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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: Don Button, Emergency Management Coordinator; Todd Hampton, City/County Building Official; John Crosby, Fire Chief; Nancy Ramski, Civic Center Building and Grounds Manager; Rita Gee, Treasurer; Lance Babcock, Sheriff; Sean Gooding, Emergency Medical Service Director; and Mary K. Sullivan, Register of Deeds. Chairman Higgs presented Sean Gooding with a certificate of appreciation from Lifeteam.


            Madison Traster made the motion to approve the minutes of the June 15, 2004 meeting and the claims against the various funds of the county. Gene Schwein seconded the motion. Following clarification of several vouchers, the motion passed unanimously.


            Don Button, Emergency Management Coordinator, presented a draft of the Local Mitigation Plan for the commissioners’ review. Mr. Button also talked about his 2005 budget request.


            The commissioners reviewed and approved one road-crossing permit for Kansas Natural Gas and five road-crossing permits for Oxy USA, Inc.


            Darl Henson and Mary Sullivan, Extension Council Agents, explained plans if the Extension Office and the Health Department relocate to the former Berkley Medical Supply building. The decision was made not to purchase that building. Later in the day, the commissioners went to the fairgrounds and viewed a potential site for a new building to house the extension service. The commissioners authorized Mr. Henson to contact Bob Forsen and have him develop plans for a 40 x 80 building.


            LaVonne Michael, Board on Aging Director, and Jim Anderson and Mollie Beard, Board on Aging Board Members, presented their 2005 budget request. Their request is for the same amount as this year’s budget. The commissioners discussed the possibility of the health department relocating to the hospital if an expansion is done there. Mrs. Michael said she thought that would be a good place for them. Mr. Anderson and Mrs. Beard agreed. The commissioners explained that this would not be done right away so the health department would have to remain where they are until that time. Mrs. Michael, Mr. Anderson, and Mrs. Beard said they understand, but they would appreciate knowing what the time line would be as soon as the commissioners know more. Since the Senior Center has eight or ten hospital beds, approval was given to sell several of them and dispose of old lift chairs and equipment that are no longer usable.


            Billie Upshaw, Care Home Administrator, and Pam Gindlesberger, Board of Trustees Member, presented their 2005 budget request. Discussion was held on capital expenditures for the care home. They explained that they are planning to replace some windows every year, they need a new van; and the air conditioning system needs to be replaced.


            Ginger Anthony, Museum Curator, Cheryl Deyoe, and Robin Graber, Historical Society, presented their 2005 budget request of $135,334. They also requested an employee benefit package in the amount of $7,200. Discussion was held on repairs needed at the old hotel. A request was made to asphalt the east drive and entrance to the museum.


            Scott Nichols, Chamber Manager, gave an update on tourism.

            Gene Schwein made the motion to approve Appraiser, Tom Fuhrmann’s request to purchase a new printer not to exceed $5,000 and two computers not to exceed $2,800. Madison Traster seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.


            Discussion was held on the pay rate for a new full time Sheriff’s department employee. Due to his experience, the commissioners agreed to start the new full time jailer at 87% of the median rate for that position. If he proves to be a good employee, his rate of pay will increase to 90% of the median in 6 months.


            The commissioners adjourned to meet again in regular session on July 20, 2004.



Linda McHenry, County Clerk                                      Carl Higgs, Chairman