By Terry Bailey

The Mitchell County Commissioners conducted their weekly meeting at the Courthouse on Monday morning April 25th. All Commissioners and the County Clerk were present.
Brian Streit, Courthouse Maintenance Supervisor, was present to finalize the bids for concrete work that were opened last Monday morning. After reviewing the submitted bids, the Commissioners and Streit once agreed to reject the high bid and the low bid that had been submitted. The high bid was considerably higher than the other bids submitted, and the low bid was considerably lower than the other bids. This left them with the bids from the two local contractors. Trent Harr had submitted a bid of $140,156 and D&M submitted a bid of $159,275. The Commissioners spent considerable time evaluating the merits of the two bids. At the end of their deliberations the Commissioners decided to accept the bid submitted by D&M based on the fact D&M could start on the work right away and Harr could not start until September or October. D&M projected the work would take approximately one month to complete after starting. Commissioner Mike Cooper abstained from the voting due to the fact that Trent Harr was his son-in-law.
Dan Emmott and Bill Bunger appeared to once again discuss their fire department budget for the upcoming year. Previously, they had submitted a budget to update and improve their to adequately respond to fires. Their budget has remained stable at $57,000 for over ten years. They believed it was critical to increase their budget to $80,000 to maintain their effectiveness as a unit.
The Commissioners and Emmott and Bunger are aware that an increase of this amount might trigger the legislative mandate requiring that all landowners in their district be notified by mail of this increase which would allow them to respond to this increase. A hearing might be necessary.
The bottom line is that until the final valuation numbers are known the exact percentage of the increase cannot be figured. Treaster expect the valuations to be known by May 15th.
After the valuation numbers are known the issue can be revisited.
Mark Eisley, a representative of the HUB Employee Benefits group talked to the Commissioners about Employee Benefits. One of the larger components of employee benefits is health insurance. The Commissioner told Eisley that they believed their current Blue Cross contract had been in place for a number of years and they were happy with the arrangement. They were not looking to make any changes in that arrangement.
David Dohe, Emergency Management Supervisor, gave the Commissioners an update of the activities of his department.
A Neighborhood Revitalization Grant was approved for Brandon and Trisha Hake for a new residential building in the amount of $600,031,171.
The following people were approved to serve on the County Planning Appeals Board: Nancy Rush, secretary; Becky Crumbaker; Carl Eilert; Greg Drum; Russell Simpson; Craig Gengler; Carl Ellenz and Barbara File.
Mark Noah, County Attorney, requested a ten-minute executive session to protect attorney-client privileges. No action was taken as a result of that closed session.
Wanda Backstum from the Twelfth Judicial District appeared to request that the Commissioners approve the District's budget for Fiscal Year 2023. The total budget submitted was $343,160.55. The Commissioner approved her submitted budget.
It was announced that Julia Rabe had resigned her position as the Director of the Beloit Area Chamber of Commerce to accept a full-time position with the Community Foundation.
County Treasurer, Yvonne Melton, requested a ten-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. No actions were taken as a result of that closed session.
The Leadership Mitchell County program is accepting members for the new group beginning in August. Applications may be found on-line at their website. All interested parties are encouraged to apply.
There is a shortage of Child Care providers in Mitchell County. This is a situation in most counties in Kansas. There will be a meeting in Glen Elder on Monday, May 2nd, at 6:00 p.m. to review and discuss the situation. It is open to the public.
Having addressed all items on the printed agenda, the meeting was adjourned.


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