Saturday, October 20, 2018





Chairman Pat Collins called the regular session of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners (The Board), to order and led all in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, November 6, 2017 in the Commission Room, #109 of the Cherokee County Courthouse located at 110 W Maple St., Columbus, Kansas.  Commissioners Pat Collins, Neal Anderson, Cory Moates, County Counselor Barbara Wright, and County Clerk Rodney Edmondson were present.

Members of the press present:  Larry Hiatt, Jordan Zabel

Roger Carswell from the SEK Library System appeared before the Board.  He reported that there has been a law change regarding the appointment of library board members.  The County Commissioners are now responsible to appoint members to the library board.  There is a vacancy on the board for Cherokee County.  The appointee must live in Cherokee County, but not a resident of Baxter Springs, Columbus, Galena, or Weir.  He suggests that the Board contact the librarians in the county to see if they have anyone that is interested in library activities that would live in the qualifying area of the county.  The appointee must attend the annual meeting each year in Iola.  The next board meeting is June of 2018 and they would like to have the vacancy filled before then.  The Board will follow his advice and seek to find a candidate for the board.

Raven Elmore, County Treasurer, provided an updated fund balance report for the Board to review.  She stated that there is enough money in the funds to cover payroll and the accounts payable registers that the Board is reviewing today.

A motion was made by Commissioner Moates to approve the payroll for the period ending October 27, 2017.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson.  The motion carried 3-0.

A motion was made by Commissioner Anderson to approve the accounts payable for the period ending November 1,2017.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Moates.  The motion carried 3-0.

The Board discussed options for tax abatements for residential and business properties for new construction or improvements that are made on the property.  Commissioner Anderson stated that they are meeting in the Economic Development Office this afternoon.  The Board asked Counselor Wright to review the law regarding such abatements.

A motion was made by Commissioner Anderson to approve the minutes of the October 30, 2017 BOCC meeting as written.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Moates.  The motion carried 3-0.

Clerk Edmondson presented renewal documents from KCAMP for liability and property insurance.  They are offering a three year rate stabilization and contribution credit program again.  The Board will review the documents and consider the offer before the December 8, 2017 deadline.

Clerk Edmondson updated the Board on the grant application for the sidewalks in Crestline.  He reported that the State has informed Carey Spoon that due to the fact that there is only a Post Office along the proposed sidewalk route, the project may not rate very well on the needs portion of the grant which is 60 of the 100 points.  The Board took it under advisement.

Al Hurt and Doug Durbin with AFLAC appeared before the Board regarding changes in their plan.  They stated that they have been a part of our benefit package for 33 years.  They have created a public sector department that has the ability to reduce rates.  There are additional benefits that can be added to the plan at no cost.  In order to reduce the rates, they must meet with 75% of our current employees.  They stated that meeting with employees has been difficult in the past.  The Board asked them to get with Deana to review the current plan, and to reach out to Department Heads to work on a schedule to see as many employees as possible.

Department Heads - Monthly Reports

They met with the Board for their routine monthly meeting for the purpose of updating the Board on happenings within each department, with the following department heads present:  Barbara Bilke, Register of Deeds; Betha Elliott, Health Department; David Groves, Sheriff; Deana Randall, Human Resources; Jacob Conard, County Attorney; Janet Miller, Economic Development; Jason Allison, Emergency Management; Logan Grant, Noxious Weeds; Mark Hixon, Appraiser; Raven Elmore, Treasurer; Rodney Edmondson, Clerk & Election; and Wayne Elliott, 911 Addressing & Mapping.

Barbara Bilke reported that CIC has updated their computer program and it’s taking time to get used to.  She also reported the sale of 8 passports last month.

Betha Elliott reported that the flushot season is still here and they have plenty of vaccine available.  She informed the Board that they have some floor damage and that Ralph is going to put some new tile down.

David Groves reported that the drug take-back collected 494 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs.  There have been 142 car/deer accidents this year and it’s picking up right now.  He stated that he’s working with the County Attorney to free up the space used to hold inmates that are awaiting court appearances.  They are looking at utilizing two of the holding cells on the 3rd floor.  That would allow the County Attorney to use the current holding area for more office space for his office.  He presented a renewed contract from the Kansas Department of Corrections for the direct housing of DOC inmates.  Counselor Wright reviewed the documents.  Chairman Collins thanked Sheriff Groves for his department’s handling of the funeral for Earney Paul Donaldson.  Chairman Collins called for a moment of silence for those recently lost, including the victims of the church shooting in Texas.

Deana Randall - She reported that AFLAC is going to contact our outside departments to arrange a time to meet with employees regarding their program.  She reminded everyone that they must see 75% of our employees.

Jacob Conard - He reported that his office has been about business as usual and they are preparing for big trials later this year and early next year. They are still working on the computer upgrades with KISSTech.

Janet Miller reported that she is working with several businesses on expanding their operation.  She is also working with one business that is relocating to Cherokee County.  She stated that their subcommittee is meeting today at 2:00 p.m. in her office to work on the housing issue and she hopes to bring something to the Board soon.  She stated that the public is invited.

Jason Allison reported that the final audit on the flood buyout grant was completed and will now proceed to the final closing hearing.  He stated that Carl’s stuff has been moved to his office and he is reading over the materials.  Commissioner Moates informed everyone that the Emergency Management Department has taken over Carl’s environmental role from the Health Department.

Logan Grant reported that the frost has caused the weeds to die or go dormant so he’s preparing to winterize.

Mark Hixon reported that they are required to inspect each property once every six years.  They have always been behind schedule, but this is the first year that Cherokee County has met the 17% quota and they hope to keep that up going forward.  He stated that it’s now time to set values for 2018 and he’s seeing a trend upward for the first time in several years.  He stated that properties are selling for more than they have previously.  There have been 124 sales from January through October.

Raven Elmore reported that when she took office her computer had been wiped clean and she had to start from scratch in creating documents and reports just to try to get balances in order.  She stated that she needs to get budget balances next.  Title work is caught up to the end of August purchases.  Tax collection has already begun and she is working on more cross training for her staff.  She also reported that she is working with the County Attorney and has turned over numerous bad checks that have been written to the Treasurer’s Office.

Rodney Edmondson reported that his office is focused on the city and school election tomorrow.  Equipment was set up on Sunday and is being finished today.  The tax roll was certified to the Treasurer on November 1st for the collection of property taxes.

Wayne Elliott reported the issuance of two new addresses and the making of 14 street signs.

Counselor Wright reviewed the KDOC agreement and had no concerns.  The Board signed the agreement for the housing of KDOC inmates.

A motion was made by Commissioner Moates to approve the 2018 schedule for accounts payable, payroll, and holidays as presented by Clerk Edmondson.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson. The motion carried 3-0.

A motion was made by Commissioner Collins to hire the Emergency Management Department to do Carl Hayes’environmental job at a rate of $400 per month for each of the two employees.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson.  The motion carried 3-0.

A motion was made by Commissioner Moates for an attorney client executive session for contract issues with the Board, Counselor Wright, and Clerk Edmondson for a period of 15 minutes.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson.  The motion carried 3-0 at 10:59 a.m.

The meeting reconvened at 11:14 a.m.

A motion was made by Commissioner Anderson to set the fence viewing for November 27, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. for the Pierce and Paxson properties on SE Greenlawn Rd.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Moates.  The motion carried 3-0.

Commissioner Anderson made a motion to adjourn until the next regular meeting set for Monday, November 13, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Moates.  The motion carried 3-0 at 11:17 a.m.

ATTEST:  Resolved and ordered this 13th day of November, 2017

Click here to view the Minutes PDF file with signatures and attachments.