Monday, December 27, 2010

Riley County Commission 12/27/10

Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Kearns and McCulloh present, Johnson absent. Kearns presiding.

Budget and Finance Director Johnette Shepek reviewed annual budget amendments in a public hearing. The amendments traditionally are adjustments to reflect actual needs and expenditures at the end of the year compared to the estimates made at the beginning of the year.

Larry Couchman, EMS director, displayed a 2011 calendar distributed by Professional Ambulance featuring a picture of Riley County’s new ambulance for January. He reported his department will have $110,000 in the reserve account at the end of the year and requested permission to use $55,000 to replace a vehicle and the rest to retain for unexpected emergencies. County Counselor Clancy Holeman pointed out the funds could be used only for capital expenses. It was agreed to table the request until the Commissioners have a better idea of the budget status in January.

Holeman and County Engineer Leon Hobson discussed a letter received from an attorney representing a relatively large group of home owners concerned about flooding problems mostly related to Wildcat Creek. The attorney expressed an interest in meeting with County officials. Since the issues involved affect the City and do not fall under the County’s responsibilities, Commissioners questioned the need for such a meeting. Shepek noted the County does not have flood insurance on the Law Enforcement Center. It was agreed that such insurance should be purchased.

Assistant Counselor Craig Cox said the County has been able to recover approximately $20,000 in back taxes as part of a $90,000 estate settlement. Cox saw a newspaper notice of the estate settlement and contacted the attorneys involved. That resulted not only in the County being able to recoup back taxes but benefited the City and other taxing authorities as well.

Hobson reported on progress in working out agreements with the Kansas Department of Transportation about maintenance responsibilities on roads involved in K-18 construction. The freeway will be built south of K-18 and responsibilities for the section of K-18 from Scenic Drive west will belong to the County.

Holeman discussed a proposed resolution which could allow the County to establish a fee higher than the existing $3 cost per acre specified by State Statute pertaining to costs of dealing with soil erosion mitigation. Commissioners agreed to pursue such changes by seeking to establish a $15 per acre charge.

Commissioners agreed to go ahead with efforts to charter out from Paving Benefit District Statutes. Some roads are up to 20 years old and can no longer be repaired but would have to be reconstructed at high costs to the County.

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