Mitchell County Commissioners – April 17, 2017

The Mitchell County Commissioners met on Monday morning and were joined by Randy Gengler of the Mitchell County Rescue Squad to discuss the sale of the county’s old rescue truck following the recent purchase of a new unit. Options were discussed such as Purple Wave Auctions. Gengler said he sought out possible local or nearby entities that may be interested in the unit, but none were found. The truck is a 1985 GMC.

Gengler also discussed having boxes installed on the new truck and had sought out bids to do so. The boxes will cost $3,590 to be built and installed by Watts Manufacturing of Salina. There is money available in their budget to provide for the cost of the boxes. He also discussed tools for use with the new unit such as a jaws-of-life. Some of their tools are in good shape while some others are outdated and in need of replacement.

Gengler said high strength steel used now in most production vehicles are difficult to be able to access in a timely manner in an emergency with their current tools. Manufacturers will be coming in over the next couple of months to demonstrate their equipment options before Gengler will present a purchase request to the commissioners.

The commissioners then approved a resolution to raise the price per day which the county charges for any prisoners housed in Mitchell County from any outside correctional entities. The previous daily charge was $30 per day which the commissioners increased to $35 per day. This pricing was put into place in Mitchell County’s agreement with Saline County in February, but the resolution approved at Monday’s meeting sets the price at $35 per day for all entities housing out of county inmates.

Following an executive session with County Appraiser Melinda Latham, the commissioners approved a new contract for the position through June 30, 2021 at her current salary.

The commissioners also announced they would be attending the Kansas Association of Counties meeting in Concordia on May 4. The meeting will focus on property tax issues.
A Neighborhood Revitalization Grant application was approved for E-Z Store Inc. of Beloit in the USD 273 school district for a new 240’ by 40’ foot building for recreational vehicles and bunk storage at a total cost of $62,741.

Director of Public Works Dale Housh discussed a request for rock on a Hayes Township Road leading to a residence. Hayes Township turned over their responsibilities to the county this year, but their operations will run off of their existing budget through the end of this year. The township budget will then be reflected in the overall county budget beginning in 2018.

Commissioner Tom Claussen said, “My opinion is that since we’ve taken over those three townships that if it’s on a mail route, a school bus route, a residence or a combination we to maintain that road, and that recipient will assume responsibility through (their) regular tax base.”

The township has a budget of about $8,000 for 2017. There were cash reserves totaling about $37,000 turned over when the township relinquished its responsibilities to the county. It is unclear how much of that money could be made available for immediate public works projects. County Clerk Chris Treaster said she will look into it.

The commissioners then reminded everyone that there will be a public health meeting on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the MCHHS library. There will also be an awards ceremony for the latest round of Solomon Valley Community Foundation grant awards on Wednesday evening at the Porter House in Beloit.

In other business, a change-over to a new computer in the clerk’s office has caused several email addresses to be lost which County Clerk Treaster needs to send agendas for commissioner’s meetings and other correspondence to. If you are not receiving agendas or other information from the clerk’s office as usual and wish to continue to do so, please email [email protected] to have your information updated.

There was then discussion regarding who is responsible for infrastructure at Glen Elder State Park. An agreement for the county to maintain the infrastructure was signed by the Mitchell County Commissioners in December of 1966, but it was never signed-off on by the Federal Bureau of Reclamation according to Mitchell County records. Therefore, the commissioners believed that infrastructure at the state park could still be the responsibility of the federal government although the county has been performing and financing maintenance and upgrade work at the park across those many decades.

The commissioners placed a phone call to the Federal Bureau of Reclamation office in McCook, Neb. to clarify the issue. The commissioners were informed that Mitchell County signed off on the contract which shows their intent and understanding that the infrastructure has been the county’s responsibility since 1966, and that it will remain so.

The next Mitchell County Commissioners meeting set for Monday, April 24 at the Mitchell County Courthouse.