Mitchell County Commissioners Meeting Monday March 26


Mitchell County Commissioners


Monday, March 26, 2018


By Terry Bailey



The Mitchell County Commissioners conducted their regularly scheduled weekly meeting at the Courthouse Monday morning, March 26. All Commissioners were present as was the County Clerk. Jason Rabe, Beloit City Manager and Heather Hartman, Solomon Valley Economic Director, were also in attendance.


The first topic of discussion related to the possible purchase of a new ambulance. EMS Director, Eric Hamel, told the Commissioners that the mechanics at the shop in Inman could swap out a refurbished 6.0 diesel engine for the one in the ambulance that is chronically problematic. The cost would be $23,000 for the engine plus considerable work to try make things match up. The amount of work to be done is unknown but it would be considerable.


Hamel he had solicited bids for financing the purchase of a new ambulance. The best response was from Solomon Valley Bank for a lease/purchase agreement at 3.49% over a five year period.


A wide-ranging discussion comparing the pros and cons of diesel engines versus gas engines followed. Tom Claussen commented that “We have had three diesel engines and we have had problems with all three.” The cost of fuel for each was compared. Mileage for the two fuels were compared.


The bid that Hamel had in hand is good until May 1. The group agreed to consider the details and make a decision at the meeting next Monday.


Two neighborhood revitalization grants were approved. One was to Judith Wendell for a new building at a cost of $39,000. The second was to Alvin and Debra Becker for a 100’ x 60’ building at Becker Auto in the amount of $144,696.


Commissioner Tom Claussen announced that he would stand for reelection to serve one more term as County Commissioner. “I have served nine years so far and would like to do at least one more term,” said Claussen.


Dale Housh, Superintendent of Public Works, reported that workers from Mitchell County were beginning work on the interior of the Little Red Schoolhouse. Their first job will be to install drywall on the ceiling of the building because of the crumbling plaster. They will then tape the joints and do the painting.


Housh reported he had been contacted by Bob Boden regarding the Causeway Project which is a Federal cost sharing undertaking. Mitchell County needs to contribute an additional $24,000. The company that will earn the bid to do the work must be federally licensed to do the work on a federal location. There are no such companies in Kansas. A company in Arizona which is licensed will most likely get the bid and then sublet it to a Kansas construction company. It is estimated that the work will take six weeks to complete.


Roush said his crews are ready to start work on a bridge replacement on a location near the Kirby place about five miles south of the Tipton blacktop on 210 Road. He said they would need to build a shoo-fly bypass around the worksite because a detour is not feasible.


Stewart Porter and Randy Stroede of Schwab-Easton were present to give the commissioners their bridge inspection report. Mitchell County has 228 bridges of twenty feet or more in length. The average age of these bridges is 80 years old.


Porter suggested the Commissioners develop a long range plan of replacing two or three bridges per year over a long period of time. He also asked the Commissioners if they had any bridges in mind that they had suitability questions about so that they could take a look at them.]


Having dealt with all the items on the agenda, the meeting was adjourned.

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