Bourbon County Commission Minutes of Sept. 15

September 15, 2020                                                            Tuesday 9:00 am


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with Commissioner Oharah and Commissioner Fischer present, 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), Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune, Clifton Beth, Mark McCoy, Michael Hoyt, Shane Walker and Anne Dare.


Lynne made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Jeff seconded and the motion passed, (the session included the Commissioners and Kendell Mason).  No action was taken.


Jim Harris reported they finished overlaying a portion of Indian Road, (Jeff complimented the work they did), and they are overlaying near the airport and will be moving to Andrick to do a one block segment there and then to do the parking lot at the Riverfront Park.


Lynne gave Jim Harris Census documents to be posted; Lynne reminded the citizens of the importance to filling out the Census data.


Lynne said he had attended a meeting at the City of Bronson; he said Bronson was in favor of the 1% sales tax.  Lynne said he did a presentation for BEDCO regarding the 1% sales tax.  The voters will vote on whether or not to renew the 1% sales tax on November 3, 2020.  Justin Meeks said the County uses their portion of the 1% sales tax for hard surface roads and the cities in Bourbon County use their portion of the money for administrative fees.  Lynne said the renewal of the 1% sales tax is important to the County to maintain the hard surface roads.  Justin said there would be a public meeting at the Empress on Wednesday regarding the 1% sales tax.


The Commission meetings are being broadcasted on YouTube; there were issues with the audio function of the broadcast.


Nancy Van Etten, Chairperson of the Lake Advisory Board, met with the Commissioners; she discussed the loss of a board member, Tom Brink, Jeff Fischer said Tom Brink provided Bourbon County with testimony on the County having a data center.  Nancy asked the Commissioners for an update on the Lake Sewer Board and a revision of the inter local agreement with the City and the County.  Justin said the City’s primary function is to maintain the sewer district. He said there is no money set aside to expand the district.  Justin questioned the intent of the inter local agreement regarding the sewer district, he said he didn’t know how to control people hooking up to the district without a HOA, he said the initial information regarding discussions over the sewer district began around 2005.  Justin said he felt the County got involved with the sewer district because of the sewer bonds and how they were issued.  Nancy Van Etten said if someone pays to hook up to the district the money should be used to pay towards the sewer bond.


Emergency Manager William Wallis met with the Commissioners to give a FEMA update on the flooding that occurred in 2019; the following is his presentation; he said that “KDEM is working on three categories within the public assistance program; Cat. A is the debris removal and disposal.  They are at 85% completion. A few documents are being entered into the system then they shall send it to me for approval before it is submitted.  Cat B is the Emergency Protective Measurers, 2% completion, roadblocks, they have the invoice for the purchase of roadblocks, $4,080.00.  What they need is all procedures to install relocate and then remove each barrier.  They are waiting on timesheets and equipment used to move the roadblocks back to storage.  Cat C damage to roadways countywide.  Currently they are at 50% completion, all of the damage has been entered and each location has been entered.  Cat Z management costs, 0% completed.  Everyone’s labor costs, involves all the staff that prepared the submitted documents for the above mentioned categories.  This category cannot be started until all the work from the above mentioned categories are finished.  Mitigation projects that are within the County are being reviewed for possible projects after all the calculations and estimates are processed.  The new Road and Bridge Director must be on board with this program, and all the Public Assistance programs that have been going on during this disaster so that the County can receive this funding.”  Will estimated that over $100,000 could be coming back to Bourbon County.  Will said mitigation is taking an area in the County that is constantly in need of repair; he said the grader operators would know those areas.  Jerad Heckman (former Road and Bridge employee gave a list of those areas to Will.  Will said the mitigation process is to go to the site and estimate the cost to bring the site back to pre-disaster condition, then calculate the cost to improve the road (elevate, culvert, etc.) to prevent the same damage from occurring again at a later time.  Will said KDEM would help come up with the solutions to fix the roads that have reoccurring issues.  Lynne said the County is behind in the ditching efforts and asked if mitigation could help with this; Will said yes.  Will said he compared other counties around Bourbon County; he said other counties got quite a bit of money, he said Linn County (who received $620,000 in grant funds) agreed to share the software program they use for their roads, he said the software, if used, would make reporting a faster process if there is a disaster.  Lynne made a motion to modify the agenda at 10:45 to allow Jeff Fischer to give a power point presentation on the FEMA mitigation process, Jeff seconded and the motion passed.


Lynne made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency, Jeff seconded and the motion passed, (the session included the Commissioners, Jim Harris and Justin Meeks).  No action was taken.


Lynne discussed COVID-19; he said the County’s policy is taking temperatures and handing out masks to visitors at the Courthouse.  Lynne said he had been informed that the courts will resume some business in the future, the Court has been helping cover the front door and will not be able to once the Court resumes, Lynne said the traffic at the Courthouse will increase and said it might be advisable to hire another person to help cover the door; he said if this is done the County would request grant funds to cover the cost of the employee. Jeff said that masks do work; he said there is currently about 30 active cases in Bourbon County and said the numbers are going in the wrong direction, he said the County has an obligation to the employees and the visitors.   Michael Hoyt questioned if it would be more feasible to invest in an automatic temperature scanning machine verses hiring an employee; Lynne said KU uses a machine, but still has an employee working at the machine.


Jeff Fischer gave a Power Point Presentation on FEMA regarding the flooding that occurred between April–July of 2019.  He said FEMA estimated there to be 200+ sites with $366,000 worth of damage.  Jeff said the top 3 worst spots in each grader territory in Bourbon County that needs repair due to flooding or heavy rain were as follows:  in the Garland Territory – Cavalry west of 200th there is a hill that washes out, Fern east of 69 Hwy about ¼ of a mile there is a hill that washes out and 267th ¼ of a mile south of Deer water runs into the road and down a hill washing it out.  In the Hiattville Territory – Birch 1/8th of a mile east of 3 Hwy, 100th & Birch ¼ of a mile north on 100th water washes off the road at some big culverts and Fern and 3 Hwy just east of the Highway.  In the Redfield Territory – 115th between maple and 54 Highway (culvert not working), 115th between Indian and Jayhawk needs a culvert and 165th between Hackberry and Grand where they are unable to dig a ditch due to bed rock so water flows about 200 yards down the road and takes the gravel into the pasture.  In the Uniontown Territory – on 20th between Indian and Hackberry (water washes over the culverts), on 45th between Juniper and Jayhawk when the river gets out and floods the field it washes across the road and takes the gravel.  Devon/Fulton Territory – on 205th between Wagon and Valley water cuts across the road.  Fort Scott Territory – on 245th between Quail and Poplar water cuts across the road and on 265th between Victory and Xavier when the river gets out of its’ banks it floods about ¼ of a mile of the road and washes the gravel into the field to the east.  Jeff presented pictures of some of the problem areas and the cost to fix or restore the areas.  They discussed the needed mitigation in order to prevent the damage from happening again.  Will Wallis said that FEMA money is free money for the County if we apply for it.  Jeff said the FEMA money could be used for the repairs/mitigation projects verses using County taxpayer’s money for the repairs.


At 11:35, Lynne made a motion to break for lunch and reconvene at 1:30, Jeff seconded and the motion passed.


Mike Bodensteiner with Greenbush and Jody Hoener met with the Commissioners to give a SPARK update; Mike said the State had reviewed the applications from Bourbon County and provided a response; some of the items on the summary from the State’s response were payroll and how it was going to be handled (the money can’t be used to backfill, but could be used for security or safety, FSCC (the purchase of 2 vehicles to transport students, he said they could justify the need for the vehicles.  Jody Hoener discussed the food distribution and the grocery store need; she said there isn’t access to healthy food on the north end of Fort Scott. Baja Investment (who will receive SPARK money) is planning on putting a grocery store/food pantry/storage facility/job service facility in the Cress building.  Jody said this is s private business meeting a public purpose.


Lynne made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Jeff seconded and the motion passed, (the session included the Commissioners and Kendell Mason).  No action was taken.


At 2:14, Lynne made a motion to adjourn, Jeff seconded and the motion passed.




(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jeff Fischer, Commissioner

____________________, Commissioner


Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk

September 22, 2020, Approved Date


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