County Commissioner Chairman Tom Claussen began Monday's meeting by extending his condolences, and those of all of Mitchell County to those affected by the shooting in Newtown, CT, and to the families of the officers killed in Topeka. He said that people must lay politics aside and recognize that when a person seems to be in trouble mentally, that people must lend a helping hand. The other commissioners echoed the statements.
Next, Commissioner Mike Cooper moved to have the December 12 minutes approved, and Commissioner Virgil Palen seconded the movement.
All of the commissioners expressed satisfaction in the County Christmas Party. They thanked the Mitchell County Health Dept. for all of their work, and took appreciation of the fact that people get along well in the county organization.
"We like the people we work with, and we like our constituents," said Claussen.
Next year's county Christmas Party will be held on Dec. 21, 2013.
Claussen then said he would entertain a movement to reappoint John Cashatt and Dr. Kimple to the Hospital Board, praising their dedication to the Board. Commissioner Palen moved to have them reappointed, and Commissioner Cooper seconded.
Commissioner Clausen then brought up the Kansas Work Force Investment program. This is a 2-year program that also allows the county to receive grant money. Commissioner Cooper moved to remain a part of the program, and Commissioner Palen seconded the movement.
Commissioner Claussen changed the subject to approving the accounting services of the Lindburg Vogel Pierce Faris Chartered firm from Hutchinson, KS for another year. Claussen praised their services and talked about how they keep the county appraised on what can be done in a legal sense. Commissioner Palen moved to keep using the firm's services, and Commissioner Cooper seconded.
Sandra Hone, with the Mitchell Co. Health Department, presented a contract for Lindsay Rut to fill in for Drs. Kimple and Cheney to present two Family Planning Clinics a month. Commissioner Cooper moved to have the contract accepted and Commissioner Palen seconded the movement.
The commissioners praised her for her help at the Christmas Party, and she thanked them for their support.
The next object was to look at three township bonds. These were for Melvin Seehafer, Custer Township; Jana Holloway, Bloomfield Township; and Ron Heller, Bloomfield Township. All three Treasurers Bonds were accepted with Commissioner Palen's movement and Commissioner Cooper's second.
The commissioners received a "Thank You" from the NCK Wellness Center for their sponsorship and employee participation.
The county provides 50% of membership costs to their employees, and Commissioner Cooper appreciated the program, saying that it was good for employee health and county insurance rates.
Commissioner Palen made a motion to keep it, and Commissioner Cooper seconded the motion.
Commissioner Clausen announced that the First Bank of Sterling reached out for their business, and thanked them for doing so. He said that due to the resource of local banks willing to do service, he would be turning down their offer
Larry Emerson, Public Works, discussed roads North of Tipton and on the Causeway. Emerson talked to Koss Construction, and they said that they are not interested in taking on the construction job on the causeway, but will look at the other road.
He was unsure on the costs, but that the estimate will come before the first of the year. If the county does the job, it is estimated to cost between $36k-38k per mile. Commissioner Claussen pointed out that that would mean it would cost $7 per foot, which he thought is a lot for a blacktop road.
Commissioner Cooper asked that if 2" would be milled off the road, if it can be put elsewhere to save on materials. Commissioner Claussen asked if 2" can be milled and stockpiled, and have the road sealed without more materials added. Commissioner Palen and Emerson agreed that it would not work well, and that Koss can extend the life 7 years with an overlay.
Commissioner Cooper said that the county needs to get the roads to a point that they aren't being redone every 5 years.
Emerson said that he is unsure of the materials' shelf life, and that the roads South and West of Scottsville and Gilbert road have been looked at for sealing.
Emerson also said that the Cloud County Household Hazardous Waste has contacted him about their disposal services. The commissioners determined that it would not be used enough to legitimize the cost, and it was voted down in a movement from Commissioner Cooper and a second from Commissioner Palen.
Emerson also thanked the commissioners for their work on the Christmas Party.
The commissioners then moved on to the business of hearing 5 bids on a 1963 Caterpillar D6 Dozer. Joseph Briney of Beloit bid $8,500, Marvin Cook of Randall bid $12,500, Chris Hahn of Osborne bid $16,656, Stan Schoen bid $20,400, and Larry Heidrick, Scott Heidrick, Jerry Surrell and Tom Deneke bid $21,150 as a group. Commissioner Cooper said that there are two bids reaching the $20,000 minimum that the commissioners set, and that he believes the highest bidder should receive the dozer. He moved to have the dozer sold to Larry Heidrick, Scott Heidrick, Jerry Surrell and Tom Deneke for 21,150, and Commissioner Palen seconded.
The commissioners then looked at the workman's compensation and property liability coverage which was represented by Byron Palen and Larry Fouts from Fouts Insurance, and two gentlemen from K-Worcc (Kansas Workers Risk Cooperative for Counties) and K-Camp (Kansas County Association Multi-Line Pool).
K-Worcc was the only one vying for the workman's compensation and will provide their service for the next year, but K-Camp and Fouts were going for the property liability.
The argument between the companies showed a few differences, the most obvious being that Fouts is an insurance company, where K-Camp is a Multi-Line Pool. Other differences were the price difference - Fouts cost a little over $10,000 more - and the difference between a claims-made and an occurrence on the Law Enforcement Liability policy.
Commissioner Claussen stressed that both are great policies, and that it was a tough decision.
Commissioner Palen made a motion to select Fouts insurance, citing their local impact and support for school, church and charity functions. He failed to receive a second on that motion. Commissioner Cooper made a motion to select K-Camp, and Commissioner Claussen seconded that, with Commissioner voting against it. It passed, and the service will be provided through K-Camp for a year.
Mark Lawler of Clean Line Energy Partners, a wind energy transmission development company was present to talk to commissioners about potential paths that Clean Line Energy is considering placing energy transmission systems through the county. This would be part of a line that runs 750 miles from Ford County to the Indiana & Illinois border. Property taxes will be paid on the line, and it will cost approximately $2,000,000 per mile, which, Lawler said, would add a lot of revenue for the state.
Lawler said that they would have eminent domain in the event of resistance from land owners, but that they will have many community meetings and have the land owners involved and benefitting from the process, and that they would be notifying everyone within 1.5 miles of the building site well in advance of the build.
Meeting attendee David Chase asked if Clean Line would be printing the map of potential building sites in the paper, and Lawler said that they will be printed after the public meetings.
With that, Commissioner Claussen closed the agenda and wished his fellow commissioners and all of Mitchell County a safe and Merry Christmas.
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