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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:  Tom Kramer, Road Foreman; Sean Gooding, Emergency Medical Service Director; Don Button, Emergency Management Coordinator; John Crosby, Fire Chief; Rita Gee, Treasurer; Sherry Thompson, Health Department Administrator; Frank Goldsby, Public Works Administrator; and Lance Babcock, Sheriff. Discussion was held on the possibility of carrying unused vacation over to sick leave the next year.


            Gene Schwein made the motion to approve the minutes of the November 18, 2003 meeting and the claims against the various funds of the county. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


            Larry J. Ruthi, Meteorologist in Charge, and Jeffery A. Hutton, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, with the National Weather Service in Dodge City, presented an award to Emergency Management Coordinator, Don Button. Due to the hard work of Mr. Button and his department, the National Weather Service has recognized Grant County as a StormReady County for a period of three years beginning December 2, 2003.


            John Crosby, Fire Chief, reported that guttering has to be replaced on their west building because water is coming through the wall and it is starting to deteriorate. He is getting three bids for this. Mr. Crosby requested permission to purchase a power point projector for the Fire Department. He has grant money to pay $1600 of the cost. Gene Schwein made the motion to approve the purchase of a Dell projector at a cost not to exceed $1988.99. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Mr. Crosby reported that the firefighter roster is down. He may advertise for recruits. He also informed the commissioners that the grant he had applied for to purchase a pumper truck was denied.


            Vernon Hastert, Pheasants Forever, requested waiver of fees at the Civic Center when they have their annual meeting. Since the annual meeting generally provides a profit of about $9,000 that is put back into the community to help sustain wildlife, Gene Schwein made the motion to waive the fees. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


            Tom Kramer, Road Foreman, discussed the possibility of purchasing a spray unit for treatment of noxious weeds. It would be skid mounted so it can be moved to a different truck when necessary. Mr. Kramer will get specifications done and solicit bids for the spray rig. There are adequate funds in the Noxious Weed Equipment Fund to pay for the unit.


            Madison Traster made the motion to approve the COBRA rate recommended by EPOCH for 2004. The single rate will be $493.17 and the family rate will be $1,232.94. Gene Schwein seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


            Tom Fuhrmann, Appraiser, presented information regarding the upgrade of a computer in his department. The upgrade would cost around $800 and a new computer can be purchased for $1300. The commissioners authorized Mr. Fuhrmann to purchase the best computer he can get for the lowest amount.


            The commissioners designated Frank Goldsby as the general contractor for the county. The registration form with necessary insurance information will be submitted to the city by the clerk’s office.


            In order to comply with IRS regulations, Gene Schwein made the motion to adopt the following policy on meal reimbursement:


            If travel does not require overnight status, meals will be reimbursed through payroll and will be subject to payroll taxes; and to adopt the following policy regarding the use of county vehicles:




1.                  County owned vehicles shall be used only for official county business.

2.                  All county vehicles shall display the proper markings as outlined in K.S.A. 8-305.

3.                  Current mileage shall be recorded on all fuel purchases.

4.                  Only county employees will be allowed to operate county vehicles. Reserve deputies, volunteers, or other individuals may be authorized by the Department Head or Elected Official.




State law requires that any person operating a vehicle have proof of insurance. Certificates of insurance are provided for all county owned vehicles. Employees who operate these vehicles are responsible for having this proof of insurance in their possession while operating the vehicle. They would pay any fine incurred for not having proof of insurance.




Whenever a county vehicle is damaged or involved in an accident, the Department Head or Elected Official must be notified immediately. The Clerk’s office will then be notified by the Department Head or Elected Official so that a claim may be filed if necessary.




1.                  A personal use vehicle is a county vehicle assigned to an employee to commute to and from work, unless the vehicle qualifies as a non-personal-use vehicle, as defined in IRS Publication 15B. (Not applicable for Elected Officials.)


An allocation of a personal use vehicle is considered a benefit and requires payment of a $1.50 to the employee through payroll for each one-way commute from home to work and from work to home. (Also, work to lunch and lunch to work). Use of county vehicles for personal use other than for commuting or de minimis personal use (such as a stop for a personal errand on the way between a business delivery and the employee’s home) is prohibited. Personal use of a vehicle is all use that is not for your trade or business. (IRS Publication 15B) A commuting log is to be submitted with payroll.


2.                  A non-personal use vehicle as defined in IRS 15B includes the following:


·        Clearly marked police and fire vehicles.

·        Unmarked vehicles used by law enforcement officers if the use is officially authorized.

·        An ambulance or hearse used for its specific purpose.

·        Any vehicle designed to carry cargo with a loaded gross vehicle weight over 14,000 pounds.

·        Delivery trucks with seating for the driver only, or the driver plus a folding jump seat.

·        A passenger bus with a capacity of at least 20 passengers used for its specific purpose.

·        School buses.

·        Tractors and other special purpose farm vehicles.


3.                  A pickup truck with a loaded gross weight of 14,000 pounds or less is a qualified non-personal use vehicle if it has been specially modified so that it is not likely to be used more than minimally for personal purposes. For example, a pickup truck qualifies if it is clearly marked with permanently affixed decals, special painting, or other advertising associated with your trade, business, or function and meets either of the following requirements:


A.                 It is equipped with at least one of the following items:

a)      A hydraulic lift gate.

b)      Permanent tanks or drums.

c)      Permanent sideboards or panels that materially raise the level of the sides of the truck bed.

d)      Other heavy equipment (such as an electric generator, welder, boom, or crane used to tow automobiles and other vehicles.)


B.                 It is used primarily to transport a particular type of load (other than over the public highways) in a construction, manufacturing, or other similar operation for which it was specifically designed or significantly modified.





Enforcement of this policy shall be the responsibility of the Department Heads or Elected Officials. Violation of any part of this policy could result in the loss of the privilege.


Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. The policy changes will be effective January 1, 2004.


The decision was made not to make any changes to the county’s policy regarding vacation and sick leave.


The Commissioners adjourned to meet again in regular session on December 16, 2003.


Linda McHenry, County Clerk                                      Carl Higgs, Chairman