Nemaha County Commission 1.22.2019

Submitted by Mary Kay Schultejans, Nemaha County Clerk

The Board of Nemaha County Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Commissioner’s Room of the Nemaha County Courthouse. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Gary Scoby leading the flag salute. Present also were Commissioners Tim Burdiek and Dennis Henry, and County Clerk Mary Kay Schultejans recording the minutes.

Commissioners approved the 2019 appropriation requests received from organizations in Nemaha County. Appropriations approved were $6,500 per quarter for Nemaha County United 4 Youth; $3,000 for Glacial Hills RC&D Council; $10,000 for Northeast Kansas Environmental Services; $6,100 for Northeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department; and $3,000 for Northeast Kansas Enterprise Facilitation.

Commissioners appointed Clint Tegtmeier as the Nemaha Township Clerk upon the recommendation of the other Nemaha Township Officials. Commissioners signed the appointment letter as presented.

Wind Farm

The county’s Wind Farm Attorney, James Neeld, came before the board. Commissioners entered into a 45-minute executive session until 9:45 a.m. to discuss attorney-client privileges, with the commissioners, Neeld and County Attorney Brad Lippert present. The meeting returned to open session at 9:45 a.m. with no action taken by the board following the executive session.

Open discussion concerning the development of the Soldier Creek Wind Farm in Nemaha County began at 10 a.m. Present for this discussion with the board and Neeld were several local landowners, members of the local media, Lippert and USD No. 380 Superintendent Matt Rogers.

Chairman Scoby stated that the county still is waiting to receive the final footprint of the project and the density study from NextEra Energy Resources. Attorney Neeld stated that NextEra Energy Resources has our terms, but he will wait to begin any negotiations until the final footprint and the density study have been provided by the wind farm company. Many questions and comments were given by those present for the wind farm discussion.

Galen Ackerman came before the board to let commissioners know that Lynette Strathman put together a cost/benefit analysis on the proposed wind turbine project in Nemaha County. Strathman reviewed this report with commissioners and with several local business owners that were present for this discussion. Local business owners provided comments to commissioners following the review of the cost/benefit analysis.

Department Reports

Road and Bridge/Solid Waste Supervisor Dennis Ronnebaum advised the board that:

• He received a right of way easement request from Blue Valley Telecommunications to bore under D Road south of Highway 36. The commissioners approved the right-of-way easement request with Blue Valley Telecommunications. Commissioners signed the easement request as presented.

• Department employees came in and worked the county roads on Saturday this past weekend.

Emergency Preparedness Director Russel Lierz advised the board that:

• The county would have access to snowmobiles if needed in the local area.

• He would like some time to consider taking on the Flood Plain Manager role for Nemaha County before accepting this responsibility.

Sheriff Rich Vernon advised the board that:

• He would like to make an official request for one of his employees to utilize shared leave. Commissioners agreed to allow this employee to utilize shared leave.

• He would like commissioners to consider the adoption of two different resolutions that County Attorney Lippert prepared for review. Following discussion, commissioners approved Resolution 2019-1, which sets the cost of maintaining county prisoners for the Kansas Department of Corrections at $73.75 per day. Commissioners signed the resolution as presented. Commissioners approved Resolution 2019-2, which establishes procedures whereby the animal shelter may petition the District Court of Nemaha County, Kansas, to be allowed to place an animal for adoption or euthanize an animal that has been taken into custody by any public health officer, law enforcement officer, licensed veterinarian, or officer or agent of any animal shelter. Commissioners signed the resolution as presented.

Also at the meeting:

The board reviewed and approved the minutes from the Jan. 14 meeting. Chairman Scoby signed add/abate orders as presented.

Tony Hundley came before the board to again apologize to commissioners and County Attorney Lippert for an incident that happened prior to his termination from employment with Nemaha County. Hundley also asked that the county consider re-hiring him at some time in the future.

Commissioners met Monday, Jan. 28. Those minutes were not available at The Herald’s press time.

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