Category Archives: Bourbon County

Bourbon County Commission Minutes of July 29

July 29, 2022 Friday, 1:00pm


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with two Commissioners (Jim Harris and Clifton Beth-via phone) and the County Clerk present.


Jim made a motion for an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the
attorney-client relationship for possible litigation for 20 minutes returning at 1:23pm including 2 commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Justin Meeks and Shane Walker. Jim made a motion to return to normal session at 1:23pm. Clifton seconded. All approved.


Justin asked that the commissioners approve up to $50,000 monies approved for a special internal investigation on certain funds that have been used by departments.
Clifton made a motion as stated by County Counselor Meeks. Jim seconded. All approved. At 1:27pm Jim made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Clifton seconded.
All approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
(s) Jim Harris, Chairman
(s) Clifton Beth, Commissioner
___________________, Commissioner
ATTEST:
Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Deputy Clerk
August 9, 2022, Approved Date

Bourbon County Minutes of July 26

July 26, 2022 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with two Commissioners (Clifton
Beth and Jim Harris) and the County Clerk present.
Clint and Rachel Walker, Matt Quick, Brian Wade, Keni Stark, Susan Bancroft, Shane
Walker, Jason Silvers, and Josh Jones were present for some or all of the meeting.
Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda. Move the approval of minutes to the
next meeting. Jim seconded. All approved.
Eric gave handouts from the LRSP meeting last week. That will give you an idea of
what was discussed in the meeting. Once we are done with the study that will give us
the opportunity to apply for several grants to make our roads safer. We have
completed asphalt at Hiatville and are now working on 55th and Yellowstone. We had
a rain delay today. Had a little breakdown with the roller last week and tried to
overnite some parts. They were supposed to be here Thursday and they got here
Monday. We are up and running again. We blasted at Blake Quarry last week 50,732
tons. They had about 12 or 15 holes and they didn’t have enough powder so they will
come back for those. The 2007 F750 that we bought we picked up this week. Has
28,000 actual miles mint condition. Very nice used truck. Four mowers are mowing
roadside and the sidearm mower. If we use the sidearm mower it is because the trees
are out in the road and it’s hitting our vehicles. We’ve had some complaints about us
cutting the trees but it is a safety issue. We replaced the three culverts on 225th and
are ready to do the asphalt when we get there. Jim stated that he worked the
Republican booth at the fair and had several people thank him for buying a bigger
crusher and making an attempt to take better care of our roads. Clifton made a
motion for an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney
for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-
client relationship including 2 commissioners, Eric Bailey, Justin Meeks, and Susan
Bancroft for possible litigation for 7 minutes at 6:15pm. Clifton made a motion to
return to normal session at 6:15pm with no action. Jim seconded. All approved.
Jim made a motion for executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(4) to discuss data relating to
financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual
proprietorships including 2 commissioners, Justin Meeks, Shane Walker, and Susan
Bancroft for 10 minutes returning at 6:25pm. Clifton seconded. All approved.
Clifton made a motion to return to normal session with no action. Jim seconded. All
approved.
Justin Meeks requested an executive session. Clifton made a motion for executive
session KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected
personnel to protect their privacy including 2 commissioners, Justin Meeks and Susan
Bancroft for job performance for 10 minutes returning at 6:38pm. Clifton made a
motion to return to normal session with no action. Jim seconded. All approved.

Shane Walker stated he has a letter that needs Chairman signature stating that we
pay dispatch and we give them all the 911 funds and there are some duplicate
services. This will alleviate that and save us money. Clifton made a motion to allow
Chairman Harris to sign the dispatch operation responsibility agreement with the city.
Jim seconded. All approved.
Public comment: Brian Wade stated he reached out to Eric last week to see if he
could get a traffic counter out in front of his house. I would like it set up to run from
now till after September 20th. Hoping he can get it out in the next couple of weeks. I
put in a KORA request because Mr. Martin on his budget request stated that he had an
8 pound meth seizure in Bourbon County. The county attorney and Bill sent me
something it’s a couple of Hispanics on a kilogram of hallucinogenic drugs which a
kilogram is 2.20462262185 of a pound. That’s not 8 pounds. So, why the fuzzy
numbers? Where did it happen? I would like to know where it happened. Also, on a
KORA request I requested information on ammunition. What he used for ammunition.
I got the receipts on that, there is a lot of money. I called Ron Gray and asked him
what did you guys use. He stated he learned from the guy before him and we didn’t
spend much money. He stated usually a box of shells to practice and a box to qualify.
The budget that Bill has for bullets is $11,640. That’s a chunk of money. I called
Travis Shelton and asked him what is your budget for shells and he said $10,000.
Travis said we pay for lights, repairs and bullets out of it. One thing I do question is
223 rounds. Thirteen thousand two hundred rounds of 223’s. That seems like a huge
number of rifle rounds. The other one is 8 and 12 gauge shot gun shells. That sounds
like we’re going dove hunting or maybe shooting some trap with 8’s. You would think
law enforcement would use slugs or double ott buck which he has very small quantity
of slugs. We got a county trap shoot? Jim stated that Bill would need to be present
and answer to that. Kevin Stark stated he has some land on the state line in Bourbon
County and the exact same land in Vernon County. My property taxes in Bourbon
County was 4 years ago was $14.00 per acre and in Vernon County it is $1.40. Tillable
ground is much higher than pasture land. It seems like we are little bit out of sync
with our neighbors. I just ask that you watch expenditures and try to keep spending
down. Cost for putting in a crop per acre is around $650. On top of that risk we have
higher property taxes. It puts us at a disadvantage. Jim stated that when comparing
to Vernon County, look at their roads compared to ours. Kevin asked the
commissioners to watch their expenditures as much as possible.
Commissioner comments: Clifton stated that Susan’s presentation from a couple of
weeks ago (may be viewed on the county website) is very telling as to why we are
where we are. You can’t compare our county to our surrounding counties. Clifton
stated there would be no meeting next week due to election. Get out and vote.
Clifton made a motion to adjourn at 7:08pm. Jim seconded. All approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS

Bourbon County Commission Minutes of July 18

July 18, 2022 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with two Commissioners (Clifton
Beth and Jim Harris) and the County Clerk present.
Patty LaRoche, Jason Silvers, Anne Dare, Bob Reed, Kevin Davidson, Matt Quick, Clint
Walker, Nelson Blythe, Donald Coffman, Rachel and Clint Walker were present for
some or all of the meeting.
Clifton made a motion to approve the minutes for last weeks’ meeting. Jim
seconded. All approved.
Eric Bailey stated he had no permits to report on. Eric gave a reminder that the LRSP
meeting with KDOT is tomorrow from 1pm to 5pm in the Commission Room. Open to
the public if they wish to attend. Eric states regarding to asphalt, they lacked about
125 yards being done at Hiatville today. They blew a hydraulic fitting on cities’
laydown machine. We should be back up and going tomorrow and hopefully get
finished. We will be moving to 55th & Yale. I called on our paver and they haven’t
got it in yet. Bellydump is still hauling rock. We are scheduled for a blast at Blake
Quarry this Wednesday probably somewhere around 50 to 60 ton. Having issues with a
couple of dump trucks. Roadside mowing is going on now, we have four mowers
going. Have the sidearm going as well. 165th & Tomahawk had a grader operator do
about 1 mile of ditching. Did a good job. Culvert crew is trying to get some crossroad
tubes in as well. Waiting on 30 inch tubes for 115th. North of Hackberry we have
three tubes needing replaced. They’ve rotted out on the bottom. Clifton asked if
Eric had heard anything from KDOT on the bridge on 215th. Eric stated no. He said he
got a rough estimate from an engineer for bridge replacement and it was around 2 to
2 1/2 million. Eric stated they are looking at some grants.
Clifton requested an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters
of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy including two
commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Justin Meeks, Tiana McElroy and Shane Walker for 15
minutes returning here at 6:23pm. Jim seconded. All approved. Clifton made a
motion to return to normal session with no action. Jim seconded. All approved.
Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to remove Matt Quick regarding Hours of
Operation from the printed agenda. Jim seconded. All approved.
Jim stated that a commissioner needed to be appointed to the Bourbon County REDI
following Lynne’s resignation and I would like to recommend Commissioner Beth.
Clifton seconded. All approved.
Susan Bancroft discussed the Revenue Neutral Rate regarding the County. After
discussion of keeping our levy flat which would exceed the Revenue Neutral Rate and
this stands as a notice to the county clerk for this budget year. The Clerk has to send
letters to every tax payer so we have to certify by the 20th of September. The

Revenue Neutral Rate hearing will be first and then we’ll talk about the budget
hearing. We will present why we are exceeding the RNR and then we will vote on the
budget following. The commissioners stated that they would like the hearing and
vote to be on separate dates. Clifton suggested a night meeting so more of the public
could attend. Clifton made a motion for Ashley to publicize the intent to exceed
Revenue Neutral Rate and the hearing will be held August 30th @ 6pm at 210 S
National, Fort Scott, KS in the Commission Room. Jim seconded. All approved.
Clifton asked Bobby Reed for an update on the jail. Bobby stated that since July 6th
we’ve had two applicants. We called to schedule an interview with one them. No
answer. I saw this individual out in the public and asked him about it. He said he
decided to do something else. Bobby told him there had been an increase in wages to
$14.50/hr. The individual stated that wasn’t enough. The other applicant was not
contacted due to her background. We are having open interviews this Thursday from
4pm to 8pm out at the jail. We’re going to hit it again on Facebook. As of tomorrow,
I will be down to 6 correctional officers. Both lieutenants are working shift work and
the captain will be going to a shift as well. I will be utilizing off-duty deputies and
myself when applicable for transports. Linn County should be opening their new
facility soon and hoping to get our inmates closer which will cut down on drive time,
maintenance and fuel. Current inmate count as of this morning was 25. We do still
have some inhouse because we can’t find homes for them at the moment.
Clifton asked Sheriff Martin regarding money for vehicles. The highway patrol
vehicles that the city bought would they be an option for us. Bill responded that their
cars are maintained but they drive their vehicles hard. The city only drives about 5
square miles. Some of the equipment that is in the vehicles cannot be transferred to
other vehicles. Bill said the price for a car fully equipped is $50 to $55,000.00. Bill
stated they are going to order two cars this year. Our fleet is getting old and worn
out. Jim stated that Bill budget request would result in a 5 mil increase and the tax
payers cannot bear that at this time. Jim stated that Bill’s concerns regarding putting
a fuel tank on the property due to flood plain. Jim stated that is not true. The flood
plain is not on the county property. Jim also stated that Bill could save 82 cents per
gallon as of today if Judy’s Fuel brought that to you. Eighty-two cents per gallon
times 15 vehicles daily. That’s $100,000 per year. Bill said that he had concerns with
the tank tipping over and running down the creek. Jim stated that there would have
to be a fence to suit the fire marshall. Bill said if that’s what you want to do then do
it today. Jim further stated that Bill had asked for more deputies. In 2021 you had
2,253 traffic stops; 928 were within the city limits. If you stay out of the city limits
would you need two more deputies? Bill stated he was glad Jim brought that up
because we are now going into criminal investigations. With that being said we will
have to go into executive session to explain those reasons. I’ve also brought Deputy
Davidson who will need to be part of the executive session to explain why we do what
we do in regards to that. Clifton made a motion for an executive session KSA 75-
4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which
would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship including 2
commissioners, Justin Meeks, County Attorney Tiana McElroy, Bill Martin, Deputy

Bo Co Commission Agenda for August 16

Agenda
Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: August 16, 2022

1st Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd DistrictJim Harris Corrected: _______________________

3rd DistrictClifton Beth Adjourned at: _______________

County ClerkAshley Shelton

MEETING HELD IN THE COMMISSION ROOM

Call to Order

Flag Salute

Approval of Minutes from previous meeting

Eric Bailey Road & Bridge Report

Drew Talbot Via Christi Presentation

Transient Guest Tax

Bill Martin Ammo Presentation / Fuel Cost Update

Justin Meeks County Counselor Comment

Susan Bancroft Chief Financial Officer Comment

o Bourbon County RNR

Shane Walker Chief Information Officer Comment

Public Comment

Commission Comment

Bourbon County Commission Minutes of July 18

July 18, 2022 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with two Commissioners (Clifton
Beth and Jim Harris) and the County Clerk present.
Patty LaRoche, Jason Silvers, Anne Dare, Bob Reed, Kevin Davidson, Matt Quick, Clint Walker, Nelson Blythe, Donald Coffman, Rachel and Clint Walker were present forsome or all of the meeting.
Clifton made a motion to approve the minutes for last weeks’ meeting. Jimseconded. All approved.


Eric Bailey stated he had no permits to report on. Eric gave a reminder that the LRSPmeeting with KDOT is tomorrow from 1pm to 5pm in the Commission Room. Open to
the public if they wish to attend. Eric states regarding to asphalt, they lacked about 125 yards being done at Hiatville today. They blew a hydraulic fitting on cities’ laydown machine. We should be back up and going tomorrow and hopefully get
finished. We will be moving to 55th & Yale. I called on our paver and they haven’t got it in yet. Bellydump is still hauling rock. We are scheduled for a blast at Blake Quarry this Wednesday probably somewhere around 50 to 60 ton.

Having issues with acouple of dump trucks. Roadside mowing is going on now, we have four mowersgoing. Have the sidearm going as well. 165th & Tomahawk had a grader operator do
about 1 mile of ditching. Did a good job. Culvert crew is trying to get some crossroad tubes in as well. Waiting on 30 inch tubes for 115th. North of Hackberry we have three tubes needing replaced. They’ve rotted out on the bottom. Clifton asked if
Eric had heard anything from KDOT on the bridge on 215th. Eric stated no. He said he got a rough estimate from an engineer for bridge replacement and it was around 2 to 2 1/2 million. Eric stated they are looking at some grants.


Clifton requested an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy including two commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Justin Meeks, Tiana McElroy and Shane Walker for 15
minutes returning here at 6:23pm. Jim seconded. All approved. Clifton made a motion to return to normal session with no action. Jim seconded. All approved.


Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to remove Matt Quick regarding Hours of Operation from the printed agenda. Jim seconded. All approved.


Jim stated that a commissioner needed to be appointed to the Bourbon County REDI following Lynne’s resignation and I would like to recommend Commissioner Beth.
Clifton seconded. All approved.
Susan Bancroft discussed the Revenue Neutral Rate regarding the County. After discussion of keeping our levy flat which would exceed the Revenue Neutral Rate and this stands as a notice to the county clerk for this budget year. The Clerk has to send
letters to every tax payer so we have to certify by the 20th of September. The Revenue Neutral Rate hearing will be first and then we’ll talk about the budget hearing. We will present why we are exceeding the RNR and then we will vote on the
budget following. The commissioners stated that they would like the hearing andvote to be on separate dates. Clifton suggested a night meeting so more of the publiccould attend. Clifton made a motion for Ashley to publicize the intent to exceed
Revenue Neutral Rate and the hearing will be held August 30th @ 6pm at 210 S National, Fort Scott, KS in the Commission Room. Jim seconded. All approved.


Clifton asked Bobby Reed for an update on the jail. Bobby stated that since July 6th we’ve had two applicants. We called to schedule an interview with one them. No answer. I saw this individual out in the public and asked him about it. He said he decided to do something else. Bobby told him there had been an increase in wages to
$14.50/hr. The individual stated that wasn’t enough. The other applicant was not
contacted due to her background. We are having open interviews this Thursday from
4pm to 8pm out at the jail. We’re going to hit it again on Facebook. As of tomorrow,
I will be down to 6 correctional officers. Both lieutenants are working shift work and
the captain will be going to a shift as well. I will be utilizing off-duty deputies and
myself when applicable for transports. Linn County should be opening their new
facility soon and hoping to get our inmates closer which will cut down on drive time,
maintenance and fuel. Current inmate count as of this morning was 25. We do still have some inhouse because we can’t find homes for them at the moment.


Clifton asked Sheriff Martin regarding money for vehicles. The highway patrol vehicles that the city bought would they be an option for us. Bill responded that their cars are maintained but they drive their vehicles hard. The city only drives about 5 square miles. Some of the equipment that is in the vehicles cannot be transferred to
other vehicles. Bill said the price for a car fully equipped is $50 to $55,000.00. Bill stated they are going to order two cars this year. Our fleet is getting old and worn out. Jim stated that Bill budget request would result in a 5 mil increase and the tax
payers cannot bear that at this time.

Jim stated that Bill’s concerns regarding putting
a fuel tank on the property due to flood plain. Jim stated that is not true. The flood plain is not on the county property. Jim also stated that Bill could save 82 cents per gallon as of today if Judy’s Fuel brought that to you. Eighty-two cents per gallon
times 15 vehicles daily. That’s $100,000 per year. Bill said that he had concerns with the tank tipping over and running down the creek. Jim stated that there would have
to be a fence to suit the fire marshall. Bill said if that’s what you want to do then do it today. Jim further stated that Bill had asked for more deputies. In 2021 you had 2,253 traffic stops; 928 were within the city limits. If you stay out of the city limits
would you need two more deputies? Bill stated he was glad Jim brought that up because we are now going into criminal investigations. With that being said we will
have to go into executive session to explain those reasons. I’ve also brought Deputy Davidson who will need to be part of the executive session to explain why we do what we do in regards to that. Clifton made a motion for an executive session KSA 75-
4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship including 2 commissioners, Justin Meeks, County Attorney Tiana McElroy, Bill Martin, Deputy

Davidson for 10 minutes returning at 6:53pm. Jim seconded. All approved. Clifton made a motion to return to normal session with no action. Jim seconded. All approved. Clifton stated that what Bill is asking for is a 5 mil increase. You have been in here with your guys stating they don’t get paid enough. But what you’ve
asked for isn’t shown in the budget. We don’t control the budget. You control what you do with your budget. You can ask for whatever you want and the law states we have to allow you reasonable amounts. It also states that we basically have to give
you what you ask for. What you are asking for doesn’t address the issue which is pay.


Bill stated the pay needs to have a base pay and then differential for what you do special. If you’re K9 you get x amount of dollar per month. Same thing with fire arms coach and same thing with field training officer. If you take classes and have 40
hours of drug interdiction courses and develop that time limit then you get x amount of dollars. It helps people strive to better themselves to help the community better.
Bill discussed scheduling issues. Jim asked why other sheriff departments have zero overtime and you have bookoo hours of overtime. Bill stated it is staffing. You can’t
eliminate overtime in law enforcement. Reports have to be done before they go home. Jim asked if Bill thought the crime rate has gone up that much since he has
been sheriff to keep growing the budget 127%. Bill stated that crime has gone up and in regards to the 127% increase since 2010. Bill stated he didn’t become sheriff until
2013. Susan stated the year it went up was 2013. Bill stated that shows proactivity.


Bill asked what kind of Sheriff’s department do you want? Do you want a proactive one or reactive? Jim asked Bill to look at the folks in the room and tell them do you want us to raise taxes by 5 mils to hire you two more deputies. Bill said that he would only be hiring 2 deputies to absorb my budget. Jim stated with a $500,000
increase on your budget request. If I’m going to provide professional safety, when someone picks up the phone and they need help and not wait for an hour or two to respond, yes I will. I worked in an environment not too long ago when a call would
come in and it would be an hour or so before I will have a deputy to respond. I’m not going down that road again. With the type of calls that law enforcement is faced with today I don’t expect a deputy to walk up to the door on a domestic call, not knowing what is going on in there, he knocks on the door and a gunshot comes
through that door. They need backup. Jim asked if these positions were created or replacing someone. These were created for that grant. Jim stated the grant is going to expire and we have to pick up their salaries. Bill stated we discussed this before
with Susan, that one of the positions that is not currently filled right now is making up
the October to December, if everything goes right there maybe a little extra that we
can spend but we can use that money to assist them with more time to do additional
work to solve more crime. I’m working with the state with that right now and
showing there could possibly be additional monies left over and that’s one thing you
don’t want to do is turn money back in. They want you to spend all of it. Jim stated
regarding the SRO position, I believe those positions are needed in our school system.
I’m going to echo what you told me six months ago that we have no money for SRO for
234 and 235 so I’m recommending the cities and the schools work together to provide that position. I believe the schools and the cities have the money. Bill stated that fuel and ammo is the biggest expense. Vehicle maintenance is also increased. Clifton
asked Bill who does their oil changes. Bill stated that the decision is left up to the deputy. We do business with local businesses and in turn they support us on certain
things. Jim stated as a commissioner I will not raise the mil levy if we have to go up a couple mils to provide you with a couple of deputies then we will cut other departments if we have to. Clifton stated that Bill’s department is doing a good job.


Bill gave statistics on drug detectives since June. Bill stated in June alone 8.5 pounds of meth was seized in Bourbon County; 1.7 ounces of marijuana; 13 drug dosage use
of pills; 31 paraphernalia; over $169 dollars in cash. We have seized 6 vehicles and about 14 arrests that were drug related. Jim asked Bill if he was given 2 more deputies what do you see change next year that you might need more positions. Billsaid nothing. These positions will focus on drugs but if there is a shift change,
someone calls in sick, vacation, they will step into those positions. Jim asked if they are doing that now. Bill said no that the grant basically focus on that. Once the grant expires you probably will see a significant decrease in overtime. The grant will
expire June 2023. Clifton and Jim stated they do not support funding SRO. It should be covered by city and school. Clifton asked if there is a bond schedule in Bourbon County. Bill stated no; bond is set by the judge.


Justin Meeks requested an executive session. Clifton made a motion for executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship for
possible litigation including 2 commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Justin Meeks for 10 minutes returning at 8:21pm. Jim seconded. All approved. Clifton made a motion to
return to normal session at 8:21 with no action. Jim seconded. All approved.


Clifton spoke about the CHC land exchange. The land that CHC owns which is 7.2 acres which includes the helipad and the west parking lot. CHC has approximately
$125,000 in the property and they would like it back in a certain way. They have proposed that we forgo their rent until December and they will transfer the land back
to the county. It will not increase the budget and it isn’t tax payer dollars. Jim seconded. All approved. Just Meeks asked if he needed to draw up the papers.
Clifton asked him to reach out to CHC’s attorney and see what their process is.
Susan stated monthly financials (June) we are in balance. We need the chairman to sign the 2nd quarter financial report for publication. This is a group effort as Ashley looks it over, Patty looks it over and then the chairman. Everyone of those groups is
required to do a report to the Tribune. We’ve consolidated it into one to save on publication costs. Clifton made a motion to allow Chairman Harris to sign the Bourbon County Quarterly Report. Jim seconded. All approved. Susan continued
that statutorily Patty is required to ensure that we have enough securities pledged for the county with all of our banking institutions. She and I have been working together
on that and we have put together a spreadsheet which shows the cash balance at the end of the month in each institution. When I was checking on the banks there were four accounts at the sheriffs’ department that we were unaware of so we’ve added
those to this list and if you will look at City State Bank, I’ve actually reached out to John Hill, there is definitely some violations going on there. It would be not only our violation but a banking violation. I asked John if FDIC was covering those accounts at the sheriffs’ office separately under a different FDIC. I don’t think you can do that.

He is going to get with me tomorrow and I will report back to you and how we will fixthat problem. We will start including this in our  monthly financial report. Susan stated we talked about last week during our budget session what it would cost for mil
increases. I did a rundown of impact on a residential and commercial landowner.

The total requested increase from all of the departments is about 9 mils. If a person owns a $100,000 home it would increase their taxes by $100 every year. For a $200,000 home it would be $200. On the commercial side that’s where it gets very
expensive as they are taxed at a higher rate. That’s about $1,100. increase. Susan stated she would post the information on the website.
Shane Walker stated that the MOU regarding the agreement for the city for the landfill land. Nothing has changed we just couldn’t get the contract from the city
attorney. You guys have already approved it just needs to be signed. Clifton asked if Eric was aware. Eric Bailey was recalled to the meeting for discussion. Eric stated
there are no contaminants he is aware of but has not seen final contract. Eric reviewed and asked if it was for C & D only discount. Jim stated yes that we wouldn’t
want to give a break on solid waste. Eric stated that we are down to the penny on that. Jim stated their discussion was for C & D only. The discount is 50%. Eric asked
how we would monitor if the C & D is coming from which property in Bourbon County.
Eric stated he has everything in black and white. Eric wants a document that states where the C & D material came from. Susan stated that all condemnations are bid out. Diane can give you the bid awards. Eric said that he is willing to give it a try
and if it doesn’t work out we’ll come back to you. Eric’s concern is someone will take advantage of the county. Clifton made a motion to allow Chairman Harris to sign the agreement for the landfill C & D pricing with the City of Fort Scott Shared Services
trading some C & D for condemned housing for 13+/- acres that is next to our current landfill. Jim seconded. All approved.
Public Comment: Nelson Blythe Linn County has 6 SRO’s that cover shifts, 3 detectives that cover shifts and 2 bailiff’s that cover shifts for a total of 11 deputies.

They hardly ever have overtime. Also, meth seizures and all the arrests and search warrants that are done whether county or city can be done without deputies initiating traffic stops in the city. Search warrants and meth seizures almost always come from
traffic stops. Crime rate appears to have increased due to being proactive. SRO is very important and should be in Fort Scott and Uniontown. All cops have the same basic training but they have entirely different experience than the sheriff deputies.
Deputies are not constantly responding to dogs at large. The call volume is lower at the sheriffs’ office. Deputies are more adept at investigating and doing proactive stuff like getting drugs than Fort Scott PD. The PD goes from call to call to call and
they are not developing the same skills and that’s why they ask for assistance sometimes. I don’t believe the jail will ever be a huge money maker but I think it was a good idea because it is saving money. Prior to the jail inmates were housed out of
town. The amount of people in jail isn’t going to go down unless you have deputies that like to park their cars and sit which we don’t want. The bond schedule being removed I believe hasn’t affected law enforcement too terribly. We pretty much to don’t arrest people for weed anymore. Most drug arrests are meth related. Anne
asked about seizure money and I don’t work there anymore but there are state and federal laws as to how that money can be spent. You can’t use it to buy vehicles. It can’t be used to pay salaries.
Clint Walker asked where county job openings are posted. I don’t see them in a newspaper. Jim stated that Public Works and Treasurers run ads in the paper. Patty stated that they also put information out on Facebook and the county website.

Michael Hoyt asked about early voting. Ashley stated early voting will start onWednesday, July 20th 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Saturday; 8:30am to 12:00noon on Monday, August 1st.
Commission Comment: Jim asked Eric to look into price to put a fuel station at sheriffs’ department.
Clifton made a motion to adjourn at 8:51pm. Jim seconded. All approved

Top Tips for Safe Home Canning

Clara Wikoff. Submitted photo.

 

 

By Clara Wicoff

Southwind Extension District

 

Canning season is in full swing, which makes it the perfect time to review tips for safe home canning! According to the CDC, home canned vegetables are the top cause of botulism outbreaks. Botulism can be fatal, so it is essential to follow these tips from the K-State Research and Extension Rapid Response Center to ensure the safety of all who consume your home canned food! If you fail to follow these tips, you will be playing a dangerous game of food safety roulette.

 

First, it is of the utmost importance to use reliable, tested recipes from sources such as K-State Research and Extension, the National Center for Home Food Preservation, and the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning. Using recipes from untested sources (such as internet websites, social media, and even old recipes from family members) can lead to a high risk of foodborne illness. Safe home canning starts with a reliable recipe which has been tested for safety.

 

Next, be sure to use the proper processing equipment. Only use a pressure canner for low-acid foods like vegetables, vegetable mixtures, red meats, wild game meats, poultry, seafood, and fish. High-acid foods (like fruits, sweet spreads, pickled products, tomatoes, salsa, and some tomato products) can be canned in a water bath canner.

 

When it comes to tomatoes, note that they are on the borderline between a low-acid and a high-acid food. Therefore, they must be acidified before being processed through either boiling water or pressure canning. To see specific acidification recommendations, visit bit.ly/AcidifyTomatoes.

 

You should also adjust for altitude. Failing to do this can cause your food to be underprocessed, which creates a risk of botulism. Recipes from reliable resources are often written for those processing at altitudes below 1,000 feet. Be aware of the altitude where you are processing food and what adjustments need to be made.

 

Other tips include ensuring you have adequate headspace in jars; not canning in an oven, dishwasher, or electric pressure cooker; following the proper processing time from tested recipes; only using common self-sealing lids once; and never modifying tested recipes to add any other ingredient.

 

Following these tips may just save your life! For more information, please contact Clara Wicoff, Nutrition, Food and Health Extension Agent, at [email protected] or 620-365-2242.

Bourbon County History Tour August 13

Bourbon County
History Carpool Tour
THIS Saturday, August 13th
Make your reservation today for only $5 per person online…
Click here!
The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, Old Fort Genealogical Society, and Historical Preservation Association of Bourbon County announce another carpool tour that will be on Saturday, August 13th at 8:30am. The format of the tour will be by carpool where attendees will provide their own transportation, stopping at the National Cemetery where the tour will be guided by local historians.
The tour on the 13th of August will be visiting the National Cemetery. Fort Scott National Cemetery was created during the Civil War and has continued to include all military since then. Local historians will walk you through the cemetery noting persons, telling reasons for memorial stones, and giving important information about the military campaigns our men and women were involved in while defending the United States and our allies. Volunteer Historians will include Ken Lyon, Brian Allen and Arnold Schofield.
The tour will leave The Old Fort Genealogical Society at 221 S. National Ave. (Memorial Hall) at 8:30 am and will finish by 10:30 am. The cost is only $5 per person and pre-registration is required on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those interested may register online at fortscott.com, click on Events, then Bourbon County Tour. A waiting list will be maintained if the tour reaches capacity. For questions or more information, contact the Old Fort Genealogical Society by calling 620-223-3300 or emailing [email protected].
Thank you to our Chamber Champion members below!
Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

New Grocery Store Opens in Bronson

Kelly and Thaddeus Perry.

Kelly and Thaddeus Perry opened their store, Perry’s Pork Rinds and Country Store on July 31 in Bronson, Kansas-population 309.

The store is located right on Highway 54 that runs through the town.

Perry’s Pork Rinds and Country Store, Bronson.

The mom and pop operation has people sign a guest book when they come in. “This is for Kansas Tourism,” Kelly said. “There have been a ton of people coming in.”

“We sold over 200 pounds of (her homemade) fudge in the first three days we were open,” she said.

Kelly Perry runs the cash register at the store.

Mama K’s fudge, made by Kelly Perry on site, has the capability of making 200 flavors of fudge.

“The fudge takes two hours to make with real cream and butter,” she said. “It’s from the same company that made Ozark Land and Silver Dollar City fudge.”

“We are wholesaling fudge and doing fundraisers (for community organizations),” Kelly said.

Their best seller at the store is their pork rinds, which along with the fudge is made in the back of the store.

Thaddeus said to make the pork rinds they order from a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture site.

“Then it’s cooked until done, then seasoned, then cooled and then bagged,” he said.

“It took two-and-a-half years to get to produce rinds and fudge on site,” Thaddeus said. “People have been asking  us for six to eight months when we were going to open.”

Store items and freezer storage for milk, eggs and more,  in Perry’s Pork Rinds and Country Store.

In addition to their signature products,  “We now carry milk and eggs, that will be from local vendors,” Kelly said. “We will be getting eggs and frozen chickens from Freedom Farms ( a Bourbon County farm) and all our ground beef, brats, hot dogs and bacon are from Bronson  (Meat)  Locker.”

Fresh produce stands are front and center in the country store.

And important to locals and those passing by, is the ability to purchase local fruits and vegetables.

“The first weekend we sold 28 watermelons and 60 pounds of tomatoes,” she said.

A white board lists the meals served each week at the store. This was last week’s offerings.

A hot meal is also served everyday from 11 a.m. “until it’s gone,” she said. A list of the week’s offerings are on a whiteboard near the inside door of the store.

The Perry’s have eight employees, some part-time and some full-time.

“We just hired three new employees for the front store,” Thaddeus said.

The store is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

To contact the store:  620.224.2052.

 

 

 

Nelson Blythe Selected to Fill District 1 Commissioner Position

Nelson and Euna Blythe.
A convention of the Bourbon County Republican party committee members was held on August 4 to decide  who would fill Lynne Oharah’s Bourbon County Commissioner District 1 position.
To view a prior story on Oharah’s resignation:
After the rules of selection were explained, the Republican committee had two individuals who asked to be considered:  Donald Coffman and Nelson Blythe.
Mark McCoy. Submitted photo.
“Each candidate was given three minutes to address our meeting, after this portion, the candidate and any of the public were asked to leave,” said Chairman Mark McCoy. “Much discussion took place amongst us. A motion was made to appoint Mr. Blythe by an acclamation motion, it was seconded, and all in attendance answered  in the affirmative.”
The required state form was sent certified mail on Friday, August 5 to the governor’s office, McCoy said.
“In my experience, the governor will notify our county clerk within 10 days,” he said.
Nelson Blythe will start mid-August as the new commissioner.
Nelson Blythe

Nelson Blythe, 28, worked as a deputy for the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office for approximately four years. Since 2021, he has worked as a deputy for the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff in Linn County is flexible in scheduling personnel, he said, and that will allow him to be present at the commission meetings, which typically meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays at the courthouse.

One thing that motivated him to run for the commissioner position was being involved in Bourbon County.

“When I went to Linn County, I didn’t like missing out on what is going in Bourbon County,” he said.

“I maintained good working relationships with most of the people who work in the court house, especially in the county attorney’s office,” according to a press release from Blythe. “I believe that my professional relationship with the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office will help smooth the sometimes rocky relationship with the commission.”

Additionally,  Blythe said he is glad he will be “in a position to defend our rights from state and federal governance.”

“Local elected officials need to be willing to stand up to state and federal authorities that violate the Constitution,” he said. “This isn’t an extreme view. It is a methodical, constitutional, conservative, law-abiding, Christian mindset.”

Blythe has been married to Euna for six years.

He is the son of Bud and Lee Belle Blythe of rural Uniontown. He lives on part of the farm that has been handed down in his family for over 150 years.  His grandparents were Kaley and Julia Blythe.

He is the youngest of Bud and Lee Belle’s five children and one of the three triplets. His older brother, Paden, works for the Fort Scott Police Department; his older sister, Katie Dyastra lives with her husband and three children in Fort Scott, and his sister, Hannah Stark and husband live in Fort Scott.

His identical twin brother, Kaley, is married to Kelsey and they have one child. He also lives on a part of the Blythe family farm.

Blythe earned a bachelors of science degree from Pittsburg State University in business administration.

 

 

 

 

Trees and Shrub Watering Guidelines

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786

 

According to the drought monitor, all of the counties of the Southwind Extension District are in a moderate drought. Unfortunately, in looking at the drought forecast, it doesn’t look like we will be out of this pattern anytime soon either. If you haven’t been supplemental watering trees and shrubs, you need to be – especially any that were newly planted this spring.

Newly planted or young trees and shrubs often don’t survive the first year because of improper watering. Proper watering throughout the first growing season often means the difference between success and failure.

Water should be retained around the base of the newly planted trees by building a low berm just outside the planting hole. A weekly soaking to apply approximately 10 gallons of water should be sufficient to support spring or summer planted trees and shrubs on most sites.  Larger balled and burlaped or spade-dug trees will require more water. For every inch of trunk diameter greater than two inches, an additional ten gallon should be applied. In the absence of rainfall, continue watering newly planted deciduous trees and shrubs until their leaves fall. Evergreens should be watered until the soil freezes.

It is easy to overwater and keep the soil excessively wet and cause a different set of problems. Over watering can cause “wet wilt” which looks similar to wilt caused by dryness. When soil stays wet for an extended time, root damage can occur due to oxygen depletion. As a result, leaves wilt and do not recover, even if water is added.

During the second and third growing seasons after planting, supplemental water every 10 to 14 days if it doesn’t rain and soil moisture indicates a need. Check moisture with a trowel, rod, screwdriver or probe.

With established trees and shrubs, supplemental watering should be done during periods of drought. Trees that have been planted for three to five years will benefit from deep, regular watering.  But the interval can be extended to two to three weeks between applications.

Check the soil moisture and use it as a guide. Soak the soil to a minimum depth of 12 inches, out to and beyond the drip line, every three to four weeks if it doesn’t rain significantly. Avoid watering established trees at the base of the trunk because the absorbing roots are further out. Shrubs should also be watered so the soil is moistened to a depth of 8 to 12 inches every couple of weeks.

Water can be applied through a soaker hose or by allowing a pencil thin stream of water from a garden hose to soak the ground. Water lances or “root feeders” are not as suitable as applying to the surface because they can actually introduce the water deeper than where the surface feeding roots are located.

If you have trees or shrubs that are not looking good, give me a call and a home visit can be scheduled to evaluate the problem.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Horticulture agent assigned to Southwind District and may be reached at [email protected] or 620-244-3826.

 

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Bourbon County Commission Agenda for Aug. 9

Agenda
Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: August 9, 2022

1st DistrictLynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd DistrictJim Harris Corrected: _______________________

3rd DistrictClifton Beth Adjourned at: _______________

County ClerkAshley Shelton

MEETING HELD IN THE COMMISSION ROOM

Call to Order

Flag Salute

Approval of Minutes from previous meeting

Eric Bailey Road & Bridge Report

Bill Martin Drug Detectives

Bob Reed Jail Update

Teri Hulsey EMS Update

Justin Meeks County Counselor Comment

Susan Bancroft Chief Financial Officer Comment

Shane Walker Chief Information Officer Comment

Public Comment

Commission Comment

Justifications for Executive Session:

KSA 754319(b)(1) To discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy

KSA 754319(b)(2) For consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorneyclient relationship

KSA 754319(b)(3) To discuss matters relating to employeremployee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency

KSA 754319(b)(4) To discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual proprietorships

KSA 754319(b)(6) For the preliminary discussion of the acquisition of real property

KSA 754319(b)(12) To discuss matters relating to security measures, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize such security measures.

Bourbon County Coalition Minutes of August 3

“The Bourbon County narcotics investigators presented an outstanding presentation,” Bourbon County Coalition Chairwoman Billie Jo Drake said . “It is amazing what a positive impact they have had on our county.”

“If you wish to present a program or know of a good program that would be beneficial for our group, please let me know,” she said.

Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition

General Membership Meeting Minutes

 

August 3, 2022

 

 

  1. Welcome:  Thirteen members representing twelve agencies and seven visitors attended the meeting.  Billie Jo informed the members that the Board had provided thirty family passes to the Fort Scott Aquatic Center which allowed eighty children to use the facility for the summer.  With the generosity of the City of Fort Scott, the passes cost the Board only $2,065.00.  She also mentioned that the process of changing the signatories on the bank account was taking longer than anticipated but should be finalized in the near future.

 

  1. Member Introductions and Announcements:
  • April Jackson, SEK Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition, shared pamphlets outlining the Coalition’s work; she also shared that they have been able to hire a second full-time employee who serves as the peer support navigator.
  • Elizabeth Schafer, CASA and Kiwanis, mentioned that CASA does not have nearly enough volunteers for the number of children in need.
  • Lisa Robertson, COPE, is working under a two-year grant to help create equity for everyone. She invited members to attend a planning meeting for the Local Health Equity committee to be held August 4 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Christine Abbott, SEKWorks, announced that the Fort Scott office will now be open five days a week; she also noted there are over 70,000 available Kansas jobs listed on the website.
  • Mandy Woods, Healthy Families, provided information on the services they offer for expecting moms and parents of newborns and provided members with hand sanitizer.
  • DeeDee LeFever, Community Liaison, Greenbush, was welcomed as a new member.
  • Tammy AlCantor, Crawford County Health Department, shared information on the Baby & Me Tobacco Free program, pre-natal classes, and the teen pregnancy program. She also announced that three Bourbon County residents that had completed the Tobacco Free program continued to be tobacco free!
  • Nick Johnson, Fort Scott PreSchool Principal, was welcomed as a new member. Nick shared that they have so far enrolled 104 students for preschool this year.
  • Vicki Wright, SEK Mental Health, was welcomed as a new member. She will be working with the marketing and promotional efforts of the Mental Health organization.
  • Sandra Haggard, RSVP, sent word that she helped the Housing Tenant Association with a service project where today they handed coloring books and games to Crystal Walker of TFI to use during family visitation.

 

 

  1. Program: Undersheriff Ben Cole introduced officers Steven Davidson and Alvin Metcalf who provided information on their current assignment of narcotics investigations.  Officers Davidson and Metcalf are grant funded; the goal for their grant is to deflect all drugs from coming into Bourbon County.  They noted that most all narcotics in the United States come from Mexico; also, that Highway 69 is one of the top 15 drug routes in the United States and Highway 54 is in the top five.   They also shared how they get information, what has to happen before an investigation or search, and what happens after an arrest is made.

 

  1. Open Forum:  There were no further announcements or discussions.

 

  1. Adjournment:  Next General Membership meeting will be September 7, 2022, at 1:00 p.m.