Short Commission Meeting Monday

The Mitchell County Commission had a short agenda at their meeting Monday morning. Chairman Jim Marshall and Commissioner Tom Claussen conducted the meeting with Commissioner Mike Cooper gone for the next two weeks.

During last weeks meeting the commissioners discussed the relevance of why this Mitchell County has to pay $363 as their part of Dr. Roger Warren, State Coroner for the 12th Judicial District's travel expenses to attend a seminar in St. Louis this month. Although the county has never had to used Dr. Warren's services that anyone can remember he is the person that assumes all responsibility if any problem comes up on any autopsy report in any county in this district.

Commissioner Claussen checked with a representative of the responsible State agency and was told that although this county doesn't use this service on a daily basis all counties are required by law to have a person in this position in case his services are needed. The commission approved paying this counties share of $363 for the year. It was noted Dr. Warren only receives a nominal fee of $6,000 a year for performing this service.

Melinda Latham, Mitchell County Appraiser, met in a 15-minute executive meeting with the commissioners and County Clerk, Chris Treaster present to discuss personal information related to a payment under protest to a non-elected individual. Chairman Marshall announced that no decisions were made during the meeting.

Larry Emerson, Public Works, discussed the fact the County's contract with Eric Dunstan to haul solid waste to a facility in Topeka will expire in March. Dunstan has provided this service for the county since the project started. While the commission has no problem with the service Dunstan has done in the past, this contract is set up to be renewed on a yearly basis. Emerson said there is another person who has expressed an interest in the contract so he wondered if they should open this up forbids. The commissioners agree that this needs to be done. An ad will be placed in the county newspaper opening the bid to anyone interested in this job. Emerson will write the information up and present it at the February 3, commission meeting.

Emerson was contacted by an outside milling company who is interested in processing the millings for the county to spread on roads. He said, There are several roads in the county that really need work including from Cawker City over to Palen Road, the road north of Solomon Rapids, and another road over near Tipton. Commissioner Claussen asked if this was the same company they talked to last year that charged a pretty high price to do this.

Emerson said his crew could do the milling for $38 to $40 a ton. This would be for a two to three inch over lay and then if the other company does the work the county would still have to come in and seal the roads. Emerson was told to find out what the smallest amount of road they would consider doing. He said also have to consider the time frame in which they could do the work since they wouldn't want this done during harvest. The company will be working in this area anyway so he will discuss this with representatives of the company and see what can be worked out.

Emerson told commissioner he has contracted with Farmway to buy 22 thousand gallon of diesel fuel at $3.33 a gallon, which would be around $75,000 worth of fuel.
This was the lowest amount of the two bids submitted.

Chairman Marshall asked if Emerson and Casey Fraser had found a used excavator the county could purchase. He said they have found a place in Ness City that might have something they could use. They will do some more checking on this.

Chairman Marshall told Emerson there is a bridge sign on the road that dead ends out by Bud Palin's that is hanging loose. Commissioner Claussen said there is also a sign gone from a post out near him. Emerson will check into these problems. Claussen also reminded everyone there is a hospital board meeting at 3 p.m. this afternoon in the MCHHC boardroom with the annual meeting to follow this evening.

Heather Hartman, Community Development Director, reported the Active Shooter and Workplace Violence Meetings would be held in Salina on April 2, and February 20, at the Webster Conference Center. Chairman Marshall and Commissioner Cooper plan to attend. There will also be a Water Meeting at noon on January 27 at Down Under Restaurant that Hartman and commissioners will be attending.

Hartman also said she has six confirmed applicants for the Governor's Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) Program. The county will pay matching funds for six of these applicants if accepted. Hartman has fifteen more interested people on the waiting list. Some of these are employer-sponsored applicants which increase their chance of being accepted for the program. This is the second year employer's can use this amount on their income tax returns. She said she is very surprised how well accepted this program has been. Hartman reminded committee members there is a Planning Commission Meeting this Thursday.

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