Monday morning was a turning point for the Brown County Commission as two new county commissioners were among elected officers sworn in.
The Brown County Commission is made up of three commissioners, each from a specific district in the county. Last year, Keith Olsen decided not to file for re-election after serving 12 years and Lamar Shoemaker — former sheriff and state fire marshal — was elected in to District 2 Commission seat.
District 3 Commissioner Dwight Kruse was narrowly defeated by Bill Pollock in the August primary. Kruse had served one term in the position.
Kruse and Olsen both thanked everyone for their support and wished their successors good luck, also wishing each other success in the future.
The Commission had recessed for the swearing in ceremony — conducted in the commission chambers by District Judge James Patton. Others who were sworn in included Sheriff John Merchant, County Attorney Kevin Hill, Register of Deeds Nellie Brockhoff and County Clerk Dawn Boyles. Among those, Boyles is the only new one to the position — she has served as Deputy County Clerk for several years and ran unopposed in the election as previous county clerk, Melissa Gormley, did not file for re-election. Gormley will remain as an employee in the County Clerk’s office.
Another new elected official is B.J. Spiker, who won the Brown County Treasurer position. However, due to the property tax season, the current treasurer — Cheryl Lippold, who did not run for re-election — will remain in the position until October when Spiker will take over.
Following the swearing in, the commission reconvened to regular session and appointed Commissioner Richard Lehmkuhl as chairman.
In other business:
County Emergency Management Director Don Pounds discussed 100 hand sanitizer stations that were purchased with SPARK funds. He told the commissioners the stations were free to businesses who applied. The stations will remain county property for the first year and then revert to ownership of the business. He said the stations are not t be resold and he plans to limit one per establishment.
Pounds said he planned to advertise throughout the county that he was taking applications and the commissioners agreed to let him distribute as he saw fit.
Pounds also told commissioners he had 10 sprayers for disinfectant left to distribute. He planned to take one to each of the small towns in the county, along with a case of concentrated spray. He said the municipalities could distribute to businesses within their towns.
Commissioner Richard Lehmkuhl also suggested contacting the two nursing homes in the county and offering them a sprayer and case of concentrated spray.
Pounds reported the SPARK money was almost all spent, but noted he needed someone appointed to the fund to sign the remaining checks as Commissioner Dwight Kruse was no longer on the board or the SPARK Committee. The commissioners voted to appoint Lehmkuhl to take Kruse’s place on the committee.
The commission approved a resolution to designate the following as the official 2021 Brown County banks: for checking and investments—Citizens State Bank & Trust Company and Morrill & Janes State Bank-A division of Bank of Blue Valley.
The commission approved the reappointment of Jackie Wenger to the NEK Multi County Health Board.
The commission voted to appoint Commissioner Lamar Shoemaker to the NEKES Board of Directors to replace Dwight Kruse.
The commission approved a bid from the Horton Headlight of $2 per column inch for legals and notices, which designates the Headlight as the county newspaper with the Hiawatha World to also publish many of the same legal publications.
The commission voted to approve a resolution approving the 2021 Brown County Personnel Policy effective Jan. 1, 2021.
The commission voted to approve a resolution to adopt the GAAP Waiver policy for auditing purposes.
Tax Change Orders 2020-30 through 2020-32 and 2020-25 and 2020-37 through 2020-41 were signed and approved.
Noxious Weed Director George Bruning presented his annual plan for the commissioners to review and sign, which they voted to do so.
Landfill Director George Bruning discussed the Hamm’s contract and fees. Kevin Hill would like to look at the contracts and revisit the matter next week.
The commission voted to pay the 2021 Annual KWORCC premium of $40,979 and the 2021 Annual KCAMP premium of $128,083. Seconded by William Pollock.
Melissa Gormley gave an update on the Road and Bridge department. Gormley will be sending out bids for approximately 500,000 gallons of Rapid Set Emulsion RS-1H and RS-1HP.
The commission voted to pay the 2021 Annual membership to KAC of $3,689.37.
Commissioner William Pollock discussed the courthouse security measures. Commissioner Richard Lehmkuhl would like input from all aspects before taking any action.