Two Companies Bid on County Equipment Needs

Casey Fraser of Foley Tractor Company, Salina, and Scott Hartman, of Victor and L. Phillips Company, Wichita, were both in attendance at the Mitchell County Commission Meeting Monday morning. Larry Emerson, Public Works, was also on hand for the opening of the bids. Commission Chairman, Jim Marshall, opened the bids on a new excavator and a new larger utility trailer for the county to haul equipment on.

Fraser presented one used excavator and three new trailers for the commissioners to look at. Two of the trailers were 55 ton and one was a 35 ton trailer. Hartman offered bids on one used excavator and one 35- ton trailer.

After discussion the commissioners felt due to the differences in the two brands of equipment, along with the weight it can pull, the size of the axles involved, etc this was not a decision that could be made on such short notice at this mornings meeting. Emerson had not seen the bids before they were opened this morning. The commissioners turned the bids over to him to look through this week and decide which equipment best meets the specifications he needs for his department. He will bring the information back to the February 24, commission meeting for a final decision.

Emerson said his crew is still working on graveling roads but the wet snow has slowed them down. He hopes to get back to work on this today. During the time they couldn't work on roads they completely cleaned their shop including the ceiling, the walls and the floor and painted the walls. This hadn't been done for ten or twelve years so it really looks different. They should get every thing back in place yet today, he said.

Melinda Latham, Mitchell County Appraiser, and County Attorney, Mark Noah, met with commissioners in a 15-minute executive session that was extended for 10 more minutes. The purpose of the meeting was to consider possible litigation. No decisions were made but Attorney Noah will meet with Latham later this week.

Ed Debesis, EMS Director, asked for a 15-minute executive session with commissioners to discuss non-elected personnel. After the session Chairman Marshall announced no decisions were made. Debesis continued the discussion in open session and explained he has one more person out on work leave due to a fall on the ice while not on duty. This person is a Paramedic and will be out for 6 to 8 weeks before he can come back on duty. This makes Debesis staff short by three people. One other is out on maternity leave and one recuperating from surgery. Debesis requested compensation at $13 an hour for the 23-½ hours he has had to cover this past month. The commissioner voted to pay Debesis as he requested. He will continue filling in where needed.

Chairman Marshall thanked Ed and said the commissioners appreciate all he does above and beyond the call of duty. Debesis said, while he would hate to do it he might have to shut down one ambulance if they lose any more people so this means they can't afford to lose anybody else. If they need to in an emergency, they could call in a unit from Jewell, Cloud or Lincoln County but he would hate to have to do that, he said.

Heather Hartman, Economic Development Director, reported on her trip to the Lansing Prison. She said this was a lot different than when they visited the Ellsworth Prison. While they were there the facility was locked down with them inside because of a stabbing that took place. There are 2400 prisoners at that prison and it has 1000 employees. She said there are five prisons within the short distance between Lansing and Leavenworth Prison. The U.S. Penitentiary is a Federal Prison and they have closed it to outsiders since the 9-11 attack. There is also a Military Prison and a minimum-security facility. The group visited Fort Leavenworth where there is a Command General Staff College there. They also train officers from other allied countries.

County Clerk reminded the commissioners there would be a quarterly four county meeting in Osborne next Monday February 24, at the Sunflower Bank Room. The four counties involved include Mitchell, Osborne, Smith and Jewell. Mitchell County will host this meeting in May and will hold it at Waconda Lake.


Mitchell County Sheriff, Doug Daugherty, conducted a Sheriff Sale in the main hall of the Mitchell County Courthouse at 10 a.m. Monday, February 18, as advertised previously. This was for Trapper's Bar and Grill building located in Simpson and several other lots within the City of Simpson, Kansas. Don Noah, of the Noah Law Office, was present to oversee the legal action. Sheriff Daugherty presented the bid of $23,894.93 and asked if anyone wished to submit a higher bid. As no one offered a bid the sheriff pronounced the building sold for $23,874.93 to the Tri-Century Bank of Simpson, Kansas.

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