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March 19 Special Meeting Unofficial Minutes

The board of Brown County Commissioners met in special session with the following members present: Chairman Dwight A. Kruse, Keith Olsen and Richard L. Lehmkuhl. Also present were Brown County Clerk Melissa Gormley. Brown County Attorney Kevin Hill was present via video conference. Chairman Kruse opened the meeting at 1 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all. Richard Lehmkuhl led the meeting with a prayer.

Chastity Schumann, NEK Health Department was available to speak with the commissioners. Brown County has no confirmed cases.

Brown County Elected officials and department heads were available to discuss concerns of COVID-19. Most offices have already suspended services or cut back on services.

Brown County Attorney Kevin Hill spoke to the commission concerning KOMA. Hill suggested the commission designate one commissioner to be able to act on emergencies. Motion by Keith Olsen to appoint Dwight Kruse to be emergency contact for County Health. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Motion carried.

Discussion was had about curbside pick-up. Department heads want to see citizens send mail so there will be no person to person contact. Commissioners agreed. Clerk of the District Court, Joy Moore, stated that some people will still need to have access to their system. Brown County Register of Deeds, Nellie rockhoff, stated that she would need to allow abstractors in to view books. The commissioners agreed. Brown County Sheriff John Merchant requested all employees use one door.

Motion by Keith Olsen to adopt the Brown County Internal Changes due to COVID-19 with the exceptions mentioned to be put into effect March 19 at 4:30 p.m. including closing of the courthouse to the general public. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Motion carried.

Motion by Richard Lehmkuhl to adjourn. Seconded by Keith Olsen. Motion carried. The meeting adjourned at 2:20 p.m. The next regular meeting will be at 8:10 a.m. on Monday, March 23.

March 16 Unofficial Minutes

The Board of Brown County Commissioners met in regular session with the following members present: Chairman Dwight A. Kruse, Keith Olsen, and Richard L. Lehmkuhl. Also present was Brown County Clerk, Melissa Gormley and Deputy County Clerk, Dawn Boyles. County Attorney Kevin Hill was present for a portion of the meeting via phone conference. Dwight Kruse opened the meeting at 8:10 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all. Pastor Jim Farris led the meeting with a prayer.

The March 11 payroll of $142,795 was approved as follows: $76,359.19; Road and Bridge $15,846.89; Election $245.77; Technology $864.56; Appraiser $7,044.64; Noxious Weed $1,824; ACC $7,094.65; JJA Core $6,794.34; Reinvestment Grant $1,802.68; Services for Elderly $2,812.25; Solid Waste $4,236; Special MVT $2,990.90; Employee Ben FICA $8,107.09; Employee Ben FICA $8,107.09; Employee Ben KPERS $10,213.64; State Unemploy/Work Comp $-336.74; Insurance -$3,104.37.

Brown County Sheriff, John Merchant, requested a 15 minute executive session. Motion by Keith Olsen for a 15 minute executive session on non-elected personnel with the three Commissioners and Brown County Sheriff, John Merchant, present to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel with executive session necessary to protect privacy interests. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Closed 8:11 a.m. Opened 8:26 a.m. No binding action was taken.

Brown County Emergency Management Coordinator, Don Pounds, updated the commission on the courses of action for the COVID 19 in Brown County. Pounds suggested the commission approve the COVID 19 Public Health Emergency Resolution. The resolution would allow 60 days rather than 7 days to work through the COVID 19.

Lori Gray, Services for the Elderly Director, discussed her concerns with keeping her office open during this time. The clients and the drivers for the Services for the Elderly fall into the high risk category for COVID 19. Gray reached out to the local hospital and the suggestion was to stop services until the end of March. Gray will contact the Area Agency on Aging and determine if there will be any available taxi services to the elderly in the county.

Sandy Carter, IT Department Director, requested permission to start a Brown County Facebook page to have a social media platform to update the public on matters concerning the COVID 19 situation. Carter also let the commission know she has been working on a course of action should employees have to work from home.

Motion by Keith Olsen to approve the COVID 19 Public Health Emergency Resolution Proclamation effective March 16, 2020. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Motion carried.

Brown County Treasurer, Cheryl Lippold, updated the commission on the quarterly activities in her office. Lippold also presented the balances of the county accounts for the commission’s review.

Brown County Appraiser, Steve Markharm, discussed the hearings his office is required to conduct and the deadlines. Markham is going to attempt to do as many as possible via phone. Markham also discussed putting off hiring a replacement for an opening in his office until a later date.

Dave Schuetz, Head Custodian, discussed the electrical findings to allow electrical access around courthouse square. Schuetz indicated the vanity in the women’s bathroom on second floor needs replaced. Schuetz estimated the cost for the vanity replacement to be about $1,000.

Dave Schuetz, Head Custodian, presented the estimates for the sewer line repairs. The estimates were as follows: Eagle Sundown Services with an estimate of $3,550; RB Plumbing & Carpentry with an estimate of $3,119.50; and Waldinger Corporation with an estimate of $5,488.00. Motion by Richard Lehmkuhl to approve Eagle Sundown Services bid of $3,550.00. Seconded by Keith Olsen. Motion carried.

Brown County Attorney, Kevin Hill, requested a five minute executive session via phone conference. Motion by Richard Lehmkuhl for a five minute Executive Session on Attorney Client Privilege to discuss legal matters with legal counsel, to protect the Boards privilege and communication with an attorney with County Attorney, Kevin Hill, County Clerk, Melissa Gormley, and the three commissioners present. Seconded by Keith Olsen. Closed 9:30 a.m. Opened 8:35 a.m. No binding action was taken.

2020-07 Motion by Keith Olsen to approve Resolution 2020-07, a resolution addressing delinquent ad valorem taxes of former Horton Hospital Property. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Motion carried.

Logan Bausch and Martha Smith, North East Kansas Environmental Services, updated the Commission on the 2019 Brown County NEK Environmental Activities.

Tim Lentz, Horton Industrial Development Committee Director, gave an update on the activities of the HIDC.

Motion by Keith Olsen to approve the March 9, 2020, minutes. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Motion carried.

Brown County Clerk, Melissa Gormley, announced the Road & Bridge meeting scheduled for March 17, 2020, at the Fisher Center, has been cancelled. Gormley also indicated the Northeast Kansas County Highway Officials meeting in Jackson County scheduled for March 26, 2020, has also been cancelled.

Lori Gray, Services for the Elderly Director, discussed her conversation with the Area Agency on Aging. Motion by Keith Olsen to close the Senior Center through March 31, 2020, and suspend taxi services for one week. The commission will revisit the taxi situation next Monday. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Motion carried.

Motion by Richard Lehmkuhl to adjourn. Seconded by Keith Olsen. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 11:16 a.m. The next regular meeting will be held Monday, March 23, 2020.

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