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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.

The Brown County Commission heard an update from the county health officers at Monday’s meeting.

Brown County Health Officer Robin Downard attended Monday morning’s meeting and informed the commissioners that there were four active COVID-19 cases in Brown County as of that morning. She told them that they have seen one case of the Delta variant in the county and that individual had recovered.

Downard said the county has a 40 percent vaccination rate currently, which is average in the state she told commissioners.

Brown County Attorney Kevin Hill asked about quarantine guidelines and Downard updated the commissioners on that, stating that if a person if fully vaccinated and is exposed to COVID then no quarantine is required. She said if a person is not vaccinated then it could be up to 10 days of isolation. Patients with no symptoms can still test after Day 6 to possibly get out of quarantine early.

Downard said the county has had three breakthrough cases of individuals who had received the vaccine but some time later still contracted the virus. She said federal health officials are advising that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the most effective at 95 percent while the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is thought to be about 75% effective.

While there has been talk on the national level of additional boosters being required, Downard said there has been no official health guidance of that at this point. She noted the hospital was still screening visitors and requiring masks.

In other business:

The commissioners also discussed dispatching services and the current agreement with the City of Hiawatha. Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, presented a letter from Hiawatha City Administrator, Mike Nichols, in regards to the dispatch services. The Hiawatha City Commission would like clarification on what the County Commission hopes to achieve by visiting in regard to the dispatch services. Commissioner Pollock feels the City of Hiawatha should contribute to the cost of dispatch services. County Attorney, Kevin Hill, clarified the agreement between the City of Hiawatha and Brown County. Hill also stated Sheriff John Merchant needs to be involved.

Hamm’s representatives, Charlie Sedlock and Dan Watkins, discussed the trailer fires at the landfill and the mitigation of preventing future fires. Sedlock and Watkins also discussed the cost associated with the fires and options to financially recover from the fires.

Brown County IT Director, Sandy Carter, discussed the Sirius Solutions Contract for the IBM AS400 software and hardware support three year invoice totaling $7,858.94. The commission voted to approve a three year contract with Sirius Solutions for the IBM AS400 software and hardware support.

The commissioners voted to Resolution 2021-14 adopting the order of the Finger and Zimmers fence viewing located in Section 27 Township 3 Range 16, on June 30.

Leah McPeak, Black Lives Matter Book Club, requested use of the southeast side of the courthouse lawn for discussion of their book club selection on Aug. 9, 2021, and Sept. 13 for approximately one to two hours each. The commission approved the request.

The commission voted to make the revision on the wage scale to change Assistant Landfill Director to Operator VIII.

Commissioner Lamar Shoemaker, discussed the Brown County Fair building roof repairs. The city is requesting Brown County contribute half of the cost of the repairs. The bid from Lanter Roofing Systems LLC is for $17,100. The commission voted to allow up to $8,500 to City of Horton for the repair of the Brown County Fair building.

Road and Bridge Secretary, Tami Lehmkuhl, presented the 2021 Fracture Critical and 2022 Routine Bridge Inspections Agreement from BG Consultants for the commission’s approval. The commission voted to approve the 2021 Fracture Critical and 2022 Routine Bridge Inspections Agreement from BG Consultants.

Road and Bridge Secretary, Tami Lehmkuhl, presented the bridges that are eligible for the KDOT Off-System Bridge Program. The commission would like Brady Hedstrom’s opinion on the bridge most in need of repairs to submit for the program.

The commission discussed budgets and possibilities of where to reduce. Will revisit after County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, gets revised figures from the CPAs.

Brown County Attorney, Kevin Hill requested a five minute executive session. Motion by Lamar Shoemaker for a 5 minute Executive Session on attorney client privilege with the three commissioners, Solid Waste Director, George Bruning, and County Attorney, Kevin Hill present to discuss legal matters with legal counsel, to protect the Boards privilege and communication with an attorney. Seconded by William Pollock. Closed 8:12 a.m. Opened 8:17 a.m. No binding action was taken.

Commissioner Lehmkuhl requested a five minute executive session. Motion by Lamar Shoemaker for a 5 minute Executive Session on non-elected personnel with the three commissioners, County Attorney, Kevin Hill, and County Clerk, Dawn Boyles present to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel with executive session necessary to protect privacy interests. Seconded by William Pollock. Closed 8:17 a.m. Opened 8:23 a.m. No binding action was taken.

The July 14, 2021, payroll was approved as follows: General 79,809.73; Road & Bridge 20,310.33; Election 2,061.00; Technology 281.56; Appraiser 7,323.44; Noxious Weed 3,053.62; ACC 8,120.28; JJA Core 7,716.79; Services for Elderly 2,471.00; Solid Waste 5,812.87; Special MVT 4,321.01; Employee Ben FICA 8,957.10; Employee Ben KPERS 9,969.70; State Unemploy/Work Comp -120.93; Insurance -3,793.29 TOTAL $156,294.21

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