Smith County Commissioners-January 28, 2019


The County Commissioners met in a regular session on January 28, 2019 in the County Commissioners’ Room. Present were Commissioners Art Befort and Roger Allen.  Tom James was absent.  Also present were Joell Wagenblast, Deputy Clerk; and, Mitch Fritz, Road Supervisor

Allen opened the meeting with prayer.

Commissioners approved the agenda for the January 28, 2019 meeting.

Commissioners revised, approved, and signed the January 22, 2019 minutes.

Commissioners approved check #38730-38761 from the following accounts:

General                                                            5922.86

Road & Bridge                                     1008.74

Nox Weed                                               31.00

Health                                                    673.33                                                                                                         Appraiser                                                 526.00

Health Reserve Account                                     144.50

Health Care Sale Tax                           2095.92

Payroll Clearing                                    2460.00

TOTAL                                         $   12,862.35


Fritz discussed the following:

  1. Allen received a call about 270 Rd. between DD & EE Rds. Fritz indicated there are barricades up so the road department can start on tree removal for replacing the bridge at that location.  Fritz notified the sheriff’s department, the EMS department and the USD#272 about the road closing.
  2. Allen reported that he went to the hospital auction on Sunday. Allen thought the auction went well.
  3. Allen did a walk-through of the old hospital to review remaining contents.
  4. Befort played a voicemail he received about DD Rd. between 110 Rd. & 120 Rd. Fritz will get a blade man up there to do maintenance on the road.
  5. Befort discussed maintenance on 50 Rd. between H & I Rds. Fritz stated it was on the rock list.
  6. Befort asked if AA Rd. between 70 & 90 Rds. was done. Fritz thought one more load of material should complete the project.
  7. Allen asked about permits to haul gravel out of Nebraska.

Tabitha Owen joined the meeting.


  1. Befort discussed the gas line easement for Kansas Gas Service at the Sun Porch location. Fritz has been in contact with Jerol DeBoer and they both think that the depth needs to be at least 4 feet.  Owens told the commissioners that before they sign the easement they should consider all options.   Owen left the meeting.
  2. Befort discussed allowing Sunporch to rent space in his building. Commissioners did not think this would be a conflict of interest.

Dave Tucker joined the meeting.


  1. Befort reported that the washer and dryer at the Wellness Center were hooked up and ready to be used.
  2. Fritz reported that the road department should be able to start hauling rock soon. Fritz reported that they are working on 140 Rd.
  3. Befort thanked Fritz and road department employees who helped moved items from the old hospital to Stortz’s Auction building.
  4. Befort asked Fritz if he had heard anything from Foley Implement about the excavator. Fritz reported that Foley is replacing the cab.
  5. Befort asked about the tractors used for mowing. Fritz discussed the tractor options.
  6. Fritz went over the road department equipment replacement list. Fritz left the meeting.

Tucker discussed the following:

  1. Tucker reported that there was about 9,100 pounds left on the tire grant. Tucker received a call about bringing in some tires that he believe will fill the rest of the grant.
  2. Tucker discussed the KOR (Kansas Organization of Recyclers) workshop in Lindsborg on March 19-21. Befort indicated that he would attend.
  3. Tucker discussed the Ellis County Household Hazardous Waste annual meeting to be held on March 13.
  4. Befort asked about notification letters for the solid waste committee meeting. Wagenblast indicated that they had not yet been sent.
  5. Befort discussed calling Tamko in Phillipsburg to discuss recycling cardboard.

Chad Meyer joined the meeting

Commissioners opened the sealed bids from local realtors for the property at the landfill.  Three sales proposal were received as followed:

  1. Kansasland Realty & Auction- 4% of final sales price
  2. Oliver Realty & Auction LLC-5% of net proceeds.
  3. State Line Properties- 1.75% of the total sales price.

After reviewing the bids, the commissioners decided to table the discussion until next week.  Befort asked Wagenblast to contact State Line Properties and have them attend the February 4 meeting so they can get some clarification on their bid.

Tucker left the meeting.

Wagenblast asked about finger printing done at the Sheriff’s office.  Commissioners asked to have Bruce Lehmann join the meeting on February 4.

A motion was made by Befort and seconded by Allen to convene in executive session to complete a job performance review for Chad Meyer from 10:55 a.m. till 11:10 a.m.  Motion carried unanimously.  Also in the session was Chad Meyer, Communication Director/Emergency Manager.  Regular session reconvened at 11:10 a.m.  A completed job performance review was placed in Meyer’s file. 

Meyer left the meeting.

Commissioners discussed Kathy Hansen’s retirement party to be held on February 1.

Befort discussed water damage under the windows in the Register of Deeds office.  He suggested that Wes Walla look at the damage when he is fixing the basement walls.

Befort discussed a message he received asking if he had any knowledge about a Woodstock concert being held in Smith County.  At this time the commissioners have no knowledge of the event.

Befort reported that he plans on attending NWKS Planning & Development meeting in Hill City on Wednesday.

Commissioners approved one Smith County Drug and Alcohol expenditure request.

As there was no further business the meeting was adjourned.

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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