Marshall County Commission Meeting Minutes – 6/1/2020


The Board of Marshall County Commissioners met in regular session with Barbara Kickhaefer, chairman, Keith Bramhall member, Tom Holle member and County Clerk Sandra Wilson present. Emergency Management Director Bill Schwindamann, Jr., County Health Nurse Sue Rhodes and County Counselor Jason Brinegar were present for the meeting. Paul Kessinger with the Advocate joined the meeting at 8:39 a.m.

The Board of Commissioners called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.

The Board opened the meeting with the flag salute.

Tom Holle moved, seconded by Barbara Kickhaefer to approve the minutes of the 5/27/2020 Grant Application Hearing, the 5/27/2020 regular meeting minutes as presented and the Agenda for today’s meeting as amended. Unanimous.

Emergency Management Director Bill Schwindamann, Jr. and County Health Nurse Sue Rhodes addressed the Board regarding COVID-19 reopening/phase out. Marshall County is still testing but still remains with 0 cases. County Health Officer Dr. John Ryan has been consulted continuously throughout this process.

Keith Bramhall moved, seconded by Tom Holle to rescind Resolution #20-05-27-2 which will then open up Marshall County to no restrictions regarding COVID-19 encouraging all citizens to continue to adhere to CDC safety guidelines and travel related quarantine recommendations and continue to be proactive in preventing the spread of the virus. Unanimous.

Public Works Administrator Mike Craig met with the Board.

Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Tom Holle to approve the following purchase orders. Unanimous.

Midwest Products, LLC, Hanover, KS
For concrete pad TS trailer pad
$1,326.50-Road & Bridge Dept.-P.O. #109078

Kruse Dozer Service, LLC, Frankfort, KS
For 1st pymt contract work for cell 2 – Phase 1
$23,448.60-Solid Waste Fund-P.O. #109079

It has been brought to the attention of the Board that the trees growing in the Marshall County Historical Courthouse lawn which is adjacent to the Courthouse have limbs that are hanging over the sidewalk and the courthouse roof. Public Works Administrator Mike Craig said this would not be a problem to pull some guys in with skid loader and pole saws to trim up the trees.

Public Works Administrator Mike Craig informed the Board that the 2005 Freightliner from Frankfort is back at Hoyt Truck Center in Topeka. The truck was just brought back last week and there were still some issues so it went back to Topeka. Estimate to fix it is $6300 which is in addition to the approximate $4900 already spent. The Board instructed Mr. Craig to go forward with getting it fixed.

Public Works Administrator Mike Craig told the Board that he has been approached regarding leasing the trucks for the public works department or possibly looking into outright purchase with buy back options. Mr. Craig will begin working on budgeting for the next year.

Public Works Administrator Mike Craig said there were a couple of tubes washed out with the recent rains. One is on 27th Rd in Murray township between sections 8 & 9 and the other one is on 8th Rd in Oketo township between sections 6 & 5. They will be replacing them in the near future.

Public Works Administrator Mike Craig said the bridge in Cleveland Township will be opening up today.

Commissioner Kickhaefer was approached by the Marysville dog park group once again to see if the closed bridge on Zenith road is still available for them to remove. County Counselor Jason Brinegar said it would be important to have a short contract with a waiver concerning liability drawn up and signed prior to any removal.

County Counselor Jason Brinegar said he had no update on the tax sale properties at this time.

County Counselor Jason Brinegar and the Board discussed the hiring of an engineer to work for Marshall County throughout the proposed Irish Creek Windfarm construction. County Counselor Jason Brinegar will do some research and reach out to some engineers who are experienced with wind turbines as well as road use agreements. Commissioner Kickhaefer reached out to a couple of other counties asking for referrals. She received one referral of Kirk & Michaels of Ellsworth, Kansas and they specialize in both of these areas. The turbine specialist would mainly be responsible for the decommissioning report.

Keith Bramhall moved, seconded by Tom Holle to go into executive session for 10 minutes at 9:31 a.m. to engage in attorney-client privileged discussion with the Board and County Counselor Jason Brinegar. Unanimous. No action taken as a result of this executive session.

The Board made the decision to unlock all doors of the courthouse during business hours.

Agency on Aging Director Ashley Lyhane met with the Board. She reported that she handed out 137 DHD boxes on the 22nd day of May beginning at 9:00 a.m. At the recommendation of the State, she will not resume dine in eating until June 15. She will also begin out of county transportation for medical appointments only on June 15.

Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Keith Bramhall to approve vouchers as presented and issue manual warrants from respective funds. Unanimous.

County Attorney Meghan Voracek met with the Board. She has Apple computers in her office and they are experiencing a lot of incompatibility issues. She received a bid from Network Computer Solutions for 1 new laptop and 3 new desktop computers in the amount of $4,209.27.

Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Keith Bramhall to purchase 4 new HP computers from Network Computer Solutions for the County Attorney’s office in the amount of $4,209.27. Unanimous.

Ellen Barber & Frank Shoemaker with Marshall County Partnership for Growth met with the Board to discuss the development of a revolving loan program. This revolving loan program could possibly assist existing businesses in need of a little help or new businesses for start up money. This program is just in the beginning stages of developing. It is the hope that the County could provide the seed money by using the $25,000 that was set aside in the 2020 budget for economic development. There would be an application process and a review committee to determine eligibility.

Ellen Barber with Marshall County Partnership for Growth reported she just found out about a grant being offered by Evergy which she will be applying for which would include $15,000 of loan dollars and $10,000 of grant dollars. This $15,000 if received could be added to the County donation of $25,000.

Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Keith Bramhall to give $25,000 to Marshall County Partnership for Growth for the development of a revolving loan program. Unanimous.

Undersheriff Tim Ackerman met with the Board. He requested a step increase for Justin Cacek from Correction Officer probation at $17.02/hr to Correction Officer 1 yr at $17.27/hr.

Tom Holle moved, seconded by Barbara Kickhaefer to approve a step increase for Justin Cacek from $17.02/hr to $17.27/hr. Unanimous.

Undersheriff Tim Ackerman told the Board he was working on the 2021 budget worksheets. Previously, when purchasing new vehicles, they would take bids from local banks and borrow the money to purchase the vehicles. There has been sufficient money in the Sheriff’s Reserve fund to pay off the vehicles and purchase new, however, this is a non-budgeted fund and excess dollars at the end of the year from the Sheriff’s budget can be transferred to the Sheriff’s Reserve for future purchases. There is also a line item in the Sheriff’s budget for Vehicles that could be utilized.

Charlie Weickert with the Marshall County Historical Society stopped into the meeting to thank the Board for their continued support. He also presented the Board with the 2021 budget request for the Historical Courthouse. The 2021 budget request is $15,000 which is the same as previous year.

Joe Horigan of Frankfort met with the Board regarding the proposed Irish Creek Windfarm. County Counselor Jason Brinegar was also present to observe. Mr. Horigan was asking the Board to consider zoning for the windfarm set backs. He stated he was not for or against the windfarm. He stressed the importance of the County establishing the set backs and not just going with what NextEra is recommending. Commissioner Bramhall feels that the Board of County Commissioners was put in place to serve and protect all the citizens of Marshall County and that is what they are striving to do. Mr. Horigan feels that the small landowner doesn’t have a voice in this process. However, he does agree that each landowner has the right to choose what does or does not go on their own property. County Counselor Jason Brinegar did inform Mr. Horigan that the County is negotiating the agreement to be site plan specific which means each independent turbine site will be taken into consideration and could have different set back limitations.

Dane Minge, Marysville phoned into the meeting. Mr. Minge was recently removed from the Neighborhood Revitalization program due to late payment of property taxes. He was calling to ask for reconsideration as they recently had a new baby and were somewhat preoccupied. Commissioner Kickhaefer told Mr. Minge that the rules are pretty much set in stone, if the taxes are delinquent or unpaid then that property is removed from the plan. The legislature is meeting this week to discuss legislation that would waive all penalties and interest and possibly extend the deadline so that the taxes would not be considered delinquent. If this happens, Mr. Minge and all the other applicants removed for delinquent taxes would be placed back into the program.

Since the Courthouse is now completely open with no restrictions, the Board discussed the need to continue livestreaming the meetings. Network Computer Solutions will be consulted regarding equipment to get better quality and possibly upload the recordings to a You Tube channel and/or the county website.

Tami Stowell and Mary Weeks from the health department joined the meeting to discuss the Health Department Server needs. Previously, they had gotten a bid from Dell for a new, larger server and the Board directed the Health Department to get a quote from Network Computer Solutions for a comparable server. The IT contract signed with Network Computer Solutions includes exclusive purchasing or approval from NCS. The Board felt that the server they approved at the meeting last week was an improvement over their current server but Tami and Mary feel that the server is the same size as the current one and therefore, is not what they want. The Board directed the Health Dept. to talk directly with Network Computer Solutions so that they can communicate on what is needed in the server.

County Treasurer Jami Ellenbecker met with the Board to discuss moving the drivers license station to the room adjoining the Board of Commissioners meeting room. The Board gave approval for the move. County Treasurer Jami Ellenbecker will contact the State of Kansas to get assistance for the move.

The Board feels it is time to begin discussing the proposed jail project again.

Keith Bramhall moved, seconded by Barbara Kickhaefer to adjourn the meeting at 12:29 p.m. Unanimous. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be Monday, June 8, 2020 beginning at 8:30 a.m.

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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