Mitchell County Commissioners – March 13, 2017


The Mitchell County Commissioners met on Monday morning. Sheriff Tony Perez requested a pay increase for Matt McMillan who has been employed at the county jail as a corrections officer since May of 2014 from $12.39 to $12.65. Perez praised the efforts of McMillan and the commissioners approved the increase.

Perez also said they did some follow-up research on what counties typically charge to house inmates from other counties which was discussed at a previous meeting. Saline County approved the request of Sheriff Perez to increase the daily rate to house their inmates in Beloit from $30 to $35. Saline County will be liable for any medical expenses incurred by their inmates housed in Mitchell County. Mitchell County reserves the right to return inmates to Saline County if they cause a disturbance.

EMS Director Kelly Hawk delivered the EMS report for the month of February. They responded to 34 calls. Most were in Beloit with 25, Glen Elder 5, and Asherville, Tipton and Hunter with one each. The service average less than seven minutes in response time from the time of calls received to arriving on scene.

Hawk also discussed automatic electronic defibrillators (AED) which were discussed at last week’s meeting. Hawk had done additional research on obtaining some of those devises. He said he discussed the issue with Andy Heller at Hunter and gave him pricing on AED’s. A unit has been purchased for Hunter, and Hawk will train firefighters on April 6 for use of the AED and adult CPR.

Solomon Valley Community Development Director Heather Hartman said she is going to work with county entities to apply for grant funding to purchase additional AED’s. She is determining how many units are wanted in the county for fire trucks as well as possibly for other entities as well.

Dale Housh joined the meeting to discuss public works. Housh will replace Larry Emerson as Director of Public Works when Emerson retires from the county at the end of March. Housh reported on a loader that was said to be inoperable last week. He said they are still working on the unit, but the problem has been discovered. Housh discussed a bridge on K Road five and one-half miles west of K-14 which is need of repair. This section of K Road is the Tipton blacktop. Housh said if they don’t do the work needed on the bridge before harvest they will need to keep close eyes on it in the event of a heavy rain as one of the corners of the bridge could wash out.

An executive session was then held with Housh and the commissioners to discuss his compensation package in his new role as Director of Public Works. No decisions were made coming out of the closed session.

County Health Nurse Courtney Murrow appeared to discuss the annual grants she has prepared and requested signatures from the commissioners for approval to submit them. The county health department will be applying for a total of about $88,000 in grant funding.

A Neighborhood Revitalization grant for temporary property tax abatement was approved for Charles and Kristin Lawrence in the USD 273 school district for a 24’x24’ addition plus re-siding of the entire home at a cost $54,085.

David Luke and Maura Chambers of the Kansas Counties Association Multi-line Pool. The pool provides insurance services. KCAMP is a member-owned and funded self-insured property and liability insurance pool. There are 66 Kansas counties along with 18 non-county public entities that belong to the pool. The pool has over $20 million in net assets. The pair appeared before the commissioners to present a summary of the services they provide and give an update of their service. Luke said that due, mostly, to storms in the past year they had one of their worst financial loss years on record. However, their rates are not increasing. They also presented the first ever dividend check from KCAMP to Mitchell County in the amount of $12,602.

Chambers discussed grant programs available through KCAMP which have been utilized for courthouse improvements in the past. Mitchell County has also received some tuition funding for training for sheriff’s department officers. Up to $1,000 is available to the county through that program as well as another $1,000 to road and bridge employees for training. They also offer complimentary online courses to county departments. They also offer an attorney assist program for legal questions. She also discussed a separate service available to sheriffs departments on statutes and regulations which are explained in detail. There is a $1,200 fee to use this service as statutes constantly change and must be updated.

The commissioners then met with Nolan Bristow of Thyssen-Krup Elevator of Wichita. They have a service technician in Minneapolis. Bristow presented a multi-page proposal to perform certain work to modernize the courthouse elevator to get it up to code and increase efficiency. He said old control systems use much more power than modern control systems do. The quoted cost of the upgrades suggested in the proposal is $67,893. The proposal is valid for a period of 45 days. Bristow estimated upgrades would take 2-3 weeks to complete. Approval of the proposal was tabled for one week to review the materials before making a final decision.

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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