Governing Body: Nemaha County Commission
Submitted by Mary Kay Schultejans
Nemaha County Clerk
The Board of Nemaha County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, July 12, in the Commissioners’ Room of the Nemaha County Courthouse. The meeting was called to order with Co-Chairman Dylan Keim leading the flag salute. Present also were Commissioner Jason Koch and County Clerk Mary Kay Schultejans. Chairman Gary Scoby was absent.
Present for the quarterly Department Head meeting with the commissioners were Appraiser Betty Roeder, Noxious Weed Director Mixie Vance, Road and Bridge/Solid Waste Supervisor Adam Kuckelman, Senior Services/Public Transit Director Diane Yunghans,Maintenance employee Margie Anderson, Emergency Preparedness Director Russel Lierz, District Court Clerk Amy Entrikin, Treasurer Janell Niehues, Sheriff Rich Vernon, Attorney Brad Lippert and Schultejans. Discussion was held concerning the new phone system recently installed, the time clock system that will soon be installed, a human resource assessment that will be done soon, changes with our current insurance plan for 2022 and issues with finding reliable new employees to hire.
Kuckelman, along with Office Manager Kathy Haverkamp, advised the board that:
• He received a quote from Hall Brothers to do an onyx seal on Snake Road (146th Road) at a cost of $15,329.25. The board advised him to try this on the one-mile stretch of road.
• They are still chipping and sealing at this time.
• He has a load of pipe piling coming in.
Vance advised the board that:
• Nemaha County is hosting the August meeting of the regional Weed Directors. Vance asked the board to sponsor the breakfast for this event. The commissioners agreed to this request.
• They have been spraying some spotted knapweed that has shown up in the county.
Lierz advised the board that:
• There was an RV fire Thursday evening at Bailey’s RV Resort.
• There were storms in the area on Friday and Saturday nights.
• He received a bid from Tech Electronics for a fire alarm system to be installed at the courthouse at a cost of $33,526. The commissioners made no decision concerning this bid at this time.
• Nemaha County EMS is currently doing a Fans of Summer Donation Drive to help those individuals that are in need of fans in their homes.
• The area fire departments had training on Saturday.
Sheriff Vernon, along with Undersheriff Bob Cross, advised the board that:
• There is an issue with the battery backup for the jail controls system that will need to be repaired.
•The employee card reader at the Law Enforcement Center also needs to be repaired.
• He has hired Baxter Defore as a relief deputy and relief corrections officer. He begins work for the county July 12 at a rate of pay of $20 per hour.
• The new pickup is now on the road at this time.
• They are currently holding seven inmates in the jail.
• They booked six individuals into the jail this past week.
• He has hired Bethany Kenworthy as a full-time dispatcher. She will begin work for the county on July 14 at a rate of pay of $16.50 per hour.
Susan Futscher with the Nemaha County Training Center requested funding for 2022. She requested $110,000, which is the same amount that was appropriated in 2021. Futscher also spoke to the commissioners about the renovations she would like to make at the Seneca Day Center.
Con Olson with Nemaha County EMS and Brent Teter and Jay Watkins with Techs, Inc. spoke with the commissioners about finding a new place to house the ambulances for the county.
Currently, the county leases the ambulance barn from the City of Seneca, who would like the Seneca Fire Department to be able to use this building in the future. Teter also informed the board of the April 29 inspection that was done at the ambulance barn.
He stated they were not written up for anything during this inspection, and he wanted to give the credit for this to Olson and other employees of Nemaha County EMS.
At noon, a public hearing was held to consider closing a portion of 16th Road in Red Vermillion Township and a portion of T Road in Berwick Township. Present for the public hearing were the commissioners, Kuckelman, Lippert, Todd Rokey, Doug Edelman, Leonard Edelman and Joe Kramer. Public comment was given concerning the possibility of repairing the bridges in these locations or installing a tube or low water crossing in these locations. The board stated these options were not a possibility. After closing the public hearing, the commissioners approved Resolution 2021-8, which would vacate the portion of T Road in Berwick Township. The board signed the resolution as presented. The commissioners also approved Resolution 2021-9, which would vacate the portion of 16th Road in Red Vermillion Township. The commissioners signed the resolution as presented.
Lippert asked the board if they wanted to continue paying him to prepare briefs for court cases or if they wanted to pay the Attorney General’s Office $2,000 per year to prepare the briefs. The commissioners advised Lippert they would prefer him to continue preparing the briefs, but they wanted to talk to Chairman Scoby about this issue as well. Lippert advised the commissioners that the tax sale trial has been scheduled for July 22 and following this trial, the Sheriff’s Sale would be scheduled.
The board spoke to Lippert about ending the contract with Marvin Planning Consultants to assist in the preparation of a comprehensive plan for Nemaha County. No action was taken.
Treasurer Janell Niehues requested an executive session with commissioners. The board entered into a 15-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. Present for the executive session were the commissioners and Niehues. The meeting returned to open session with no action taken by the board.
Senior Services/Public Transit Director Diane Yunghans and Administrative Assistant Marie Weaver requested to attend an upcoming conference. Yunghans said that 80 percent of the cost to attend the conference will be paid by the Kansas Department of Transportation, but 20 percent would have to be paid by the county. The commissioners agreed to the request, but wanted them to speak to the County Clerk about what fund the 20 percent would be paid out of.
Yunghans and Weaver also requested the purchase of a new oven for the Seneca Nutrition Center because they would like to start delivering meals to county residents that are within five miles of the City of Sabetha. The commissioners made no decision concerning this request at this time.
The board held a phone conference with Albert Alfieri with Granite about allowing them to review Nemaha County’s internet and telephone bills to see if they could save any money.
The commissioners entered into a 15-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. Present for the executive session were the commissioners, Yunghans and Deputy County Clerk DeAnn Koch. The meeting returned to open session with no action taken by the board.
The commissioners entered into an additional 15-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. Present for the executive session were the commissioners, Yunghans, Koch and Payroll Clerk Sandy Koelzer. The meeting returned to open session with no action taken by the board.
Following discussion, the board approved allowing Transportation Driver Tom Krueger to utilize the Nemaha County Shared Leave Program.
Also at the meeting:
The board reviewed and approved vouchers and warrants submitted that were paid at the end of June. The warrants and pay vouchers for June were approved as presented.
The board reviewed and approved the minutes from the June 28 meeting.
Yunghans submitted a 2022 budget request for the funds associated with the programs offered by the Senior Services Department. She is requesting $291,500 for 2022 in grant match funds from the county, which is an increase of $78,500 over 2021.
She’s also requesting $15,000 for 2022 for the Meals on Wheels Program, which is a decrease of $5,000 from 2021.
The next meeting was held Monday, July 19. These minutes were not available at The Herald’s press time.