The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with Jim Harris, Lynne Oharah
and the County Clerk present.
Anne Dare, Clint Walker, Don Coffman, Matt Crystal, Mark McCoy, Bill Michaud, Rob
Harrington, Lora Holdridge, Annie Clarkson and Bill Martin were present for some or
all of the meeting.
Lynne made a motion to approve the previous meetings minutes. Jim seconded. All
Eric Bailey presented an entry permit at 2500 Tomahawk for William Pope. Lynne
made a motion to approve the entry permit for William Pope. Jim seconded. All
approved. Eric stated the federal fund exchange amount is $110,072.57. If we do the
buyback through KDOT at 90 cents on the dollar it will be $99,065.32. Jim Harris
signed the agreement. Eric reminded everyone that Thursday is the District 4
meeting at Chanute at 9am. Eric and Dustin Hall will be going. The punch list for
Jayhawk Wind’s Road Use Agreement is complete with punch list. We are in the final
stages of finishing the RUA. Eric said we should have our roads back in our possession
very soon. There is an Open House for Jayhawk Wind for the commissioners to come
meet the operators on Thursday from 3pm to 6pm at the Operations & Maintenance
building. Eric gave a breakdown of the asphalt meeting broke down by district. Gave
a handout of what cost would be. District 3 has no asphalt but would like to do some
preventative maintenance. Lynne asked if it could be cut down between Native &
maple. Dustin stated possibly a little but they wanted to get around both curves as
there is breakdown in the section. Jim stated all districts are important. If money
runs out you have to stop. Justin Meeks stated that Clifton is forgoing asphalt in
District 3 to try to help out the other two districts. Justin also stated that he and Eric
and Susan have discussed the need for a new crusher. Susan stated there is some
federal funding we could go after. Susan had some information on the crusher that
was handed out. Susan stated we would need some monies from the PILOT fund until
some other debt is paid off. We have two years that we have to work with other
funds to pay the note. Justin asked how much of this year’s proposed would have to
be cut to buy the crusher? Dustin stated between $100,000.00 to $150,000.00
depending on what total price is. Susan stated the other thing we need to think
about is so far we have done 3 blasts which is about $120,000.00. To do 4 blasts it’s
going to be $160,000.00. That will be $40,000.00 per year for blast #4. You’re going
to have $80,000.00 for 2 additional blasts so that we can make enough rock. There is
going to be about $136,000.00 per year in expenses to make enough rock and pay for
the blasts. Jim asked Eric about federal funding. Eric stated $60,000.00 has to go for
the bridge on Fern Rd. Susan stated that there are some projects we can after for
funding. The project at Elm Creek dam would qualify so we need to dig into some of
the grants. Lynne made a motion to move Eric Bailey to the end of the meeting after
commissioner comments giving them time to come up with hard numbers on crusher.
Jim seconded. All approved.
Lora Holdridge stated that Caleb Chaplin and they are going to request a road closing
at Pawnee. We noticed there is another land owner that owns all the other land to
the south and they own everything. Could we contact Mr. Callow who owns the
property and ask if we could vacate to save money? Jim said yes.
Bill Martin stated they are part of the Federal Forfeiture group and they are required
to send in an annual certification report to make sure that the funds we get from
Federal Forfeiture Funds are reported properly. The report states no money has been
spent as of now. Lynne Oharah made a motion to allow Jim Harris to sign this
agreement. Jim seconded. All approved.
Justin Meeks requested an executive session for attorney client privilege. Lynne
made a motion for an executive session for 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, Susan Bancroft, Justin Meeks
for 4 minutes returning at 9:43am. Jim seconded. All approved. Lynne made a
motion to return to normal session at 9:43am with no action. Jim seconded. All
Justin Meeks stated that 2 weeks ago there was discussion regarding Elm Creek Lake
with regards to a public/private partnership. We have some ground work to do on
getting bids to fix up the exterior of the 3 structures – The main lodge and two cabins.
The idea of the public/private partnership is to have help being the managers of like
an Airbnb. Eric is planning to drain the lake in early fall and it will be empty for quite
some time in order to repair the dam. This would be the perfect time to explore the
partnership. Now that we have Rob and Susan on board and with Shane’s expertise
with historical preservation we can maybe at the end of May to go out for bid to see
who would be interested in helping us with this public/private partnership. Looking
at having canoe rentals, RV hookups, getting water to the three structures. The
public/private partnership would manage it. There would be a 60/40 split of profits –
40% to the county and 60% to them. Discuss next week the bid process.
Susan did a 5 year comparison and a 2021 year in review for Public Works. We are
going to start implementing this into our budget document for every department. To
show people where we have been and what we have accomplished. We are going to
add projected projects for 2023. One of the things I want to highlight is the fueling
station. We are getting our gas about 40 cents cheaper. Most of the departments are
taking advantage of that. I want to praise those who are trying to keep costs down as
much as we can and that’s where departments are working together to do that. We
had a problem in the landfill last year but have recovered. Susan stated that
financials aren’t balanced and we are working through that this week. I’ve notified
the treasurer that we have about $20,000.00 variance and so we are working through
that. Susan requested an executive session for proprietary. Lynne made a motion for
an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(4) to discuss data relating to financial affairs or
trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual proprietorships for
10 minutes including Rob Harrington, Shane Walker, Justin Meeks, Susan Bancroft and
2 commissioners returning at 10:10am. Jim seconded. All approved. Lynne made a
motion to return to normal session at 10:10am with no action. Jim seconded. All
Public Comment: Bill Michaud requested that the county consider a transient guest
tax in the county. Anne Dare asked if Elm Creek Lake was a WPA project? Lynne
stated that the entirety of Elm Creek Lake was a WPA project. She wants to make
certain that research is done so that we are in compliance as this project is ongoing.
Susan stated that we have a CFAP program out there. We’ve got to make sure we are
standing up to that agreement. Anne asked about the crusher and grants that will be
requested for other Road & Bridge projects. The county was turned down for a base
grant and it’s been on the news that several cities in the area did receive one.
What’s going to change that will give us a better chance of getting one? Is there
anything in the works to give us a better chance? Susan stated that yes from the
financial perspective. There is oversight and we are doing better in meeting our
deadlines. We can’t change past violations and when we submit a grant application
we are asked to submit our audit from previous years. It will take us two or three
years to get out of that cycle. Not all grants ask for that information, most federal
grants do. Anne asked if it is helpful that we are implementing internal controls?
Susan stated yes. Anne asked if there have been internal controls in the past? Susan
stated yes. Rob Harrington called to ask about the base grant that we didn’t receive.
There were several grant requests within Bourbon County and none of them were
granted. Twenty grants got a perfect score and underneath that 33 grants tied for
sub-perfect scores. They stated we were very close. There is an opportunity to write
a letter and ask that a second round of base grants be opened. A lot of the grants
went to Johnson and Sedgwick County. Those grants will touch a lot more people
being larger counties. One was a $10 million dollar grant in Johnson County for a
development up there. The Topeka Zoo got 3 million. Another project received 7.9
million. Tie breakers on grants are usually letters of support. If you think it’s a great
project to write a letter of support. Jim responded to Anne’s comments on Elm Creek
that there would be a lot of discussion and public involvement before anything is
done. Mark McCoy stated that he is no longer a city employee. While employed by
the city I made a personal commitment to the city commissioners that I was 100%
committed to them and would limit my contact with the county. I am once again in a
volunteer capacity at the county working with Emergency Management. He said that
he would like to reiterate what Bill Michaud said in that he would like to see a county-
wide transient tax. Mark also stated that he would not be in alignment to renting the
Elm Creek cabins for a month. I don’t think you want to do a long term stay. Susan
stated that after a certain period of time the transient tax runs out. Mark stated he
believed it to be at 28 days. Bill Michaud confirmed that to be correct. Mark
mentioned that the county website needed to be updated. Ashley stated that Shane
Walker has been working with Mat Casner to update the site and changes will be
coming. Mark stated that he has been asked to come onboard with Bourbon County
REDI as the Small Business Coordinator and have accepted. I’m happy to volunteer.
It’s the right thing to do. Mark stated this is a very busy week for Bourbon County.
There is a bicycle race, a mud race and civil war reenactment and ball games are
starting up. St. Mary’s Gala is this weekend as well. Don Coffman stated Old 69
North (215th) is in bad shape. Jim stated that it is on Clifton’s list. Don stated that it
might just need a surface coat. Jim stated that it is on Eric’s maintenance list.
Elected Official Comment: Ashley stated that she and Doretta would be going to
Election training the next two days. We hope to learn a lot. No cost for the session.
She stated that she is looking into new election equipment.
Commission Comment: Jim asked Susan to look into what it would take to implement
the transient tax in the county.
Eric reported on information that he received on the crusher. He got a hard number
for the price of the crusher. He checked with another company and it would be a
year before we could get what we needed. A new crusher would be far more than
what we were projecting. Susan stated that Sourcewell, for equipment and services,
will do their competitive bidding. They get the best possible lowest dollar product so
that cities and counties are not having to spend all their time doing requests for
quotes. Susan asked if the commission chooses to go down this road is for her to have
permission to get with the local banks for lease purchase agreements and have them
bid on that. Lynne made a motion to purchase the used crusher MR130 Crusher and
953 Screen Plant for $1.356 million which will be paid for with a combination of Road
& Bridge Funds, Hard Surface Road funds and PILOT money for down payments and
Susan will reach out to local banks for financing of remainder of the balance. Jim
seconded. All approved. Susan stated this is a 10-year lease purchase. Anne Dare
asked where the machine would be coming from. Dustin Hall responded from Murphy
Tractor. Jim stated that 215th off Indian going south to 39th needs to be completed.
The lake road needs some work. Do what you can. Dustin Hall stated they are hoping
sales tax will be high again this year and maybe will have enough to care of all of it.
Lynne Oharah made a motion to approve the asphalt program Eric provided as well as
use Onyx for 5 miles as a test. Eric has discretion to trim projects to lower cost to get
new crusher. Jim stated to be very selective where they trim. Jim seconded. All
Lynne made a motion to adjourn at 10:57am. Jim seconded. All approved.