Nemaha County Commission 3.18.2019

Submitted by Mary Kay Schultejans, County Clerk

The Board of Nemaha County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, March 18, 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.

The county’s wind farm attorney, James Neeld, called to speak to commissioners by phone. Commissioners entered into a 45-minute executive session until 10 a.m. to discuss legal issues relating to NextEra Energy Resources. Present for the executive session were the commissioners, Attorney Neeld by phone and County Attorney Brad Lippert. The meeting returned to open session at 10 a.m., with no action taken by the board following the executive session.

Open discussion concerning the development of a wind farm in Nemaha County began at 10:05 a.m. Chairman Scoby announced that the county is still in negotiations with NextEra Energy Resources concerning the term sheet for the Soldier Creek Wind farm. Questions and comments were posed to commissioners from those present for the open wind farm discussion.

Commissioners spoke to Lippert about procedural issues relating to the public hearings to be held concerning the approval of the term sheet for the construction of the Soldier Creek Wind Farm in Nemaha County.

Department Reports

Emergency Preparedness Director Russel Lierz advised the board that:

• He prepared a letter to send to the State of Kansas Emergency Management regarding the condition of the Nemaha County roads at this time. Russel shared this letter with commissioners.

• A storm spotters class will be held this Thursday in Sabetha at the Community Center.

• All of the emergency sirens in the county have been tested. Russel stated that several of the sirens failed, but they have all been fixed at this time, except for the one in the City of Goff.

• He will be attending emergency training near Salina next week.

• He will be observing active shooter training in Onaga next week.

Sheriff Rich Vernon advised the board that:

• He may need to hire further correction officers in the near future, as some current correction officers have spoken to him about possibly resigning to take new positions.

Alice Lackey and Susan Futscher with the Nemaha County Training Center came before the board to let commissioners know that Lackey is retiring effective March 29, and Futscher will take over as the new director of the Nemaha County Training Center. Lackey thanked commissioners for their cooperation over the years with the NCTC organization.

Road and Bridge/Solid Waste Supervisor Dennis Ronnebaum 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 needed an executive session with commissioners. A 10-minute executive session was held until 11:45 a.m. to discuss the possible hiring of non-elected personnel. Present for the executive session were the commissioners, Ronnebaum, Schultejans and Office Manager Kathy Haverkamp. At 11:45 a.m., it was approved to extend the executive session until 11:55 a.m. The meeting returned to open session at 11:55 a.m., with no action taken by the board following the executive session.

• He would recommend accepting the bid from Bergkamp Construction in the amount of $809,838 to redo the four mile stretch of W Road north of Highway 36 and the two-mile stretch of 200th Road. Commissioners stated that they agreed with this recommendation. Ronnebaum stated that he would let Bergkamp Construction know that they have been approved to do both of these road projects in Nemaha County this year.

• Haverkamp received the county’s federal funding award letter from the Kansas Department of Transportation. She stated that Nemaha County is estimated to receive $117,000 in federal funding for 2019.

Also at the meeting:

The board reviewed and approved the minutes from the March 11 meeting, with corrections noted. Commissioners approved a cereal malt beverage application for Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Commissioners spoke to Lippert about the training period for a new county employee.

The board reviewed vouchers submitted by the different departments that were paid at the middle of March.

Jim Shump came before the board to complain to commissioners about the condition of the township roads in Gilman Township. Commissioners stated that they would take a look at this road sometime.

The next regularly scheduled meeting was held on Monday, March 25. The minutes were not available at The Herald’s press time.

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The Sabetha Herald has been serving Sabetha since 1876.

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