Commissioners Approve New County Appraiser

Commission Chairman, Mike Cooper, announced at their meeting this morning that they have hired Melinda Latham as the new Mitchell County Appraiser. Latham will be working full time in the county appraisers office as a hands on employee and will be living in Mitchell County, which is part of the actual job description.

Latham was chosen from three applications that were submitted in response to the job advertised by the commissioners for the position of Licensed County Appraiser. The appraisers position is a four-year contract that will run out on June 30, 2013. The new contract starts July 1, 2013. There are only 82 registered appraisers available in the State of Kansas at this time. While there was not an opening for this position at the present time the commissioners decided to advertise the job since the present contract will run out in the near future and David Thornton, the present appraiser, is a part time employee and does not live in this county.

Latham will start her new job on July 1, 2013. She is a local girl raised in Mitchell County and is the daughter of Monte and Marilyn Bean. She has been working for both Osborne and Jewell County on a half time each basis. The commissioners all feel having a full time appraiser available to handle business on a daily basis will be a good thing for the county as a whole.

Tammy Eck, Register of Deeds, brought in information on two bids on a new copy machine for her office. She explained her choice of the two bids is the machine from Century Business costing $3,910 with trade in of her old machine. This machine has the ability to be used as a fax machine and she can send e-mails from it as well. This purchase has already figured in this year's budget. Parts, labor and supplies are all included in the purchase. The service fee is $63 a quarter and she can print 4500 copies a quarter at no extra charge. The commissioners approved the purchase of the copy machine.

Clint Offutt, Director of the county's Global Information System (GIS) Department, brought in the proposal on the minimal fee on GIS charges that he discussed with commissioners several weeks ago. Services for individuals residing in this county requesting information for their personal use would be basically free. The charges would be mostly for businesses requesting information what would be making money by using it. The charges would be for labor extraordinary, creating new data, analyses, variances and requests for unusual data. Freedom Of Information Data was discussed in regard to these charges. Offutt discussed this with County Attorney, Mark Noah some time ago but he will ask Noah to write up a formal agreement. Their office uses this information mostly for calculation and figuring taxes. Commissioners approved this action. Offutt said his project of plotting the City of Beloit is a work in progress but in five or six months he should have it pretty functional.

Larry Emerson, Public Works, brought in a fuel cost contract for the commissioners to look over. He said the fuel is 20 cents a gallon lest than last year. This is fuel they use to mix up asphalt for surfacing and patching work on the roads. If they let the Salina Company know by 6 a.m. they can get it delivered that same day. He feels this is a good company to deal with and they give good service. While 20 cents off a gallon doesn't sound like much, on a 6000 gal load but this would save them sixty to seventy thousand dollars in a year. He was happy to report the energy costs at the recycling building at the fairgrounds are down this month.

Emerson has the bid specs set up for the new truck they want to buy to replace their oldest truck as the commissioners requested at last weeks meeting. He will send it out to six or seven dealers in the area and would like to set the date to open the bids on May 6. The new backhoe for the landfill should be here the last of May or the first of June.

Emerson said they would be graveling roads in Center and Lulu Township in the near future. They are getting a lot of old tractor tires at the landfill and have a company that will pick they up at $150 a ton with six tractor tires a ton. They plan to overlay the feedlot road and seal the road north of the Gilbert Station and the one south of Scottsville, which could end up being about 11 miles. He wants to finish roads on the east side of the county before they move to the east side.

The commissioners drew lots for the tie in the Hunter City Council race between Matt Zachgo and Jeff Mueller with Mueller winning the coin toss.

Ellen Anderson, brought in a grant application for the 12th Judicial District. She is asking for a total of $199,000. Anderson said until the end of the Legislation session they are not sure how much money they will get. This district includes Washington, Cloud, Jewell, Republic, Lincoln and Mitchell Counties. The commissioners signed her budget request.

Mark Noah, Mitchell County Attorney, brought in a follow up on the property at Simpson they talked about selling several weeks ago for $16,000. He has a contract drafted and also a deed on the property. They commissioners signed the contract and Farmland needs to sign the contract too. The old Simpson firehouse is still on the property.

Attorney Noah said it was just an observation but more they are getting more convictions in Mitchell County than any other County in this district. This is because of the job this counties Sheriff and Police Department are doing of cracking down on criminals.

County Clerk, Chris Treaster heard from Lindy Golder, of Blue Cross/Blue Shield saying she has the Long-Term Care Insurance Plan started and is in the process of setting up a meeting with the Mitchell County employees.

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