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            The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session at 9:30 a.m. with all members and the County Clerk present.


            Gene Schwein made the motion to approve the minutes of the February 3, 2004 meeting and the claims against the various funds of the county. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


            Donnie Young met with the commissioners during the public forum portion of the meeting. He asked about cutting a trench to cross a road at the dairy. He said it would be either an 8” or 12” line. The commissioners said they had no problem with this if a flowable fill is used to fill the trench after the line is laid. Mr. Young said they are preparing a sizable expansion and requested a tax abatement for the expanded area. The commissioners directed Mr. Young to Gene Pflughoft, Economic Development Director, regarding this. The commissioners said they would approve an abatement if the Economic Development Board recommends it.


            Sherry Thompson, Health Department Administrator, requested approval to have Dr. Johnson perform pap tests for family planning while her current nurse practitioner is out due to a broken arm. There will be a charge of $15 per test. The commissioners approved her request. Mrs. Thompson requested approval to purchase a copier with bioterrorism funds she will be receiving. The copier is part of the bioterrorism grant money budget request. Approval was given to purchase the copier.


            Bob Moore, Insurance Agent, asked if the county would permit him to visit with employees regarding his deferred compensation 457 plan. Madison Traster made the motion to allow the Moore Agency to visit with county employees regarding a 457 deferred compensation retirement plan. Gene Schwein seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Mr. Moore explained that he would not implement the program if he did not have enough interest from the employees.


            The commissioners telephoned the Ford County Commissioners in regard to Senate Bill 487. The bill will be heard on February 24 at 10:30 a.m. and the commissioners are soliciting support from other counties that will benefit from its passage.


Lance Babcock, Sheriff, reported that the food bill for the prisoners has gone up from $3.50 to $4.00 per plate. He may have to increase the fees for prisoners due to this.


            Nancy Ramski, Civic Center Building and Grounds Manager, discussed room deposit and use fees at the civic center complex. Frank Goldsby, Public Works Administrator, attended this portion of the meeting. It was suggested that on a multiple day event, the manager be given the flexibility to negotiate the fee amount. It was the consensus of the commissioners that the civic center manager be given the leeway to determine the fee procedure. Mrs. Ramski indicated that they would use the fee policy currently in place. If an organization does not agree with the manager, they can attend a commissioner meeting with their request for an exception to the rules. Mrs. Ramski reported that she visited with Tom Job, the Kansas Association of Counties Multi-line Pool Insurance Administrator, and he strongly recommended that all events using the Civic Center Complex be required to sign a “Hold Harmless Agreement”. Mrs. Ramski stated that all major events would need to fill out and sign a contract, even if fees were exempt or waived. She said this procedure was put into effect in February 2004. Mrs. Ramski presented a proposal for restoration needed at the rodeo grounds. She said the rodeo arena could be rented out for various horse or livestock events. She also said that Donnie Phelps told her the Bit & Spur has agreed that the restoration and added events would be a good idea for the rodeo grounds. The commissioners approved proceeding with the restoration. Mrs. Ramski said she would not spend over her estimated amount of $389.90. Mrs. Ramski will put together a fee schedule for rodeo arena usage. In other business, Mrs. Ramski proposed getting a new overhead door for the east side of the shop building to help with heating costs in that building. Quotes for an insulated door were solicited from Malone Enterprises and The Overhead Door Company. Madison Traster made the motion to approve the quote from Malone Enterprises not to exceed $637.00 for an insulated door. Gene Schwein seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Mrs. Ramski will get quotes for repairing the grout on the courthouse step bricks.


            Tom Kramer, Road Foreman, and Frank Goldsby, Public Works Administrator, presented quotes for crack filling equipment. Gene Schwein made the motion to approve the purchase of a crack sealer from PMSI for $23,371 and give Mr. Kramer the authority to purchase a used grouter depending on the condition of the grouter. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


            Mark Faulkner, Faulkner Real Estate, met with the commissioners. Gene Schwein made the motion to recess into executive session for 15 minutes for the purpose of discussing possible property purchase. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. After 15 minutes the meeting continued in open session.


            Madison Traster made the motion to approve sponsoring two girls for the American Legion Auxiliary Girl’s State at a cost of $200 each for two girls. Gene Schwein seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


            The commissioners reviewed the county’s spending policy, which was first adopted in 1996 and then re-approved in 1999.


            The commissioners adjourned to meet again in regular session on March 2, 2004 at 9:00 a.m. in the commissioners’ room at the courthouse.


Linda McHenry, County Clerk                                      Carl Higgs, Chairman