Commission Meeting Minutes 11/5/218

NOVEMBER 5, 2018

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


General  $           87,280.76
Road & Bridge  $         111,839.39
Noxious Weed  $             7,320.98
EMS  $           12,260.72
Fire  $             4,526.84
Community Health  $           33,755.30
Sheriff  $           70,057.10
Employee Benefits – Unempl  $             2,670.00
Emp P/R Misc W/H  $                  61.08
Airport  $             3,230.78
County Building  $                400.00
Empl Benefits – Library  $                369.98
 $         333,772.93


Rex Evans checked in and said everything is going fine and asked if there were any issues he needed to be aware of.  The commissioners said they haven’t heard of any.


Amy Jo presented the commissioners with a Thaddeus Stevens framed picture that was given to Stevens County by the Thaddeus Stevens Club.


The commissioners discussed the Extension office districting and noted Seward County and Haskell County has voted to district.  Tron mentioned the commissioners can’t restrict their budget and it would be hard to drop out of districting if they choose to go that route.


Rodney Kelling checked in.


Angela Eichman with McCully and Associates came in as per request by commissioners.  She said the appraiser contract renews every year and if there is something she can’t get to in a timely manner, McCully and Associates sends someone out to help get the job(s) completed.  She does agricultural land every year.  For the final review to set values the appraiser looks at each structure and every six (6) years data is collected.  Angela said she relies on the GIS department quite frequently.


Pat told Angela we have three (3) people working in the appraiser’s office on site.  Lori Rome does Real Estate, Ginny Marquis does Oil and Gas and Lynne Webb does Personal Property.  Angela told the commissioners she would need to talk to the staff to see what all they do as far as data entry, field work and other functions of the appraisers.  As to date, McCully and Associates have eighteen (18) counties in Kansas they do appraising for.


Angela said she would need to know all Stevens County has and does as far as appraising in order to give an offer or bid on the cost.


Joe said Landmark Appraisal is restructuring and the commissioners would like to see what options they have to use for Stevens County.  The commissioners would like to see the proposal to decide which would be best for Stevens County.


Lori Rome and Ginny Marquis came in to visit with Angela on appraisal information.  Amy Jo was instructed to get Angela the budget for the Appraiser fund.


Paul Kitzke suggested the commissioners look at the proposals, then have both Landmark and McCully bid due to it being a contract.  He said the County owes it to the people to check the costs.


Marilyn Harris came in and requested Rex Evans take down the shelf above the dishwasher.  The commissioners agreed with her request.


Tony came in. Joe asked if the conveyor could be fixed since there are people in the county, and some that work for road and bridge, that can weld.  Due to the amount of departmental use, Tony said the conveyor probably can’t be fixed good enough to stay working properly without causing more issues.


Tony informed the commissioners there is enough gravel for maybe five (5) days.  He expressed his thought of purchasing two (2) stackers.  He also stated he purchased the old conveyor about two (2) weeks ago for $200.00 and will have someone weld it to use it as a side conveyor.


The commissioners expressed to Tony they felt the county roads are looking great.


Chauncey Graham with Van Keppel came in to observe the opening of the bids on the new conveyor.  He told the commissioners the price was inflated due to the cost of iron going up.  He also informed the commissioners all the parts used on the conveyor are American made and can be purchased anywhere, quickly, if needed.  Pat asked if the rollers were compatible and Chauncey stated they should all fit but he is not 100% sure without cross-referencing the rollers.


Two (2) bids were opened for the conveyor for the road and bridge department:

  1. Van Keppel – $47,072
  2. John Deere/Murphy – $43,647

Tony reviewed the bids and stated they were comparable.


Pat made a motion to accept the lower bid by John Deere/Murphy in the amount of $43,647.  Tron seconded.  Motion carried.


The commissioners signed Resolution 18-09, Stop sign installation at the intersection of County Road 2 and County Road D facing the north to monitor southbound traffic.


Tony told the commissioners the department still has thirty-nine (39) miles of road yet to complete.  He also said the State of Kansas inspected their scales and they failed inspection.  He did state they were able to be fixed and Fairbanks has made the repairs.


If scales have failed inspection, they can be used up to ten (10) days after inspection and have to be fixed by the State’s standards within thirty (30) days.


Phillip Willis came in and requested to begin receiving bids for the scales at the Landfill.


Pat made a motion to start receiving sealed bids for the Stevens County Landfill scales and such bids will be opened on November 19, 2018 at 9:00 AM in the Commissioners meeting room at the Courthouse.  Tron seconded.  Motion carried.


Tron suggested using temporary scales until they can be replaced.  Joe asked about putting new tops on the scales and Phillip told him the State said they can’t be altered in any way.   Phillip did tell the commissioners it would be approximately $15,000 cheaper to put in a new scale next to the old one instead of replacing it.


Sheriff Ted Heaton came in and requested a ten (10) minute executive session regarding a non-elected personnel for donated time.


Pat made a motion to go into executive session for ten (10) minutes to discuss non-elected personnel’s donated time.  Tron seconded.  Motion carried.  Executive session began at 10:13 am and commenced at 10:23 am.


Joe made a motion to allow employees to donate an extra one hundred sixty (160) hours of sick time to the Sheriff’s department to be used at the Sheriff’s discretion.  Tron seconded.  Motion carried.


Jan Leonard with the Eco Devo board discussed with the commissioners a director’s or officer’s policy for a bond on errors and omissions.  He would like to know if Stevens County covers that.  Amy Jo was instructed to discuss the matter with KCAMP and discuss her findings at the next commissioner meeting.


Jan said he spoke with the ethanol plant because he thought it was up and running but hasn’t seen any production.  Joe said he would like some more information on the electrical inter-change on Road 18 because he didn’t think outside sources were allowed to tap into it. He noticed Pioneer Electric had some equipment attached to it.  Jan said he believes it is just a switch gear and possible solar shield.


Jan told the commissioners he hopes in six to twelve (6-12) months he will know something about Synata.  He said Conestoga was too costly to refit. Shell Oil could have but using E-15 brings different ideas to the use of the Abengoa plant.


Eunice came in and gave the commissioners the bill for the downspout that had to be repaired.


Matt Rome with the Hugoton Airport came in and Amy Jo expressed that Scott Spikes needs to be clocking in and out. She will go to the Airport after election time to re-instruct Scott on the new time card system.  She stated the clocking in and out needs to be done to keep track of accrued time as well as keeping it uniform for the county. All non-elected personnel clock in.  She also expressed her concern to Matt Rome about needing all copies of projects that have to do with runway repairs, grants and insurance for the counties records and audits.


Matt inquired about the overpayment to the Airport and Amy Jo explained it was due to clerical error. When the commissioners had health benefits and KPERS and FICA come out of each department, the Airport personnel was incorrectly calculated.  Matt said he would bring that up at the board meeting and get it taken care of as soon as possible.


Pat asked Matt about snow plowing the runways.  Matt told Pat that Scott will plow the runways in the event of snow. They would like the road and bridge department to be back up in case of emergencies or if Scott is gone and can’t get the runways cleared in a timely manner.


Don Beesley, Josh Morris, Nancy Honig, Walt Beesley, Ron Honig, Scott Schechter, Dianna Miller, Brenda Frederick, Vicky Newlon, with the Extension Board, and Mary J. Sullivan with the KSRE Southwest Director for Extension came in to discuss possible districting for Stevens County Extension.


Don said Seward and Haskell Counties have agreed to district and would like to see Stevens County included.  He said if the commissioners agreed today, the Extension would have to publish it two (2) times in the newspaper and there would be a sixty (60) day protest period.  Nancy Honig said three (3) counties would deal with the district and would sit down and figure out all the issues that need to be addressed. This will then be presented to the commissioners to show what has been decided as far as regulations for the Extension and budgets.


Don said under the districting, the Extension would lease the office for $1.00 per year and they would be responsible for the maintenance as well as the vehicle and other things Extension needs.  Haskell, Seward and Stevens Counties would combine funds and the total would go to the district, which in all aspects will be able to save Stevens County approximately $40,000 per year.


Tron mentioned the County would not be able to choose how much taxes would be levied to the Extension office if they go to districting, which could in turn cost the County more money. Once they are districted, it would be difficult to get out of being districted.  Don said there would have to be a vote between the counties to allow them to leave districting.


Joe said the dramatic valuation decline restricts the budgets and spending as well as drastic cuts throughout the county.  He said the Recreation Board is not willing to make the cut and they don’t get any repercussions for making serious tax increases.


Don said by Seward County being included with this districting it will add more stability and should save Stevens County some money.


Nancy said it is better to start out as a district than to try to join later because they would be included in the terms instead of having to be stuck with what was decided when the districting was started.  Seward and Haskell Counties could also choose not to accept Stevens County after the districting was completed if Stevens County doesn’t join now.


Ron Honig said he is positive that districting would save Stevens County $40,000 per year and the Extension office would gain an extra four (4) agents.


Pat said he does not like losing control of the Extension department and is respectfully declining because of being unable to manage tax dollars.


Joe said that the whole state of Kansas seems to be going to districting with the Extension department and the timing is the best it can be.  Haskell County can’t combine with other fairs as far as 4-H students just like ours can’t go to other counties to enter in the fair.  The money 4-H makes stays in Stevens County 4-H and will not be divided out to other counties.


Tron made a motion to accept Extension districting.  Joe seconded.  Pat opposed.  Motion carried.


Resolution 18-10 to approve proposed Extension District was signed by the commissioners authorizing the approval of the proposed extension districts created under KSA 2-623.


Joe made a motion to give all county personnel a Christmas Ham.  Pat seconded.  Motion carried.



By motion, the Board adjourned.


Attest: Amy Jo Tharp, County Clerk



Joe Thompson, Chairman