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C20080104                                                                                         January 4, 2008


            The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session at 9:00 a.m. with Chairman Marty Long, Commissioner Madison Traster, and the County Clerk present. Commissioner Carl Higgs was absent due to illness.


            The monthly department head meeting was held with the following in attendance: Lance Babcock, Sheriff; Randy McCauley, Road Department Administrator; Rita Gee, Treasurer; Jerry Jo Deckert, EMS Director; Todd Hampton, City/County Building Official; J.D. Neufeld, Civic Center Building and Grounds Manager; Don Button, Emergency Management Coordinator; and David Graber, Transfer Station Manager.


            Madison Traster made the motion to approve the minutes of the December 17 and 18, 2007 meetings and the claims against the various funds of the county. Marty Long seconded the motion and it passed.


            David Seibel, Grant County Recreation Commission Member, informed the commissioners that Recreation needs a written agreement from the county permitting the Recreation Commission to put their new building on the county’s property. The commissioners asked Mr. Seibel to draft the agreement and the commissioners will sign it. Mr. Seibel reminded the commissioners that the county will own the building after the lease period is over. Approval was given to execute a lease for Prairie Wind Park using a 20 year lease time frame.


            Rita Gee, Treasurer, met with the Commissioners. Madison Traster made the motion to recess into executive session for 10 minutes to discuss financial matters concerning the county. Marty Long seconded the motion and it passed. After 10 minutes the meeting continued in open session.  


            Lance Babcock, Sheriff, requested approval to replace a 2002 Ford pickup with over 200,000 miles and a 2003 Crown Vic with over 120,000 miles that needs to be replaced due to its condition. Madison Traster made the motion to approve the bids from GSA Auto Choice for (2) 2007 Ford Expeditions at a cost of $22,267.47 for each vehicle.  Marty Long seconded the motion and it passed. Sheriff Babcock stated that with commissioner approval, he plans to transfer the 2002 pickup to the road department and sell the car by sealed bid. The commissioners gave their approval for this.


            J.D. Neufeld, Civic Center Building and Grounds Manager, presented an annual report for the commissioners review. Mr. Neufeld asked if he can solicit bids on items he requested at budget time or if he needs to obtain permission to solicit bids before obtaining them. The items that need to be dealt with fairly quickly are a mower, a power washer and replacing double doors on the west side of the main building. The commissioners gave their approval to solicit bids for these items. Mr. Neufeld asked about the possibility of putting an automatic door on the west side. The clerk stated that when she did her assessment for voter accessibility a few years ago, she recommended an automatic door be installed. She asked that the commissioners at least look at quotes for an automatic door. The commissioners gave their approval to get quotes for automatic doors as an option. Commissioner Traster asked who is responsible for cleaning snow around the courthouse explaining that snow at the back of the courthouse was not cleared adequately. Mr. Neufeld explained that the road department cleans the courthouse sidewalks. He said that if they need to, his department could help with snow removal at the courthouse.


            Gary Covey, local citizen, asked the commissioners if there is anything that can be done about Prairie Dogs on someone’s property if that landowner doesn’t treat them. Chairman Long said he believes the county is authorized by statute to take action but would prefer not to if it isn’t necessary. The county’s charges to treat the Dogs are $10/hour per machine and $58/bucket for treating material. Randy McCauley and Dan Bynum, Road Department, attended this portion of the meeting. Mr. McCauley said he and Pete Clinesmith will talk to the property owner about the problem to see what can be done.


            The commissioners discussed snow removal at the courthouse with Mr. McCauley and Mr. Bynum. Mr. McCauley explained their snow policy and assured the commissioners they would work toward better snow removal at the courthouse.


            Penny Noyes, DOVES, asked if the commissioners made a decision regarding constructing office space for her organization in the old Duckwall’s building. Chairman Long explained that due to the fact that the county doesn’t own the building the commissioners don’t want to put any more money in it until the building is purchased.  He also said the construction cost came in higher than the commissioners thought it would.


            The commissioners recessed to Park View Assisted Living for lunch with the Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees. Those attending were: Robert Ohlen, Administrator; and Board Members Mary Moyer, Steve Alford, Mike Brewer and David Seibel. The hospital board members said they are not committing anything toward the drainage project relating to the hospital construction until the city determines a final cost of the project and commit to doing the drainage project in 2008.


            Scott Nichols, Tourism, reported the variance issue for the advertising billboard is on the zoning agenda in Gray County January 28.  He said the transient tax was up 40%. Discussion was held on liquor by the drink. Commissioner Long stated he would be willing to place liquor by the drink on the ballot to let Grant County citizens make the decision by voting on the question.


            The commissioners adjourned to meet again in regular session on January 15, 2008.






____________________________                                        ____________________________

Linda McHenry, County Clerk                                      Marty Long, Chairman