Monday, July 11, 2011

Riley County Commission mtg 7-11-11

All Commissioners present. After routine business, Rich Vargo, County Clerk, gave the Year-to-Date budget and expenditure reports. As in previous months, the RCPD inmate Health costs are a concern. The very ill inmate is still there, still needing much expensive care. Building maintenance at the LEC is also high, including the discovery that the skylights all leak. Vargo has been working with Susanne Kufahl, Health Department, on personnel, insurance, and other matters connected with the transfer of the HD to sole County jurisdiction.
Eileen King, Treasurer, gave the monthly financial reports. Investment earnings, after transfers, were $99,261.15. King said the interest rate on the active checking account has been raised from 0.04% ti 0.05%. Much rejoicing. Sales tax receipts for June (April sales) were $243,000. Total collections this year are at 64.10% of budget (good). Variance to budget on all revenue to date is +2.04%.
Jennifer Wilson, Extension, spoke about the Riley County Fair, which will be at CiCo Park on July 21-25. Preliminary events begin July 14, including a bake sale and a Parade. The parade will begin at 6:00 p.m. Thursday July 21; it starts at Town Center (gather in Sears parking lot) and ends at 11th Street. Wrist bands for discounts on carnival rides will be available. The Sunday MERCURY carried a supplement covering most Fair events. Extension offices will move to Pottorff Hall on July 18, and return to Courthouse Plaza on July 26.
Greg McClure, Extension, gave an update on Riley County crops. Wheat is all in, of better quality than most of Kansas. Corn, soybeans, etc all need rain.
The Town & Country Garden Club presented day lilies to Commissioners and to Cheryl Collins of Historical Museum in celebration of their 60th anniversary. They take care of the County gardens, including Courthouse, museum, zoo, etc.
Cheryl Collins will give a KS 150 lecture on Tuesday July 12, at noon, at the Historical Museum, 23o9 Claflin, on "Society Cream: the Purcells." The public is invited to come and bring brown bag lunch. Collins will take a look at lives and influence of E.B. and Elizabeth Hoyt Purcell in Manhattan Society from 1870 to 1924.
Collins also noted that Goodnow House, with its interior extensively rehabilitated, in now re-opended to the public. Hours are Sat and Sun 5 to 5 and Tues to Fri 9-5 when staff are available. Call 785-565-6490 for information. No admission charge, donations gratefully accepted.
Ginny Barnard, Extension was awarded a $3,000 scholarship to help with tuition from the Heartland Centers at St. Louis University for training program at KS Public Health Leadership Institute. Program begins just after County Fair.
Rich Vargo announced that bullfrog season began July 1. A fishing license is required.
Leon Hobson, Public Works Director, County Engineer, gave a projects update. They hope to complete Wildcat Creek Rd. by year's end. Clearance and debris disposal is almost complete on roads affected by recent heavy rains. All roads have been bladed.
Per-load for the transfer station has been raised by $3.00 (to $45).
Commissioners agreed by consensus for Clancy Holeman to send a letter to Washington County Commission regarding closing of a road between the Counties. Riley County will remove a bridge on the road and install signage indicating Dead End at appropriate points on both sides. The Road and Bridge Committee will meet at 11:30 tomorrow.
Clancy Holeman requested an executive session. When Commissioners returned, Holeman distributed copies of the by-laws of the Park Board as a model for consideration for the new by-laws of the new Health Board (yet to be constituted). Copies will be sent to members of the present Health Board for their suggestions and comments. Some present members were appointed by the City. The County will appoint all members in future.
Craig Cox, Asst Co Counsel, said that one owner of many parcels of land set for the delinquent tax sale had paid his taxes in the amount of $243,033. as of today. The County will receive 25% of that amount. The next sale will include approx 40-50 parcels, all vacant lots. The County works with home owners to prevent people being ejected from their homes
Cheryl Collins said the Museum will have a KS 150 display at Town Center. She commended County staff, who are always ready to help other departments. She especially wanted to thank Jerry Howard, who fixed their bird problem and their flagpole problem. She said the Discovery Center will have a table at the Fair. Though the deadline for submissions to the Time Capsule has passed, she thought they might make room for additional contributions. Each County in the Flint Hills area will have its own archival box.
Grant Bannister, Indigent Defense Counsel, discussed budget allocation for the Panel. They have asked for a 3% increase, which Commission is finding it difficult to grant. Attorneys find it onerous to be called upon in off-grid and 1st and 2nd level felonies for juveniles, and request that present contract cover only 3rd and 4th level felonies. Further discussion is planned.
Johnette Shepek presented a further revision of 2012 Budget with cuts and additions recently requested. Leon Hobson said he had been hearing polite murmurings about the 1% COLA allowed to County employees, when RCPD received 2% raises. Comparative step raises and COLA were discussed at length. Ms McCulloh proposed that consideration be given to eliminating the $500,000 CIP funds recently added into the budget and financing projects by bonding. Commissioners agreed that with interest rates so low, it might be a good time to borrow for these projects, which MUST be kept up to date. Riley County has 130 bridges; at the average rate of deterioration, two (2) must be replaced every year. Ms Shepek said our debt limit is $16.4 million. At present we have $6 million in bonded debt. Facility improvements and repairs might be included. With certain manipulations and the exclusion of the CIP $500,000 and a County building fund of $50,000, Commissioners could provide a mill levy rise of only 2.6 mills, as against 3.87 mills. Commissioners agreed by consensus to have Shepek prepare a budget proposal including these changes for approval on Thursday.
Commissioners went into Executive Session. Submitted by Lyndal Nyberg.

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