Courthouse graphic

The Brown County Courthouse.

The Brown County Commission met Monday morning for regular session and among items of discussion were the temperature check station, Sen. Bob Dole and jack-braking south of town.

The commissioners once again talked about whether to keep the temperature checking station, which has been at the front door due to the COVID pandemic. Commissioner Bill Pollock said he didn’t feel it was necessary and has said it violates people’s rights. However, District Court officials wanted it kept in place, along with the security system.

Commissioner Richard Lehmkuhl pointed out that COVID cases were still popping up and many hospitals were full, “so still fighting it.” He said he didn’t feel the temperature station was invasive — it was only a matter of stepping in front of it briefly.

“It gives a sense of peace,” he said.

Commissioner Lamar Shoemaker suggested re-evaluating the situation in January.

Brown County Attorney Kevin Hill remarked on the passing of longtime Kansas Senator Robert Dole. Hill talked about how Sen. Dole had stopped in Hiawatha in 2014 for a visit and also that he interned under him in law school.

“He told me that being a county attorney was one of the most challenging jobs,” he said.

In other business:

The commissioners discussed a request from Virgil Wilz, who lives just south of Hiawatha on U.S. 73 Highway, for the county to post a “No Jake-Braking” sign near his home or pass an ordinance prohibiting it. No decision was made, however the commissioners noted they had been contacted by people for prohibiting jake-braking and also those against posting a sign, as it would just move the problem down the road a bit. The commissioners said they would wait another week for further discussions.

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The commissioners discussed the request from the Jingle Bell Ride to use the Senior Citizens Center for the Christmas Store. At last week’s meeting, the commissioners had OK’d the request contingent upon approval from the American Legion, who shares the building. The Legion agreed to let the Jingle Bell Ride organization use the facility and Hill noted that the agreement would be between those two groups, including any discussion of liability insurance.

Brown County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, presented a letter from KCAMP in regards to the remainder of funds from the Risk Avoidance Grant that is available. Boyles will forward the information on to the department heads.

Road and Bridge Secretary, Tami Lehmkuhl, presented a revised quote from Seneca Company for the updating of the Fuel Cloud System. The new quote is $5,249.99. County Attorney, Kevin Hill, suggested changing the termination time period of which they must provide notice. Hill also pointed out the jurisdiction of venue on the quote is Iowa. Motion by Lamar Shoemaker to accept the new quote of $5,249.99, contingent upon the change of verbiage in regards to the termination time period. Seconded by William Pollock. Motion carried. Commissioner Lehmkuhl will visit with City of Hiawatha about their previous offer of $2,000 towards the upgrade.

Tami Lehmkuhl also presented proposals for District 2 and 3 to upgrade those Districts to the Fuel Cloud.

Emergency Manager, Don Pounds, is requesting a commissioner attend the Foreign Animal Disease Response Tabletop Exercise on February 9, 2022. Commissioner Pollock will attend the exercise.

Motion by Lamar Shoemaker to re-appoint Jim Scherer to the NEK-CAP Board of Directors for the calendar year of 2022. Seconded by Richard Lehmkuhl. Motion carried.

The commission would like to have a work session to discuss changes to the Personnel Policy. County Clerk, Dawn Boyles, will contact the County Attorney about the work session.

Commissioner Lehmkuhl requested a 10 minute executive session. Motion by Lamar Shoemaker for a 10 minute Executive Session on non-elected personnel with the three commissioners present to discuss personnel matters of non-elected personnel with executive session necessary to protect privacy interests. Seconded by William Pollock. Closed 9:00 a.m. Opened 9:10 a.m. No binding action was taken.

Commissioner Lamar Shoemaker discussed the possibility of helping the City of Willis with hauling and reduced fees at the landfill for the destruction of a building.

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