The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session at 9:30 a.m. with all
members and the County Clerk present.
Marty Long made motion to approve the minutes of the January 2, January 11 and
January 15, 2007 meetings and the various claims against the different funds of
the county. Carl Higgs seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Carl Higgs made the motion to nominate Marty Long as chairman for 2007 and
that nominations cease. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed.
Carl Higgs made the motion to approve Organization Agenda Items 2 – 15
excepting Item 4. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed
unanimously. A copy of the Organizational Agenda is attached as a part of this
Madison Traster made the motion that mileage be paid at 45 cents/mile when
using personal vehicle for county business. Carl Higgs seconded the motion and
it passed unanimously.
Carl Higgs made motion to approve Item 17 appointing the administrative heads
for approving claims against the county. Madison Traster seconded the motion
and it passed unanimously.
Carl Higgs made the motion to appoint Dr. Mark Gerstberger to the BobWilson
Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees replacing Terri Christian whose term has
expired. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. Madison Traster made the motion to reappoint Eldon Dirks to the Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital
Board of Trustees. Carl Higgs seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Carl Higgs made the motion to reappoint Julia Traster to the Western Prairie
Care Home Board of Trustees. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed
Carl Higgs made the motion to reappoint Dale Cole to the Board on Aging and to
appoint Mary Cott to that board replacing Mollie Beard whose term expired. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Madison Traster made the motion to reappoint Daron Cowan, Kevin Shapland
Katrina Benyshek, Terri Trotman, Dennis Deyoe, and Tony Cavasos to the Fair
Board. Carl Higgs seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Carl Higgs made motion to reappoint Larry Rumburg as the county’s
representative to the area mental health. Madison Traster seconded the motion
and it passed unanimously.
Madison Traster made the motion to reappoint Mary Gleason as Grant County’s Board Representative to the Southwest Developmental Services, Inc. Carl Higgs seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Carl Higgs made the motion to appoint the following members to the Grant
County Safety Committee: David Graber to fill unexpired term of former manager,
J.D. Neufeld, Civic Center, Carlos Luna, R & B, Bonnie Wells, Courthouse
and O. LaVonne Michael, Senior Center.
Lance Babcock, Sheriff, met with the commissioners. Carl Higgs made the motion
to recess into executive session for 15 minutes for the purpose of discussing
financial matters pertaining to the county. Madison Traster seconded the motion
and it passed unanimously. After 15 minutes the meeting continued in open
The clerk relayed to the commissioners that the Chief of Police reported that a
lady in the rural area northwest of town has complained that there is a problem
with dogs in the county. Chairman Marty Long said the county has addressed this
issue several times but there appears to be no viable solution to the problem
without a county-wide resolution. A county-wide resolution would be applicable
to all rural citizens and this is not being considered at the present.
Madison Traster made the motion to give county employees a 3% increase as a
COLA. Carl Higgs seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. A copy of the
increases is attached a part of this record.
Robin Hathaway, County Attorney, informed the commissioners that the only paper
that qualifies as the official county newspaper at this time is the Ulysses
News. She explained that when the Grant County Gazette becomes eligible under
the statutes, they could name it as an official paper for the county.
Based on the report from the county attorney, Madison Traster made the motion
to designate the Ulysses News as the county’s official newspaper. Carl Higgs seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Carl Higgs made the motion to recess into executive session for 45 minutes for
the purpose of discussing personnel, insurance claims, and matters of attorney/client
privilege. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. After
45 minutes, the meeting continued in open session.
Rita Gee, Treasurer, met with the commissioners. Robin Hathaway, County Attorney, accompanied Mrs. Gee to the meeting. Mrs. Gee asked for clarification of
minutes from the December 28, 2006. Mrs. Gee said the money she gets from the
motor vehicle money is not to be considered part of her compensation. She said
the minutes were not clear to her. Commissioner Long explained that the
increase was given to the Sheriff, Register of Deeds and Clerk because the
commissioners were trying to be fair and equal to them since they don’t have a
special fund that provides them with extra income every year as the treasurer
does. Mrs. Gee said the motor vehicle fund costs taxpayers not one dime,
it is based on fees. The commissioners noted that the fee is still coming from
the public’s pocket. Mrs. Gee said it appears the treasurer didn’t get a raise,
since the minutes say the increase is an adjustment for 2005 and 2006. She said
that honestly, the minutes state nothing about what she said. Commissioner Madison Traster said they had called her in to their last meeting and told her their plans and
when she left she said it was fair and they thought she was completely
satisfied. Mrs. Gee reiterated that the money the treasurer gets is extra money
and is not considered part of her compensation by statute. Mrs. Gee said that
at the December 28 meeting, she was thanked for her time and she thought she
was being dismissed so she didn’t remain in the room to hear their final
action. Mrs. Gee asked if she deserved to be considered for an increase for
2005. The commissioners recessed for lunch with the City Council at Park View
Assisted Living. The meeting with the treasurer resumed after lunch. The county
attorney volunteered to be a mediator between the commissioners and the
treasurer. The commissioners agreed to this. Ms. Hathaway asked what
criteria were looked at when making their determination for increases.
Commissioner Long stated that the extra income received by the treasurer
through the motor vehicle fund was considered. The treasurer received an
additional $4,800.00 from the motor vehicle fund in 2006 for a total income from
that fund of $10,034.15. It was the consensus of the commissioners that they
would give the treasurer a one-time payment of $2500.00 to compensate her for
the 2005 increase received by the other elected officials. The treasurer asked
if this would be added to her annual salary and was told that it would not be
added. Commissioner Long said the commissioners would make it a part of
policy to notify all elected officials when elected official’s wages are
discussed. Commissioner Long said that everyone can do things better and that
includes all of them. The decision was made to add the amount the treasurer
received from the motor vehicle fund for 2006 ($10,034.15) to her regular
salary and apply the 3% COLA increase to that amount as her salary adjustment for
2007. Commissioner Long asked if everyone was happy and asked if anybody had
anything more to say. There were no further comments. The minutes from the
December 28, meeting will be annotated to refer to January 11, 2007 for
clarification of the wage increase and the treasurer’s $2500 extra
City/County Luncheon - Those from the city attending the luncheon were: Ed
Wiltse, Mayor; Bud Newberry, City Administrator; and Council Members Scott
Malone, Ann Papay and Rod Kreie. Chairman Marty Long told the city that Sheriff
Lance Babcock and notified them that a city policeman had transferred to the
sheriff’s department and, by statute; the county will have to reimburse the
city for expenses related to the officers training. The commissioners have no
problem with this and the bill will be paid as soon as the county receives it
from the city. Council Member Ann Papay asked about the status of the Law Enforcement Center addition. The commissioners said that the last they knew, Bob Forsen
was taking the plans to an engineer in Hutchinson. Commissioner Long asked
about the status of the vehicle/evidence storage building that has been
discussed. Mayor Wiltse said this is still being worked on. He said their might
be a building for sale that could accommodate their needs. Mr. Newberry said
they should have something available by the next meeting. Commissioner Long
said the project is something the county would consider helping with. Mayor
Wiltse reported the city will be talking to the Recreation Commission about the
ball fields at Frazier Park.
Tom Kramer, Road Department Administrator, requested 10 minutes of executive
session to discuss personnel. Carl Higgs made the motion to recess into
executive session for 10 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously. After 10 minutes the meeting
continued in open session. Mr. Kramer requested approval to convert the spray
truck that Pete Clinesmith is using right now to one that uses GPS. Due to the
computer software, the decision was made to use Wylie as a sole source vendor
for estimates for equipment to accomplish the conversion. Mr. Kramer will get
estimates to extend the bed on the Noxious Weed pickup.
Nathan Gift and Earl Heath, Ministerial Association, requested that fees at the
commercial building for a Youth Outreach program with a Christian band be
waived. Madison Traster made the motion that fees be waived for use of the
civic center for this purpose and also that the requirement for security be
waived for that function. Carl Higgs seconded the motion and it passed
unanimously. Some discussion was held on the size of the event and the
commissioners recommended they use Walker Auditorium instead of the commercial
J.D. Neufeld, Civic Center Manager, informed the commissioners that the time
clock they had ordered did not work for them and he contacted the company and
was given full credit on the machine. Mr. Neufeld reported that a demonstration
of a burnisher showed that it will not serve the needs of the civic center. He
said he is content to table that issue for a while. Discussion was held on the
South Room floor. Mr. Neufeld will continue looking for something that will
work for that floor. Mr. Neufeld reported that he is a member of the Cimarron
Board and asked
the commissioners opinion about time spent at those meetings. It was the
consensus of the commissioners that Mr. Neufeld should remain on the clock
during the meeting time and turn in mileage or take a county vehicle to the
meetings. In other business, Mr. Neufeld asked about the possibility of trading
the S10 pickup for the Expedition that will be sold when Emergency Management
receives their vehicle. Approval was given to do this. A decision on what to do
with the S10 will be made later.
Chairman Marty Long said Pioneer Electric is anticipating about 500 damaged
poles will be taken to transfer station. He asked the county clerk to relay
this information to the transfer station manager.
Rita Gee, Treasurer, met with the commissioners. Chairman Long told Mrs. Gee
that they have talked to George K. Baum and Co. about being financial adviser
for the county regarding hospital bond money. Mrs. Gee said that whatever banks
are designated as official depositories have to be given first consideration
regarding investments. If the official depositories aren’t able to meet the
requirements, the state pool can be used. Commissioner Long asked if Mrs. Gee
was comfortable in investing the hospital bond money. Mrs. Gee said it is not a
bad idea to look at all options. Chairman Long said the bond money could be
considered different from regular idle funds. Mrs. Gee reported that treasurers
she has talked to have been happy with the state’s pool. The commissioners were
in agreement that where bond money is concerned, the state investment pool
should be considered as an investment option. Mrs. Gee said the commissioners
could go to the state’s website and view interest rates. The commissioners
asked Mrs. Gee to determine if there would be an advantage to placing funds in
the investment pool.
Jerry Jo Deckert, Emergency Medical Service Director, reported that they have 4
cots, one in each ambulance including the fire department unit. She said there
is a problem with one of the cots. It will not go up and down easily. She said
they need to have a cot maintenance person come and go through cots. Ms.
Deckert received a quote of $860.00 for mileage and checking cots. She
explained this does not include any parts that have to be replaced on the cots.
Approval was given to have maintenance done on the cots.
Carl Higgs made the motion to approve the write-offs from Grant County EMS in the amount of $5,816.50. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed
unanimously. These write-offs will be sent to the County Attorney for possible
Sherry Thompson, Health Department Administrator, 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. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it
passed unanimously. After 15 minutes the meeting continued in open session.
The commissioners adjourned to meet again in regular session at 9:00 a.m. on
February 6, 2007.
Linda McHenry, County Clerk
Marty Long, Chairman