Brown County Commission 5.11.2020

Submitted by Melissa Gormley, County Clerk

The Board of Brown County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, May 11, with the following members present: Chairman Dwight A. Kruse, Keith Olsen and Richard L. Lehmkuhl. Also present was Brown County Deputy Clerk Dawn Boyles. County Attorney Kevin Hill was present for a portion of the meeting via video conferencing. Kruse opened the meeting at 8:10 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all. Commissioner Lehmkuhl led the meeting with a prayer.

Chairman Kruse discussed a proposal from the Grain Belt Energy for a transmission line to go through Brown County. County Attorney Hill advised that the commissioners had previously indicated they were going to seek input from counsel involved in negotiating similar proposals with other counties.

Commissioner Lehmkuhl spoke with KCAMP about clarification on the requirements from the insurance company. KCAMP indicated that option two from Midwest Roofing would be the most comparable to the requirements for the insurance company that bids were requested for. Attorney Hill reminded the board that K.S.A. 19-214 states the bids for construction projects on the courthouse must go to the lowest and best bidder. Olsen motioned to accept the bid from Midwest for $75,074.85. The motion died due to lack of a second. The discussion was tabled.

Lehmkuhl made a motion to accept the bid from CCR Roofing, with a bid of $60,314.64, for the project on the courthouse roof, as the lowest and best bid. Kruse seconded the motion. The commissioners voted 2-1 to accept the bid with Olsen opposed.

The board discussed whether to allow or not allow commercial haulers to utilize the landfill on Saturdays. Kruse tabled the discussion for now. The commissioners will revisit the matter at a later date.


Emergency Management Director Pounds updated the commissioners on the PPE orders he had received. Gloves, gowns and disinfectant supplies continue to be difficult to obtain. Commissioner Olsen discussed the opening of hair salons and barber shops.

Pounds indicated there has been no indication as to when the Governor plans to move into phase two of reopening next week. Pounds also said he had seven restaurants contact him about reopening. Commissioner Lehmkuhl discussed the possibility of hiring a part-time employee to clean and disinfect after reopening of the courthouse, with the majority of the focus on the third floor while court is in session. Pounds confirmed that 75 percent of the wages would qualify for reimbursement.

Department Reports

Brown County Appraiser Steve Markham updated the board on two hearings that are remaining. Markham also indicated he will begin advertising for the open position in his office. Commissioner Kruse inquired about the recent oil and gas litigation involving Labette County in the appellate courts. Markham advised that the holding would not materially impact Brown County based on the number of similar leases here.

Lori Gray, Services for the Elderly Director, discussed transportation to the hospital for individuals in need of testing for COVID-19. Don Pounds, Emergency Management Director, will discuss with the hospital and coordinate with them to get transportation to the hospital for testing.

Dave Schuetz, Head Custodian, presented the board with estimates for tree removal of two trees in courthouse square. The bids were as follows: Grimm’s Gardens with a bid of $3,120, and Kyle’s Tree Service with a bid of $2,600. The commissioners accepted the bid from Kyle’s Tree Service for $2,600.

Schuetz gave an update on the generator. They are waiting for the installation of a regulator on the generator. Schuetz also discussed the janitors inspecting the fire extinguishers at other county locations. Schuetz will get contact information on each location and will do the monthly inspections.

Also at the meeting:

The May 6 payroll was approved as follows: General, $84,019.16; Road and Bridge, $11,619.50; Election, $245.77; Technology, $384.25; Appraiser, $6,063.71; Noxious Weed, $2,092.25; ACC, $7,012.14; JJA Core, $6,797.53; Reinvestment Grant, $1,802.90; Services for Elderly, $2,814; Solid Waste, $4,040; Employee Benefit FICA, $8,164.78; and Employee Benefit KPERS, $10,201.92. After State Unemployment and Workers Compensation of $280.73 and Insurance of $3,119.76 were taken out, the total was $141,857.42.

The commissioners approved the minutes of the May 4 regular meeting and the May 6 special meeting.

The board held a 25-minute executive session on non-elected personnel, with the three commissioners and the interviewees present by telephone, to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel with executive session necessary to protect privacy interests. No binding action was taken.

The commissioners approved offering the District 1 Road Foreman position to one of the interviewees.

The next regular meeting was held on Monday, May 18. These minutes were not available at the Herald’s press time.

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The Sabetha Herald has been serving Sabetha since 1876.


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