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Smith County Commissioners – December 31, 2018

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations. In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

The County Commissioners met in a regular session on December 31, 2018 in the County Commissioners’ Room. Present were Commissioners Tom James, Roger Allen and Art Befort.

Also present were Sharon Wolters, Clerk; and, Mitch Fritz, Road Supervisor.

Allen opened the meeting with prayer.

Commissioners approved the agenda for the December 31, 2018 meeting.

Commissioners revised, approved, and signed the December 17, 2018 minutes.

Commissioners approved Payroll #26 for $111,836.45.

Commissioners received an email from Galen Lambert thanking Laura Hageman for assistance with Health Care information.

Fritz discussed the following:

    1. James discussed 60 Road between Hwy. 8 and L Road.
    2. James discussed maintenance on 80 Road between A & C Roads.
    3. Allen discussed 280 Road between Q & R Roads.
    4. Allen discussed 40 Road between CC & DD Roads.
    5. Allen discussed bridge repair on 270 Road between DD & EE Roads.
    6. Befort asked about N & 50 Roads maintenance.  Befort agreed to contact the landowner and verify that the project is still on the maintenance list.
    7. Befort discussed maintenance on 300 Road 1/8th  mile west of U Road.


  • Befort discussed bridge work planned for 2019.  Commissioners reviewed the current reserves for road equipment and bridge construction.  After discussion the commissioners agreed to replace the bridge located on V Road between 140 & 150 Roads (FAS Bridge #14 ½) mile north of Bellaire.  Commissioners agreed that the year-end transfer needs to cover the bridge replacement. Commissioners instructed Fritz to contact Penco and begin the process of taking bids to replace this bridge.  A motion was made by James and seconded by Befort to pass Resolution 18-15 to transfer from the Road Department Fund $200,000.00 to the Bridge Fund and $450,000.00 to the road department equipment fund.  Motion carried unanimously.
  • Fritz reported on the excavator.  James asked Fritz to go to Foley Implement to review the equipment when it arrives at Foleys.


  1. Fritz discussed the bridge located on 70 & EE Roads.
  2. Commissioners held additional discussion on low water crossings and bridge repair.  Commissioners agreed to do additional research to determine the best solution to locations in the county that require repeated tube maintenance.
  3. Befort asked about 140 Road.  Fritz indicated that the project is still being completed and tubes are being laid at this location.
  4. James asked Fritz about the crushed concrete pile in Osborne County.  Fritz reported that he will contact Cencon about the cost of concrete.
  5. Befort discussed adapting mowing equipment for more efficient mowing in 2019.
  6. Befort asked Fritz to coordinate the bucket repair on the landfill equipment.
  7. Commissioners reviewed the legal description and discussed adding an entrance to the land which will be sold at the current landfill location.
  8. Fritz discussed adding a pup trailer to be used in combination with a truck which would increase the ability to haul additional rock/gravel.   Commissioners did not make a decision at this time.
    1. Meyer reported that he was awarded a 2019 State and Local Grant for $10994.00.
    2. Meyer reported that the air-conditioning unit for the communications department equipment.  Commissioners approved purchasing a new air-conditioning unit.
    3. Meyer discussed and presented a Voice Products contract for 2019.  Commissioners approved the contract for service.
    4. Meyer reported that the replacement of doors in the law enforcement building is still being researched.Fritz discussed damage to B & 190 Roads.  Fritz left the meeting.Commissioners signed a letter of support for a grant request from Smith County for completion of a 911 addressing point audit.

      Befort reviewed boiler work that needs to be completed at the old hospital building.  Commissioners reviewed the cost of the boiler and plumbing repairs.

      Befort reported that he will meet with Dave Stortz to prepare for the on-line auction.  Befort reported that the sale will be done in a series of on-line auctions. Commissioners agreed to meet with Stortz on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at the clinic.

      Commissioners reviewed the spreadsheet with 2019 wages as discussed during budget preparation times.  James made a motion and it was seconded by Allen to adopt the wages as listed making note that the 3% raise for the county counselor is considered a contractual agreement for services provided outside of the duties of the county attorney and is subject to review before applying the increase.  Motion carried unanimously.

      Chad Meyer, Communications Director, joined the meeting and discussed the following:

    Commissioners discussed tuition assistance for the mapping classes presently being taken by JR Rice.  Commissioners agreed to authorize reimbursement for tuition of the mapping class based on continued employment.

    James made a motion and Allen seconded a motion to adopt year end transfers Resolution 18-16 and 18-17 to transfer $50,000.00 from the Landfill Fund to the Landfill Capital Improvement Fund, $7,500 to the Post Closure Fund, $12,500.00; and, $35,000.00 to the Health Department from the Health Reserve Fund.  Motion carried unanimously.

    Commissioners signed an agreement with the armory to assist in janitorial services for the Smith Center Armory bldg.

    Commissioners reviewed and signed an agreement with the State of Kansas to treat weeds along state highways in Smith County.

    Commissioners reviewed department head evaluations and assigned preparation of reviews to each commissioner.

    Befort reported on a recent discussion with the Smith County Memorial Hospital Administrator concerning services that are provided for Smith County from High Plains Mental Health.  Befort asked if we can coordinate a group discussion with the parties in Smith County that receive services from High Plains Mental Health. Commissioners agreed to schedule a meeting.

    As there was no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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