Smith County Commissioners – July 9, 2018


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Journal of Proceedings for the Smith County Commissioners

July 9, 2018

The County Commissioners met in a regular session on July 9, 2018 in the County Commissioners’ Room. Present were Commissioners Art Befort, Roger Allen and Tom James.     Also present were Sharon Wolters, Clerk; and, Mitch Fritz, Road Supervisor.

Befort opened the meeting with prayer.

Befort noted that the meeting time is now 8:00 a.m. till noon for the regular county commission meetings.

Commissioners approved the agenda for the July 9, 2018 meeting.

Commissioners revised, approved, and signed the July 2, 2018 minutes.

Commissioners approved Payroll #14 for $109,042.87.

Commissioners reviewed a letter from Judge Pratt thanking the commission for considering an increase in jury fees.

Commissioners reviewed a schedule for the upcoming meeting of the Smith Center Chamber which include an Old Settler’s Day committee meeting.

Commissioners approved Voucher #37546-37595 from the following accounts:

General                                         8129.79

Road                                            46956.62

Noxious Weed                                 301.42

Health                                            1221.00

Solid Waste                                      669.22

Special Bridge Fund                       1500.00

CVB                                              2900.00

Health Care Sales Tax                147809.55

TOTAL                                   $147,809.55

Befort presented information to begin the discussion on establishing a recycling program that includes using the Orscheln’s building and supporting the recycling program with the special tax and grant funding.   James asked questions to clarify funding and legal authority.  Befort reviewed his concerns about timing of the decision. Allen indicated that he was not opposed to recycling but wished to have the public vote on the decision.  Befort asked for a vote on the following question:

Shall Smith County establish a recycling program funded by an additional $25 solid waste special assessment fee per year per household to be reviewed in five years to establish feasibility of a continued program.

Commissioners voted as follows.  Allen voted no.  Befort voted yes and James voted yes contingent upon a five year feasibility review of the recycling program.   Motion carried.  Allen asked that the record note that he did not wish to raise taxes at this time but is in support of recycling if it does not require a tax increase.

Commissioners discussed the following with Fritz:

  1. Fritz discussed AA Road between 120 & 130 Roads.
  2. Befort asked Fritz about the gas safety meeting. Fritz reported that he has the meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning in the courthouse meeting room and has invited the city employees.

Kevin Baetz and Kim Hawkins joined the meeting.

  1. Befort asked about location of the lawn mower previously used at the courthouse grounds. Befort clarified that the Road Dept. will continue to maintain the snow and ice maintenance at the courthouse and surrounding buildings.
  2. Allen discussed mowing the road. Allen asked for a change in the maintenance schedule.

Allen reported that he was contacted by a Lincoln Township resident about the formation of the new fire district.

  1. Baetz asked about maintenance on U Road.  Hawkins discussed dirt road maintenance at this location during harvest.   Baetz asked about adding some crown to the dirt roads.  Hawkins stated that she likes the way 140 Road maintenance has been completed.    Hawkins discussed R Road and T Road locations and asked Fritz to check about the change in ROW.  Hawkins felt the road was changing positions due to maintenance.   Baetz discussed general maintenance policy on dirt roads.   Befort encouraged Baetz and Hawkins to call the road department when they discover badly damaged roads to ensure that the county has knowledge of the need for maintenance.  Baetz and Hawkins left the meeting.
  2. & Mrs. Charlie Leadabrand joined the meeting and discussed maintenance on Y & 40 Roads. Leadabrand also discussed BB & 30 Road maintenance.
  3. Fritz reported that John Deere will honor replacement cost of the repairs on the equipment recently serviced.
  4. Fritz reported that they have moved the rock grinder to prepare for maintenance on 60 Road.

Dave Tucker joined the meeting.  Leadabrands left the meeting.

  1. Steve Lamont joined the meeting and discussed tree removal on C Road between 270 & 275 Roads. Lamont left the meeting.

Tucker discussed the following:

  1. Tucker provided information on the SWANA workshop in Garden City on July 24-25.
  2. Tucker reported that KDHE inspected the landfill and there were no violations.
  3. Tucker reported that he had to replace a small printer for the landfill office.
  4. Tucker reported that the gator may need repairs.
  5. Commissioners reviewed the recycling decision made earlier in the meeting. Tucker agreed to oversee the recycling program personnel.
  6. Tucker reported on the tire grant.

Tucker left the meeting.  Fritz left the meeting.

Befort reported on his recent meeting with Johnson and Jones regarding lawn maintenance.  Befort reported that Jones will continue to apply chemical to the courthouse yard and Johnson will coordinate any other maintenance issues with Jones.  Commissioners agreed to pay Jones by the hour.

Befort discussed the request from the CKLS (Central Kansas Library System) for a Smith County board member appointment.  Commissioners agreed to do additional fact finding before appointing a board member to represent Smith County.

Kathy Hansen joined the meeting and discussed the state required Ag land questionnaires.  Hansen reported that she has not sent out the Ag land questionnaires since 2014.  Hansen explained how the adjustments are made.  Hansen reviewed several approaches to sending the questionnaires.  Hansen stated that she would like to send the surveys out in conjunction with the reassessment schedule of property in Smith County.  Hansen asked about hiring Kimball Mapping to print off the property maps.  Hansen explained that these surveys help in accurately assessing the property use for tax purposes.  Commissioners authorized Hansen to use Kimball Mapping to assist with this process and schedule the questionnaires as she deems necessary.   Hansen left the meeting.

Laura Hageman joined the meeting and discussed the following:

  1. Hageman provided quotes for purchasing a Sonic Wall and for a leased program option from Nex-Tech. Commissioners authorized Hageman to make decisions on the Sonic Wall.
  2. Hageman asked for an update on the wellness center plans. Commissioners indicated that they wish to have the discussion with more detail today with Allen VanDriel.

Allen VanDriel, Hospital Administrator, joined the meeting.  Befort reviewed the present information held by the county in regard to the transition from a hospital run wellness and therapy service to a county run system.  VanDriel asked to have the employees who were wellness center employees move to the county payroll as of August 1, 2018 for ease of transition.   Commissioners agreed.  Befort reported that additional help will be needed.

VanDriel provided personnel information for the present payroll structure at the wellness center.  VanDriel also discussed membership fees.

Befort stated that the commission did not wish to do pool maintenance for the wellness center after the hospital staff leaves because of cost and level of maintenance that is required to keep the pool open.  VanDriel agreed to have the hospital staff close the pool as of July 31, 2018.  VanDriel agreed to leave a refrigerator, vacuum and microwave to facilitate the wellness center transition.   VanDriel also agreed to check about availability of a computer at the wellness center.   VanDriel indicated that the housekeeping can be completed during regular hours by part time staff.   Van Driel left the meeting.

Vicky Hubin, Western Kansas Advocacy Center Representative, joined the meeting and reported on Smith County activities for the center in 2017-2018.  Hubin also discussed a waiver for the center that will facilitate application for a JAG grant .   Hubin asked if the commissioners would send a letter of support for the JAG grant and provided a form.  Hubin stated that all services provided  to children from Smith County are free of charge.  Hubin left the meeting.

James made a motion and Allen seconded it to create a Smith County Wellness Committee to help in assessing wellness needs and establishing wellness programs in Smith County.  The committee will consist of the current members of volunteers on the strategic doing committee formed in January 2018.  Motion carried unanimously.  Commissioners agreed to accept the offer made by Bryce Wiehl and ElDean Holthus to assist in completion of a business plan, creating and administering a membership drive for the Gardner Wellness Center and assist in grant writing for wellness needs in the community.  Commissioners agreed to allow the committee to make a recommendation for structure and membership of the committee in order to facilitate an orderly committee process.    Befort agreed to communicate the decision to the committee.

Commissioners approve Journal Entry #18007.

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 2020 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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