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Sumner County Commissioner Meeting Minutes: July 13-14, July 20-21 and July 28-29

Sumner Newscow report — The approved Sumner County Commissioners meeting minutes for July 13-14, July 20-21, and July 28-29 are as follows:

July 13, 2020 – 9 a.m.

The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session in the Commission Room of the Sumner County Courthouse.  Those present were Chairman John Cooney, Commissioner Steve Warner and Commissioner Jim Newell.  Also present were County Clerk Debra A. Norris and 80th House Representative Bill Rhiley.

The Commission reviewed and unanimously approved the minutes of July 6 and 7.

At 9:05 a.m., upon unanimous vote, the Commission entered into executive session for 15 minutes with County Treasurer Dannetta Cook to discuss non-elected personnel.  County Counselor Jack Potucek was also present.  At 9:20 a.m., the executive session was extended for an additional 10 minutes with the same parties present.  At 9:30 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  Chairman Cooney advised no binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

Treasurer Cook provided the amount distributed from the Kansas Star Casino as $129,014.72.

Jan Grace, Campus Operations Officer for the Cowley College – Sumner County Campus, provided a campus update to the commission.  Ms. Grace also provided confirmation of multiple grants that have been applied for and received.  Other updates of the Sumner Campus were reviewed.


Health Department Director Laura Rettig provided the Commission with updates of the COVID-19.  Rettig reports the county now has received 43 positive cases, since the testing has begun.  The newer cases are due to mass gatherings and lack of social distancing.  Discussion included reconsideration of a mask order for Sumner County.

At 10:03 a.m., upon unanimous vote, the Commission entered into executive session for five minutes with County Appraiser Cindy Magill to discuss non-elected personnel.  Director Rettig, County Counselor Jack Potucek and Clerk Norris were also present.  At 10:08 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  No binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

At 10:10 a.m., upon unanimous vote, the Commission entered into executive session for 20 minutes with Director Rettig to discuss non-elected personnel.  Counselor Potucek, Deputy County Clerk Diana Aufdengarten and Clerk Norris were also present.   At 10:30 a.m., the executive session was extended for an addition 10 minutes with the same parties present.  At 10:40 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  No binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

At 10:55 a.m., upon unanimous vote the Commission entered into executive session for 15 minutes with Appraiser Magill to discuss non-elected personnel.  At 10:08 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  Chairman Cooney advised no binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

Appraiser Magill advised the need to reorganize the staffing levels of her department.  After review of the request, the Commission authorized the reorganization of changes requested.

The Commission reviewed and unanimously approved mid-month payables in the amount of $239,836.76.  The Commission also reviewed and unanimously approved payables for gas services in the amount of $539.35.

Counselor Potucek provided general reviews and updates.

There being no further business, the Board of County Commissioners adjourned at 12:03 p.m.

July 14, 2020 – 9:15 a.m.

The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session in the Commission Room of the Sumner County Courthouse.  Those present were Chairman John Cooney and Commissioner Steve Warner. Commissioner Jim Newell was absent.  Also present was County Clerk Debra A. Norris.

At 9:37 a.m., Commissioner Newell arrived at the meeting.

Sheriff Darren Chambers discussed departmental wages in preparing the 2021 budget.

At 10:38 a.m., upon unanimous vote, the Commission entered into executive session for 5 minutes with County Counselor Jack Potucek for an attorney/client privileged matter.  At 10:43 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  Chairman Cooney advised no binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

Emergency Management Director James Fair provided an update on the SPARKS project.  He advised the needed paperwork has been sent to the state office to begin the review process.

At 10:59 a.m., upon unanimous vote, the Commission entered into executive order for 10 minutes with Counselor Potucek for an attorney/client privileged matter.  Health Department Director Laura Rettig, Director Fair and Clerk Norris were also present.  At 11:09 a.m., the Commission extended the executive session for an additional 10 minutes with the same parties present.  At 11:19 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  No binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

Director Rettig presented a signed copy of the Emergency Public Health Order of the Sumner County Local Health Officer for wearing of masks or other face coverings and limiting gatherings to 60 people.  The order will become effective 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 and shall remain in effect through 11:59 p.m., on Sunday, August 9, 2020, unless it is amended or revoked.  After review of the order, a motion to accept the order died due to lack of second.

At 11:27 a.m., upon unanimous vote, the Commission entered into executive session for 10 minutes with Counselor Potucek for an attorney/client privileged matter.  Clerk Norris, Director Rettig and Director Fair were also present.  At 11:37 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  No binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

The Board of County Commissioners acting as the Sumner County Board of Health amended the Public Health Order, to not mandate, but strongly encourage the wearing of masks in the County, effective 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 and shall remain in effect through 11:59 p.m., on Sunday, August 9, 2020, unless it is amended or revoked.  After review of the amendment, the Board of County Commissioners acting as the Board of Health, adopted the amended order with a vote to approve by Chairman Cooney and Commissioner Warner and opposed by Commissioner Newell.

There being no further business, the Board of County Commissioners adjourned at 12:21 p.m.

July 20, 2020 – 9 a.m.

The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session in the Commission room of the Sumner County Courthouse.  Those present were Chairman John Cooney, Commissioner Steve Warner and Commissioner Jim Newell.  Also present was County Clerk Debra A. Norris and 80th House Representative Bill Rhiley.

The Commission reviewed and unanimously approved minutes of July 13 and 14.

At 9 a.m., upon unanimous vote, the Commission entered into executive session for 10 minutes with Clerk Norris to discuss non-elected personnel.  At 9:05 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  No binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

Planning and Zoning Director Jon Bristor provided departmental updates with the Commission.  County Counselor Jack Potucek was also present.  Director Bristor advised the Commission of the passing of Attorney Duane Brown, counsel for Planning and Zoning cases.  Director Bristor also advised of a vacancy on the zoning and appeals boards.  After discussion, the Commission unanimously appointed Paul Garrett to serve on the appeals board, adopting Resolution No. 2020-22.  A certificate of appreciation was also signed to recognize Randy Andra and his 22 years of service to the zoning and appeals boards.

County Treasurer Dannetta Cook provided the Commission departmental updates.

Treasurer Cook and Clerk Norris discussed the 2021 budget preparation with the Commission.  The Commission authorized a 2-percent COLA increase for all staff, except Commission, without raising the mill levy for taxpayers.

Emergency Management Director James Fair met with the Commission reviewing the COVID-19 emergency order that expires July 24, 2020.  Director Fair also provided updates to the Commission on SPARKS funding and procedures.

Sheriff Darren Chambers discussed departmental issues with the Commission.

County Counselor Jack Potucek provided general reviews and updates.

There being no further business, the Board of County Commissioners adjourned at 11:08 a.m.

July 21, 2020 – 9 a.m.

The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session in the Commission Room of the Sumner County Courthouse.  Those present were Chairman John Cooney, Commissioner Steve Warner and Commissioner Jim Newell.  Also present were County Clerk Debra A. Norris and 80th House Representative Bill Rhiley.

A prepared resolution was presented to the Commission, extending the county’s declaration of a public health emergency due to COVID-19 and ordering health-related security measures for county buildings and employees.  After review, the Commission unanimously adopted Resolution No. 2020-23.

Members of the SPARKS Task Force team, Treasurer Dannetta Cook, Emergency Management Director James Fair, Economic Development Director Stacy Fair and USD 357 Superintendent James Sutton, introduced CPA Scott Loyd, Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, LLC, a CPA firm.  Mr. Loyd discussed the incoming SPARKS funding the County is receiving from the federal government for COVID-19 expenses.  Mr. Loyd explained the procedures as funds are received and distributed.  A letter of engagement was presented to the Commission for review.  After discussion, the Commission unanimously signed the engagement letter to hire Mr. Loyd.

Sumner County Fair Livestock Superintendent Lewis Kuchar reviewed the sale of livestock at the annual county fair. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic buyers are not readily available.   Mr. Kuchar is requesting the Commission to provide a premium for the livestock exhibitors.  He assured the Commission the funds will go directly to the exhibitors, to help pay for their projects.  After discussion, the Commission made a one time offer of $50 premium to each of the livestock exhibitors, authorizing a check to be sent to the Sumner County Jr. Livestock Auction.

 At 10:08 a.m., upon unanimous vote, the Commission entered into executive session for 10 minutes with County Counselor Jack Potucek for an attorney/client privileged matter.  At 10:18 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  Chairman Cooney advised no binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

The Commission spoke by speakerphone with Financial Advisor Elliott Jackson on the 2021 budget.

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July 27, 2020 – 9 a.m.

The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session in the Commission Room of the Sumner County Courthouse.  Those present were Chairman John Cooney, Commissioner Steve Warner and Commissioner Jim Newell.  Also present were County Clerk Debra A. Norris, 79th House Representative Cheryl Helmer and 80th House Representative Bill Rhiley.

The Commission reviewed and unanimously approved the minutes of July 20 and 21.

Representative Helmer discussed legislative updates and Attorney General Opinions with the Commission.  An invitation for a public forum of local and state legislative persons has changed the location on Thursday, July 30, to the Belle Plaine Park from the Belle Plaine Community Building, due to social distancing.

Community Corrections Director Brad Macy provided the Commission with the fiscal year-end report with departmental updates.  After review and discussion, the Commission unanimously authorized Chairman Cooney to sign the annual report.

At 10:06 a.m., upon unanimous vote, the Commission entered into executive session for 15 minutes with Director Macy to discuss non-elected personnel.  Deputy County Clerk Diana Aufdengarten was also present.  At 10:21 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  Chairman Cooney advised no binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

A prepared resolution was presented to the Commission expressing the property taxation policy of the Suppesville Sewer District governing body with respect to financing the annual budget for 2021.  After review and discussion, the Commission unanimously adopted Resolution No. 2020-24.

The Commission spoke by speakerphone with Dave Hickman, Kansas Health Insurance Cooperative Agency providing benefit updates to the Commission.  Discussion included claims processed and pharmaceutical costs reductions for the County.

At 10:53 a.m., upon unanimous vote the Commission entered into executive session for 10 minutes with County Counselor Jack Potucek for an attorney/client privileged matter.  Clerk Norris was asked to remain in the meeting.  At 11:03 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  No binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

County Counselor Jack Potucek provided general reviews and updates.

At 11:30 a.m., upon unanimous vote, the Commission entered into executive session for 30 minutes with Counselor Potucek for an attorney/client privileged matter.  Clerk Norris and County Appraiser Cindy Magill were also present.  Attorney David Cooper was present by speakerphone.  At 12 p.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  No binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

The Commission reviewed and unanimously approved current year abatement orders in the amount of $98.64.

There being no further business, the Board of County Commissioners adjourned at 12:01 p.m

July 28, 2020 – 9 a.m.

The Board of County Commissioners met in regular session in the Commission room of the Sumner County Courthouse.  Those present were Chairman John Cooney, Commissioner Steve Warner and Commissioner Jim Newell.  Also present was County Clerk Debra A. Norris and 80th House Representative Bill Rhiley.

The Commission spoke by speakerphone with Paula Gerberding Nulik concerning road conditions at 50th Ave North, between Hillside and Oliver Road.  The Commission advised they would discuss the issue with Road and Bridge Director Melvin Matlock.

County Treasurer Dannetta Cook provided the funding received from sales tax revenue in the amount of $111,239.15.

County Counselor Jack Potucek provided general reviews and updates.

At 10:05 a.m., upon unanimous vote, the Commission entered into executive session for 15 minutes with Counselor Potucek for an attorney/client privileged matter.  Clerk Norris was asked to remain in the meeting.  At 10:20 a.m., the Commission reconvened in open session.  No binding action was taken as a result of the executive session.

Health Department Director Laura Rettig requested a shorten posting period for open positions in her department.  After discussion, the Commission authorized Director Rettig the request.  Director Rettig discussed a grant for additional funding for local health departments. Additional updates on COVID-19 concerning the process and costs involved for contact tracing on all positive cases in the county.  Director Rettig summarized that 92 tests have been confirmed positive with 21 active cases for the county.

The Commission spoke by speakerphone with Road and Bridge Director Melvin Matlock on road conditions in the county.  Director Matlock advised he would look into the road conditions and contact Ms. Nulik.

The Commission reviewed and approved month-end payables in the amount of $260,194.02.

There being no further business, the Board of County Commissioners adjourned at 10:59 a.m.

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