The Board of Marshall County Commissioners met in regular session with Barbara Kickhaefer, chairman, Tom Holle member and County Clerk Sandra Wilson present. Paul Kessinger with the Marysville Advocate arrived at the meeting at 8:33 a.m. Commissioner Bramhall joined the meeting at 8:45 a.m. Also attending the meeting were Dakota Beals, Shahira Stafford, Dorothy Barnett, Gayla Randel, Mary Ann Fincham, Sonya Kee, Kenny Feldhausen, Dan Howell, Kirrisa Stueve, Austin Cline and Brian Rassette.
Chairman Barbara Kickhaefer 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 June 29, 2020 meeting and today’s agenda. Motion passed 2-0.
Commissioner Kickhaefer opened up the floor for public comment.
Dakota Beals – is a wind technician who works with NextEra. He feels the opportunities and resources the wind turbines has brought in has been great.
Kenny Feldhausen – he feels the county would benefit from the wind turbines and that change is good.
Mary Ann Fincham – she is opposed to the windfarm and the procedures in which it has been presented.
Sonya Kee – also objects to the process in which this has come about, does not want to look out & see turbines.
Brian Rassette – has family owned property in Marshall County and has signed lease with NextEra for wind turbine placement. He feels that the process with NextEra has been very good and fair. He feels that counties that have natural resources have better infrastructure and have not seen the economic hit that other counties have.
Kirrisa Stueve – she states that Nemaha County is not happy with the representation of James Neeld as special counsel. She also has been told that some people are signing leases just to get NextEra to leave them alone. She feels people are not moving back to the area or are moving away due to the potential windfarm.
Public Works Administrator Mike Craig met with the Board. Mr. Craig has had a request from Herkimer Township Board to pass a Resolution to put up yield signs at the intersection of 6th Road and Bison Road.
Tom Holle moved, seconded by Keith Bramhall to approve Resolution 20-20-07-06-1
Whereas, said Board of County Commissioners is authorized and empowered, pursuant to K.S.A. 8-2002(6), 8-2005 and 8-2008 to designate any intersection or junction of roadways as a stop or yield intersection or junction, and cause to have placed and maintained such traffic control devices upon highways under their jurisdiction as they may deem necessary, and
Whereas, it is known that a hazardous condition exists at the intersection of two township roads due to volume, type of traffic and physical characteristics.
Now, therefore, Be it resolved, that in the interest of public safety and for the preservation of life and property, and having full regard for the traffic conditions upon the roads, said intersection shall be designated as a “YIELD INTERSECTION”, and that all vehicles approaching said intersection from the WEST or EAST (Bison Road) shall yield to North or South traffic (6th Road) before entering or proceeding through it. To Wit:
Location common to Section 11 and 12 Township 1 South, Range 6 East of the 6th P.M. and known as the intersection of 6th Road and Bison Road.
Motion passed Unanimously.
Public Works Administrator Mike Craig said he is waiting on a couple of bridge package bids. He informed the Board that the balance in his Special Road & Bridge Fund is $762,577 plus will be receiving the $99K for the exchange money and $275K from Marshall Wind Farm. Mr. Craig feels that there are 3 bridges that some of these dollars can be earmarked for. Mr. Craig will present bids to the commissioners when they are available and proceed as recommended. The money in this Special Road & Bridge fund is also used for the yearly overlay and seal projects.
Emergency Management Director Bill Schwindamann, Jr. presented the Board with a Disaster Resolution #20-20-03-16-1 extension relating to COVID-19 to remain in effect until rescinded.
Keith Bramhall moved, seconded by Tom Holle to extend Disaster Resolution #20-20-03-16-1 to remain in effect until rescinded. Unanimous.
County Counselor Jason Brinegar met with the Board. He is still working on 2 remaining tax sale properties.
County Counselor Jason Brinegar informed the Board that they can do a motion instead of a Resolution to address the mask wearing in the courthouse.
Keith Bramhall moved, seconded by Barbara Kickhaefer to require the wearing of masks while inside the courthouse including offices and common spaces when a social distance of 6 feet cannot be established effective Monday, July 6, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. and remain in effect until rescinded. Unanimous.
Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Tom Holle to recess the meeting to outside the courthouse (due to the number of people present) at 9:56 a.m. Unanimous.
Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Tom Holle to reconvene the regularly scheduled meeting at 10:00 a.m. on the front sidewalk of the courthouse. 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. has been set aside for public comment.
Mara Olson – non-participating landowner of 3 acres rural Frankfort area. She is concerned about lower property values, increased traffic, noise, flashing effect, lights at night and destroying roads. She feels that NextEra has spent a lot of time with commissioners but not a lot of time with patrons.
Jonathan Keating – cattle feeder & farmer recently bought home rural Frankfort area. He states they would not have bought a home there if known the windmills were coming through. He wishes to someday build a house on family land and would prefer to not look at windmills. He feels that a proper set back for non-participating landowners is 3,000 ft.
Gayla Randel – feels that windfarms are not economic growth, there is very little maintenance once they are built and it does not grow the economy. The jobs that are created are temporary. It is destroying the rural landscape. She asked the Board that according to K.S.A. 19-212 without zoning she wants to know what right the Board has to allow turbines to be placed next to a house.
Carol Hull – personally looked into a small personal turbine several years ago but found was not affordable and too much maintenance. She has read several studies regarding wind turbines and its affects on the surrounding area.
Dan Howell – he feels the energy field is changing. Evergy has said that by 2040 they will be decommissioning all coal plants and wind is a value added product. He feels that we can either be part of it or buy it from somewhere else.
Austin Cline – family lives on the Clear Fork/Bigelow township border. He feels that wind turbines ruin the aesthetics of the landscape. Owning a cow/calf operation, he has concerns that cattle and chickens suffer pathologies resulting from the reverberations in the ground from wind turbines such as chickens have lack of egg production and cattle have birthing difficulties, this is known as wind turbine syndrome. He also feels that this will lower land values as people will not want to purchase homes near wind turbines.
The Board was asked why they meet with James Neeld in executive session and it is not open to the public. County Counselor Jason Brinegar explained that the County is a client of Mr. Neeld and these executive sessions are for attorney-client privileged information.
Mara Olson has concerns if Marshall County would hire the same engineering firm as Nemaha County that we would have some of the same issues. County Counselor Jason Brinegar said that hopefully, Marshall County will learn from Nemaha County’s mistakes and assure that some of the same issues do not happen.
Tom Holle moved, seconded by Barbara Kickhaefer to recess the meeting at 10:53 a.m. to be moved back into the courthouse meeting room. Unanimous.
Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Keith Bramhall to reconvene the regular meeting in the Board of County Commissioner room at 10:55 a.m. Unanimous.
County Treasurer Jami Ellenbecker and County Counselor Jason Brinegar met with the Board to discuss dormant General Ledger Accounts.
County Treasurer Jami Ellenbecker asked the Board for approval to distribute the Federal Land Management money received as previous. The Federal Land Management money encompasses 3 townships and 2 school districts.
Tom Holle moved, seconded by Keith Bramhall to share Marshall County share of Federal Land Management PILT as previous. Unanimous.
County Treasurer Jami Ellenbecker has opened 2 new bank accounts for the CDBG-CV grant dollars and the SPARK dollars. The Board’s directive is that any checks written out of these accounts should follow the same procedures as the warrants with 3 signatures, 2 live signatures and 1 stamp is allowable.
Keith Bramhall moved, seconded by Tom Holle to go into executive session at 11:10 a.m. for 10 minutes to engage in attorney-client privileged discussions with the Board, County Treasurer Jami Ellenbecker, County Counselor Jason Brinegar and County Clerk Sandra Wilson present. Unanimous.
Tom Holle moved, seconded by Keith Bramhall to extend the executive session at 11:21 a.m. for 5 minutes with the same person’s present for the same reason. Unanimous.
No action was taken as a result of this executive session.
Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Keith Bramhall to approve the following purchase orders. Unanimous.
Imaging Office Systems, Inc., Fort Wayne, IN
For Application Extender Hosting Services/Cloud Backup
$1,727.00-District Court Fund-P.O. #6220
Aumentum Technologies – amended
For Set up configuration & migration of IBM server
$3,932.68-Computer & Maintenance Fund-P.O. #6227
North Central Ks Regional Juvenile Detention, Junction City, KS
For Quarterly expense
$2,900.81-General (Juvenile Det Center) Fund-P.O. #6247
Edelman-Lyon, Kansas City, MO
For 1 installed (2) magic access operators for bathrooms
$4,190.00-Agency on Aging Fund-P.O. #6021
Steven A. Kraushaar, Marysville, KS
For Contract Attorney Fees (June 2020)
$3,000.00-District Court Fund-P.O. #6248
Barbara Kickhaefer moved, seconded by Keith Bramhall to pay the following Home Sewer District bills out of the appropriate funds. Unanimous.
United States Treasury for 2nd qtr 941 taxes $172.12
Evergy for 2 lift stations $139.00
Linda Weber, wages $161.61
Dustin Tormondson $184.70
Ellen Barber with MCP4G met with the Board to discuss the CDBG-CV grant. She has received 14 applications that appear to all qualify. She does not feel that we will need to extend the application deadline of the 10th but might need a little extra time to prepare the documents for presentation to the Board. She has received applications from 6 Marysville business, 4 Blue Rapids businesses, 2 Frankfort businesses and 2 Waterville businesses.
Deputy County Clerk Sammi Jackson met with the Board to give them an update on the SPARK distribution. She has made initial contact with the cities and schools via email. The SPARK committee will meet tomorrow, Tuesday, July 7 at 10:00 a.m. to discuss and review the ever changing guidelines.
Keith Bramhall moved, seconded by Tom Holle to approve vouchers as presented and issue manual warrants from respective funds. Unanimous.
Commissioner Bramhall left the meeting at 11:56 a.m.
Kirrisa Stueve of Frankfort thanked the Board for their willingness to talk and listen to the concerns regarding the windfarm.
Tom Holle moved, seconded by Barbara Kickhaefer to adjourn the meeting at 12:15 p.m. Unanimous. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, July 13, 2020 beginning at 8:30 a.m.