Mitchell County Commissioners – February 27, 2017


Randy Gengler of the Mitchell County Rescue Squad appeared before the Mitchell County Commissioners on Monday. Gengler said they went to Bailey, Colorado and purchased the rescue truck which was discussed in the past few weeks at a cost of about $65,000. The unit had approximately 27,400 miles on it at the time of purchase. A brand new unit comparable to it would cost well over $100,000.

Gengler had said that the new unit will be more dependable and allow the rescue squad more options including the ability to upgrade tools they use such as the jaws of life.

Solomon Valley Community Development Director Heather Hartman said 29 applications asking for a total of about $150,000 were received for the latest round of community foundation grants from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation and the Solomon Valley Community Foundation. The applications were due February 1, and the awardees will be announced soon.

Hartman also said Smoky Hills Public TV ran the Traveling Mitchell County promo during their coverage of state wrestling over the weekend.

It was announced by Commissioner Tom Claussen that a video contest and written contest was put on by North Central Regional Planning Commission with a theme of “Rural Kansas: Why it matters”. The video winner was Beloit High School Senior Isabella Hartman.

Director of Public Works Larry Emerson told the commissioners that things are fairly quiet outside of regular work and business. He said there will be gravel applied to the county road north of Hunter. They will also be testing a prospective new gravel pit in the county.

Reports have been received from bridge inspections in the county. The county crews will soon be doing gravel work in Center Township and near Solomon Rapids. The county is waiting to hear from the phone company about a line near a bridge on K Road prior to work being performed on the structure. Emerson will soon retire from his position as public works director after 34 years effective March 31.

Sheriff Tony Perez appeared before the commissioners to discuss raising the rate they charge outside counties to house inmates in Beloit. Mitchell County currently charges $30 per inmate per day and are considering raising that rate to $35 per day. Many of the outside inmates come from Saline County whose jail is often over capacity. It was also noted that no over the counter medications are administered at the jail. Prescription drugs are administered by the jail staff as prescribed.

Perez said things are going well since he took over the position earlier this year, and his staff is performing well.

The Mitchell County Commissioners are next scheduled to meet on Monday, March 6 at 8:30 a.m. at the Mitchell County Courthouse.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
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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