Mitchell County Commisioners Meeting Monday April 16


Mitchell County Commissioners


Monday, April 16, 2018


By Terry Bailey



The Mitchell County Commissioners conducted their regular weekly meeting at the Courthouse Monday, April 16th. All Commissioners and the County Clerk were present for the meeting. Also in attendance was Jason Rabe and Heather Hartman.


The Commissioners visited with Superintendent of Public Works Dale Housh about the sudden snowstorm that swept thorough Mitchell County Saturday afternoon/evening. Housh said he had crews out attending to the roads in the Hunter and Tipton areas where most of the snow fell.


Housh reported that a load of trash was taken to the Topeka landfill last Thursday. On the trip back to Beloit the driver stopped in Manhattan for lunch. When he returned to the truck and restarted the motor, all the red lights on the dashboard came on. He called the Kenworth dealer in Salina who does the work on the truck and explained the problem. He was told they would need to hook up the motor to the computer for diagnosis but under no circumstances should he restart the engine. He called the County Shop and another tractor truck and lowboy was sent to Manhattan.


The truck is now at the Kenworth shop in Salina undergoing diagnosis. A wet kit was installed on the County’s Freightliner as well as the necessary hydraulic hoses. A trip was planned to Topeka with another trailer of trash yesterday (Monday). Housh will report on the trip at the next meeting.


Housh told the Commissioner that the road and bridge crews would start on the bridge replacement project near the Kirby place on Monday the 16th. He said they have the shoo-fly bypass completed and it is big enough to accommodate a semi. A dike will need to be constructed to keep away the creek water from underneath the bridge so that work can be completed there.


House reported that crews were still hauling gravel to the Hyde Road. They have about three-quarters of a mile yet to do before the graveling is completed.


A five minute executive session was held to discuss non-elected personnel. No decisions were made as a result of that closed session.


The Commissioners then turned their attention to the Burn Ban. Some citizens of Mitchell County have contacted the individual Commissions asking when they can conduct burning.


While the Commissioners expressed an understanding of the people’s desire to conduct burning they revisited the initial reason for adopting the idea of a burn ban. Currently Mitchell County is in a drought or near drought condition. This means grass, piles of tree limbs, brush and trees in fence lines are very susceptible to easily catching fire. This fact coupled with the ever-present Great Plains winds which can and do spread the fires at 40 to 50 miles per hour makes intentionally setting a fire an unwise decision. It was reported that at least 85% of the fires to which the Rural Fire Departments respond are fires that were intentionally set and then got out of hand.


The Commissioners unanimously decided to continue the burn ban for one more week and revisit the situation at next week’s meeting. In the meantime they urged everyone to pray for rain.


The Commissioners are nearing their review of the County’s Employee Handbook. They will continue the review and plan on acting on the Handbook at the next meeting.




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