Smith County Commissioners-February 4, 2019


Office of the County Clerk

Journal of Proceedings for the Smith County Commissioners

February 4, 2019

The County Commissioners met in a regular session on February 4, 2019 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

James opened the meeting with prayer.

Commissioners approved the agenda for the February 4, 2019 meeting.

Commissioners revised, approved, and signed the January 28, 2019 minutes.

Commissioners reviewed the mail.

Commissioners approved Payroll #3 for $123,742.23.

Commissioners approved checks #38762-38789 from the following accounts:

General                                                           5538.36

Health                                                   225.00                                                                                                          Appraiser                                                55.00

Solid Waste                                            634.00

EMS                                                       426.00

Health Care Sale Tax                            720.00

Next Gen 911                                        585.05

Sheriff’s VIN Fund                                352.15

TOTAL                                         $   8,536.06


Fritz discussed the following:

  1. Fritz reported that two blades are being repaired.
  2. Befort discussed maintenance at X & 200 Roads.
  3. Befort discussed P Road maintenance. Commissioners agreed that high speed traffic was playing a role in the condition of the road.
  4. Commissioners reviewed a proposal from Kansas Gas Company for an easement to the Sunporch facility.    Commissioners agreed to wait for Owen for final approval.
  5. James discussed L Road between 170 & 190 Roads.
  6. James asked about road department equipment replacement plan. Befort and Fritz discussed some details related to the topic.  Befort reported that they are nearly ready to present a 5 year replacement plan.
  7. Fritz discussed crushed concrete which may be available to purchase.
  8. Fritz discussed providing classes for the road department in 2019. The classes would include Low Volume Road Signing and Blading Roads, Minimum Maintenance Roads, and Closing Roads.  James asked if we could add a Low Water Crossing Class as well.  Fritz reported that Jerol DeBoer is also providing additional information for the low water crossing subject.
  9. Befort asked about bids for the bridge north of the Bellaire Elevator. Fritz indicated they will let the bids soon.
  10. Fritz reported that there is about ½ mile of road maintenance remaining on 140 Road between T & U Roads.
  11. Fritz reported on the rock maintenance schedule.
  12. James reported that he received a text from Renebergs thanking the road department for work well done on 140 Road. Fritz left the meeting.

Commissioners signed 7 abated tax statements.

Commissioners reviewed a fire alarm contract for the old hospital.  Commissioners approved the agreement with Fire Alarm Specialist out of Wakeeney.  Commissioners determined that the service is needed until Sunporch moves from the old facility.

Befort discussed some proposed training for active shooter incidents.

Owen joined the meeting and reviewed the easement to Kansas Gas Service to be connected to the new Sunporch facility.  The chairman signed the easement.

Commissioners discussed the old hospital auction.  Commissioners received the proceeds from the most recent sales.  Commissioners discussed additional items to be sold at a second auction to be held February 17, 2019.

Chris Bailey, Under-sheriff, joined the meeting and reported on the fingerprinting system and the new part-time employee.  Bailey reported that all fingerprinting can now be completed on the electronic system which should resolve any previous errors in fingerprinting local school employees.

Commissioners discussed speed limit on P Road.  Bailey suggested adding some additional speed signs and agreed to monitor traffic speeds at this locale.

Sheriff Bruce Lehman joined the meeting and answered some questions on the door replacement for the law enforcement building.  Lehman and Bailey left the meeting.

Dave Tucker, Landfill Supervisor, joined the meeting.

Laura Hageman, Health Nurse, joined the meeting and discussed the following:

  1. Commissioners approved Hageman’s vacation request.
  2. Hageman reviewed the current status of Influenza A absenteeism in Smith Center Schools. Hageman reported that she attempts to educate on the topic but that there is no mandatory intervention.
  3. Hageman reported on “vaping” and indicated she is attempting to do some additional education on the hazards of “vaping”.
  4. Hageman asked about sick leave approval next to a holiday. Commissioners approved the time off.
  5. Hageman discussed adding panic buttons to the Wellness Center and Health Department. Commissioners agreed to discuss the topic at the next meeting.

Shawn Phelps joined the meeting.

  1. Hageman reported on the wellness center keyless entry.
  2. Hageman discussed the child activity area proposed for the wellness center clients children.
  3. Hageman reported that beginning February 21, 2019, the Wellness Center will have an additional massage therapist who can provide evening massages.
  4. Befort asked about the logo on the Wellness Center. Hageman reported that she has contacted Joey Stansbury about the lettering and is waiting on his proposal.  Befort asked Hageman to get a price for adding the logo to the wellness center building face.

Hageman left the meeting.

Commissioners reviewed the proposal from State Line Properties for the sale of the landfill property.  Phelps indicated that he lowered his price as a public service to assist the county.  Commissioners reviewed sale options.   Phelps also reported that he donates to a local non-profit from land sale proceeds; and, asked commissioners to designate which non-profit they would like to choose.

Shawn Phelps and Dave Tucker left the meeting.  Patrick Eastes and Alex Snyder joined the meeting.

Eastes discussed the following:

  1. Commissioners authorized Eastes to use the benches being removed from the courthouse at the EMS building if they were suitable for EMS needs.
  2. Eastes provided a statistical report for EMS. EMS received 54 calls in January.
  3. James discussed a no-transport service charge. Eastes reported that they have been working on a policy which will be implemented February 1, 2019 that will require a fee for any calls over three within a 60 day period of time that do not require transport.

Chad Meyer joined the meeting.

  1. Eastes updated the commissioners on the status of the new ambulance.

Eastes and Snyder left the meeting.

Meyer, Emergency Manager, discussed commissioners’ security agreements.  Commissioners signed new security agreements.   Commissioners also asked some questions about active shooter training. Meyer left the meeting.

Commissioners discussed appointing the realtor for the landfill sale.  After some discussion, a motion was made by Befort and seconded by Allen to accept the lowest bid from State Line Properties for 1.75%.  Motion carried unanimously.  Commissioners contacted Jerol DeBoer to establish any sales restrictions for test wells that may be necessary to establish prior to the sale.  Commissioners thanked DeBoer.  Commissioners also contacted Jeff Hammer, Midway CO-OP, to clarify chemical application concerns for the landfill property.  Hammer reviewed chemical applications that may affect the fall crop.  Commissioners thanked Hammer.   Commissioners agreed to an on-line auction format.

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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