Commissioners To Meet With PBC On Bond Issues

Curt Frasier, Chairman of the Mitchell County Hospital Board of Trustees, met with the Mitchell County Commissioners at their Monday morning meeting on behalf of the hospital to discuss possible financing changes in the bonds previously purchased to finance the expansion of the hospital several years ago. Frasier stressed that no county tax money is going to pay off this loan off at this point in time.

These bonds were purchased from two separate series, one of which was a Build America Bond. Frasier explained that due to changes made in funding since the default on the sequestration they are feeling the impact since they are not getting reimbursed as much by the Federal government. From the perspective of the hospital Frasier feels now is the time to make this change because with the current market they will be able to save money by doing so.

Frasier said he has been in touch with the Hospital's Bond Council on this and explained the procedure they will have to go through to do this so that they can issue new bonds in their place. This would not be possible but the default on the sequestration allows them to do this at this time. They will be able to do this with their other bonds within two years. He feels it is important enough he wanted to set up a meeting with the Public Building Commission and then bring it to the County Commissioners immediately afterward and ask them to take action by voting at that time so that the hospital board could move forward on this right away.

Frasier had not been in touch with the members of the Public Building Commission; which include Commission Chairman, Jim Marshall, Robert Severance, Larry White, John Cashatt, Brian Eilert, Phil Kirchoff and Jeff Zimmer but was planning to do so yet Monday morning. After discussion with the commissioners and the members of the Public Building Commission a meeting was immediately set up for the PBC to meet at 11:30 on March 31, at the Mitchell County Hospital Board Room with the commissioners invited to be present if they choose to and be followed by a meeting with Commissioners, Jim Marshall, Tom Claussen and Mike Cooper in the Commission Room at the Mitchell County Courthouse at 12:30. Commissioners were invited to join the group for lunch following that meeting.

Mitchell County Attorney, Mark Noah and Emergency Medical Services Director, Ed Debesis, met for a 15-minute executive meeting to discuss possible litigation.
Chairman Marshall announced no decisions were made during the meeting. Debesis reported that he has 62 extra hours of extra time due to the need for him to fill in with three members of his staff on leave at the present time. Commissioners voted to approve the extra hours at $13 an hour and thanked Ed for his willingness to do this.

Larry Emerson, Public Works, reported he received notice from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) that this county has $375,000 of usable money in the bank at the present time. These are funds the county transferred from the Federal Department of Transportation to KDOT funds available to them at a rate of 90 percent so that they could have less restrictions as to what the funds can be used for and less paper work to fill out than for the Federal agency.

Emerson said this is the last year they can bank the money so they have to use it this year or next year. While the government says they will not confiscate these funds if they are not used promptly the commissioners opted not to take the chance this could happen. Emerson said this is $60,000 from this year and $131,000 carried over from 2011.

Commissioner Claussen said he thought the county should use the State's money first since their financial shape can change pretty fast and if they run out they might look to use the money in the county funds held in accounts. Commissioner Cooper asked if the county can use the funds for black topping roads or on the bridge out by Tice's farm and Emerson said they could.

Since they have put in for a grant to use on repairing the causeway on the Waconda Lake Dam commissioners opted to use the funds to fix the six miles of the Palen Road, the road north of Solomon Rapids, the repairs on the road on West Main Street and the rest of it on blacktopping roads. They plan to save the reserve funds of county money for other projects as they need it. The commissioners all agreed to this decision. Emerson is to let KDOT know when they plan to use the money and what for. He is still waiting for word on when they can start the work on the bridge out by Tice's.

Emerson received word the new excavator will be in later this afternoon. The tamper will be in next week. The new trailer will probably still in Wichita until next week sometime. He reported the Defensive Driving School was very good. All the employees in his department were required to attend this training. Emerson received notice that the county highway department meeting will be held in Belleville on April 2. Commissioners plan to attend.

After discussion on the visit by Senator Roberts on Sunday Commissioner Claussen reminded everyone they need to keep in touch with their legislators because there are a lot of frivolous unnecessary bills up for consideration. He said we should be thankful neither Senator Elaine Bowers nor Representative Susan Concannon are backing any of these bills. Claussen listed some of bills he feels fall into this category. "We should all remember to thank our legislators for not embarrassing
us by backing some of these bills," he said.

Neighborhood Revitalization Applications were approved for Marlene Corpstein of Tipton for $150,194.18 to remodel and put an addition on her home and Derek and Paula Newlan of Cawker City for $50,366 to build a convenience store.

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