Smith County Commissioners – November 20, 2017


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The County Commissioners met in a regular session on November 20, 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.

Commissioners approved the agenda for the November 20, 2017 meeting.

Commissioners approved, and signed the November 13, 2017 minutes.

Commissioners approved voucher #36175-36185 from the following accounts:

General                        2646.93

Road                             574.52

Health                         1251.83

Solid Waste                   380.53

EMS                            8984.16

Next Gen 911                565.43

TOTAL                      $14,403.40

Commissioners approved voided check #36152.

Allen discussed the recent KAC meeting attended by Allen, Befort and Kathy Hansen, Appraiser, in Kansas City.  Topics relevant to county government and improvement were covered.

Commissioners discussed the burning ban.  Commissioners contacted the four fire chiefs to get their opinion.  Fire chiefs did not all have the same opinion.  James made a motion to remove the burning ban.  Allen seconded.  James voted to remove it and Befort and Allen voted to retain it.  Motion carried 2 to 1.

A motion was made by James and seconded by Allen to convene in executive session from 9:20 a.m. till 9:45 a.m. to complete a job interview.  Also in the session were Tom Story and Mitch Fritz.  Regular session reconvened at 9:45 a.m. Commissioners instructed Fritz to hire as needed.

Commissioners approved 16 added 2017 tax statements.

Fritz discussed the following:

  1. Fritz discussed E Road from Hwy 36 to 190 and 190 all the way to H Road.
  2. Befort asked if I Road north of 36 is complete. Fritz indicated it has not been completed at this time.
  3. Befort discussed the magnesium chloride tests. Befort feels the tests spots are showing good results.   Befort indicated that he has been observing what used to be road damage at the Bellaire Co-op entry prior to using the magnesium chloride and was no longer showing damage after fall harvest traffic.
  4. Fritz reviewed the newly submitted rock list. James asked Fritz to make older projects a priority.
  5. Allen instructed Fritz to remove 100 Road from Z to BB Roads from the rock list because no response to a request was ever received. Fritz left the meeting.

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

Eastes indicated that the Asst. Director is still off and a replacement has not been appointed at this time.  Eastes has received a letter of intent from one person.  Eastes asked if the commissioners wished to be actively involved in appointment of the replacement.

  1. Commissioners agreed to allow Eastes to appoint the replacement. Eastes asked for direction for the time of replacement.  Commissioners agreed to allow Eastes to appoint at his discretion.
  2. Befort discussed the ambulance and details of how the DEF works. Eastes indicated that he has reviewed the newer system.  He also reported that he has a contingency plan if the ambulance breaks down.   Befort asked Eastes to review the new ‘liquid spring system”.   Eastes reported that the newer type of suspension system allows for a more comfortable ride for the passenger being transported.

Eastes left the meeting.   Fritz rejoined the meeting.

Laura Hageman, Health Dept., joined the meeting and discussed the following:

  1. Hageman reported that the ICS402 class will be this afternoon.
  2. Hageman reported that they have given 30 flu shots at the clinic.
  3. Hageman discussed LEPC approval for membership list. Commissioners signed the official list for KDEM.
  4. Hageman provided a copy of the by-laws for the LEPC. The change in the by-laws is changing from a quarterly meeting to annual meeting which is required by law.  Hageman reported that the committee still plans to meet more than once a year and this was a technical change only.
  5. Hageman reported that they have replaced a thermostat in the health department building.

Hageman left the meeting.

Fritz provided a copy of rock pit laws for Kansas.  Fritz left the meeting.

Kathy Hansen, Appraiser and Melanie Rowlison, District Appraiser for the KDOR PVD Division, joined the meeting.  Hansen and Rowlison discussed 2016 sales ratios compliance and procedural compliance according to 79-140(b).  Rowlison indicated that the state will assist in compliance with assistance from the KDOR office.   Rowlison and Hansen left the meeting.

Befort discussed the Inter-local agreement for the NWKs Solid Waste Authority.   Befort indicated that he has contacted Jeff Walker from KDHE concerning the plan.  Befort shared K.S.A. 65-3405 concerning completion of the plan.   Befort explained that a waste management plan needs to be established according to this statute.  Befort indicated that there are grants from the KDHE to assist with recycling if we are in compliance with the statute.   Befort also reported that the period for grant approval has been extended till December 31, 2017.  Befort asked that we contact Jeff Walker, the KDHE representative, to establish what is required for compliance and what consequences might be if we pull out of the NWKs Solid Waste Authority.   Befort indicated that he wishes to pursue involvement in the KDHE program.   Dave Tucker joined the meeting and commissioners contacted Jeff Walker by telephone to discuss the inter-local agreement and how the requirements of K.S.A. 65-3405 can be met independently from the NWKs Solid Waste Authority.  Walker indicated that acting as an independent county is feasible.  Befort asked for clarification on the relationship between NWKs Solid Waste Authority and the planning process.  Walker indicated that a five year plan for Smith County will have to be submitted by year end to qualify for 2017 grant money.  Walker indicated that historically the regional group has been submitted late and there would be an advantage to operating independently.   Walker agreed to send a form to assist in evaluating the current system.   The phone call was ended with Walker.  Befort asked about each commissioner and the landfill supervisor’s position is on recycling.  Allen and James said they don’t have enough information about the cost and they may want to have the question presented to the voting public before they make a commitment to answering the question.   Befort indicated that the current cost of putting trash in the landfill is estimated to be $45 per ton.  James asked for a detailed cost comparison before making a decision.

Commissioners agreed that they wish to pursue withdrawal from the NWKs Solid Waste Authority and establish a Smith County 5-Year Plan so Smith County can qualify for KDHE grant program funds.

Commissioners agreed to give each employee paid through the county payroll a $30 as a Christmas gift in the first payroll of December 2017.  Wolters discussed the final pay date of the year.  Commissioners agreed to leave the date as originally passed.

Tucker asked about shingles brought to the landfill for C&D waste from the west part of the county.  Befort reviewed the policy.  Tucker asked if the commissioners wished for him to verify the location of origin for C&D waste.  Commissioners did not wish to change the policy at this time.

Commissioners met in a special training session in the afternoon to complete ICS402 training for elected officials.

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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