Mitchell Co. Commissioners Discuss Public Works Changes


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The Mitchell County Commissioners met on Monday morning. All commissioners were present as well as County Clerk Chris Treaster. Also in attendance was Beloit City Administrator Jason Rabe and Solomon Valley Community Development Director Heather Hartman.

Larry Emerson and Dale Housh appeared to discuss the Department Public Works activities. They informed the Commissioners that the Fisherman’s Bridge and the Causeway Bridge are due for the fracture critical inspection. They recommended the commissioners continue to participate with a consortium of counties who have worked together to get a better cost for these types of inspections. The commissioners directed Emerson and Housh to make arrangements for the inspection, if the cost has not risen dramatically.

Emerson said that Doug Schmidt, who lives south of Tipton, has gravel he is willing to sell the county for road use. He believed it is of good quality, but they will inspect it to see if is up to standard.

Emerson then told the Commissioners, “We had another guy quit. He was doing well, but he was offered a better job. I can’t blame him for taking it.”

Emerson and Housh told the commissioners they need to take a day or two to give current road and bridge employees an opportunity to “try out” for machine operator positions. They believe they have several current employees who might make good operators, but they won’t know unless the guys have a chance to see how they would do. They are currently one employee short of a full staff of motor grader operators.

“We would like to find some operators from our current workers. They always seem to do better,” said Emerson.

The commissioners then held a ten-minute executive session with Housh who will replace Larry Emerson as Director of Public Works when Emerson retires later this year. No action was taken as a result of the closed session.

Kelly Hawk, EMS Director, opened the meeting to present the monthly EMS report. The EMS responded to 52 calls during the month of January. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were the busiest days of the week. The age group of 80 to 89 years of age was the largest category accounting for 14 of the 52 runs.

There was a total of $37,290 billed for ambulance services in January. Total receipts for those charges was $16,003. This leaves a balance of $14,732 in accounts receivable.
Hawk said they have a couple openings in the ambulance staff. Currently six people are attending an EMT class.

The Mitchell County Commissioners are next scheduled to meet on Tuesday, February 21 at the Mitchell County Courthouse. The courthouse will be closed on Monday, February 20 for President’s Day.

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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 2020 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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