Mitchell County Commissioners – 9/11/17


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The Mitchell County Commissioners met on Monday morning, September 11. All commissioners were present along with County Clerk Chris Treaster, Beloit City Manager Jason Rabe, and Community Development Director Heather Hartman.

Sheriff Tony Perez and Donna Schmidt were on hand answer question regarding the latest audit report for the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Department. Discussion was held regarding some suggested changes to how certain money and accounts are handled to create more oversight and accountability through transparency along with additional checks and balances. In summary, the auditors felt that county officials needed to see a record of every dollar that comes in and out of any county department.

County Treasurer Yvonne Melton was also involved in the discussion. She said she spoke with the auditors, and they are asking for a fund to be set-up separately from bank accounts in their ledger showing incoming and outgoing money for the Sheriff’s and Communications Departments. She said she will make that happen starting January 1.

Mitchell County EMS Director Kelly Hawk deliver the EMS report for the month of August. The service responded to a total of 61 runs for the month. Thirty-seven of those were in or around the City of Beloit, 15 in and around Cawker City, and four in the Glen Elder area. Thursdays were the busiest days for the service, accounting for nearly a quarter of all the calls responded to. Sixty-seven percent of the patients attended to by the EMS were treated and/or transported.

The average response time from when calls came in to when EMS arrived on scene was about five minutes. The average patient age was 61 years old. The most common patient age was between 70 and 79 years old. Accounting for nearly 25 percent of all patients for the month. The service billed out a total of $40,417 for the period with a balance due to the department of $29,329 after payments and adjustments. The total current accounts receivable balance for the department is $74,520 with nearly $40,000 of that having been billed within the past 30 days. The EMS has responded to a total of 415 runs this year as of August 31.

Hawk also discussed the possibility of purchasing a new ambulance unit. Engine problems have been a continuing issue with some ambulance units. A new unit will run in the range of $200,000. A new chassis and motor mounted with an existing box would run somewhere around $100,000.

Director of Public Works, Dale Housh, presented quotes for a new backhoe from Caterpillar and Case. Housh asked for a week to look over the information before making a recommendation to the commissioners about a potential purchase. The current model is 1990 a Case. Casey Frasier of Foley Equipment was on-hand for the discussion. Quotes were presented with and without a trade-in. The commissioners will revisit the issue at a later date.

Community Development Director Heather Hartman presented a resolution regarding the Rural Opportunity Zone Program discussed at the previous meeting. Hartman said after local media coverage of the discussion, she had several businesses contact her who expressed interest in the program. It provides student loan repayment assistance, with matching funds from the state, to use as an employee retention and recruiting tool. The resolution declared that Mitchell County will contribute $12,000 for the year to the program. At the previous meeting, the commissioners approved sponsoring two additional individuals in the county which brings the current total to eight at $1,500 each. The commissioners approved the resolution.

Hartman also announced that money will be received on September 27 to purchase automatic electronic defibrillators to be distributed throughout the county via funds provided by the latest round of Solomon Valley Community Foundation grants largely from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.

Communications Director Becky Snook said the radio on their second station, which is a backup, went down due to a computer issue and that the radio itself did not fail. What was initially assumed to be a power supply problem was the computer itself, and it must be replaced. The replacement cost is going to be approximately $3,056 plus shipping, plus labor. The total cost is expected to be around $5,000. She said it should also be expected to need to replace their primary unit sooner rather than later.

Snook also said their database system is going to be switched out and served by a new company. She said it could run in the range of $15,000 plus monthly maintenance fees in the range of $2,500. This is a significant savings over the company they are currently working with. She will bring more information in the future as they get closer to actually changing it out.

A Neighborhood Revitalization grant for temporary tax abatement was approved to the Henke Family Trust for Danny and Mary Henke at 210 N Hersey in Beloit for 32x42x10 Morton style garage valued at $88,954.

Mr. Rabe discussed the ongoing work to improve or replace the water plant to resolve continuing issues with the city’s water supply. The latest developments were covered in detail in the story of Beloit’s City Council meeting from September 5, and can be found in September 8 edition of the Beloit Call or online at

Rabe also discussed the near completion of the East Main Street project, and said there will be a capital improvement planning session. The meeting will take place in the conference room at the Severance Student Union at NCK Tech beginning at 6 p.m.

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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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