By Terry Bailey

The Mitchell County Commissioners conducted their weekly meeting at the Courthouse Monday morning, January 30. All Commissioners were present for the meeting.
The first part of the meeting was devoted to the DeLisha medical billing service used by the Mitchell County EMS. Representatives from the service were present at last week's meeting to gain a better understanding of how their billing process could be modified to better meet the needs of the Commissioners.
DeLisha had provided a report they had modified to meet the requirement of the Commissioners. Commissioner Jim Marshall observed, "This report is better, but there are still bumps in the process. Maybe they can iron out the process to better meet what we want." The two groups will continue to work on situations to resolve their differences.
Eric Hamel, EMS director, was present at the meeting. He said, "We need to talk about wages. Our wage structure has remained the same for at least ten years. We are losing people to better paying jobs and cannot attract new employees because of our low pay structure." Hamel reported that the current hourly wages were as follows: EMT, $10.25; AMT, $11; and Paramedics, $13. By comparison, Ellsworth County's wage structure is: EMT, $14.25; AMT, $15.25; and Paramedic, $17.
The Commissioners acknowledged that the County's 10-year-old wage structure does need attention. They will work with Hamel to develop a new model.
Hamel requested a 15-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. No decisions were made because of that closed session.
Cortney Murrow and Jenny Lundine from the Health Department were present to talk about billing procedures and methods to improve them. This is obviously a very detailed driven process requiring much concentration on the process.
The Commissioners reappointed Kathy Webster to another three-year term as a Mitchell County representative on the Pawnee Mental Health board of directors.
Marty Hernandez, Public Works superintendent, reported he was able to make a deal for a State of Kansas surplus dump truck. The asking price was $34,000 and he was able to make a deal for $32,000. This truck will replace one that is no longer serviceable. The truck is equipped with a snowplow and blade attachment.
Hernandez reported the work on the new shop building is progressing as expected. He reported an open house will be held but not on April 1. That is the expected completion date, and the open house will be scheduled after that date.
A Neighborhood Revitalization Grant was approved for Dillion Frazier in the amount of $37,500 for a residential building.
Having addresses all the items on the published agenda, the meeting was adjourned.