Mitchell County Commissioners April 28, 2014

The first item on the Commissioners agenda was appointments to the Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems Endowment Board. This five member board consists of five appointed positions. The County Commissioners appoint three members. One is from the First National Bank, one from the Guaranty State Bank and one from the city of Beloit at large. The two other positions are appointed by the Hospital. Each member serves a five year term with the terms being staggered so that there is consistency in the Endowment Board membership. The Commissioners voted unanimously to appoint Brian Dilner as the at-large member to a five year appointment, Janice Peters from the Guaranty to a three year term, and Brian Eilert from the First National Bank to a one year term. This will allow for an orderly rotation of nominations to the Endowment Board.

The commissioners discussed the simulated tornado disaster event last Wednesday night. In this simulation the scenario was that a tornado had hit Beloit and the response of the various departments to this disaster. One area of particular note was that many highly important decisions that would have to be made very quickly in a short period of time. The commissioners noted that many critical events would need to be handled rapidly when a disaster such as this occurred. They noted that Ed Debesis and others deserved a great deal of credit in organizing this simulated crisis activity.

Heather Hartman was on hand to report that a Community Housing Grant has been authorized for Beloit in the amount of Four hundred forty two thousand dollars. The Housing Board will need to develop a plan with a point system to allocate the money. Plans are to rehabilitate fifteen homes and to demolish eight structures. The maximum dollar amount to be spent of each project is twenty thousand dollars.

Hartman also reported on a tour she participated in to the Landoll Corporation in Marysville. The corporation started small in 1963 and now employees over one thousand workers. They have a manufacturing plant of nine hundred sixty three thousand square feet. Hartman noted that the Landoll Corporation makes extensive use of robotics and lasers in their production process. The company is also high invested in profit sharing which gives the workers positive incentive in the production process.

Commissioner Clause reported that he attended the meeting last week when Representative Hulescamp came to town. He noted there was not a big turnout. Hulescamp emphasized the necessity of getting the national debt under control.

Commissioner Marshall reported that he had participated in a conference call with Senator Jerry Moran. Moran noted the difficulty in the Legislature with the Democrats and the Republicans finding it hard to work with one another for the common good. Moran hopes the two parties can find ways to compromise and work together.

County Attorney Mark Noah addressed the Commissioners regarding a project he and Sherriff Doug Daugherty are implementing. They are attempting to conduct investigations and interviews in the unsolved homicides in the county. They are planning two all day sessions per month for the next few months to interview people for the inquisition study to see if any new information can be gained in the Diane Sibley, Gary Nelson, and Carol Fleming murders. There will be expense incurred for a court reporter to take down the interviews.

Larry Emerson, Public Works Superintendent, provided bids to the commissioner regarding milling expenses for paved road resurfacing. The bid for such work came in at four hundred eighty eight thousand dollars for six miles of road. This is slightly more than eighty thousand dollars per mile.

Emerson reported that the county could do the work with their own people using pit sand they have on hand. However this would exhaust their supply of pit sand that they use for a several other projects. Emerson believed that using limestone screenings would provide a better material for the roads and would leave the sand for other projects. The screenings could be hauled from the Quartzite quarry in Lincoln. State exchange money could be used to pay for the project. The Commissioners voted 3-0 to use the screenings for the road surface and instructed Emerson to move forward on the project.

Ken Benedick was on hand to discuss plans he had been asked to prepare for possible landscaping for the bare areas to the west of the Courthouse. He presented a general plan using woody plants, perennials, gravel and bark to create a more appealing look to the area than what it currently has. Benedict noted that he could add to or take away from the plan to best fit the needs of the area.

After considerable discussion Commissioner Claussen voiced a concern about whether this was a want or a need. He noted that the plan was a good one and the price of about fifty five hundred dollars was not excessive, but he felt under the current economic conditions the Commissioners should be cautious about spending money on projects that are not absolutely necessary. The Commissioners agreed to delay a decision and continue the discussion next week.

A Neighborhood Revitalization Grant was approved for Rickordson Resources LLC of Chanute, Kansas. This is the company that operates the Sonic Drive In. Their plans are to tear down the existing structure and replace it with more modern up to date structure and equipment. Their plans are to build a new twenty eight foot by sixty foot building, a new canopy, and a new cement parking area. The Commissioners approved the Grant application.

The Commissioners adjourned into a five minute executive session to discuss Financial Matters concerning an Individual or Business. At the end of the executive session the Commissioner announced no decisions had been made. They then adjoined their regular weekly meeting.


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