Thursday, February 21, 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, January 7, 2019 in the Commission Room, #109 of the Cherokee County Courthouse located at 110 W Maple St., Columbus,Kansas.  Commissioner Pat Collins 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 December 28, 2018 BOCC meeting as written.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Collins.  The motion carried 3-0.

Jim Burton, representing the Solid Waste Committee, appeared before the Board inquiring about the status of the recycling trailer that is being built.  He also stated that the committee would be meeting on January 16th at 4:00 p.m. at the Riverton Community Center.

Clerk Edmondson presented an invoice from the League of Kansas Municipalities in the amount of $971.27 for the 2019 dues.  Edmondson stated that Cherokee County hasn’t been a member since the cost of membership increased drastically several years ago.

A motion was made by Commissioner Moates not to join The League in 2019.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson.  The motion carried 3-0.

Counselor Wright discussed a timeline for the proposed new fire districts for the Board to consider.  Resolutions, publications, and a public hearing will need to be completed before the Board can make fire districts in the Spring Valley, Lowell, and Shawnee townships.  The Board set Monday, March 11, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the District Courtroom for a public hearing.

Clerk Edmondson presented the draft resolution for the waiver from GAAP for 2019 for a second read by the Board.

A motion was made by Commissioner Moates to adopt Resolution 01-2019, the Wavier from GAAP for 2019.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Collins.  The motion carried 3-0.

Leonard Vanatta, County Road Supervisor and Louis Schreiner, County Lot Supervisor appeared before the Board on county road business.  The Board discussed options for the repair of the bridge on SW 20th St. south of Highway 166.  Leonard will get a cost estimate of 36” concrete culvert pipe for the Board to consider.

Bill and Ruth Lee appeared before the Board regarding the summons he received over back taxes on his property.  He stated that he has been making payments toward the back taxes and currently has $388 for 2016 still due.  Raven Elmore, County Treasurer, stated that she can’t accept partial payments after summons are served.  She stated that she would look into the matter further.

Raven Elmore reported that all tax receipting is complete.  She stated that last year it was January 25th before they finished processing tax payments.

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; Deana Randall, Human Resources; Jacob Conard, County Attorney; Janet Miller, Economic Development; Jason Allison, Emergency Management; Logan Grant, Noxious Weeds; Mark Hixon, Appraiser; Ralph Houser, Maintenance; Raven Elmore, Treasurer; Rodney Edmondson, Clerk & Election; and Wayne Elliott, 911 Addressing & Mapping.

Deana Randall reported that new health insurance cards have been issued so the problem with prescription coverage has been corrected.

Betha Elliott stated that the sidewalk project at the Health Department is almost finished.  They have new carpet installed and her staff is now working on painting the office.

Barbara Bilke reported that passports are picking up again with 15 processed in December with a total of 116 in 2018.  She also mentioned that mortgage fees are now gone and will not be collected in the future, but the recording fees have increased.

Janet Miller reported that they are off to a good start with lots of spring activities and business visits.

Jason Allison reported the issuance of eight septic permits and they are currently working with owners on six open septic issues.  They have been notified of eight sites that have problems.  They are waiting on a few things before the new storm sirens will be installed.

Logan Grant reported that the annual report is almost ready to be presented to the Board for review.

Mark Hixson stated that he is currently working on the NRP and is updating the list of applicants.  There has been $6.7 million in new construction applied for so far.  He reported that the CIC conversion of data is starting today with personal property.

Ralph Houser stated that he will try to finish installing new LED lighting in the courthouse soon.  He has plans to remodel four of the smaller restrooms in the courthouse and is working on cleaning out the old jail and getting rid of items in storage.  He reported that the exterior work on the courthouse will be starting again this week.

Rodney Edmondson stated that the Clerk’s portion of the CIC conversion on the new tax system will be taking place soon.

Wayne Elliott reported the issuance of eight new addresses, one building permit for a house and one for a garage, and the sale of $116 in maps to customers.  He presented a quote for a new computer from Stronghold Data in the amount of $1,642.80 that was budgeted for 2019.  The Board approved the purchase.

Nathan Coleman appeared from the County Attorney’s Office with 2018 statistics.  He reported that they had 365 criminal filings that included 264 felonies and 101 misdemeanors, 1,441 traffic offenses, 39 Juvenile Offender cases, 119 Child in Need of Care cases, and three civil filings in 2018.

Jason Allison presented an agreement for storm siren maintenance from Blue Valley Public Safety in the amount of $9,000 for 2019.

A motion was made by Commissioner Collins to approve the storm siren maintenance agreement with Blue Valley Public Safety, Inc. for 2019.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Moates.  The motion carried 3-0.

Commissioner Collins stated that it has come to the attention of the Board that there is a big difference in the salaries of some of the elected officials when compared to Crawford County.  He feels that the gap needs to be narrowed.

A motion was made by Commissioner Collins to increase the salaries of the Sheriff, Clerk, Treasurer, and Register of Deeds by 7%. 

Commissioner Moates stated that he was not opposed to this increase at all, but is concerned with the budget that is available to each department.  Commissioner Anderson stated that he too is not opposed to the increase but would like to see a flat rate increase rather than a percentage because the gap gets wider for those that make more.  He would like to investigate it further.  He stated that we need to keep pace with neighboring counties.

The motion died for lack of a second.

A motion was made by Commissioner Collins for an executive session with the Board for the purpose of the discipline of non-elected personnel, to reconvene in the Commission room at 11:10 a.m.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson.  The motion carried 3-0 at 10:52 a.m.

No action was taken during the executive session.

Commissioner Moates made a motion to adjourn until the next regular meeting set for Monday, January 14, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Anderson.  The motion carried 3-0 at 11:15 a.m.

ATTEST:  Resolved and ordered this 14th day of January, 2019

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