Busy Morning For Commissioners Monday

The Mitchell County Commissioners had busy agenda at Monday morning meeting. Since Chairman Mike Cooper was absent last week, Commissioners Tom Claussen and Jim Marshall delayed making some decisions until this week's meeting.

The principle decision was that of the request of Becky Schaeffer, Director of Communications, and Mitchell County Sheriff, Doug Daugherty who met with commissioners last week to discuss the need for the county to convert the Law Enforcement radios to the 88-mgHz system. Schaeffer was present this morning to explain the plan to Chairman Cooper who was absent last week. Cooper had heard most of the information on the radio and that Commissioner Claussen and Schaeffer had presented the information to the Beloit City Council last Tuesday night. Schaeffer said Chief Odle thanked them for their support and thinks it will go forward although the decision may not be unanimous.

Chairman Cooper commended the two for taking the initiative and going to the council with it. "I agree this update needs to be done and he feels it should have been done several years ago. It will give our Law Enforcement officers the tools they need to work with in today's environment," he said.

Commissioner Claussen made a motion to approve the proposal presented to them to upgrade the county's communication system to the 88 mgHz radio system at a total cost to the county of $48,591 contingent on the City of Beloit's approval of this plan and to include the Beloit Police Department in this agreement. The Dispatch Department's share would be $11.678 and the Sheriffs Department's share would be $36,913. The money to cover this cost would come out of their respective capitol outlay funds.

Commissioner Claussen had a call from Al Joe Wallace, Lincoln County Commission Chairman, asking that when the Mitchell County Dispatch Office reports a fire they call the Lincoln County Dispatcher instead of the Lincoln Fire Department. Schaeffer replied they already do that. She explained the Barnard Fire Department is the only department they can't talk directly to. The Hunter Fire Department also wants them to call Lincoln to report a fire. Schaeffer said this wouldn't be a problem.

David Chase asked how hard it would be for Cawker City to contact the Dispatcher if they get a Law Enforcement Officer? Schaeffer said as long as they had an 88mgHz radio this wouldn't be a problem. It was suggested they could probably purchase a radio from Homman Electronics of Soloman, Kansas, where they are purchasing the county's radios if they chose to do so.

Ed Debesis, EMS Director, gave his monthly report for January. They had 29 runs out of the Beloit office, twelve out of the Cawker City office, one to Salina and one to Cloud County for a total of 45 runs for the month.

Debesis presented the bid from Philips Monitors for the county to lease two Heart Start MRX ALS Monitors. In his five-year plan for Capitol Outlay the monitors would cost the county $10,987.20 a year for five years to be paid off in 2017. His Capitol Outlay schedule for the five years also includes a new ambulance at $50,000 and a new lift cart at $15,000. The total for five years would be $121,241.77, which is well within his Capitol Outlay fund. He would plans buy another cot and another ambulance in five years. Commissioners agreed to this plan and accepted the bid from Philips Monitors as presented. The monitors will be here in three weeks.

Last Monday, Debesis went to Lynn, Missouri to watch the new ambulance being built. The county will take delivery of the ambulance on February 27. He will leave on the 26th with the dealer and inspect the ambulance at the plant. If nothing is wrong he will return the following day. He warned commissioners there would be a $50,000 check coming in for the down payment on the ambulance.

Larry Emerson, Public Works, brought in the five bids received on the backhoe for the transfer station. There were four that met all the specifications. After discussion the commissioners approved the bid from Victor Phillips, of Wichita on the Case tractor at a cost of $59,819 after trade in, delivered to Mitchell County. Chairman Cooper asked about the townships wanting to purchase the old backhoe and was told it was decided they would have to make their own deal with the company.

Commissioners discussed the North Central Kansas Highway District Meeting in Minneapolis on Wednesday, April 3. The three commissioners, Emerson and his secretary, Carm Prinz, will attend the meeting.

Scott Davies, Emergency Management, discussed a new card system he is working on to identify members of the EMS, Fire Districts, Rescue Squad and the Water Rescue Squad to show in an emergency. Davies had a 10-minute executive meeting with the commissioners to discuss non-elected personnel. Chairman Cooper announced no decisions were made.

Commissioner Claussen asked about the Biohazard trailer sitting at the Asherville Fire Station. Fire Chief, Larry Heidrick, feels it would be better off located in Beloit in a more central location. Davies agreed but said it is actually called a Foreign Animal Disease Trailer. In future he hopes to give it to the regional council. It was purchased with federal grant money. The State is divided into 7 EMS Districts and there are twelve counties in this region. Each county got a trailer. Plans are to add more equipment to it in the future. It can be hooked on to and taken to help other regions if need be, Davies said.

Janet Remus and Bob Severance gave a report for the Mitchell County Convention and Tourism Council for 2013. The council meets monthly at the courthouse on the first Thursday of the month, President Severance said. They presently have one vacancy on the council and are looking for someone who would be interested to come forward and fill that position.

This organization is often confused with the Mitchell County Tourism group but they are a group appointed by the County Commissioners in 2003 to dispense the transit guest tax to promote tourism in the county Severance said. He gave an outline of the Mitchell County Transient Guest Tax History from 2005 up through the end of 2012. This tax is currently 2 percent with the State of Kansas retaining 20 percent of the total submitted for the administration costs. They use the money for grants to of from one to five thousand each to help promote business in the county. Current funds available with their 2013 deposits equal $41,959.22.

The State of Kansas shows 8 reporting businesses in this county paying this tax but their records show 23 businesses that qualify for this tax. Any business sleeping over six paying guests are supposed to report to the State.

The council is working on replacing present signs at the five entrances to Mitchell County with bigger billboards. Also, the Little Red School House sign and the two signs on Hwy 81 reading "The Gateway to Waconda Lake." Plans are to do an all-together community theme and make them of more durable materials than those presently in use so they will last longer.

The Commissioners approved Surety Bonds for Roger Miller, Treasurer of Logan Township and Kent Melton, Treasurer of Asherville Township. The meeting was adjourned.

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