Nemaha County Commission
Submitted by Mary Kay Schultejans County Clerk
The Board of Nemaha County Commissioners met in regular session on Monday, May 8, 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. County Attorney Brad Lippert also was present during today’s open public forum.
Pastor Curtis Knapp led those present in an opening prayer.
Road and Bridge/Solid Waste Supervisor Adam Kuckelman, along with Office Manager Kathy Haverkamp, advised the board that:
• They plan to start blade patching county roads today.
• The bridge guys will finish getting the Goff-Oneida Road ready to be redone this week.
• Bergkamp Construction will hopefully start next week on the Goff-Oneida Road. Kuckelman stated this project is estimated to take about two months to complete.
• The only bid received for an engineer to oversee the project on the Goff-Oneida Road was from Cook, Flatt, and Strobel Engineers at a cost of $27,500. Following discussion,the commissioners approve the bid from Cook, Flatt, and Strobel Engineers. Koch signed the bid as presented.
• He found out that the county could use another agency’s traffic count equipment when preparing to do a project on a certain road. Commissioners advised Kuckelman to sign up to use the equipment at this time.
• Hamm’s will be increasing rock prices again beginning on June 5. Kuckelman stated that the price will increase by $1.50 a ton on all clean products and $1 a ton on road rock.
• Isaac Swart has been providing general maintenance on equipment since the Road and Bridge Department has been without a mechanic. Kuckelman stated he would like to see him paid an extra $300 a month for serving as the interim mechanic for the department. The board approved the payment of $300 a month in extra compensation for Isaac Swart to serve as an interim mechanic.
• Kuckelman would still really like to apply for a grant to purchase cardboard dumpsters. Following discussion, Chairman Koch signed a letter of support for Kuckelman to submit along with the grant application for the acquisition of extra cardboard dumpsters for the county.
Emergency Preparedness Director Eddie Aldrine advised the board that:
• There is an Emergency Management Performance Grant available that he will be applying for.
• Nemaha County is within a 50-mile ring around the nuclear plant in Brownville, Neb., that could see issues with ground water, crop, and livestock contamination. Aldrine stated that he plans to get the Geiger counters that the county owns recalibrated at this time.
• There was lots of lightning in the area last night and an area north of Baileyville saw 1.5-inch size hail.
• One of the sirens in Centralia went off on its own last week. Aldrine stated that the circuit board for this siren is being looked at at this time.
• Aldrine would also like to see a siren installed at the Centralia Lake as well. The board advised Aldrine to talk to Kevin Wiltz and Doug Allen about installing a siren at the Sabetha Lake as well.
Sheriff Rich Vernon advised the board that:
• They are currently holding five inmates in the jail.
• They booked four individuals into the jail this past week.
Senior Services/Public Transit Director Tammy Epple and maintenance employee Troy Melvin came before the board to talk to the commissioners about doing scheduled maintenance on the boilers and chillers at county buildings. Lippert was also present for this discussion. The board advised Epple and Melvin to put an ad in the paper advertising for the scheduled maintenance.
Epple advised the commissioners that she feels that after looking at what the county has spent on maintenance at county buildings over the last few years, she would recommend that the county tries to hire a custodial assistant for Melvin and not a person skilled to take care of maintenance needs for the county. Following discussion, the commissioners advised Epple and Melvin to advertise for a part-time custodial assistant at this time.
Epple let the commissioners know that the Nutrition Center served 525 meals last week, and that they are averaging 12 individuals for congregate dining in Seneca and 10 individuals in Sabetha.
Commissioner Keim asked Epple about the $1,200 donation that Dan Ronnebaumn brought up this morning during today’s open public forum. This donation came from three different individuals in March 2023 that totaled to $1,200. Epple explained to the commissioners that originally all donations went into Fund 138 (Donation Fund). Epple stated that she has worked with the Clerk’s Office and the Treasurer’s Office to set up accounts within the C-1 Fund and the C-2 Fund for donations so that this money can be spent directly out of the C-1 Fund and the C-2 Fund when needed.
Also at the meeting:
The board reviewed and approved the minutes from the May 1 meeting.
Dan Ronnebaum came before the board to ask where a donation of $1,200 to the Nutrition Program went. Ronnebaum talked to commissioners about the recent firing of county employees, about employee performance reviews being done and about using an HR consultant to help with the hiring of a county administrator.
Steve Lukert came before the board to ask the commissioners to stripe the three-mile stretch of Old Highway 75 that leads into Sabetha for safety reasons. Lukert spoke about splitting the cost three ways: between Nemaha County, Brown County and funds raised by Lukert himself.
Jim Jones came before the board to express his concerns that the commissioners are not being good stewards of the county’s money with paid help delivering Meals on Wheels. Jim also stated that he is not able to get in touch with the Health Department. Commissioner Keim informed Jones that Health Department Administrator Heaven Schuette was at a conference in Georgia last week.
County Attorney Brad Lippert came before the board. Lippert presented to the commissioners a draft of a Kansas Business Organization Warranty Deed for the sale of property to Nemaha Valley Community Hospital. Chairman Koch signed the deed and the Kansas Real Estate Sales Validation Questionnaire as presented.
The board asked Lippert about offering beer at a church picnic by donation only. Lippert stated that according to KSA 41-104, a Cereal Malt Beverage License is not needed if patrons are not required to pay for the beer provided.
The board held a 15-minute executive session for attorney-client privileges to discuss a legal matter. Present for the executive session were the commissioners and Lippert. The meeting returned with no action taken by the board following the executive session.
Nancy Gafford with Rural Development Association of Northeast Kansas came before the board to ask the commissioners to sign the grant application for the acquisition of cardboard dumpsters.
The county will be responsible for paying for 25 percent of the total grant dollars ($16,005) if awarded this grant. Chairman Koch signed the application as presented.
Steve Stallbaumer came before the board to speak to the commissioners about the Nemaha County Transfer Station. Stallbaumer stated that Stallbaumer Lumber is not able to dump anything too long, etc., after remodeling or building a house. Stallbaumer advised the commissioners that they need to look into updating the building and the equipment at the transfer station.
The board held a 45-minute executive session to discuss the hiring of non-elected personnel. Present for the executive session were the commissioners and Kristina Dietrick, with HR Partners, by phone. The commissioners requested to extend the executive session for an additional 15 minutes. The meeting returned to open session with no action taken by the board following the executive session.
The commissioners approved the payment of the previous sick leave policy that ended on Feb. 20. The total amount to be paid for this is $131,992.17 on May 31 and $31,646.61 at the end of employment for 1993 rule employees. This amount is to be paid out of the Capital Outlay Fund-Miscellaneous Account.
The board held a five-minute executive session to discuss the performance of non-elected personnel. Present for the executive session was the commissioners. The meeting returned to open session with no action taken by the board following the executive session.
The Board of Nemaha County Commissioners met in special session on Wednesday, May 10, in the Commissioner’s Room of the Nemaha County Courthouse. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Jason Koch. Present also were Commissioners Ben Glace and Dylan Keim, and County Clerk Mary Kay Schultejans recording the minutes.
The commissioners held a 45-minute executive session to discuss the hiring of non-elected personnel. Present for the executive session were the commissioners and Kristina Dietrick, with HR Partners, by phone. At 12:45 p.m., the commissioners extended the executive session for an additional 15 minutes. At 1 p.m., the board again extended the executive session for an additional 15 minutes. The meeting returned to open session at 1:15 p.m. with no action taken by the board following the executive session.
Chairman Koch adjourned the meeting at 1:22 p.m.
The next regularly scheduled meeting was held on Monday, May 15. These minutes were not available at The Herald’s press time.