Short County Commission Meeting Monday

The County Commissioners had short agenda for their Monday morning meeting.
First on the agenda was Brian Streit, County Maintenance Supervisor, who met with the commissioners and County Clerk, Chris Treaster, for a 20-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. Chairman Mike Cooper announced after the meeting that no decisions were made.

Ed Debesis, Emergency Management Services, and Janet Gengler, met with commissioners for a 15 minute Executive Meeting with Clerk Treaster present to discuss non-elected personnel. Again, it was announced no decisions were made.

At the request of the commissioners, Heather Hartman, Community Development Director, gave a report on the Solomon Valley Development Meeting, held at Jaybird's Chicken in Cawker City. Commissioner Tom Claussen also attended the meeting. Both Hartman and Claussen had many good things to say about the meal that night and they had a good turnout for the meeting.

The speaker was Chris Harris, of the Kansas Department of Commerce in Topeka, who is in charge of the ROZ Program. Harris complimented Mitchell County on the job they are doing with the program. Hartman said they have quite a few applicants at the present time and some on the waiting list.

Harris said they are presently discussing ways a business can pay part of the funds for a candidate they want to hire and still have the state pay the other part. Hartman said there are at lot of out of state people applying. They are trying to compile a list of local people who would qualify for this program. Many counties surrounding Mitchell County are participating but there are some to the west of us who are not, she said.

Two speakers from Kansas Wildlife and Parks, spoke at the meeting including Scott Waters who spoke about the fish population in Waconda Lake and Aaron Deters who spoke on wildlife.

Commissioner Claussen reported on the Rural Fire Chief Meeting he attended Tuesday night. Scott Davies, Emergency Management Services presented each of the firemen with high intensity flashlights to carry with them on the fire trucks. These were paid for out of the Homeland Security fund. They were also given new HASMAT books.

The firemen discussed the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, Claussen said. He said this was dry fertilizer made with ammonia nitrates. He stressed that our local Fire Department in trained to know what to do in these situations.

Commissioner Claussen also attended a meeting to congratulate and thank Everett LaCoe for his 37 years on the Mitchell County Rescue Squad. Everett was part of the original squad when it was chartered in 1976 and was instrumental is getting it started. They started conducting missions in 1977. While they didn't start out with much equipment, they now have up to date equipment and continue to do a good job for the community. Both of Everett's sons are now on the squad.

Commissioner Jim Marshall reported on a meeting at the City Building of the Intellectual and Developmental Disability group. The group was discussing the new regulations and changes that are taking place now that they are under Kan-Care. Senator Elaine Bowers and Representative Susan Concannon were present to lead the group in their discussions.

In January, Governor Sam Brownback, charged a working group of cabinet members with the task of fundamentally reforming Medicaid to improve outcomes and establish it's financial sustainability. At the present time Kansas faces major challenges due to significant cost increases over the last decade. The Governor sustained Medicaid through the current year to give Kansas the time to reinvent its Medicade program to better serve Kansans in need and yet maintain fiscal responsibility. Representatives from many different groups this will affect were present at the meeting to discuss what this means for the future of their organizations and the people they represent, Commissioner Marshall said.

The Commissioners approved two Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Rebate Applications including: Harold Matous for a 60 x 100 x 16 foot concrete building for $96,060 and PKP Inc. for a complete commercial building erected on North Independence Avenue in Beloit for $168,968.

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