Mitchell County Commissioners
Monday, August 3, 2017
By Terry Bailey
The Mitchell County Commissioners met at the Courthouse Monday morning, April 3 to take care of the business of the County. All Commissioners were present as well as the County Clerk. Beloit City Administrator Jason Rabe was also in attendance.
Discussion was held regarding the project planned for the Cawker City Causeway. There has been some confusion as to when the federally funded project was scheduled to start and when and how it will be completed.
The project supervised by Manager Jeff Jerome of the Federal Highway Administration in Colorado Springs. A notice from Jerome was published in the newspaper. The notice stated, in part, that the project will replace deficient guardrail and also improve recreational access to Waconda Lake by providing an expanded road shoulder to allow for additional parking on the causeway by widening the road on one side by 10-12 feet along as much as 1,500 feet of roadway.
Commissioner Jim Marshall said the main reason for the work is for the safety of drivers and that the county is interested in obtaining the most linear feet of guardrail or a three cable guardrail system they can obtain for the money. Based on available information, the three-cable guard system is believed to be the most effective in keeping cars on the roadway in the event of an accident.
There appeared to be a consensus among the commissioners that extra parking along the causeway is a secondary consideration and not their top priority. However, the commissioners are asking the public to share their suggestions and comments in terms of what should be prioritized on the project. Those comments should be directed to FHWA-CFLHD Attention: Jeff Jerome, 12300 Dakota Ave. Suite 380, Lakewood, CO 80228 or via email to email@example.com or by phone at 720-963-3359. Comments are due by the end of business on April 19, 2017.
Sheriff Tony Perez and Deputy Steve Martin were present to address the Commissioners. They inquired into the possibility of obtaining a Dodge Durango SUV for the sheriff’s department. The plan is to sell the Dodge Challenger used by Sheriff Doug Daugherty during his tenure and use the proceeds to help pay for the SUV. Perez also said there are concerns about carrying equipment in the back of the patrol pick-ups as moisture and dust are a factor.
Commissioner Tom Claussen gave Perez the go ahead to pursue obtaining the Durango, but he said this will likely be the last vehicle the Commissioners will approve for purchase for “several years” due to budget caps going in place in the coming year. The budget cap does not apply specifically to law enforcement expenditures, but Claussen said all expenditures will have to be considered in the overall budget picture.
Perez also notified the Commissioners they have changed the weapons the officers carry while on-duty. They were carrying .40 caliber semi-automatic pistols. These have sold and have been replaced with less expensive 9mm semi-automatic pistols. Perez said the change was made because they are similar weapons, but the ammunition for the 9mm guns is less expensive.
Director of Public Works Dale Housh appeared with two bids for concrete. These bids were opened. Beloit Redi-mix offered six sack 33% rock concrete mix at $119 per cubic yard. Abram Redi-mix offered the same type at $114.94. The Commissioners approved the low bid from Abram Redi-mix. The approved pricing is valid from April 1 through June 30 of this year.
Housh also said his department has two cell phones. One of them is the phone Housh carries which was previous Director Larry Emerson’s work phone. The other is used at the landfill. Those phones are in Emerson’s name and Emerson requested they be changed out of his name since he retired as of the end of March.
Housh said they planned to go to Salina this week to pick up tack-oil. The Gilbert Road, the blacktop north of Hunter and some sections of K Road are needing pothole repair. Also, they are planning to repair some broken posts along the road near the spillway at Waconda Lake.
The Commissioners approved a Neighborhood Revitalization Grant for Ken and Diana Roe at 321 East Main Street. This is for a 30’x30’x10’ metal building at a cost of $29,540.
The Commissioner approved a proclamation declaring April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month at the request of DVACK.
Mitchell County Regional Medical Foundation Director Stephanie Simmons delivered a quarterly update for the Community Health Grant. She said the Diabetes Prevention Program was launched in July of 2016. The program has led to 12 first time referrals. Six participants are taking part in a year-long program and have met all weight loss goals. They also learned management tactics in nutrition, physical activity and stress management.
She also shared information about the formation of the Healthy Eating Active Living (H.E.A.L) committee to work on health initiatives for the City of Beloit. They held their first meeting in March and will meet monthly. They are currently focusing on developing a Master Bike/Pedestrian plan for the city. The HEAL committee is also interested in having a County Commissioner present at their meetings.
Simmons said the medical foundation is gathering stakeholders to review data and set priorities for Mitchell County Community Health work. As the local Board of Health, the Commissioners will be asked to be a stakeholder as well from a county perspective.
Simmons discussed work to be focused on in 2017. There is a hypertension and blood pressure management education program in the works. They are also looking to increase the engagement between county healthcare providers to improve patient outcomes and reduce chronic disease. This will be launched this year as the NCK Health Hub.
Her group is also working on chronic disease risk reduction through programs such as youth tobacco prevention and adult cessation programs for tobacco. Simmons also said the medical foundation is leveraging more resources for further implementation by writing for a Kansas Health Foundation Equity grants and Blue Cross Blue Shield Pathways grants during the spring of 2017. Simmons asked and the commissioners agreed to provide letters of support for these grant writing efforts.
Solomon Valley Community Development Director Heather Hartman also joined the meeting and discussed the upcoming community cleanup scheduled to take place the first week of May. Specific information will be released soon. The discussion was centered on what can and cannot be included in the cleanup project. It was stated that construction and demolition materials will not be eligible to be included in the community cleanup program. No commercial tires will be allowed as part of the program either.
Having addressed all the items on the agenda, the meeting was adjourned.
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