Mitchell County Commissioners – January 23, 2017


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The Mitchell County Commissioners met on Monday morning. Communications Director Becky Snook discussed replacing a printer/fax machine. The commissioners approved the purchase of a Hewlett-Packard laser-jet printer/fax for $1,029 plus approximately $139 installation fee.

Snook had a quote from Allied Technical Consultants, Inc. of Hays to perform mapping services for the county at a cost $2,500 per year. An app available for $6 per year will include mapping for Mitchell County as well as any other counties the company does map maintenance work for as well. They also have a mapping host which would create a site the public could go to.

The commissioners moved to allow Snook to enter into an agreement with ATCI for 911 mapping maintenance at an approximate cost of $2,500 per year to be paid by 911 tax funds.

Snook also wanted to update the commissioners on communication repeater issues. The cost was just over $600 to replace a faulty part in the EMS repeater. The commissioners said that bill should go to Mitchell County EMS.

Tom Claussen announced he would be meeting with a Katrina Ringler this week who is the historical preservation grant official of the Kansas Historical Society. They will be discussing upgrades and aesthetic improvements to the exterior of the courthouse.

Director of Public Works Larry Emerson said they are out trying to work some of the county roads which were very sloppy after ice and rain last week. That work began Monday morning. They will see how far they can get as conditions improve and roads dry out. He has received a few calls on the condition of some township roads. The county is also on their way to Kanapolis this week to obtain three loads of salt.

Emerson also said they put asphalt along the shoulder of the causeway road at Cawker City, and he asked the commissioners if they would like to rock it as well. Emerson said he felt there were places which needed it where there are fairly significant drop-offs. The rock would come out of Clay Center at $11 per ton. Emerson was unsure how much was needed, but his best estimate was between 15 and 20 loads.

“Up over the dike on the north side needs it the most,” Emerson said.

Emerson also said he had a minor accident in the county pickup he drives. Another driver struck his vehicle. The county’s insurance provider will pay for the repairs of about $2,200. Emerson said there is an appointment at C&R Body Shop to have the repair work done this week.

Emerson said they have enough money in their equipment fund to buy a new machine and designate one of the older machines to maintain roads in townships which have turned over their responsibilities to the county. Emerson said they would have to hire another employee to run the machine, at least on a part time basis. It was also stated that Carr Creek Township is expressing preliminary interest in having their responsibilities absorbed by the county.

The county is still waiting for final turnover of information and assets from Hayes Township whose citizens voted to turn over their funds and responsibilities to the county in the general election last year. Emerson said his last day as Director of Public Works will be March 31. He has been with the county 38 years and has been director since 1995.

Carol Torkelson of the North Central Regional Planning Commission appeared before the commissioners. She discussed an amendment to a contract for lead assessment, asbestos inspection and lead clearance between the NCRPC and Mitchell County. The change was to add a line item change for the paint inspection aspect of the contract.

Torkelson also provided a listing of procurement procedures to get them updated for the handicap accessibility project. There were eight projects accepted out of a potential 17. The projects will be completed this week, and the state will be out to inspect the projects next week. The commissioners then approved the Mitchell County procurement procedures, code of ethics and civil rights policy.

Weed Department Director Stan Deneke appeared with his yearly department paperwork which needed to be singed and submitted to the Department of Agriculture. He also said that he has finished planting wildflowers throughout the county. He has also had interest expressed by residents who are willing to donate to have more planted. There are 17 varieties being utilizing in varying locations.

Deneke said the private funds will allow them to do more planting. He had approximately a bushel of seed which he then distributed throughout the county. He will observe which plantings perform the best and where. It could take up to two years for some varieties to flower after they are established. Some are annuals, and some are perennials. Deneke will be doing a presentation on the project at the Tree City USA event in Beloit on March 22 and 23.

Deneke also said that on December 12 one of his department’s 14 foot trailers used to haul four-wheelers and other equipment was stolen. Police were notified, but no progress has been made in the investigation. Deneke said the trailer could be replaced by the insurance company after payment of a $1,000 deductible.

A Neighborhood Revitalization Grant for property tax rebate was approved for Dean Graeurholz on a 30’ x 40’ garage plus electrical installation at a cost of $36,000.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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