Brown County Commission 11.30.2018

The Board of Brown County Commissioners met in regular session on Friday, Nov. 30. Members present were Chairman Steve Roberts, Dwight Kruse and Keith Olsen. Also present was County Clerk Melissa Gormley. County Attorney Kevin Hill was present for a portion of the meeting. Roberts opened the meeting at 8:10 a.m.

The commissioners discussed the lights and sirens permit in question with Attorney Hill. Sheriff John Merchant also was available to answer questions. The commissioners reviewed the citation from the Hiawatha Police Department. The commissioners questioned what emergency departments actually need the permits. Commissioner Roberts stated Jeremy Stover should be able to keep the permit for EMT. Before taking action, the commissioners want to speak with Stover, at his request from a previous meeting. Clerk Gormley will contact Stover to get him on the agenda.

Hill was present for a phone conference with Dirk Vandever, attorney with Popham Law Firm concerning the opioid crisis and possible county type litigation. Hill requested Vandever send a contract to review and he also requested a list of other Kansas Counties that are involved.

The commissioners discussed the wind turbines with Hill. Hill stated that the commissioners should start looking into engineering firms.

Brown County resident Allen Jacobsen spoke with the commissioners about a load that he took to the landfill. Jacobson feels that he was over charged. He was charged $54 and stated there was no way his Ford Ranger truck could haul 2,300 pounds. He wants his money refunded. Commissioner Olsen asked what the rate was at the landfill. Trash is $47.40 per ton with a $6 minimum. The commissioners approved to refund $36.50.

Gormley informed the commissioners that she had made a mistake on the USD No. 415 Mill Levy. New tax statements have been mailed to everyone in the USD No 415 tax district. The cost of postage will be paid out of the commissioner’s fund.

Hiawatha Chamber of Commerce representative Ryan Meininger, by written request, asked if the lobby of the Courthouse could be used starting at 4:45 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. for the Christmas Lighting and Santa Comes to Town on Dec. 1. Commissioners agreed that the lobby could be opened earlier.

Department Reports

Sandy Carter was present to discuss the inventory in the basement. The commissioners had requested a clean-up of the room. After review of the list and looking at past auctions, the commissioners decided the cost of having a public auction was not the way to proceed. Items that need to go to the dump will be marked as trash and janitor Buzz Siebenmorgen can haul them to the dump.

Merchant reported there are 25 inmates – 22 males and three females – in the County Jail.

Merchant said during the blizzard and the past week that the cities, county, townships, and state did a great job of clearing roads. He stated that area farmers were also helpful. Merchant reported no injuries, and his deputies did a wonderful job of getting stranded motorists to safety. Commissioner Olsen asked if the Emergency Management was going to apply for any reimbursement from the state. Merchant said they would need to speak with Rich or Randy.

Roberts discussed new lights being put on a sheriff vehicle at HD Repair. Roberts spoke with Dustin Madere who showed interest in putting the lights on the vehicle in lieu of the two vehicles the sheriff had out to bid. Attorney Hill said there needs to be a fair market value on the vehicles to show comparable value.

The heating and cooling system was discussed. Since no bids were received, Sheriff Merchant wants to hire a mechanical engineer. The commissioners agreed.

Deputy Appraiser Teresa Clements and Register of Deeds Nellie Brockhoff spoke with the commissioners about the plotter. Clements said the equipment she currently has does not work. The repairs for it have doubled in price. Commissioner Kruse wanted to know how old the machine was, and Clements stated that it is 12 years old. Clements and Brockhoff would like to go together and purchase a machine that will benefit both offices. Clements presented a bid for $12,000 from ProServ for a machine that will do all the things that both offices need. Clements said that she had not heard back from Logan Business Machines. The commissioners decided to purchase the equipment.

Also at the meeting:

The November 21, 2018, payroll was approved as follows: General, $70,141.85; Road and Bridge, $12,508; Election, $245.77; Technology, $637; Appraiser, $5,080.01; Noxious Weed, $1,642; ACC, $9,234.99; JJA Core, $11,073.20; Reinvestment Grant, $3,033.21; Services for Elderly, $2,359.50; Solid Waste $4,265.75; Special MVT, $2,577.26; Employee Benefits FICA, $7,379.67; and Employee Benefits KPERS, 8,834.45. After State Unemployment and Workers Compensation of $133.91 and Insurance of $10,406.86 were taken out, the total was $128,471.89.

The November 30, 2018, month-end claims were approved as follows: General, $78,513.63; Road and Bridge, $40,426.15; Historical Society, $4,166.66; Employee Benefit, $72,388.40; Election, $8,856.67; Extension, $8,150; Mental Health, $5,850; Developmental Services, $2,254.33; Appraiser, $3,569.62; Ambulance, $14,682.26; Noxious Weed, $10,358.34; Alcohol, $4,287.06; Diversion, $872.34; 911 SB50, $2,254.20; ACC, $3,559.96; JJCR, $3,452.48; Reinvestment Grant, $291.49; Services for Elderly, $3,421.29; Solid Waste, $57,546.39; and Payroll, $242.13. The total was $325,143.40.

The commissioners held a five-minute executive session on non-elected personnel with the three commissioners, Services for the Elderly Director Lori Gray and Gormley present to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel with executive session necessary to protect privacy interests. No binding action was taken following the executive session.

The commissioners approved the Road and Bridge Permit 2018-22 for CenturyLink.

Tax change orders 2018-1 through 2018-4 and 2018-6 through 2018-11 were approved and signed.

The commissioners approved the Nov. 19 minutes.

The next regular meeting was held Monday, Dec. 3. These minutes were not available at The Herald’s press time.

The Sabetha Herald1830 Posts

The Sabetha Herald has been serving Sabetha since 1876.


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