Thursday, January 24, 2019





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 29, 2018 in the Commission Room, #109 of the Cherokee County Courthouse located at 110 W Maple St., Columbus, Kansas.  Commissioner Cory Moates 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 Anderson to approve the Minutes of the October 22, 2018 BOCC meeting as written.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Collins. The motion carried 3-0.

A motion was made by Commissioner Moates to sign the letter of support for the Coordinated Transit District #10.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson. The motion carried 3-0.

Counselor Wright informed the Board that a resolution to dedicate Dewberry Ln. as a county road as requested wouldn’t be necessary.  The road in question is actually 87th St. and was already dedicated by a resolution in 2014.  Dewberry Ln. is still a private road.

Counselor Wright brought the condemnation of the property owned by Paul & Mary Cupp, located at 704 SE Alternate Highway 69 up for review.  The Board has not heard from anyone regarding the progress of the clean-up.

Counselor Wright reported that the law firm of Klenda Austerman, LLC is running into problems filing the large petitions with the District Court.  She stated that the computer program is not set up for high volume pleadings.  They are working through the issues.

Leonard Vanatta, County Road Supervisor, appeared before the Board on county road business.  He reported that they are working with the City of Columbus on their asphalting.  He stated that he took pictures of the damage to the bridge on SW 20th St.  Commissioner Moates asked him to check on the soft spots in the asphalt on Quaker Rd. just east of U69A.  Leonard stated that the spots would need to be dug out and large rock for a base put in place.

Brian Hillier, Benefit Health Advisors, appeared before the Board regarding the county employee health insurance plan.  He met with the employee insurance committee earlier this morning regarding the plan.  He provided an update on the plan and presented quotes for renewal options for 2019.  He stated that large claims in 2018 are not as heavy as last year, but they are still going to be heavy.  A review of the claims show that county employees are driving the claims, not spouses or dependents.  The current Aetna network is providing a 57% discount on claims with 93.2% of the claims running through the network.  After reviewing the plan and the renewal quotes, the committee recommends renewing with Meritain and the Aetna Network.  The committee also recommended going to Optum Select from Caremark for prescription coverage.  That change would provide deeper discounts and a saving of 3% to 4% off of prescriptions.  The committee is recommending to carve out the vision coverage from the health plan and to go with a fully insured vision plan from V.S.P.  That change would make it easier for claims to be handled, much like prescription coverage with deductibles and co-pays done at the time of service.  Local providers are not set up to bill through the health plan.  He reported that there is no change to the life insurance coverage or rates with Reliance.

A motion was made by Commissioner Moates to renew the health insurance with Meritain and the Aetna Network, Optum Select Prescriptions, V.S.P. Vision Coverage, and Reliance Life Insurance.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson. The motion carried 3-0.

Doug Mogle appeared before the Board as a representative from the Columbus Community Foundation and the Veteran’s Memorial Committee.  He stated that there is approximately $55,000 in left over funds from donations made to the Veteran’s Memorial.  He submitted a letter from the committee asking that the County accept ownership of the memorial, and to appoint Sonja Duley, Athena McColm, and Margaret McColm as volunteers to maintain the memorial.  The funds will remain with the Foundation to reimburse the County for expenses from maintenance or improvements to the memorial.

A motion was made by Commissioner Moates to form a voluntary committee for the Veteran’s Memorial and to appoint Sonja Duley, Athena McColm, and Margaret McColm to that Board, subject to KCAMP approval for insuring the memorial.

A motion was made by Commissioner Moates to take ownership of the Veteran’s Memorial on the courthouse square.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson.  The motion carried 3-0.

Counselor Wright will draft a resolution for consideration next week to document the ownership of the memorial.

Betha Elliott, Health Director, appeared before the Board.  She informed the Board that she has been granted funds from the Health Care Coalition to attend the national meeting in New Orleans at the end of November.  She will provide a report to the Coalition upon her return.

Larry Hiatt presented an advertisement for the Veteran’s Day edition of the News Report that recognizes all veterans and their service record.  The Board approved the advertisement.

Commissioner Moates made a motion to adjourn until the next regular meeting set for Monday, November 5, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson.  The motion carried 3-0 at 10:26 a.m.

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

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