Nemaha County Commission 3.13.2023

Submitted by

Mary Kay Schultejans, County Clerk

The Board of Nemaha County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, March 13, in the Commissioner’s Room of the Nemaha County Courthouse. The meeting was called to order with Chairman Jason Koch leading the flag salute. Present also were Commissioners Ben Glace and Dylan Keim, and County Clerk Mary Kay Schultejans recording the minutes.

Department Reports

Road and Bridge/Solid Waste Supervisor Adam Kuckelman, along with Office Manager Kathy Haverkamp, advised the board that:

• A group of officials from the City of Sabetha and from Rock Creek Township are here today to speak to the board about chipping and sealing a two-mile portion of Kansas Road from W Road to Y Road and also a 3,600-foot portion of 14th Street (X Road) from Utah Street to Kansas Road. The group is proposing that they would prepare the road, the county would chip and seal the road, and then the county would maintain the road in the future. The commissioners made no decision on this issue at this time.

• The guys rocked Oak Grove Road last week and are working on Larkin Road this week.

• The bridge guys plan to pour Bridge 0-26 near Kelly this week.

• They received a right of way easement request from U.S. Geological Survey at the location of O Road and 24th Road. The commissioners asked Kuckelman to get more information on this request at this time.

• Kuckelman needed the board to sign off on paperwork for the sign replacement project for the northern part of the county.

• KDHE came out to spot-check the C&D pit and the berm at the landfill. Kuckelman stated that everything looked good, except they thought the county needed to add more vegetation to the area.

Sheriff Rich Vernon advised the board that:

• The new Durango is in. Vernon stated it is at the shop right now being prepared for road use.

Kuckelman came back before the board to let the commissioners know that the Recycling Committee is wanting to build signs to put on the recycling trailers located throughout the county to promote the program. Kuckelman requested that the county help pay for the signs. The board approved donating $2,000 from the Commissioner’s Fund for this project.

Senior Services/Public Transit Director Tammy Epple and Administrative Assistant Marie Weaver came before the board to let the commissioners know:

• That the new Ford Transit van has been delivered. Epple stated the alternator belt and some other minor issues had to be taken care of on the van after it was received from Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT).

• Epple also let the board know that they will be returning the Sabetha bus to KDOT, but the rear brakes need to be replaced on the bus before it is returned. Following review of three bids received for this work, the commissioners approved the bid from Commercial Tire Solutions in the amount of $669.29. Keim abstained from the vote.

• Epple presented to the board a budget analysis of the Nemaha County Nutrition Program for fiscal year 2022-23. Discussion was held concerning how expenses could be reduced for the program moving forward.

Health Department Administrator Heaven Schuette came before the board to request the Chairman’s signature on a grant application form. Chairman Koch signed the form as presented.

Emergency Preparedness Director Eddie Aldrine advised the board that:

• He looked into the payment of 911 road signs in other counties and let the commissioners know what he found out.

• Aldrine plans to have a speaker come later on this spring to talk about a huge tornado that hit this area in 1896.

• There is a storm spotter presentation at 7 p.m. Monday, March 17, at the Nemaha County Community Building.

County Attorney Lippert came before the board. The commissioners agreed to appoint Dr. Altaf Hossain as the District Coroner for the 22nd Judicial District. The commissioners approved the Forensic Services Contract and the District Coroner Contract as drafted by Lippert. Chairman Koch signed the contracts as presented.

Lippert let the board know that he was able to get the docket time for Kickapoo Tribal Court moved to 2 p.m. instead of 1 p.m., and that he has also been given permission to appear by Zoom if necessary for Kickapoo Tribal Court in the future.

Treasurer Janell Niehues came before the board to answer questions that commissioners had regarding the county’s securities at local banks and regarding the interest received at local banks.

Kerri Koch with the Appraiser’s Office came before the board to request the purchase of a new computer for the office. K. Koch presented a quote from Bachelor Controls for the purchase of a new desktop computer. The commissioners approved the purchase in the amount of $2,400.

Also at the meeting:

The board approved the amended contract with Kansas Gas Service moving back the closing date on the property purchased from Nemaha County. Chairman Koch signed the amended contract as presented.

The board held a 20-minute executive session for attorney-client privileges to discuss a potential legal issue. Present for the executive session were the commissioners, Schuette and Lippert. The commissioners extended the executive session for an additional five minutes. The meeting returned to open session with no action taken by the board following the executive session.

The board reviewed and approved the minutes from the March 6 meeting.

Representatives from Nemaha County Rural Water Districts No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 came before the board to speak to the commissioners about requesting funding from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds for water district use. Each water district let the board know what projects they are wanting to do at this time that they need help financing. The commissioners stated they would keep these requests in mind as they decide how to spend the county’s ARPA Funds that were received.

The board called and spoke to Joel Billinger with the KDHE Bureau of Waste Management concerning the Solid Waste Processing Facility Certification that Vanguard Organics, LLC is requesting that the county approve the solid waste permit for the possible establishment of an anaerobic digester project north of Baileyville. Kuckelman and Lippert were also present for this discussion. Following discussion at the conclusion of the phone call, the commissioners agreed to sign the Solid Waste Processing Facility Certification and land use documents for Vanguard Organics, LLC. The board signed the documents as presented.

Representatives from the Nemaha County Fair Board came before the board to speak to the commissioners about the future of the Nemaha County Fair and the future of the Nemaha County Community Building. The board assured the group that at this time the fair will continue to be held at the Nemaha County Community Building and area grounds with no cost to the Nemaha County Fair Board. The group let the commissioners know that they would like to either add onto the horse barn or construct a bigger horse barn at this location.

Jim Jones came before the board to speak to the commissioners about the changes discussed involving the Nemaha County Nutrition Program to reduce the current expenses of the program.

The board reviewed vouchers submitted by the different departments that were paid at the end of February. The board approved the warrants and pay vouchers for February 2023 as presented.

The commissioners agreed to appoint Cameron Swart to the Goff Fire District No. 1 Board. The board signed the appointment letter as presented.

The board reviewed the Nemaha County 2023 Reorganization document. Following discussion, the commissioners approved the document as presented. The commissioners signed the document as presented.

The next regularly scheduled meeting was held on Monday, March 20. 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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