Commission Meeting Minutes 03/04/2019

MARCH 04, 2019


Agenda:          8:30 – Bills

9:00 – Paula Rowden – Vehicle Bids for Community Health

9:30 – Tony Martin – Road & Bridge

9:45 –  Presentation of Retirement for Steven Campbell

10:00 – General Discussion with High School Economics Class Present

10:30 – Open


The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session with all members present.  Also present were Paul Kitzke, County Attorney; Amy Jo Tharp, County Clerk and RoGlenda Coulter with the Hugoton Hermes.  Tron called the meeting to order.  Joe moved to approve the minutes of the last meeting.  Pat seconded.  Motion carried.  Pat moved to approve the county vouchers.  Joe seconded.  Motion carried.  The Clerk was instructed to draw warrants on the Treasurer chargeable to the various funds of the county for the following amounts:

General  $           83,176.15
Road & Bridge  $           62,518.71
Airport  $             1,661.55
Noxious Weed  $             3,762.75
EMS  $             6,170.68
Fire  $             2,093.56
Community Health  $           12,443.22
Sheriff  $           36,353.22
Employee P/R Misc W/H  $                  40.72
Hospital/Pioneer Manor  $         750,000.00
 $         958,220.56

Rodney Kelling came in and inquired if River of Life Church caught up on their rent.  Amy Tharp informed him that it has been paid in full and they will owe for the next quarter in April. (April, May and June)

Rodney told the commissioners that Kearney County has an incident command center trailer with all of the equipment they are giving to Stevens County, if the commissioners will approve.  He said the annual upkeep on the trailer is approximately $200 per year.  He requested looking into a half (1/2) ton pickup to haul the trailer because of its weight along with the emergency service equipment.  The commissioners discussed the trailer and a new pickup. Joe asked about using Rodney’s pickup for the appraiser and Pat stated that Duane will be getting a new pickup this year and the mileage is substantially less than Rodney’s.  The commissioners agreed to take the trailer and table the vehicle until a later date.

Pat made a motion to acquire the incident command trailer from Kearney County.  Joe seconded.  Motion carried.

Rodney asked the commissioners if they wanted him to resend out the specs for the roof repair at the EMT/Fire building.  Joe told Rodney to reuse the spec sheet and have it ready to go out to potential bidders.  Pat said it seems like quite a bit of money to be spending on a roof and Joe said he would like to see the roof get fixed because one leak leads to another.  Tron instructed Rodney to get bids on what it would be just to fix trouble areas plus a bid on what it would cost to repair/redo the whole roof.

Jim Ghumm was in attendance.

Paula Rowden came in and presented the commissioners with two (2) bids. One was sealed and the other was not sealed, so the unsealed bid was forfeited.  The sealed bid was from Ghumm’s Automotive of Hugoton, Kansas.

  1. 2018 Ford Edge SEL AWD $24,765.00

Trade:  2013 Ford Edge SEL             $(9,000.00)

Total:               $15,765.00

Pat made the motion to accept Ghumm’s Automotive bid for the 2018 Ford Edge SEL AWD for $24,765.00 less the trade in value of the 2013 Ford Edge SEL for $9,000.00 for a total of $15,765.00.  Joe seconded.  Motion carried.

Paula stated that she is applying for a state support grant.  She also told the commissioners that she has four items to surplus for the Kiwanis:  two (2) door cabinet, time clock, scanner and infant scale.

Jim Ghumm asked if he could have a discussion with the commissioners.  He discussed his frustration with the county going outside of the county for bids instead of staying local.  He feels that the citizens of Stevens County would not approve of their tax paying dollars going outside the county.  He also expressed that he will probably not do any more bids on vehicles if the county continues to seek bids outside.

Paul said the department heads that are requesting bids, should have a spec sheet on what they want and the dealer needs to follow such specs.  Discretion is up to the commissioners and if they can keep the money within the county, they will do that.  If Ghumm’s Automotive is the only one given the opportunity to provide a bid, then the citizens could argue that the costs could be too extravagant or price gouging.

Tron expressed the idea of having two (2) bids or at least two (2) entities that receive the specs have the option to bid to keep the pricing fair.

Pat mentioned that it is not state law to have two (2) bids and that Riley was the only auto group here for about six (6) years and the county didn’t require more bids.

Joe said that the commissioners are trying to do their due diligence to the residents of Stevens County and shopping around is part of that as well as trying to stay local.

Tony Martin came in with Steve Campbell and the commissioners presented Steve with a watch for serving the county for eighteen (18) years and retiring with the county.

Tony said they have graveled some roads but many more need attention.  Working around the moisture we have been getting, he said they will try to gravel as much as possible before the summer work begins.

Pat brought up the Verizon cell phone bill to Tony inquiring why the cost is so high.  Tony said he didn’t know but he has been thinking about doing away with the service and have his guys use their personal phones.  The only phones on the county road and bridge Verizon plan is Tony Martin, Jeff Cox and Wes Regensberg.  If they drop their department cell phones then each person would get approximately $40.00 per month to cover work related cell phone costs.

Pat discussed the Abengoa plant not being on the appraisal and hasn’t been for some time until recently.  This will raise the valuation ten million dollars, which will show up as being on the budget in when in reality it will not be there since they will appeal it.  It would make it a false valuation.

Sheriff Ted Heaton came in and reported there has not been any wrecks and only a few slide offs.  He also informed the commissioners the Sheriff’s office roof has a few leaks and will be needing attended to at some point.

Martha Thompson resigned from the Silver Hair Legislature. This position gives suggestions to the legislature for senior citizens.  A notice will be put in the Hugoton Hermes for applicants who would like that position.

Amy Jo brought up Marilyn Harris’s position with the county, cleaning the kitchen for Memorial Hall, requesting Rex Evans be her supervisor.  It was approved that Marilyn will report to Rex if she will not be able to clean the kitchen after events and other issues as well.

Amy Jo brought up the discussion of the salary cap for the county employees.  Joe explained to the other commissioners that with the salary cap they could give COLA at the end of the year and it would only pertain to those who have not met their cap.  Amy Jo explained the salary cap can be revisited at any time and changed at the commissioner’s discretion to keep it current.

Paul mentioned it would be unfair to those employees who have worked numerous years to be told they can no longer receive a raise because they are at their limit.  Tron agreed and stated that if an employee is getting close to their cap, they might be inclined to look for different employment.

Pat mentioned the insurance is good and since it is paid, that would hopefully be compensation enough to keep employees who have reached their cap.

Discussion was tabled for another time.

Amy Jo brought up the tax on the airport hangar that the airport purchased from Reese Trust.  The attorney for Reese Trust stated they are not responsible for the taxes of 2018 even though the purchase was October 1, 2018.  The commissioners discussed the issue and stated the amount for the taxes should come out of the airport funds as they are the ones who purchased the hangar without commissioner’s approval. The contract doesn’t define exactly who is responsible for the 2018 taxes from January thru October 1.

Amy Jo brought up the issue of a non-employee ordering WiFi for the Memorial Hall and not coming to the commissioner meeting to go through the proper channels of handling situations that are the commissioner’s decision on county funding.  She expressed her concerns of having WiFi in the Memorial Hall for election purposes, stating it could cause a large problem. People have inquired if WiFi was available but never seemed deterred from renting the hall without it.  Tron said he thought discussion was brought up at one time about upgrading Memorial Hall.  Amy Jo said there was discussion and it was over the projector and the lines and adapters but nothing was mentioned about obtaining WiFi other than it being mentioned.  Amy Jo then inquired as to who is responsible for the bill of the router and the hook-up fees.  The commissioners feel the person who ordered is the responsible party.

Amy Jo also wanted to reiterate how important it is to have people contact the County Clerk’s office no later than one (1) week prior to renting the Memorial Hall so they can make sure it is not in use. Also, Rex needs ample time to get it set up if there are multiple functions the week it is requested.  The only exceptions at this time for a shorter time frame would be for funerals and the District Court for jury purposes.

Abatement Orders for tax year 2018 number 111-115 were reviewed and approved by commissioners and given to the County Treasurer; total value removed is 800 and total tax with $-130.55 and refund of $-65.28.


By motion, the Board adjourned.


Attest: Amy Jo Tharp, County Clerk



Tron Stegman, Chairman