The regular meeting of the Kiowa County Commissioners was called to order on September 30, 2021; at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman Donald Oswald. Robertson opened the meeting with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Those in attendance:
- Donald Oswald, Chairman
- Howard "Butch" Robertson, Commissioner
- Mike Lening, Commissioner
- Delisa Weeks, County Clerk
- Tina Adamson, County Administrator
Minutes: Robertson moved, and Lening seconded the motion to approve the September 14, 2021; minutes as presented. Motion carried.
Vouchers: Lening moved, and Robertson seconded the motion to approve the vouchers as presented. Motion carried.
Agenda: Oswald moved, and Robertson seconded the motion to approve the agenda as presented. Motion carried.
Nick Johnson, Maintenance Foreman entered the meeting to discuss the need for a new lawn mower. Johnson will do some research and get price quotes for the Commissioners to review.
Johnson voiced his concerns about salaries. He said his employees work hard and would like to see if they could get a raise. Oswald said that will be discussed as budget time.
Oswald requested information on the status of Royce Electric. Johnson said that Royce Electric would be submitting a bid for electrical work to be done.
Johnson discussed the use of the elevator in the Courthouse. He said it is working again.
Johnson exited the meeting at 09:50 a.m.
Grant Updates/ ARP Funding/C DOT Transit Grant: Administrator Adamson reported that the County had received an additional $131,000.00 in HUTF Funds through the American Rescue Plan Funding. A work session will be held at a later date which will include the Road Foremen, who will give better insight how these funds can be used to update the roads.
Tearle Lessenden, Kiowa County Extension Agent; and Tim Trosper 4-H Leader;
entered the meeting to discuss the need of a 20 foot shipping container. This container will hold the 4-H Council Items. Chairman Oswald requested that locates for gas, water and sewer be completed before going any further. Lessenden and Trosper will have more information for the next meeting.
Cindy McLoud, Kiowa County Economic Development Manager; entered the meeting at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the County Road south on Rittgers Street past Cobblestone. Oswald said the landowners will need to sign a MOU with the County stating they will give up their property to put a road on their property. There will need to be an Official Request Letter/Form filed with the Commissioner's office and then forwarded onto to the Planning and Zoning Board before anything can be approved.
McLoud has applied for a $25,000.00 grant for KCEDF. These funds will pay for the Manager's position at KCEDF.
McLoud had applied and received funds from Buell for $20,000.00. This grant will be used for operating expenses for the Little Leaders Learning and Care Center
McLoud has also applied for a Cooper Clark Grant for 2 months of salaries for the Little Leaders Learning and Care Center. McLoud was happy to announce that this grant was approved.
McLoud exited the meeting at 10:44 a.m.
Ambulance Service: Eunice Weber, Ambulance Director; and Jenifer Black Assistant to Mrs. Weber entered the meeting to provide a monthly report. Weber said they had 25 runs and one Flight for Life for September.
Weber reported the hospital had approved the Exemption Waiver for the Emergency Crew for now.
The RETAC was approved for $15,000.00 in funding. Weber will be using some of these funds for supplies for the ambulances.
Weber and Black exited the meeting at 11:14 a.m.
Landfill/Recycling Update: Free Dump Day will be October 16, 2021.
Sales Tax Update: The Commissioners reviewed the Tabor Booklet that will be mailed on October 1, 2021; to Kiowa County Residents.
Budget-Salaries/Workweek Hours/Incentives/Bonus: Administrator Adamson is requesting further information on incentives and bonuses. No decisions were made.
Oswald moved, and Lening seconded the motion to recess for lunch at 11:55 a.m.
The regular meeting reconvened at 1:05 p.m.
Upcoming Meetings: Meetings and reports were reviewed and signed.
Time off Request Forms: Robertson moved, and Lening seconded the motion to approve the Time off Request. Motion carried.
LAVAA Board Letters of Interest: Oswald moved, and Lening seconded the motion to appoint Joyce Berry and Gail Voss to the Lower Arkansas Valley Area Agency on Aging Board. Motion carried.
OPIOD IGA: Administrator Adamson encouraged the BOCC to review the IGA. Discussion followed. No decision made.
Fair Revenue & Expenses: A preliminary report was provided and reviewed. Adamson should have all the total figures for the October 14, 2021 meeting.
GNBank Annual Agreement: Lening moved, and Robertson seconded the motion to approve ACH Origination Agreement. Motion carried.
Vaccine Mandate Resolution 2021-12: The following people entered the meeting as a member of the audience. Those present:
Duane and Brenda Stoker
Kris Stokke, Public Health
Don Steerman, County Attorney by video conferencing
Benny Frey and Cassie Frey
Ann Boswell, KBU Radio
Jerry and Bonnie Rogers
Administrator Adamson read a letter from Meghan Hillman, Public Health Director. Adamson had also received an email from Char Korrell, CEO of Weisbrod Hospital; which stated that she did not believe they would lose any employees at this time due to the state mandate in regards to vaccinations for COVID. Korrell had reported that there were several employees that had filed exemptions and had been approved at this time.
Cassie Frey, spoke first regarding her resignation at Weisbrod Hospital. Frey described at the time, she felt she was given an ultimatum of either receive the vaccination or lose her job. Frey spoke about her right to be able to choose and did not feel the State should choose for her. Frey asked the Commissioners to support the resolution and allow Kiowa County residents to have the right to choose how they wanted.
Tammy Crockett came to the podium asking the Commissioners to respect our God given rights. She asked the BOCC to consider signing the Resolution presented to them today.
Betsy Barnett, Kiowa County Independent; highlighted on the previous night's meeting that was held in Prowers County. She said there were several people who spoke passionately of how this mandate will affect their employment and everyday lives in general. It was well after midnight before any motion was made on the Prowers Medical Center Hospital Board Meeting. She said the Resolution in Prowers did not pass. Barnett spoke of how there could possibly be class action lawsuits if we do sign, but did ask the Commissioners for their support of Resolution 2021-12. She feels the State will ease up on their restrictions just as they did last year with athletics in the school systems with COVID restrictions in place.
Don Steerman, County Attorney spoke in regard to the mandates and how the citizens of Kiowa County should have their right to choose without being defiant to the State.
Mike Lening, County Commissioner spoke in favor of the Resolution. Lening spoke how we should all try to work together, instead of driving a wedge in between which makes it US and THEM (State/Fed). He too thinks we should have a choice.
Chairman Oswald asked if there was anyone else to speak. With no response for further statements Robertson moved, and Lening seconded the motion to sign
Resolution 2021-12. A Resolution Concerning Vaccines Mandates. Roll Call was taken. Robertson -Yes, Lening-Yes and Oswald-Yes. Motion carried. Resolution 2021-12 will be included at the end of minutes.
Oswald moved and Lening seconded the motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:44 p.m. Motion carried.
Those listed above exited the meeting, with many of them thanking the BOCC for signing the resolution.