The Board of County Commission for Washington County met in regular session on Monday, June 16, 2014 in the commission room at the Washington County Courthouse. Members present: Alison Mueller, 1st District Commissioner, Chairman; Roger Otott, Vice Chairman, 2nd District Commissioner; and Gary Ouellette, 3rd District Commissioner. Denae Dimler, County Clerk, was present to record meeting minutes.
Next regular meeting will be Monday, June 23, 2014 at 8:30 A.M.
Chairman Mueller called the meeting to order.
The Board received the 2015 budget request from the Washington County Ambulance Board.
Roxanne Schottel introduced herself as the new CEO of Washington County Hospital. Schottel presented the 2015 budget request for the hospital. The Board asked Schottel to submit monthly board minutes to which they agreed to have a monthly PBC meeting to discuss the hospital project and receive the minutes. Schottel said Kellen Sherlock will be joining the hospital as a new family doctor next summer after he finishes his residency in Lincoln, NE. Schottel presented information regarding lights that need to be purchased for the hospital and asked if the County could help fund the purchase. The Board said the final cost of the hospital project did not include equipment and they do not want to go over budget on the project. This also includes expenses associated with moving the administrators office which has been recently discussed. These expenses were not included in the cost of the project. If there is money left over at the end of the project, some changes may be allowed at that time but not now. Schottel said they are looking at loan options available to purchase equipment.
Chairman Mueller asked Diana Svanda, Payroll/Accounts Payable Clerk, questions regarding timesheets and the use of earned time. Svanda and Dimler said it is difficult to complete payroll when there are many unwritten rules regarding the use of earned time and would like the Board to adopt specific policies and those policies applied to all departments and explained to all department heads. Chairman Mueller said to continue processing timesheets as they have been done in the past until some new policies are set by the Board.
Duane Bruna, Environmental Science Director, submitted 2015 budget requests for Noxious Weed, Solid Waste, and Vegetation Management. Bruna had a complaint about thistles on township roads but he referred the complaints to the appropriate Township Board.
Justin Cordry, Sheriff, submitted 2015 budget requests for the Sheriff and the Jail. There are currently 5 Washington County inmates in the jail. Cordry asked permission to advertise for a full-time deputy position he wishes to fill. The Board approved the request. Cordry would like to purchase a small ATV and a possible trailer to tow the ATV. The Board approved the purchase under the condition the purchase does not exceed $5,000. Commissioner Otott asked what it costs to send a new Deputy through training classes. Cordry said there is not tuition or food costs to attend the training so the County only pays for transportation to and from training and the Deputy’s wages. Chairman Mueller addressed the feral dog issue that was discussed in last weeks meeting. Cordry said he has not personally seen dog packs running wild but has had many reports and the officers have done extra patrolling between State Lake and Hwy 36. He has asked residents to call the Sheriff’s office immediately if they see the animals but he does not want to be responsible for the costs of taking care of wild or stray animals.
The Board received 2015 budget requests from County Appraiser, County Emergency Management, Washington County Fair Assn., Three Rivers, North Central Regional Planning Commission, and Washington County Senior Citizens.
Janice Kearn, County Health Administrator, submitted the Health Department’s 2015 budget request. The Board and Kearn discussed the building purchase the Board declined last week. Chairman Mueller apologized to Kearn for not including her in the decision and said the Board didn’t feel this was the time to start a new project. The Board told Kearn to go ahead and fix problems in the existing building and when the hospital project is completed in 2015 they will look at starting a Health Department project.
Longevity payroll change notices were signed for Mary Oelschlager, Francine Crome, Mendy Kellogg, Laura Burt, Gary Bunch, Scott Jensen, David Moser, Michael Schuessler, Gary Wiese, and David Willbrant.
Sonya Hiltgen, Register of Deeds, submitted the Register of Deed’s 2015 budget request.
David Willbrant, Public Works Administrator, was present while Chairman Mueller opened corrugated metal pipe bids. Three bids were opened. Commissioner Otott made a motion to accept the bid from Welborn Sales as the low bid and everything was in order. Commissioner Ouellette seconded the motion. Motion passed. Chairman Mueller signed the agreement with Welborn Sales. Willbrant submitted Public Works’ weekly work report. Willbrant submitted the Public Works 2015 budget request. The Board approved reimbursement of $3,827.31 to Public Works for work done in Highland Township during the first quarter of 2014. Commissioner Ouellette made a motion to sign an agreement with KDOT for the Federal Fund Exchange Program. Commissioner Otott seconded the motion. Motion passed. Willbrant reported he had received three calls regarding bridges the County is considering closing.
Larry Bruna, Hutton Construction, gave an update on the hospital project. The Board said they spoke with Ms. Schottel this morning and informed her there will not be any changes in design to the project to accommodate an office relocation. Bruna stated that all the lights needed for the project do not need to be purchased immediately and can be purchased at different times during the project. As long as Hutton is informed as to the type of lights that will be purchased, they can get the wiring done according to the manufacturer and lights can be installed at a later time.
Elizabeth Hiltgen, County Attorney, submitted the County Attorney’s 2015 budget request.
Dimler presented 2015 budget requests for the Clerk and Elections. The Board signed official minutes from May 5, May 12, May 19, May 27, June 2, and June 9. The Board received notice from KDHE indicating a swine facility located in section 01 of Mill Creek Township has applied for a permit renewal. The notice will be on file in the Clerk’s office for public viewing. Comments are due by July 12, 2014.
Chairman Mueller left the meeting at 12:15.
Brad Portenier, Washington, asked the Board to consider joining the Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) program which is administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce and offers incentives on income tax and student loan repayments for individuals willing to move to one of the counties designated by the program. Washington County is one of 73 counties in the State of Kansas that qualifies for this program but 10 of those counties eligible have not joined the program. Portenier employs about 100 people in the County and would like to help out his employees by covering a portion of their college education. He feels that the County should do whatever they can to attract young people and he is losing young employees to Marshall County because they participate in ROZ. Commissioner Ouellette said it has been discussed in the past but he was not in favor of the program because the Board does not get to pick which students received the aid. However, the Board will reconsider joining the program. Portenier also asked for an abatement on taxes on a new building he would like to construct for loading trailers and a paint shop. Commissioner Otott said the abatements have been denied in the past because there was no benefit to giving the abatement when the company was going to construct a building whether they had the abatement or not.
The meeting adjourned at 1:20 P.M.