Archive for Thursday, January 29, 2009

County receives cities’ assurances on Sampler Festival support

January 29, 2009

Before making any decisions on the future of the Kansas Sampler Festival, the Leavenworth Board of County Commissioners wanted to make sure everyone who was financially supporting the event was still on board.

On Thursday the board had invited the city managers and administrators from Basehor, Lansing, Tonganoxie and Leavenworth to talk about their stances on funding the sampler festival.

“I think it’s important, at least in my mind, to have participation from the various cities and communities in our county,” Commissioner Clyde Graeber said. “A year ago they all indicated whole-hearted support, and I would like them to confirm that.”

Bob Topping, who heads the Kansas Sampler steering committee, said the agreement was really letting the committee take care of taxpayer dollars and negotiating liability.

“As a steering committee we take that responsibility seriously,” he said.

Not at the meeting was Mike Yanez, Tonganoxie city administrator. On Tuesday, Yanez said the city’s position on the festival has not changed and it would continue to provide financial support. The other entities at the meeting echoed his comments and said they were willing to continue to pledge their support for the festival.

After getting some reassurance from area cities, commissioners unanimously voted to approve the operating agreement.

The commission also voted, 2-0, to appoint Frank Kukuk and Commissioner J.C. Tellefson, who will be acting as a private citizen, to be the county’s two representatives. Tellefson abstained from the vote.

In other business Thursday:

• Commissioners unanimously voted to accept a temporary use permit to crush rocks at the Hamm Quarry Inc.

• Granted EMS Director Jamie Miller’s request to waive the hiring freeze to replace an EMS technician who had resigned. Miller believes by hiring the technician as soon as possible he could limit the amount of overtime worked by the remaining technicians.

• Unanimously accepted plans from the IS Department to renew their endpoint security software for $10,057.86

• Unanimously accepted two change orders for the Public Safety Communications project. The change orders were needed to create a microwave path between the Justice Center and the Eisenhower tower. The current microwave path is being degraded by trees along the path. The change orders would change the microwave connection from the Justice Center to the Bonner Springs tower and then back to the Eisenhower tower. The first change order would save the county $102,820.85 from the project, while the second change order would cost the county an additional $59,131.74.

• Listened to a monthly report from the Leavenworth County Public Works Department.

• Unanimously approved a request from Keith Rickard, executive director of the Guidance Center, to continue their financial support of the center. Commissioners voted to fund $40,000 for building maintenance and $65,500 for the center.

• Unanimously voted to put out bids for a three-year contract on on-call services for equipment and systems support. The on-call services would be for the county’s boilers, chillers, electrical, plumbing and HVAC equipment and systems.

• Unanimously agreed to approve the 2008 Noxious Weed Eradication Progress Report.

• Unanimously agreed to waive the county’s hiring freeze to hire a level 6 mechanic and to temporarily increase the position of a level 6 mechanic to level 7 mechanic to act as a shop superintendent. The hiring would help the county shop during the winter when several of the vehicles will require regular maintenance.

• Announced that Janice Dickson, who has taken up the duties as deputy county clerk part-time while taking the minutes for the commission meetings, will be taking on the role as the official deputy county clerk.

On Tuesday, commissioners:

• Voted, 2-0, to waive the hiring freeze for the Appraiser’s Office. The office needed to replace a field appraiser. Tellefson was absent.

• Voted, 2-0, to waive the hiring freeze for the Solid Waste Department. The department needed to replace a heavy-equipment operator.

• Interim Solid Waste Director Tony Turner told the commissioners there was no response for bids to dispose of tires at the transfer station. Heather Morgan, county administrator, and David Van Parys, county counselor, told commissioners the department would contract with Tire Town for tire disposal. Commissioners voted, 2-0, for the contract.

• Unanimously accepted a bid from Cross Midwest in the amount of $2,804 to foam fill tires for the Solid Waste Department.

• Unanimously voted to increase the tipping fees at the transfer station under recommendation from Turner. The new $1.50 per ton increase will take affect in 30 days. While Graeber approved the increase, he said he was worried the extra costs might cause people to dump garbage in the county.

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