Commissioners Approve Support for Transportation Grant Request

The Mitchell County Commissioners approved the Solomon Valley Transportation request for an official letter showing commissioners support for a grant they are applying for to be used to purchase a new bus to replace the oldest and largest bus they have at the present time. In the absence of Stephanie Simmons, Board Chairman, David Dick, Administrator of Mitchell County Hospital Health System, made the presentation.

Administrator Dick said this is the same transportation grant they apply for every year. He explained that Solomon Valley Transportation is a 501C3 organization. Since Mitchell County Regional Medical Foundation turned this program over to the Solomon Valley Transportation they are a completely separate entity. The hospital's role is now to provide financial contributions. They still need to collect $30,000 to meet their part of the contribution.

The buses make about 25 trips a month and are to destinations within Mitchell County; the majority of these are trips are to medical appointments. The out of county trips are mostly to a medical destination as well.

Dick said up until this year the application didn't have to be turned in until after the holidays but this year the deadline has been changed and it needs to be turned in by the end of November. They will still use this until sometime in 2013. The money will be placed in an account until the time Commissioners agreed to have County Clerk, Chris Treaster, draft a letter to this affect and get it to them this coming week so it can be included in the grant package.

Chairman Tom Claussen recognized newly elected Commissioner Jim Marshall who was present for the meeting. The three commissioners along with Marshall went into an executive session along with Clerk Treaster and Brian Streit present to discuss proprietary information. Claussen announced there were no decisions made during the meeting. It was for discussion purposes only. Commissioner Mike Cooper left for the funeral serves of his sister-in-law at that time.

Ed Debesis, Emergency Medical Services, gave his monthly report. They had 58 ambulance runs in October and 489 total trips in 2012. This figure is about 46 less than last year. They charged out $27,182.30 for the month and took in $36,218.70 for a collection total of 8.76 percent. All 58 runs for October were within the county. Chairman Claussen asked about the timeline on the delivery of the new ambulance. Debesis said progress has been delayed, as the chassis has not come in yet so it should be here by the end of February.

Larry Emerson reported that Baleau Construction in Salina, the company they got a cost comparison from to reconstitute the old asphalt on some of the roads in the county, has closed out the recycling part of their business. Emerson contacted Koss Construction of Topeka and they will come out to give him an estimate before the first to the year. He said this is a very respectable company and they do a lot of this type of work.

State inspectors are coming out to inspect the Fisherman's Bridge at Cawker City and will use a snooper truck to do this. In the past engineer, John Cashatt, has used a boat if there is water in the creek or from the ground if it is dry. The State will pay for this inspection but if it has to be done again the Mitchell County will have to pay for the charges, Emerson said.

Chairman Claussen shared that he had been able to get in on a conference call with Senator Jerry Moran. He addressed the situation with the bridge inspections having to be done every two years when the cost to have them done is so high. Moran said this decision came down from the Federal Government and not the State but he agreed this sounded like it was a problem. Claussen told him there have been three new bridges built in his area and there is no water in any of the creeks so there is no possibility of flood damage. Moran will talk to Tyler Lund about this at the end of this week. Claussen said he does not want to compromise safety but this just seems like a waste to him.

Claussen also discussed funds for the causeway on the dam at Cawker City and said Mitchell County signed off in good faith on this project sometime between 1965 and 1969. Now the county will have a big cost to redo this area. Claussen asked about matching grant dollars to help out on this project. Moran promised to look into the situation.

Emerson said his crews are finishing up graveling in the south part of the country and are almost finished with the Green Mound road. He received an e-mail from Justin Murdock of Cloud County about the proposal he made to commissioners on October 15, regarding Solid Waste Disposal. This would be for household hazardous waste but not for the business sector. This county would collect items until they have a pickup full and then haul it to the Recycling Center in Concordia. Emerson doesn't feel there would be enough interest in this to do it and it would increase the charges by 25 cents a month. No decision was made. Claussen told Emerson the employee evaluations for his department need to be in by the end of this month.

Emerson said the used dozer they purchased was delivered last week. They have used it several days and it works well. Chairman Claussen asked about selling the old D6 dozer. Emerson is to place ads in the paper for sealed bids. Commissioner Virgil Palen feels it will bring a good price if they advertise it.

Chairman Claussen asked Emerson if they could borrow a truck to place outside the courthouse so they can pile trash on it during the window replacement project. He will bring a flatbed truck with 12-inch sides and a hoist on it. They will leave it until it is full.

Chairman Claussen reported on the State Kansas Association of Commissioners held in Topeka, that he and Commissioner Cooper attended, as well as Commissioner-elect Jim Marshall, Clerk Chris Treaster and County Appraiser David Thornton. Dan Streit was presented a 40-year pin for his service to Mitchell County. They each attended workshops during the two and one-half day meeting.

One of the topics discussed at the meeting was the possible lid on property taxes. Mitchell County is in pretty good shape but this is a real issue for some counties that do not have the evaluation or population that this county if fortunate to have. This is a Federal mandate and not a State mandate. They also attended the K-Camp/K-Works meeting. The meeting will held in Wichita this coming year at the Century 2 facility, Claussen said.

Sondra Hone, County Health Department, requested a 10-minute executive meeting to discuss non-elected personnel. No decisions were made. Hone reported they have their new emergency cooler to store vaccine in if the power goes off. It will hold their vaccine at a safe temperature for four days if the lid remains closed.

A Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Rebate application was received and approved from David D. Blackmore at 816 West Main for a 28' by 32' garage in the amount of $41,158. The commissioners tabled decisions on some items until next week when Commissioner Cooper would be present.

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