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            The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session at 9:00 a.m. with all members and the County Clerk present.

 

            The monthly department head meeting was held with the following in attendance: Rita Gee, Treasurer; Frank Goldsby, Public Works Administrator; Mary K. Sullivan, Register of Deeds; Sherry Thompson, Health Department Administrator; Jerry Jo Deckert, EMS Director; Robin Hathaway, County Attorney; Lance Babcock, Sheriff; Pete Clinesmith, Noxious Weed Director; David Wagner, Transfer Station Manager; Don Button, Emergency Management Coordinator; John Crosby, Fire Chief; and Tom Kramer, Road Foreman.

 

            Marty Long made the motion to approve the minutes of the November 15 and 17, 2005 minutes and the claims against the various funds of the county. Carl Higgs seconded his motion. Following clarification of two vouchers, the motion passed unanimously.

 

            Frank Goldsby, Public Works Administrator, Tom Kramer, Road Foreman, and Pete Clinesmith, Noxious Weed Director, met with the commissioners. Carl Higgs made the motion to recess into executive session for 15 minutes for the purpose of discussing non-elected personnel. Marty Long seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. After 15 minutes the meeting continued in open session. The commissioners made the unanimous decision to make the following changes:

 

1.      Due to restructuring, the position of Public Works Administrator will not be filled following the retirement of Frank Goldsby in January.

2.      In order to make more efficient use of labor and equipment, the Noxious Weed Department will become part of the Road and Bridge Department, effective January 1, 2006. Tom Kramer will be the administrator of the combined department.

3.      The Transfer Station Manager and the Civic Center Building and Grounds Manager will answer directly to the county commissioners effective January 2006.

 

Rita Gee, Treasurer, and Robin Hathaway, County Attorney, gave an update on the tax foreclosure sale. Ms. Hathaway said there would be a certificate of title for each parcel. Discussion was held on setting a minimum bid amount for each parcel. No final decision was made on this. It was the consensus of all that some advertising should be done for the sale as well as the required publication. In other business, Ms. Hathaway told the commissioners she is looking at replacing some equipment in her office including a computer and scanner.

 

David Wagner, Transfer Station Manager, and Frank Goldsby, Public Works Administrator, reported that the pit closure has been completed except for the final soil test. There was discussion concerning unexpected charges for work done by Terracon. The decision was made to pay the bill. Mr. Wagner also informed the commissioners that the backstop where trash is dumped is broken with the estimated cost to repair of $3,000. In order to save money the commissioners approved doing the repairs in house. Mr. Wagner told the commission that since mice are continually damaging the ductwork under the office at the transfer station he got bids to replace the ductwork. Marty Long made the motion to approve the low bid not to exceed $1,079.15 from Ross of Ulysses to remove the ductwork in the crawl hole and replace it with sheet metal duct. Carl Higgs seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

 

Robin Hathaway, County Attorney, Frank Goldsby, Public Works Administrator, Tom Kramer, Road Foreman, and Greg Oliver, road department employee, met with the commissioners. Marty Long made the motion to recess into executive session for 25 minutes for the purpose of discussing non-elected personnel. After 25 minutes, the meeting continued in open session.

 

Tom Kramer, Road Foreman, presented information on a packer. The decision was made to wait until 2006 to consider the purchase of a new packer.

 

            Bob Moore, Insurance Agent, discussed the county’s health insurance. He will check back next summer or fall to see if the county wants to take bids for health insurance.

 

            Pam Gindlesberger and Larry Rumburg, Western Prairie Care Home Board, and Billie Upshaw, Care Home Administrator, met with the commissioners. Discussion was held on costs to update the care home. The estimated cost to make the required repairs and renovations over a 2006-2008 timeline is $3,800,000. This amount does not reflect the most current information from the State Fire Marshal’s survey. Some of the items that need to be repaired or renovated are: HVAC; electrical system; window replacement; room upgrades; and replacement of water and sewer lines. The commissioners agreed with the logic for a new building versus renovating the old one. The building is 40 years old, and has served its useful life well. But the capital costs to stay in the building are getting very high and funds could be better spent for a new building. A new facility could be run more efficiently while providing the best possible services to residents as well as allowing them more gracious living space with private bathrooms. It was the consensus of everyone that there would need to be an election on this matter. The Care Home Board will come to a meeting after the first of the year to discuss further plans.

 

John Crosby, Fire Chief, and Jerry Jo Deckert, EMS Director, talked to the commissioners about transferring the 1996 ambulance to the fire station to be used as a mobile command vehicle. The vehicle will also remain equipped to function as an ambulance if necessary. The fire department has agreed to pay $17,500.00 to the ambulance department for the vehicle. Ms. Deckert said she would like the money to go into her equipment fund. The commissioners gave their approval for the transfer of the ambulance. Discussion was held on transferring the rescue squad to the fire department. Ms. Deckert said her department would be willing to help with equipment and training for rescue. The commissioners said they had no problem with this. John Crosby reported that he has put off the idea of purchasing a pumper/tanker until 2006. Mr. Crosby presented quotes for new tables and chairs for the fire station. These are items he had budgeted for this year. Marty Long made the motion to allow the fire department to purchase new tables and chairs for the low bid from Today’s Furniture not to exceed $7,454.70. Carl Higgs seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. 

 

Tom Fuhrmann, Terry Lawhon, Ann Papay and Douglas Campbell met with the commissioners. Carl Higgs made the motion to recess into executive session for 15 minutes to discuss pending litigation with the county. Marty Long seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. After 15 minutes the meeting continued in open session. Tom Fuhrmann presented Landmark Appraisal’s gas and oil contract for the commissioners’ review. Carl Higgs made the motion to renew the oil and gas contract with Landmark Appraisal at a cost of $28,370.00. Marty Long seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

 

Don Button, Emergency Management Coordinator, presented information for putting shutters on the windows of the emergency management office and the emergency operation center. The decision was made to get another quote for replacing the outside glass with a ¼ inch laminated glass instead. Commissioner Long stated that he wanted to publicly thank Mr. Button for the time he spent helping with the hurricane disaster in Mississippi.

 

Gene Pflughoft, Economic Development Director, and Darren Wilkey, local citizen, presented a request for the county to offer some sort of tax relief for a business that is planning to relocate and expand. Mr. Pflughoft will contact the state to determine if the business would qualify for the county’s tax abatement policy.

 

Pete Earles, Engineer, presented information about his firm. He asked for the opportunity to do work for the county.

 

Carl Higgs made the motion to approve Resolution 05-06, which approves amending the by-laws to the Kansas Workers Risk Cooperative for Counties. Marty Long seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.

 

Carl Higgs made the motion to adjourn. Marty Long seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. The commissioners will meet again in regular session on December 20, 2005.

 

Linda McHenry, County Clerk                                                  Madison Traster, Chairman