Commissioners Pass Vehicle Impoundment Precedure & Fees

The Mitchell County Commissioners voted unanimously to pass a resolution establishing a procedure for the impoundment of motor vehicles and establishing fees for this action, at their meeting Monday morning. The document was drawn by Mitchell County Attorney, Mark J. Noah.

The resolution states that vehicles that have been abandoned and/or seized under the law are a concern of the County and procedures and fees need to be adopted to create an orderly process of the disposition of these vehicles.

It is the finding and resolution of the board of County Commissioners that the Sheriff may cause to be impounded:
(a) Any motor vehicle unlawfully parked on a highway in violation of any provision of a statute, resolution or ordinance which prohibits the parking of vehicles at the place where or time when the impounded motor vehicle is found.

(b) Any motor vehicle that has been abandoned and left on a highway or other property open to the public for a period in excess of 48 hours.

© Any motor vehicle which is (1) subject to removal pursuant to K.S.A. 8-1570 or 8 8-1102 or (2) is subject to seizure and forfeiture under the laws of the state or (3) is subject to being held for use as evidence in a criminal trial.

(d) Any motor vehicle, the continued presence of which, because of the physical location or condition of the motor vehicle, poses a danger to the public safety or to the motor vehicle.

(e) Any motor vehicle which has been abandoned or parked on any real property, other than public property or property open to use by the public may be moved and disposed of in accordance with the terms of this article by the Sheriff under the request of the owner or occupant of such real property. The real property referred to herein shall not be owned or leased by the person who abandons or parks said vehicle or by the owner or leased by the person who abandons or parks said vehicle or by the owner or lessee of such vehicle. The County; or any person, partnership, corporation or their agent conducting a business enterprise for he purpose of towing vehicles which removes such vehicle from the real property at the request of the Sheriff shall have a possessor lien on the vehicles for the cost incurred in moving any impound, towing and storing of such vehicle.

The Sheriff may authorize storage of such impounded motor vehicles at any location public or private. There are a number of provisions that will dictate as to how the process will be carried out. This will depend on whether the owner of the vehicle is present or not at the time the Sheriff impounds the vehicle, whether the owner resides in this state or in another location and can't be served by certified mail or there is no known address of the owner. If the owner fails or refuses to sign the notice the Sheriff will note this fact on the face of the notice, which shall constitute evidence of delivery or service as the required notice.

Other conditions in the resolution deal with impoundment after request to leave motor vehicle, how the motor vehicle shall be released from impoundment, how security for payment of charges is to be paid and what will happen if the owner or their agent refuses to provide a cash deposit. It also sets up the conditions of the hearing to be conducted by the County Attorney and terms of the charges for the impoundment and payment of fees are to be made. Fees that must be paid include the impound fee of $75 and the daily storage fee is $25 a day; including the day of impound and the day of release. The terms of this resolution are to become effective upon publication in the official county newspaper.

Chairman Mike Cooper, who is a member of the County Disaster Board, announced the board would be meeting tonight. They will be attending the Beloit City Council meeting this Tuesday night, as well as the other cities in the county in the near future to talk about this plan and discuss how it will work.

Commissioner Claussen gave a proposal from the VFW Executive Board, as he is also a member of that board. He said the board voted to have him present a proposal to the Commissioner's to consider the possibility of using the kitchen at the VFW facility as the site for meal preparation for the Law Enforcement Center.

Claussen said their kitchen is ready for immediate use. The State Health Inspector has already checked out the facility. They are in the process of purchasing a new sanitizer for the dishwasher but the county would probably need to purchase more freezer storage for food. The building can be locked, it would be a convenient location, and there would be extra dry storage in the basement. It would be an easy place to load meals and unload supplies.

The only time the VFW uses their building is about nine times a year at Christmas and Veteran's Day meals plus for breakfasts seven times a year. The VFW would be responsible for any problems with the building and require minimum rent. This would be a lot less than the $40,000 discussed to put a kitchen in the old LEC Building, Claussen said. Commissioner Marshall asked if they had considered the Senior Center Kitchen but it is under the USDA program and wouldn't be used and also this is a need for meals seven days a week and three meals a day.

The Operation Specialist from Consolidated Foods will be coming to meet with them, and look over possible sites so they will check out the VFW building at that time but it is certainly worth exploring the idea, Cooper said. Since Claussen is involved in both entities he plans to abstain from the decision.

Heather Hartman, Community Development Director, visited with the commissioners about changes in the ROZ program. She said there are now 73 out of the 105 counties in Kansas participating in the program so she is not sure how this will affect the available funds. The county is funding $9,000 at the present time.

The State has come up with two ways applications can be handled. Private Donations can be made to help sponsor the applicants as a whole but employers couldn't specify the applicant the money went to in that situation. They would have to go through a Foundation Organization in this instance. Secondly, employers can directly help sponsor a specific person they want to hire if they give a set amount. The term of employment would be for a full five years and the employee would have to sign a statement to stay with that company that amount of time. The commissioners gave Hartman the go ahead to recruit employers who want to participate in the program.

The Chairman announced all three Commissioners and County Clerk Chris Treaster would be attending the State Kansas Association of Counties convention in Wichita October 29, through 31. They will be attending as members of the KAC and also the K-Works part of the meeting since that company covers the county's workman's compensation policy. Commissioner Tom Claussen was appointed voting delegate for the K-Works meeting and Commissioner Jim Marshall was appointed voting delegate for the KAC meeting. Chairman Cooper will be absent at next weeks meeting. They will be attending the Multi-County Meeting in Smith Center following the Commission meeting next week.

Ed Debesis, EMS, came in for a five-minute executive meeting with Commissioners and Clerk Treaster to discuss Non-elected personnel. No decisions were made.

The Commissioners went into a 30-minute executive session with Dan Streit to review applications for those applying for the job of Noxious Weed Supervisor position. After which the meeting adjourned.

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