Nemaha County Commission Meeting Minutes – 8/12/19


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

August 12, 2019 Unofficial

The Board of Nemaha County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, August 12, 2019 in the Commissioner’s Room of the Nemaha County Courthouse. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Gary Scoby leading the flag salute. Present also were Commissioners Tim Burdiek and Dennis Henry, Road and Bridge/Solid Waste Supervisor Dennis Ronnebaum and Office Assistant Kristina Talkington, and County Clerk Mary Kay Schultejans recording the minutes.

Road and Bridge/Solid Waste Report:

Road and Bridge/Solid Waste Supervisor Dennis Ronnebaum advised the board that:
• he has hired Isaac Swart to fill the open position in the Road and Bridge Department. Isaac will begin work on August 19th at a rate of pay of $15.11 per hour.
• Husker Steel bid a bridge replacement project which is located between sections 4 and 5 of Harrison Township. Dennis shared this bid with Commissioners, but no decision was made at this time as to whether or not to approve the bid. Dennis stated that he is going to ask Husker Steel for an itemized bid of this project.
• he has completed three jobs using the excavator that the county is renting from Foley Tractor and that he has a couple of more jobs that he could use this piece of equipment on as well. Dennis presented Commissioners with a cost estimate to purchase the excavator from Foley Tractor, but no decision was made at this time as to whether or not to purchase the excavator.
• the low water crossing (Bridge M-21) behind the Centralia Lake has been taken care of.
• Office Assistant Kristina Talkington had information to share with Commissioners about the purchase of a radar speed display sign.

The board reviewed the minutes from the July 31, 2019 meeting. Dennis Henry moved to approve the minutes as presented. Tim Burdiek seconded the motion. The motion carried with all voting aye.

Emergency Preparedness Report:

Emergency Preparedness Director Russel Lierz advised the board that:
• he spoke with the Seneca Police Department about the purchase of a radar speed display sign.
• he recently met with the Red Cross who hopes to hold a smoke alarm program sometime soon in the county.
• he attended a Local Emergency Planning Committee meeting last week. Russel stated that an active shooter training will be held at the Nemaha Central High School on September 16th from 10:00 am to approximately 1:00 pm.
• he has met with both hospitals in the county about active shooter scenarios.

• NextEra Energy Resources has spoken to him about the Emergency Operations Plan for the Soldier Creek Windfarm Project. Russel stated that he will be talking to the Appraiser’s Office about addressing for the turbines in the windfarm project.

The board reviewed vouchers submitted by the different departments to be paid at the middle of August.

Sheriff’s Report:

Sheriff Rich Vernon advised the board that:
• they are currently holding sixteen inmates in the jail.
• they booked eight individuals into the jail this past week.
• they traveled to Jackson County, Missouri recently to pick up an individual that they had a warrant on.
• Lane Beck will be doing some relief work for the Sheriff’s Office. Rich stated that Lane will begin work in this capacity on August 15th at a rate of pay of $16.89 per hour. Lane will serve as either relief corrections officer or relief over the road deputy.

Nancy Gafford with Rural Development Association of Northeast Kansas came before the board. Nancy requested an executive session with Commissioners. Dennis Henry moved to hold a fifteen minute executive session until 10:55 am to discuss the financials of Nemaha County. Tim Burdiek seconded the motion. The motion carried with all voting aye. Present for the executive session was the Board of Commissioners, Nancy Gafford with RDA of NEK, and Clerk Mary Kay Schultejans. The meeting returned to open session at 10:50 am with Chairman Gary Scoby signing the semi-annual microloan report as presented and documents for the microloan grant for Sweet Rosie’s, LLC as presented as well.

Noxious Weed Report:

Noxious Weed Director Mixie Vance advised the board that:
• she had quotes to share with Commissioners for the purchase of a new sprayer for the new Noxious Weed truck. Following review of the quotes, Commissioners agreed to purchase a new sprayer in the amount of $2,834.00 from Superior Industries, LLC.

Tanner Yost with Kirkham Michael came before the board to speak to Commissioners about assisting with the Road Use Agreement for the Soldier Creek Windfarm project.

Senior Services/Public Transit Director Diane Yunghans and Administrative Assistant Marie Weaver came before the board to speak to Commissioners about using the annual clothing allowance for the purchase of tennis shoes instead of shirts. Diane and Marie also spoke to Commissioners about having someone inspect the ceiling area of the Pioneer Building to test for mold.

Chairman Gary Scoby signed a letter as presented to be sent to the Kansas Department of Commerce explaining the most recent drawdown of construction funds for the Bern Fire District #4 CDBG grant project.

County Attorney Brad Lippert came before the board. Commissioners spoke to Brad about the clothing allowance policy in the Nemaha County Employee Handbook.

Dan Ronnebaum came before the board to ask for clarification on a few items in the Soldier Creek Windfarm Term Sheet. County Attorney Brad Lippert was also present for this discussion.

County Attorney Brad Lippert reviewed the Soldier Creek Wind Farm Project Term Sheet as revised on July 30, 2019. Commissioners and the County Attorney signed the term sheet as presented.

Maintenance employee Troy Melvin came before the board. Commissioners spoke to Troy about the roof issue at the Pioneer Building. Troy spoke to Commissioners about having some of the hallway carpet in the Pioneer Building professionally cleaned. Commissioners agreed to this request. Troy also spoke to Commissioners about issues with the epoxy flooring at a couple of different county buildings and about issues with the ceiling tiles in the Magistrate Judge’s Office of the courthouse.

Commissioners reviewed a draft of the Nemaha County 2020 budget, suggesting changes to be made to the document before it is reviewed again during next week’s meeting.

With no further county business coming before the board, Chairman Gary Scoby adjourned the meeting at 3:35 pm. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, August 19, 2019 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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