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Business As Usual For Commissioners Monday Morning

It was business as usual for the Mitchell County Commissioners at their Monday morning meeting. Commissioner Mike Cooper returned from vacation and all three commissioners were present for the meeting.

Since the early slot on the commission agenda was open, Chairman Jim Marshall asked Community Development Director, Heather Hartman, if she had anything to report this morning. Hartman shared a document she received from Doug McKinney, Executive Director of the North Central Regional Planning Commission, shared with her. The document concerned information on the need for a tax abatement policy statement for the county to put in place. This would be for the commissioners have something to work from when a new business comes into the county and asks for a tax abatement.

Hartman said she and County Clerk Chris Treaster checked the records and could see no policy on file or any place where a policy had been updated for the past twenty years. Commissioners tabled the question for now and will check this out and see what needs to be done. While they agreed they want to get new businesses into this county, they weren't sure what should to be done about this.

Hartman shared she is headed for a tour of Fort Leavenworth and the Leavenworth Penitentiary this next week and will also attend a Juvenile Justice Forum while there.

Larry Emerson, Public Works, reported he had had two people answer the ad for someone to haul the county's solid waste to the Rolling Meadows Facility in Topeka.
This included Eric Dunstan, Beloit, who has been doing this service for the county since the onset of the job began. Dunstan makes four trips to haul the estimated total of 80 ton per week to the Topeka facility. The county owns the trailer and is responsible for major repairs. He charges $320 a trip and an additional fuel sur-charge of approximately $460 extra.

The name of the second person wanting to bid was not given but it was said this person hauls solid waste for Cloud County and the person in charge there vouched that they are a responsible person. Dunstan's contract ends on March 25th. Emerson plans to open the bids at 9 a.m. at the March 10, Commission meeting.

Emerson said Casey Fraser of Foley Tractor and one other company are placing bids on an excavator machine for his department. Emerson plans to open the bids at the Commission meeting next Tuesday at 9 a.m. The commission meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 18, due to Presidents Day next Monday when the courthouse will be closed.

Emerson said his department has about one-third to one-half the amount of salt and sand that they usually keep on hand. Commissioner Tom Claussen, thanked the county road department, the Beloit street department and the township maintainer people for the job they have done in keeping the highways, county roads and the streets of Beloit cleared. He said, "these people work around the clock to keep these areas clear for the rest of us and we need to thank them." Emerson said the department haven't had any major equipment problems in all this snow.

Chairman Jim Marshall discussed information on the Internet Usage Policy and the county's Face book site. It will have a copy of the County Employee handbook. He has a sample from Jeff Roberg, County ITT person, for a possible policy to deal with this issue. After looking the policy over, County Attorney Mark Noah, said it is fine as written. The commissioners tabled this decision in favor of looking the policy over this week and vote on it at their next meeting since Commissioner Mike Cooper has been gone for two weeks.

Ed Debesis, Mitchell County EMS, gave his monthly report. They made 42 ambulance runs for the month of January. 32 runs were from Beloit, 1 from Cawker City, 1 from Downs, Three from Glen Elder, 1 from Hunter, and two from Scottsville. They charged out $30,831.42 for ambulance runs in the month of January and took in a cash total of $16,190.80. Amount written off by the various insurance companies plus $200.33 written off by a patient for a total of $10,243.24

Debesis requested a 5-minute executive session with commissioners to discuss non-elected personnel. It was extended another 5-minutes. The chairman announced no decisions were made.

A 20-minute executive session with the commissioners and Clerk Treaster present was requested by Melinda Lathum, Mitchell County Assessor to discuss Payment Under Protest. The session was extended. No decisions were made. Clerk Treaster requested a 10-minute executive meeting with herself and the commissioners present to discuss non-elected personnel. No decisions were made.

Chairman Marshall read a letter from the Kansas Children Service League requesting they name April as Child Abuse Prevention Month for the week starting Tuesday, April 18. They are asking a child be named from each county in this district to attend a meeting in Topeka. The child should be from three to five years of age but an older child would be considered as they welcome children of all ages. The commissioners voted to name the week of April 18, as Child Abuse Prevention Month in this County. Commissioners plan to get in touch with the Mitchell County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) organization as a source of who might be interested in making this trip. Anyone interested can contact County Clerk, Chris Treaster, at the Mitchell County Clerks Office in the Mitchell County Courthouse.

The Chairman once again reminded everyone the Commission meeting would be held on Tuesday, February 18, next week.

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