The Board of Marshall County Commissioners met in Special Session with Barbara Kickhaefer, chairman, Keith Bramhall member, Tom Holle member and Sandra Wilson County Clerk present. Others present for the meeting were Emergency Management Director Bill Schwindamann, Jr., County Health Nurse Sue Rhodes, County Treasurer Jami Ellenbecker, Undersheriff Tim Ackerman, Chief of Police of Marysville City Todd Ackerman, Agency on Aging Director Ashley Lyhane, County Counselor Jason Brinegar, Deputy County Clerk Sammi Jackson, City of Blue Rapids Clerk Chrystal Busey, Clerk of the District Court Nancy Koch, K-State Research and Extension Agent Susie Latta, Register of Deeds Martha Roesch, County Attorney Secretary Jane Backman, Public Works Administrator Mike Craig, Public Works Office Coordinating Supervisor Sondra Klover and Marysville City Administrator Austin St. John.
The Board of Commissioners called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.
The Board opened the meeting with the flag salute.
The Board asked Emergency Management Director Bill Schwindamann, Jr. and County Health Nurse Sue Rhodes for an update on the COVID-19 situation. Emergency Management Director Bill Schwindamann, Jr. says he is participating in conference calls at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily to stay updated on the developments. County Health Nurse Sue Rhodes said that we really need to concentrate on the social distancing of 6’. County Health Nurse Sue Rhodes is in constant contact with Public Health Officer Dr. John Ryan. Dr. Ryan has encouraged the large employers in the area to take measures to implement social distancing while still providing the services necessary for their businesses.
It has been recommended that the County think about alternating key personnel working which would enable us to continue to provide services yet not all get exposed or sick at the same time.
Emergency Management Director Bill Schwindamann, Jr. would like to see the County take the lead and establish a task force with Mayors of the towns of Marshall County to ensure that everyone is getting the same information out to the public and to be able to assist each other. A meeting will be held with the Mayors.
Agency on Aging Director Ashley Lyhane said that since closing the dine in option that her meals in Marysville are down but Frankfort, Blue Rapids and Waterville meals have seen an increase. Agency on Aging Director Ashley Lyhane has suspended any out of county transportation at this time. She is thinking that it might be best to eliminate all transportation at this time to ensure the safety of the patrons and the drivers. They are taking extra precautions and wiping surfaces more frequently.
Chrystal Busey City Clerk for Blue Rapids stated that they have set up a 24 hour information line and asked if daycares are permitted to stay open. County Health Nurse Sue Rhodes stated that at this time the daycares are able to remain open and due to the dismissal of school, they have made some exceptions for the number of children allowed and the State will continue to monitor this situation.
Emergency Management Director Bill Schwindamann, Jr. feels we need to do more frequent updates to the public. There was much discussion on the best way to reach most of the patrons. Social media is a great tool along with newspaper but not everyone has access to these items. Radio might be the best tool to use to get information out to the public.
At this time, County recycling is closed. The Landfill is closed to the public but will still accommodate commercial traffic as usual. In-house dining at the Agency on Aging sites has been suspended, Meals on Wheels and boxed meals will continue to be provided and there will be no out of county transportation at this time.
The possibility of closing the courthouse to the public was brought up. It was suggested that we place a drop box of some kind at the Northeast entrance of the courthouse. The drop box could be utilized for patrons to place their documents in a sealed envelope with the appropriate office’s name on the outside. There will be phone numbers posted on the door, via social media and on the county’s website to allow access to all the offices via phone.
Keith Bramhall moved, seconded by Tom Holle to close the courthouse to the general public effective today, March 19, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. allowing employees only until further notice. Unanimous.
Public Health Office Dr. John Ryan has recommended that the County implement a Resolution to limit any public or private gatherings to 10 or less and to cease dine-in capabilities.
County Health Nurse Sue Rhodes said that the Health Department will need to remain open.
Agency on Aging will also lock the doors to the public. They will continue to offer Meals on Wheels and boxed meals for pickup or delivery only. As the spread of the virus continues to be evaluated, they will make a decision on transportation. At this time, transportation in county will continue.
Keith Bramhall moved, seconded by Tom Holle that at the recommendation of Public Health Officer Dr. John Ryan, to limit public gatherings to 10 or less. Unanimous.
Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Tom Holle to amend the above motion to include effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 20, 2020. Unanimous.
Keith Bramhall moved, seconded by Barbara Kickhaefer that at the recommendation of Public Health Officer Dr. John Ryan, all restaurants, bars, taverns, clubs, private clubs, auditoriums and movie theaters will close to the public effective March 20, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. and will be allowed carry out, drive through or delivery of meals only and to follow the CDC social distancing recommendations. Unanimous.
Chief of Police Todd Ackerman recommended that Matt Simpson, Assistant Chief of Police be the designated Public Information Officer to work with all agencies to ensure that information being released to the public is factual and consistent.
County Counselor Jason Brinegar presented the Board with Resolution 20-20-03-19-1 which prohibits the gathering of more than 10 people and closes restaurants, bars, taverns, movie theatres, etc. to dine in options effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 20, 2020 and the Marshall County Courthouse shall be closed to the general public effective 5:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020.
Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Tom Holle to approve Resolution 20-20-03-19-1. Unanimous.
Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Keith Bramhall to adjourn the special meeting at 4:20 p.m. Unanimous.
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, March 23, 2020 beginning at 8:30 a.m. The meeting will be live streamed via the Marshall County Clerk & Election Office Facebook page.