Tuesday, December 11, 2018





Chairman Cory Moates called the regular session of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners (The Board), to order at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, October 1, 2018 in the Commission Room, #109 of the Cherokee County Courthouse located at 110 W Maple St., Columbus, Kansas.  Jim Tunnel opened the meeting with prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.  Commissioners Cory Moates, Pat Collins, Neal Anderson, County Counselor Barbara Wright, and County Clerk Rodney Edmondson were present.

Members of the press present:  Larry Hiatt

A motion was made by Commissioner Collins to approve the Minutes of the September 24, 2018 BOCC meeting as written.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson.  The motion carried 3-0.

Paul Posch, owner of the property located at 70 SW Highway 166, appeared regarding the condemnation of that property that is being considered by the Board.  He stated that he has contracted with someone to tear down the structure and should have it done by November 1st.  Jason Allison stated that Posch would need to be there when KDHE inspects the old in-ground fuel tanks.  Posch stated that he was checking on what would need to be done with the tanks since they have been empty for 30 years.  Jason will stay in contact with Posch during the process.  The Board will review the status at its meeting on November 5th.

Counselor Wright presented a draft resolution for the Board to review.  The resolution documents the results of last week’s meeting regarding the condemnation proceedings for the property owned by Paul and Mary Cupp located at 704 SE Highway Alternate 69.  The Board placed the item on the agenda for the next regular meeting set for this Friday, October 5th, for a second read.

The Board signed the application for Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Funds as presented by Jason Allison.

Louis Schreiner, County Lot Supervisor, appeared before the Board on county road business.

Paul Wheeler, owner of the property located at 8793 SE 71st Ter. appeared before the Board regarding the condemnation of that property.  He stated that he had intended to tear down the structure a year ago but health issues prevented him from doing that.  He would like to save the new section of the house and rebuild it, and tear down the old part.  His plan is to live in the house once it’s finished with a goal to have it done this winter.

A motion was made by Commissioner Anderson to give Mr. Wheeler 60 days to demolish the old part of the structure.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Collins.  The motion carried 3-0.  The Board will review the status at its December 3rd meeting.

Clerk Edmondson informed the Board that a public hearing for the CDBG grant application for the Crestline sidewalk project has been set for Friday, October 12, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.

The Board set Wednesday, November 14th at 9:00 a.m. for the canvassing of the General Election.

Commissioner Moates presented a list of unpaid sewer bills that have the delinquent amounts assessed to their taxes.  He would like to print the list in the newspaper.  Counselor Wright recommended giving the owners one more warning notice.  The Board agreed to send a final notice to the owners before publishing the list.

Department Heads - Monthly Reports

Officials 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; Logan Grant, Noxious Weeds; Mark Hixon,  Appraiser; Ralph Houser, Maintenance; Raven Elmore, Treasurer; Rodney Edmondson, Clerk & Election; and Wayne Elliott, 911 Addressing &Mapping.

Barbara Bilke stated that they issued five passports last month and they are currently working on recertification to continue issuing passports.

Betha Elliott presented an invoice to have OZ reupholster their waiting room chairs instead of buying new ones.  She stated that the drive-thru flu shot clinic is tomorrow at the Health Office.

David Groves stated that the Mother Road Marathon went well, with over 900 participants in all events.  He stated that the Drug Takeback is scheduled for October 27th with locations in Baxter Springs, Columbus, and Galena.

Deana Randall presented the 2019 schedule for payroll, accounts payable, and holidays for the Board to review.

Jacob Conard stated that they filed 52 new cases, 40 felonies and 12 misdemeanors in September.  There is an attempted murder case set for jury trial on October 30th.

Logan Grant reported $694.73 in chemical sales for September.

Mark Hixon provided a list of NRP applications for the county’s new program.   There is an estimated $4.4 million in improvements.  He expects a few more before the end of year.

Ralph Houser stated that the old jail upstairs is still full of unwanted property that needs to be removed so there is more room for storage.

Raven Elmore presented two contracts for the Board to consider, one for mail communications and one for credit cards.  She stated that the new mail delivery service will save money over the current company.  She stated that she sent 114 properties to Klenda Austerman LLC for the next tax sale.  She is working with the Sheriff and Gene Mense to audit the inmate account.  She reported that DMV and issuing driver’s license is a problem with the new system.  She is trying to get more staff certified to issue licenses, but can’t get DMV to work with her.  She is going to contact legislators about the problems.

Rodney Edmondson provided an update on the November 6th election.  Early voting will begin on October 17th.

Wayne Elliott reported the issuance of five permits and the sale of $24 in maps.  They made 44 new street signs with 34 of them to replace the signs on Highway 7 after the old ones were removed for the highway project.

A motion was made by Commissioner Collins for a 10 minute recess.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson. The motion carried 3-0 at 10:46 a.m.

The meeting reconvened at 10:56 a.m.

Christy Mitchell with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas appeared before the Board regarding employee health insurance.  She would like the opportunity to give options for our health insurance.  Blue Cross self-funded plans are seeing a 68-70% provider discount.  She would like to meet with the insurance committee after options are determined.  The Board instructed her to get with Deana to get what she needs.

A motion was made by Commissioner Collins to approve the 2019 calendar as presented by Deana Randall earlier.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Moates.  The motion carried 3-0.

Debra Gould and Tabitha Carlton from First American Title Co. appeared before the Board.  Debra stated that there has been a misunderstanding about their title work for a pending tax sale.  She stated that they completed the work that was requested of them back in 2015.  They have not been contacted since then to do anything else.  She assured the Board that they complete their research as soon as possible and very timely.  Debra stated that she spoke with the Wichita attorney regarding his goal of having the research completed in 45 days.  She stated that 45 days was difficult, but 60 days would be doable.  They can complete at least two searches per day and send them daily to the attorney if desired.  Debra stated that they normally charge $175 per search, but are willing to do it for $125 per parcel.  They would not require a written contract for the work, a verbal agreement is sufficient with them.

A motion was made by Commissioner Collins to contract with First American Title to do title searches for the next tax sale.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson.  The motion carried 3-0.  Counselor Wright will notify the attorney for the tax sale of the Board’s decision.

Raven Elmore reported that she received an email from DeAnn Hill regarding her work to research and balance the old bank accounts.  Hill reported that they are struggling with access to the software as it won’t give them look-up capabilities.  She is working it back into her schedule.

Commissioner Moates made a motion to adjourn until the next regular meeting set for Friday, October 5, 2018 at 8:00 a.m., as the courthouse will be closed on Monday, October 8, 2018 in observance of the Columbus Day holiday.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson.  The motion carried 3-0 at 11:58 a.m.

ATTEST:  Resolved and ordered this 5th day of October, 2018

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