Smith County Commissioners – September 18, 2017


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Journal of Proceedings for the Smith County Commissioners – September 18, 2017

The County Commissioners met in a regular session on September 18, 2017 in the County Commissioners’ Room. Present were Commissioners Tom James, Art Befort, and Roger Allen. Also present were Sharon Wolters, Clerk; and, Mitch Fritz, Road Supervisor.


Allen opened the meeting with prayer.


Commissioners approved the agenda for the September 18, 2017 meeting.


Commissioners approved, and signed the September 11, 2017 minutes.


Commissioners approved Voucher #35861-35863 from the following accounts:

General                                                                2802.63

Road                                                                    197.00

Noxious Weed                                                      195.00

Health                                                                  988.37

Appraiser                                                              154.79

EMS                                                                    1652.47

Next Gen 911                                                         158.64

Diversion Fee                                                           96.00

Motor Vehicle                                                        217.00

TOTAL                                                           $  6461.90


Commissioners approved Payroll #19 for $99,000.30.


Chris Jones joined the meeting.


Sheriff Bruce Lehmann and Under-sheriff Chris Bailey joined the meeting and discussed adding a full time secretarial position to their staff.  Commissioners reviewed the cost of employee benefits for a full time employee and asked the sheriff to request additional personnel positions at budget time.  The sheriff agreed to discuss added personnel at budget time next year.


Befort discussed charges for finger prints.  Sheriff Lehman agreed to drop charges if the commissioners wish to do so.  Commissioners agreed that they preferred to offer the service to Smith County tax payers at no fee.  No action was taken at this time.   Lehman and Bailey left the meeting.


Fritz discussed the following:

  1. Lynn True and Adam Ifland joined the meeting. True discussed the absence of his blade man and concerns he has about work being completed in his blade district.  Fritz indicated that he has two other blade men currently assisting in maintenance in the district.
  2. True also discussed erosion on K Road and 265 Road. Befort discussed back walls at this location.  Befort discussed tube replacement and justification of putting in a new tube at this location.   Fritz agreed to have the engineer view the location in order to assess the best remedy for erosion at this location.
  3. True discussed 265 Road between K & L Roads. Fritz agreed to contact Rolling Hills Electric to see about moving an electric pole.  Fritz agreed to do water flow maintenance at this location.
  4. True discussed farming the county right-of-way. True asked to have the county enforce its’ right-of-way policy which prohibits planting that blocks intersection visibility.   Befort discussed dirt road ROW maintenance policy.
  5. True discussed ditch maintenance at this location.  Fritz reported that he intends to clean out ditches at this location.
  6. True discussed fence removal at 280 Road between J & K Roads. Fritz agreed to consider easing ditches at a gradual slope to make ditch maintenance possible.
  7. True discussed maintenance at 300 & K Roads. Commissioners agreed to notify land owners when maintenance at this location can be done.  Ifland suggested water flow should stay on the south side of the road.  Fritz reported that water flow from big rains cannot be managed in this way.
  8. Befort asked about tree maintenance in this area. Befort indicated that the work will begin at K and 300 Roads this fall and land owners will be notified prior to starting the work.
  9. Ifland discussed the crushed concrete on L Road north of Gaylord. Ifland stated that some of the rock was not laid in the same way that Fritz laid a portion of the same road.  Ifland suggested that Fritz do some additional training to teach blade operators to lay the concrete in the same manner as Fritz in order to get good correction.  Ifland discussed maintenance of wind rows.   Befort indicated that additional training has showed some improvement by blade men.   James discussed inconsistency in blade operations.  Commissioners indicated that they will continue to make improvements in training for road maintenance.

True and Ifland left the meeting.

  1. James discussed C Road between 140 & 150 Roads. James indicated that the road presents a potential danger created by road maintenance.   Fritz discussed using water at this location to correct the powdered rock problem.   James indicated that it may be possible to use Kensington City pool water and perhaps other city water sources.  James asked about powdered rock being a result from laying rock in dry conditions.  Fritz agreed that laying rock in dry weather creates a powdered road surface.   James asked about maintenance at 180 Road as well.  Fritz indicated that they will work on this today.
  2. Fritz discussed appropriating funds to haul crushed concrete and stock pile it for use in 2018. Commissioners reviewed a current road department budget report.
  3. Fritz provided fuel cost sheets for commissioners to review.


David Sasse joined the meeting.


Allen discussed tree spray with Jones.  Jones reported that the chemical used at a location specified by Allen was Spike 80DF.  Allen asked the other commissioners to view the trees to assess the value of using the spray to eliminate trees from the ROW.  Allen indicated that he felt the ditch trees could be treated to avoid future problems with trees in our ROW.


Jones provided information on Remedy and other similar chemicals.


Sasse asked Fritz about laying rock on M Road south of Highway 36 to allow him to move his combine into his field.  Fritz indicated that it will be done this week.


Sasse, Jones and Fritz left the meeting.


Joel Fouts, Fouts Insurance, joined the meeting and discussed the current liability and property coverage.   Fouts asked the commissioners for the reasons for bidding the property and liability insurance.   James indicated that he considers it sound business to review all tax payer expenditures.    Commissioners indicated that they must consider both cost of services and county need.   Fouts asked the commissioners to ask for tail coverage from KCAMP if the commissioners decide to continue with the bidding process.   Fouts reviewed the loss statistics for Smith County.   Commissioners agreed to move bid date to November 6.  Fouts left the meeting.


Patrick Eastes, EMS Director, joined the meeting and discussed the following:

  1. Eastes presented the August statistical report. EMS received 60 calls in August.
  2. Eastes reported that one of the mobile units had to be repaired.
  3. Eastes reported that one of his full time employees plans to return to work this week or next. Eastes reported on the absenteeism for his department.
  4. Eastes reported that a new part time employee has been hired.
  5. Eastes discussed offering an EMT course or sending employees to other meetings in our area.


A motion was made by Allen and seconded by Befort to convene in executive session from 11:55 a.m. till 12:10 pm to discuss non-elected personnel.  Motion carried unanimously.  Also in the session was Patrick Eastes.  Regular session reconvened at 12:10 p.m.  No action was taken.   Eastes left the meeting.

Casey Fraser, Foley Implement, joined the meeting and asked commissioners for any questions on equipment.  Befort discussed changes in the rock grinder Smith County is currently using.  Fraser reviewed newer versions of the same grinder.    Fraser left the meeting.


Commissioners approved Journal entry #17016.


Commissioners approved one solid waste special tax abatement.


Wolters provided a monthly report on the cost of employee health insurance for August.


As there was no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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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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