Minutes of the Bourbon County Commission For May 20

May 20, 2024                                                                        Monday, 5:30 p.m.



The Board of Bourbon County Commissioners met in open session with all Commissioners and the County Clerk present.



Mike Wunderly, Clint Walker, Rachel Walker, Bo Casper, Jason Silvers, Emily Franks, Michael Hoyt, and Deb Martin were present for some or all of the meeting.



Jim opened the meeting with the flag salute.



Clifton made a motion to approve the consent agenda which includes approval of minutes from 5-13-2024, approval of payroll totaling $298,201.43, and approval of accounts payable totaling $408,894.66. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved.



Susan Walker, CFO, and Patty Love, Treasurer, updated the Commissioners on the Neighborhood Revitalization Program errors they had found. Susan said the application states if the homeowner has delinquent property taxes, then they forfeit NRP from then on, however; this has not been enforced in the past. Susan asked if we move forward following how the application reads or do we change the application. Jim said he is ok with how it is as long as people understand up front that they will forfeit the program if their taxes are delinquent. Brandon said he thinks taxes should be delinquent one year before they forfeit their place in the program. Clifton asked if this would apply to personal property tax such as boat trailers, and Susan stated it only applies to delinquent real estate tax. Jim asked how taxes are determined to be delinquent and Patty explained the first half of the taxes are due December 20th each year, so if you have not paid by close of business then on December 21st your taxes are delinquent. After discussion, the Commissioners agreed there should be a grace period for the homeowners to pay their taxes without forfeiting the program. It was determined if the taxes are not paid by December 20th of the following year, then their taxes would be considered delinquent and they would forfeit NRP.  Susan said there will need to be an addendum to the program so she will work with Matt Quick, Appraiser, who will have to contact other entities who participate in the program and they will present it at a future meeting. Susan said that she has continued checking NRP applications for accuracy and at this point has made it through 2020 applications and so far, there is approximately $13,000 owed to residents. Susan said it is a very time-consuming process, but she will keep working on checking the remainder of the applications.



Emily Franks, Auditor with Jarred, Gilmore, Phillips, PA, presented the fiscal year 2023 audit report. Emily went page by page to explain each section of the audit report to the Commissioners. Emily stated we were in compliance, however; she stressed the decrease in cash balances and said the general fund has decreased a few hundred thousand from 2022 to 2023 and stated the Commissioners need to keep an eye on this to keep expenses under control and keep this in mind going into the budget process of how to get more receipts into the General fund. Emily went over all of the different funds and said the overall ending unencumbered cash balance was decreased by about $700,000. It is recommended to have three to six months of operating expenses in cash balance. Emily stated the only things she wanted to discuss regarding Bourbon County was the need to complete a resolution outlining elected officials’ salaries and the need for detailed credit card receipts. Some credit card receipts do not show detailed explanations of what was purchased and Emily stated for transparency a copy of the itemized receipt should be obtained. Emily said there is a management letter enclosed in the packet that states there are no issues or violations and requested the Treasurer, Clerk, and CFO to sign and send back to their firm.



Sage Hall discussed his health concerns relating to solar panels and read multiple studies regarding what he discussed. Mr. Hall said he is all about freedom and constitutional rights and said he has a problem when his tax dollars are used as federal and state subsidies to produce energy sent elsewhere. Mr. Hall also discussed the potential decrease in property value he will be facing due to the solar panel farms next to his home.



Eric Bailey, Public Works Director, stated the committee members listed on the 5-Year Solid Waste Plan needs to be updated. Eric recommends Jim Harris, Clifton Beth, Brandon Whisenhunt, himself, and Frank Young be listed as committee members of the Bourbon County 5-Year Solid Waste Plan. Jim asked if there would be any other changes to the plan, and Eric stated the only change is the committee listed on the plan. Clifton made a motion to update the 5-Year Solid Waste Plan committee members to those listed in Eric’s recommendation. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved. Eric said the estimate of Bourbon County’s share to fix bridge #518 would be closer to $600,000 instead of the $300,000 that was originally estimated. Eric stated with the disaster damage we currently have he is not sure we would have the funds available to fix the bridge if we were to win the grant funds. Eric asked if the Commissioners wanted to postpone applying for the grant until next year. After discussion it was agreed to wait until we get past the disaster damage to apply for the bridge grant. Eric said they are almost done driving every road to  locate storm damage and that he must have estimates turned into KDEM by Friday. Eric stated that each day they are finding more damage undermining the roads and bridges within the county. Brandon asked Eric to tell his crew they are doing a good job. Eric said that they have added gravel on Yale Road by the Stevenson Cemetery so that residents could enter the cemetery.



Jennifer Hawkins, County Clerk, asked if the Commissioners would like to hold a meeting next Monday since the courthouse will be closed in observance of Memorial Day. The Commissioners agreed to not hold a meeting next week since the courthouse would be closed. Jennifer asked to amend the agenda to add a reimbursement request form that must be signed by all the Commissioners. The request form is for the state-ran Presidential Preference Primary Election that happened in March and Bourbon County is asking for a reimbursement of $11,320. Clifton made a motion to sign the reimbursement request form. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved. Jennifer asked for a 5-minute executive for consultation with an attorney. Clifton made a motion to go into a 5-minute executive session under 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 to include the three Commissioners, Jennifer Hawkins, and Justin Meeks who will attend via phone and will return at 6:23. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session at 6:23 with no action. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved.



Brandon said he has traffic concerns regarding the solar panel projects and said it looks like stormwater permits will have to be obtained from the State and Jim agreed. Brandon discussed zoning and stated the Clerk cannot find a statute outlining the number of signatures needed on a petition and that she provided him a copy of the statutes that state the Commissioners can pass a resolution for zoning. Jim said he would be in favor of it going on the ballot if they receive a petition signed by residents. Clifton said a lot of the people he has spoken to do not want zoning and Brandon said he has heard from people both for and against zoning. Jim asked for more research to be done regarding the number of signatures needing for a zoning petition. Clifton said he talked to Destry Brown, Rory Chaplin, Jason Kegler, and Vance Eden about trade school opportunities and he said his wish is to be able to help fund that. Brandon said he is all for tech schools and Clifton said he would be ready to make a motion tonight. Brandon suggested working on the budget first and Jim said a lot of kids are wanting to go into trades.



Clifton made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:32. Brandon seconded the motion and all approved.




___________________, Chairman


ATTEST:                                                                                                    ___________________, Commissioner


Jennifer Hawkins, Bourbon County Clerk

6-3-2024                                 Approved Date

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