Mitchell County Commisioners Meeting Monday June 18th


Mitchell County Commissioners


Monday, June 18, 2018


By Terry Bailey



The Mitchell County Commissioners met at the Courthouse, Monday, June 18 to conduct the business of the County. All Commissioners and the County Clerk were present.


The first item of business was to make plans for the annual Kansas Association of Counties convention at the Overland Park Convention Center on October 15th, 16th and 17th. The Convention has numerous workshops which Commissioners may attend to gain education and information on topics to make them better Commissioners. There are also speakers offering their expertise on various subjects to, once again, help the Commissioners gain information to carry out their duties in a more enlightened fashion. Commissioner Mike Cooper was selected as the voting delegate for Mitchell County. Jim Marshall was chosen as the first alternate and Tom Claussen as the second alternate. As with Conventions of all sorts, sometimes they are tremendously beneficial and other years they not.


With October having five Mondays, the Commissioners voted to NOT have a meeting on Monday, October 15 to allow them ample travel time to arrive in Overland Park at a reasonable time to attend the early sessions.


Economic Development Specialist Heather Hartman gave the Commissioners an update on her efforts on economic stimulus in our County. She has many irons in the fire.


County Engineer Stuart Porter dropped in to alert the Commissioners to a new funding possibility for the Waconda Lake Causeway guardrail project. Porter said the new grant would call for a 20% match from the County. This program is known as a Federal Land Access Program. The chances of winning such a grant are unknown but it seems prudent to apply and see what happens.


Kyle Peterson ad Vickie Mears, representing the Mitchell County Historical Museum, were on hand to present the 2019 budget to the Commissioner and provide them with an update on their activities.


The Museum has been located in the Old Nursing Quarters south of the Hospital for decades. A number of years ago the Museum gained title to the old American Legion building on North Independence Avenue. For several years they have been in the process of moving their artifacts and records to the new location with limited success. Much has been done but much remains yet to do.


Peterson informed the Commissioners that he had budgeted for extensive contract labor in the 2019 budget. Not only is the actual physical moving of items time consuming and costly, maintaining accurate records and inventory is even more time consuming and costly. Last year’s budget was for $60,000 and the proposed 2019 budget is set at $108,000. Virtually all of the increase is for contact labor to facilitate the move. Peterson believes that fundraising will fund the increase in the budget.


Peterson told the Commissioners that a very big event was coming up in August. The 150 year anniversary of the kidnapping of Elizabeth Bell by the dog soldiers will be honored by tours and programs. Peterson said, “Kansas became a state in 1861 and Mitchell County has a strong settlement by 1868.” Posters announcing the activities can be seen around Mitchell County. Interested folks can call the Mitchell County Historical Museum for additional information. Large crowds are expected for this activity and Peterson encouraged citizens to make reservation early.


Peterson distributed copies of the 2018 Annual Report which contains vivid photos, stories and information about upcoming activities. It was noted the report was very well done.


It was the consensus that Peterson provided a very informative and professional annual report.


Having addressed all the items on the printed agenda, the meeting was adjourned.

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