Nemaha County Commission Meeting Minutes – 12/10/18


These minutes are unofficial until approved by the Board of Commissioners at their next meeting.

December 10, 2018 Unofficial

The Board of Nemaha County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, December 10, 2018 in the Commissioner’s Room of the Nemaha County Courthouse. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Dennis Henry leading the flag salute. Present also were Commissioners Gary Scoby and Tim Burdiek, Road and Bridge/Solid Waste Supervisor Dennis Ronnebaum and Office Manager Kathy Haverkamp, and County Clerk Mary Kay Schultejans recording the minutes.

Commissioners spoke to Noxious Weed Office Manager Patty Schmelzle about doing the 911 Addressing for Nemaha County.

Road and Bridge/Solid Waste Report:

Road and Bridge/Solid Waste Supervisor Dennis Ronnebaum advised the board that:
• the guys are patching in rock in places along county roads where it is needed.
• the guys picked up a couple of loads of salt last week and plan to try to pick up a couple of more loads this week.
• they received a letter from KAC about retaining the services of Local Road Engineer Norm Bowers. Following discussion, Commissioners decided to retain these services for Nemaha County at a cost of $430 per year.

Russel Lierz has been hired as the new Emergency Preparedness Director for Nemaha County. Russel will begin work in this new position on December 21st at an annual salary of $40,020.03 per year.

Emergency Preparedness Report:

Emergency Preparedness Director Russel Lierz advised the board that:
• he would like to purchase a new desktop computer for the Emergency Preparedness Office located in the Pioneer Building. Russel showed Commissioners a quote of what he would like to purchase. Following discussion, Gary Scoby moved to purchase a new desktop computer and accessories for the Emergency Preparedness Office from Dell in the amount of $1,445.96. Tim Burdiek seconded the motion. The motion carried with all voting aye.

Sheriff’s Report:

Sheriff Rich Vernon advised the board that:
• he has asked for new patrol car bids for 2019. Rich stated that he will be bringing these bids before Commissioners in January.
• they are currently holding eleven inmates in the jail.
• they booked six individuals into the jail this past week.

The board reviewed the minutes from the December 3, 2018 meeting. Tim Burdiek moved to approve the minutes as presented. Gary Scoby seconded the motion. The motion carried with all voting aye.

Chairman Dennis Henry signed add/abate orders as presented.

Mixie Vance has been hired as the new Noxious Weed Director for Nemaha County. Mixie will begin work in this new position on January 4th at an annual salary of $40,020.03 per year.

Rock Creek Township Clerk Clark Strahm along with other Rock Creek Township Officials and Sabetha City Administrator Doug Allen along with other Sabetha City Officials came before the board to speak to Commissioners about possibly participating in the chipping and sealing of an approximately two mile stretch of Kansas Road that lies between the Sabetha-Wetmore Road and Old Highway 75. The majority of this two mile stretch is located in Rock Creek Township, but a small area of this stretch is located in the City of Sabetha. No decision was made concerning this request at this time. Commissioners asked the group to come back before the board again next month to discuss this issue again.

Attorney James Neeld came before the board. Tim Burdiek moved to hold a fifteen minute executive session until 11:25 am to discuss legal matters of Nemaha County. Gary Scoby seconded the motion. The motion carried with all voting aye. Present for the executive session was the Board of Commissioners, Attorney James Neeld, and Clerk Mary Kay Schultejans. The meeting returned to open session at 11:25 am with no action taken by the board following the executive session.

At 11:25 am, the meeting was moved to the courtroom of the Nemaha County Courthouse due to the number of people present for discussion with Commissioners concerning windfarms in Nemaha County.

Present for the windfarm discussion with Commissioners were many local landowners in Nemaha County, representatives from Next Era Energy Resources, members of the local media, Appraiser Betty Roeder, and Attorney James Neeld. Mr. Neeld’s firm will be representing Nemaha County in negotiations with Next Era Energy Resources concerning the construction of the Soldier Creek Windfarm in Nemaha County.

Mr. Neeld let those present know how the negotiation process will proceed with Next Era Energy Resources beginning with a kickoff meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 11th with the windfarm company. Questions were taken from those present and answered by Commissioners and Mr. Neeld.

Doug Wertenberger presented information to Commissioners containing setback requirements that he would like to see the Commission follow when negotiating the PILOT Agreement with Next Era Energy Resources for the Soldier Creek Windfarm to be located in Nemaha County.

Mark Trumbauer with Next Era Energy Resources let Commissioners and those present know that they plan to do a better job of communication with residents of Nemaha County through open houses held during evening hours, etc. Mr. Trumbauer presented to Commissioners an example of a commitment letter that they have used in their development of a windfarm in Reno County, Kansas.

At 1:00 pm, the meeting continued in the Commissioner’s Room of the Nemaha County Courthouse.

County Attorney Brad Lippert came before the board. Commissioners let Brad know how the windfarm discussion held in the courtroom went. Brad let Commissioners know that he met last week with representatives from Invenergy concerning their possible development of a windfarm in Nemaha County. Commissioners spoke to Brad about paying out the accumulated sick/vacation hours of an employee that holds two job titles with Nemaha County.
Commissioners also spoke to Brad about the possibility of video recording future Nemaha County Commission Meetings and posting them on the Nemaha County website.

With no further county business coming before the board, Chairman Dennis Henry adjourned the meeting at 4:45 pm. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, December 17, 2018 at 9:00 am.

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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