The Mitchell County Commissioners were very busy at their Monday morning meeting. The first order of business was to approve a new Commission Chairman for 2013. Outgoing Chairman, Tom Claussen, nominated Commissioner Mike Cooper to the office of Commission Chairman for the coming year and newly elected Commissioner, Jim Marshall was named Vice-Chairman.
Commissioner Marshall attended the orientation meeting for the new commissioners held in Topeka last week. Marshall said he felt he really learned a lot at the meeting and felt it was very worthwhile.
The Commissioners met with Clint Offutt, from NCK Technical College, in a 15-minute executive session with County Clerk Chris Treaster present.
Ed Debesis, Emergency Medical Services, brought in a quote of $13,469 for a new Stryker Power Pro Ambulance Cot to replace the old 2005 cot that broke down recently. He introduced Matt Larson who is with Pro-Med of Kansas, the number 1 distributor for ambulance cots and stair chairs in the state of Kansas. Debesis may know someone who would buy the old cot at between $2,000 and $ 3000. If not he will put it on Purple Wave or the Nex-Tech site.
The Commissioners approved the purchase of the Power-Cot Debesis said it should be here about the middle of February which is about the same time that the new ambulance is supposed to arrive.
Debesis also discussed the purchase of a new HeartStart MRX ALS Monitor/Defibrillator. He said the monitor would be $90,140 for the initial payment and then $26,671 annually for six years. Chairman Cooper asked if this amount wouldn't take most of the EMS capital outlay awfully close for the next 3 years and he hated to see him cut it that close for the next three years. Commissioner Claussen asked about buying two monitors a year and Debesis said this could be done. After discussion, the Chairman asked Debesis to refigure and bring back a plan for them to look at. They will review it in two years and look at the cash flow. Then he is to make a five-year plan on a spreadsheet and put the ambulance project in with it and bring it back to the next commission meeting.
Larry Emerson, Public Works brought in a concrete bid that will run to the end of March. Beloit Ready-Mix did not submit a bid. Abram Ready Mix gave a bid of 6 sacks of 33 percent mix at $110.39 per cubic yard. The bid was approved. Emerson said he would like to open the bids for a new backhoe for the transfer station at February 4, at 9 a.m. Emerson discussed more water leak problems with the stools at the recycling center's stools continuing to be left run at the fairground. The water bill was very high again this month. It was felt the responsibility of the persons working there to see that the stools and the lights are shut off. Commissioner Claussen will talk to Barb Wise about it.
Emerson also discussed estimates on the cost of redoing the road north of Tipton up to the 180th Road where the state project was. For the three inch cover it was $63,000 a mile and for the 4 inch cover it would be $81,000 a mile and the county would still have to do a lot of the work. If the county's road and Bridge crew does the work Emerson estimated it would cost $40,000 just to mix and lay it down. The cost to seal would be from $9,000 to $10,000. He has one more company wanting to bid on this but he thinks they would be even higher.
Emerson said they had planned to overlay the feedlot road, seal the road east and south of Scottsville and do the Randall road. It would take $575 thousand to do this at 1 and 1/ 2 inches deep. Commissioners said to wait and see what the other companies bid is. Chairman Cooper said, they couldn't just do the repairs on those 12 miles of road and not do any of the other roadwork that needs to be done in the county so to go ahead and start hauling material like they would in a normal year.
Heather Hartman, Community Development, discussed the county's participation in the Governor's rural option placement plan that was developed to bring young people back or re-locate people in the rural counties. At the present time Mitchell County has 19 applications, six pending, two awarded and four approved. This program is getting a lot of national attention right now and more people are starting to look into it, she said. The Commissioners voted several years ago to put $15,000 in the fund and they add more if more people applied. Hartmen said they should raise her budget as most of the other county's budget is higher. The commissioner agreed this is a good program and will put this on next week's agenda and discuss it further.
David Chase talked to the commissioners about the 2nd Amendment Resolution that he is promoting to prevent federal, state or local infringement on the right of Americans to keep and bear firearms. Chase made a very strong case for his ideas.
While the commissioners said they strongly support the rights protected by the 2nd amendment they were not ready at this time to endorse anything as a commission that would be at odds with the decisions of the State and Federal Government.
John Roudybush, resident of this county, was present and offered his opinion on this situation. He said he would speak up if the pendulum swings too far in the wrong direction on this issue because he has seen too many our rights be taken away in the last 20 years.
David Thornton, head of the Appraiser's Office was present at the request of Commissioner Cooper to clarify why the City of Beloit has to pay taxes on majority of their property on the North Campus. Cooper said the county was very supportive of the project and this situation should have been brought to the commissioners in the first place before it was done. Cooper was told in a meeting with the city last week that after three years they received a tax notice without any fore warning.
Thornton, who was accompanied by Mitchell County Attorney, Mark Noah, said in 2010 the land was transferred from the State to the City of Beloit. Shortly after that he began talking to the former city attorney encouraging him to file paperwork with the State Tax Appeal Board to get a tax exemption on this property. Thornton said he does not have the authority to do this. The city as an entity has to make the request and apply for the exemption their selves. They still have not filed at this time. Noah said he tried to call the city attorney but was unable to reach her before the meeting. Thornton said it is out of his hands and it is out of the Commissioner's hands. He stressed again that the city has to be the one to file the paper work and send it in. No one else can do it. Once this is done the tax statement will be put on hold until the State Board of Regents makes a ruling. Thornton sees no reason they won't approve this action.
Dan Streit, County Weed Department gave his annual report and the work they have done this past year. The commissioners approved his report. He also said they need to discuss how the county will fund the 911 replacement signs in the future. It will be $100 a sign to replace them and the funds from the state are gone. Chairman Cooper said they would discuss this with the county's auditor John Denny and Becky Schaefer, director of the Communications and Dispatch Center.
Commissioner Claussen read a letter from the Mitchell County Hospital Board of Trustees stating John Cashatt was requesting to resign from the MCHHS Board of Trustees and that Carla McPeak be named to take his place. The commissioners voted to appoint McPeak to the Board.
The commissioners approved Mitchell County Resolution 1-13 to dismiss the use of General Accounting Principals (GAP) for the upcoming year. Commissioner Claussen announced the Green Line Project will hold a land owners meeting on Thursday, January 31, from 7 to 9 a.m., at the Beloit Municipal Building to discuss the potential route their company wants to take through Mitchell County.
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