020.

Jody Hoener met with the Commissioners; she discussed the event center, she said she and Rod Markin had attended a work group meeting and did site visits.  She said the next step is to do business (to see if there is a need for the facility) & resident surveys.  Jody said she needed to put out a press release to businesses and residents to identify long term property tax goals. Jody said the average mill levy for Bourbon County is 180.77 (which is the 11th highest in the state of Kansas).  Jody suggested adding value to help reduce the mill levy and to obtain a long term goal (by 2030) of an average mill levy of 158.61.  Lynne made a motion to accept this goal, Jeff seconded and the motion passed.    Jody said that Jim Keller and Steve Buerge had both made contributions towards having the market demand study done.

Jeff Fischer discussed the St. Martins Academy on Indian Road; he said he had met with Daniel Kerr, Mr. Kerr said they did not want regulations or restrictions, but asked that the County place school zone signs (without restricting or reducing the speed limit at this time).  Jim Harris recommended 45 mph since this was the current speed limit in the area.  Jeff said that St. Martins had constructed a bridge and pathway for the students to use to keep them from walking on Indian Road.  Jeff made a motion to direct Jim Harris to install school zone & warning signs with a 45 mph speed limit, Lynne seconded and the motion passed.

William Laporte from Hidden Valley met with the Commissioners; he said they have received good service from the Sheriff’s department.  He said recently the club house alarm had gone off, but it was a false alarm;

he said he wanted to contact the Sheriff’s department to notify them of the false alarm so they didn’t make the trip to Hidden Valley, but said he had to call 911 to cancel the call, but said his 911 call went to Linn County.  He questioned if it was true that only 2 deputies were on duty at one time and asked if it was too expensive to add more deputies; Lynne said the tax payers do not want their taxes to go up.  Mr. Laporte asked about Yale Road; Lynne said it would eventually be paved.

Sparky Schroeder met with the Commissioners and Jim Harris; he said the base on 230th is coming apart, Jim Harris said the asphalt came apart but said the base did not.  Jim said they did a good job on the base of the road and said if it fails they will fix it.  Mr. Schroeder said if it’s a blacktop issue, what are they doing to fix; Jim said it is unpredictable in what asphalt will do.

Mike & Judy Wilson met with the Commissioners regarding Unity & 75th Terrace; Mr. Wilson said the gravel had washed off of the road and said the road needs a crown or peak so that the water can run off.  Jim Harris said they would view the road.

Justin Meeks reported that the City of Uniontown had accepted the real estate contract for the Noxious Weed building in Uniontown; he said he would discuss this at the next Commission meeting when Nick was present.

Lynne gave Justin Meeks permission to attend the KAC conference in November, Jeff seconded and the motion passed.

Justin Meeks discussed the tax sale and said that the tax sale is progressing; he said the publication for the tax sale cost $10,000.

Lynne made a motion to go into a 5 minute executive session for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, Jeff seconded the motion, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks).  No action was taken.

At 11:23, Lynne made a motion to adjourn and Jeff seconded.



Lynne Oharah, Chairman

Jeff Fischer, Commissioner



Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk

10/21/2019, Approved Date

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