Smith County Commissioners – October 16, 2017


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Journal of Proceedings for the Smith County Commissioners

October 16, 2017

The County Commissioners met in a regular session on October 16, 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.

Befort opened the meeting with prayer.

Commissioners corrected and approved the agenda for the October 16, 2017 meeting.

Commissioners approved, and signed the October 9, 2017 minutes.

Kathy Hansen, Appraiser, asked for clarification on moving a used building to a new property and how the commissioners  wish to apply NRP to these types of changes.  Commissioners agreed to allow NRP application valid for any “new” structure included moved buildings if the “new” structure met the required target for increased property value in the NRP Program.

Commissioners approved Payroll #21 for $98,073.42.

Commissioners approved voucher #36004-36006 from the following accounts:

General                                        3903.60

Road                                              354.16

Nox Weed                                         85.51

Health                                          2040.78

Appraiser                                       236.29

Solid Waste                                    230.38

EMS                                             367.64

Diversion Fund                               96.00

Sp. Law Enforcement Trust              23.98

Motor Vehicle                              283.00

TOTAL                                    $ 7,621.34

Commissioners reviewed requests to spend CVB funds from the Drug and Alcohol Council.  Commissioners approved expenditures as submitted.

Patrick Eastes joined the meeting.

Chris Bailey, Undersheriff, joined the meeting and discussed the cost of EMS transporting prisoners.  Commissioners agreed to extend the sheriff’s 2017 budget by the amount of income received from Osborne County for prisoner care for use Smith County EMS needs to transport prisoners.  Wolters agreed to make the appropriate entries in the sheriff’s fund.  Befort addressed the services provided by Smith County Departments by a different Smith County Department.  Befort agreed to do additional research before discussing the subject further.

Fritz discussed the following:

  1. James discussed 280 Rd. and a request to create an accessible entrance at a field entrance. Fritz agreed to contact adjacent land owners.
  2. James and Allen discussed the unauthorized road work completed on L Road between 240 and 250 Roads. No additional action is needed after reviewing this location.
  3. Allen requested tree maintenance on U & 190 Roads.
  4. Fritz reviewed road department mowers. Fritz reported on the insurance claim and recommended purchasing a new mower.   Commissioners agreed to accept $11,000.00 settlement from the insurance company and keep the damaged mower for parts.
  5. Fritz discussed background checks which were recommended by the EMC Insurance representative in a recent policy review. No official policy was set at this time.
  6. Befort asked about AA and 145 Roads. Befort indicated that the adjoining landowner agreed to pay for the crushed concrete at this location.  Fritz agreed to take care of billing the landowner.
  7. Befort discussed a blade operator driving on the highway without blinking lights. Fritz reported that the turning signals do not work at the same time as the blinkers on some blades.   Fritz agreed to do some additional research.  Befort thanked Fritz and other blade men who worked overtime on Saturday.

Dave Tucker joined the meeting.

  1. Commissioners discussed windrows on 180 & DD Roads. Befort reviewed sign replacement at this location and provided pictures.
  2. Befort reviewed the work on CC Road between 210 & 220 Roads.
  3. Befort agreed to present a report from the recent meeting with Norm Bowers, KAC Road Expert, on Bowers’ recent visit to Smith County.
  4. Tucker discussed tube maintenance on M Road where it becomes 1st Street in Gaylord.
  5. James asked Fritz about working overtime. Fritz reported that they will work overtime next Saturday.
  6. Norris Maydew joined the meeting and discussed tube maintenance on AA Road between 60 & 70 Roads. Maydew would like to have a permit to work on the road by his house.  Befort agreed to bring the completed permit to Maydew. Maydew left the meeting.

Mark Kuhlmann joined the meeting.

Tabitha Owen joined the meeting at the commissioners’ request.  Owen asked the commissioners if they were going to discuss specific personnel issues.  Owen asked for clarification on the topic.  Owen said she would like to issue a legal memo if there is much detail to their request.   Owen reviewed general information.  James made a motion and it was seconded by Befort to convene in executive session from 10:15 a.m. till 10:20 a.m. for legal counsel concerning a county-wide drug policy.  Regular session reconvened at 10:20 a.m.  Owen agreed to prepare a written directive.   

Patrick Eastes, EMS Director, discussed the following:

  1. Eastes reported that two EMT students have begun training using the state grant program. Eastes has submitted the applications to the state.
  2. Eastes reported on the delivery schedule for the EMS unit recently ordered.
  3. Eastes reported on a mobile unit that is presently being repaired.

A motion was made by Allen and seconded by Befort to convene in executive session from 10:30 till 10:40 a.m. to discuss a non-elected employee in the EMS Dept.  Also in the session was Patrick Eastes.  Regular session reconvened at 10:40 a.m.  No action was taken.  Eastes left the meeting.

Dave Tucker, Landfill Operator, reported on the following:

  1. Tucker reported on information learned at the recent SWANA conference.
  2. Tucker reported on the NWKsP&D report for the regional landfill group required prior to filing for any KDHE landfill grants. Befort agreed to contact NWKsP&D representative and report back.
  3. Tucker discussed e-waste meeting.
  4. Befort discussed a presentation that he would like to view in a future commissioner’s meeting.

Dave Tucker left the meeting.   Laura Hageman joined the meeting.

Kerry Ferguson joined the meeting and discussed G and 80 Roads.  Ferguson indicated that rock from 130 Road rock pit on his property can be used at this location.  James asked Fritz to verify the road work completed in 2015.  Ferguson reported that the road was not properly prepared before the rock was applied.  James indicated that there is a need for water maintenance at this location as well.   Commissioners discussed a resolution that would be acceptable to the county and Ferguson.  Allen suggested that the county place tubes at this location.  Befort asked Ferguson to clarify what was not completed in 2015 at this location.  Ferguson stated that he did not feel the road was prepared properly for the rock at this location.  Fritz asked for clarification on timing for mainteance.  Ferguson asked that commissioners consider completing the road work prior to Spring 2018.  Befort asked for an established agreement at this location.  Fritz indicated that the tubes will be a priority.  Commissioners clarified the county policy stating that we only rock at the county’s expense for new rock surfaces to residential properties.   Befort agreed to view the location.  Ferguson left the meeting.

Walt Keever joined the meeting.

Mark Kuhlmann discussed tube maintenance on 180 Road southwest of Athol.  Kuhlmann asked that the tube maintenance on his drive be completed at the same time as H & 180 Roads tube is replaced.  Fritz agreed to complete the projects at the same time.  Kuhlmann left the meeting.

Laura Hageman, Health Dept. Nurse, discussed the following:

  1. Hageman reported that tomorrow will be the state WIC audit.
  2. Hageman reported that she plans to attend a quarterly Emergency Management training.
  3. Hageman reported that she will have a Health Fair Meeting today.
  4. Hageman reported on quarterly Health Care Coalition meeting which is required in order to receive EM grant funds.
  5. Befort asked Hageman to clarify purchases from the 14-22 Grant. Hageman reported that the purchased footballs were used to promote the wellness program and were paid for by grant funds.  Additional events will be planned for next year.  Hageman reported that the Walk and Roll program may be funded through a different grant program in the future.  Hageman left the meeting.

Keever reported on the Drug and Alcohol Council and challenges that the council is facing because Phillips County is the home county for USD#110.  Keever expressed his desire to approach Phillips County and ask them to contribute to the USD#110 post prom project using Phillips County Drug and Alcohol Funds.  Commissioners indicated that they would not approach the Phillips County commissioners but would have no problem with Keever approaching the commission if he wished to do so.  Keever left the meeting.

Mitch Fritz rejoined the meeting and reported that the 2001 Sterling Dump truck is in need of major repairs.  James asked Fritz to prepare a cost analysis to compare repairing a truck to the cost of purchasing a new or used truck.

Fritz asked about ordering non-slip tape to replace non-slip paint on the courthouse steps.  Commissioners approved the purchase.

As there was no further business the meeting was adjourned.


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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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