Nov. 7, 2019
Nov. 7, 2019
The Gasconade County Commission met with Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel, Southern District Commissioner Jerry Lairmore, Northern District Commissioner Jim Holland at the Owensville City Hall beginning with Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioner Jerry Lairmore made a motion to approve prior commission minutes dated Oct. 31, 2019. Commissioner Jim Holland seconded the motion. The motion passed by vote:
Jerry Lairmore (Yes),
Jim Holland (Yes),
Larry Miskel (Yes).
WARRANTS FOR PAYMENT
Commissioner Jerry Lairmore made a motion to approve the following items: warrants for payment 114669 through 114703. Jim Holland seconded the motion. The motion passed by vote:
Jerry Lairmore (Yes),
Jim Holland (Yes),
Larry Miskel (Yes).
ROAD CONCERNS AND COMPLAINTS
Commission had met first this morning at Drake with the road department and reported the discussion to Clerk Lietzow for the official minutes; it was mainly about filling vacancies within the department by advertising for not only full‑time but also part‑time. Applications are being taken through Dec. 1 and shortly thereafter, interviews will be held with hopes of making decisions yet this year but maybe not starting work until after the new year; there will likely be movement of employees within the department at that time. Commission is also faced with making some decisions about pay structure; past policy included taking a pay cut when moving from a grader operator position to a truck driver position, but now consideration is being given to not continuing with that policy. There was also discussion about the new sick leave donation policy adopted by Commission earlier this year.
Commission ask Clerk Lietzow for clarification on the sick leave donation policy and after reviewing, found that any employee could donate in 40 hour increments but must always keep a minimum of 8 hours; she said the new policy has not yet been used.
Commission gave Clerk Lietzow the signed partnership agreement with Missouri Department of Conservation and asked that she send it in as soon as possible as they would like to get rock placed yet this year.
Clerk Lietzow gave back to the Commission the letter regarding Gascony Village and the barricade across a road; Commissioner Holland had given it to Prosecuting Attorney’s office for an opinion, but Mary Weston has a conflict of interest. When Commissioner Lairmore read the letter which was the first time he saw it, he reads it differently than Commissioner Holland and is not so sure Gasconade County isn’t responsible for the road due to an easement granted in 1967 and with the road never officially abandoned or vacated by the county. Commission agreed to provide all documentation to legal counsel Ivan Schraeder for an opinion.
Mark Schaeperkoetter came into Commission meeting to offer his opinion regarding their recent discussions on hard‑surfacing county gravel roads; he remembers a time many years ago when Waste Management Inc. offered to pay out of their tipping fees for all county roads to be paved if they were allowed to operate a landfill in the county and wonders if they should not be approached again. Those present remember a lawsuit brought to stop the landfill from moving forward. As a taxpayer in Gasconade County, he purposely chose to live within the city limits of Owensville, which means paying higher taxes already, so as not to live on a gravel road and does not support the idea of a sales tax, property tax or fuel tax for roads he won’t be travelling; the flip side of that is the people who do choose to live on county gravel roads come into town to shop and spend money that goes toward city streets. Commissioner Lairmore appreciates the comments and that is why he has brought the subject up for discussion and to hear opinions; he does remember Waste Management offering to pave Brinkmann road where the landfill was proposed, but said according to the calculations he has done, it would cost $30‑50 million to hard‑surface all county roads. Everyone does agree that not all roads would qualify for consideration, not all roads would meet the right‑of‑way requirements due to landowner’s choice, but any hard‑surfacing improvements made would increase values of all property. Commissioner Holland agreed he does not support any kind of tax and currently they are only doing roads that have partially been done already; those on Frene Creek road offered money, but the budget was hit harder this year than expected and finish time is uncertain. Commissioner Lairmore has received enough feedback in support of a tax to warrant this discussion, which could eventually lead to public meetings before any question would be put on a ballot. He has studied the idea enough to know how much is currently being spent on rock year after year that eventually it could become cost effective. Currently the chip and seal projects being done are from county funds as can be afforded. Mr. Schaeperkoetter asked if a question could be put before the voters living in the unincorporated areas only as it would likely have a better chance of passing, which Commission could consider.
Arlie Appler, another south county resident, had a two‑fold reason for being at session, partly the subject of hard‑surfacing roads and partly the Highway T bridge construction. He mentioned having the opportunity to sell part of his property recently, but two different buyers did not like the gravel road; regardless of that fact, he is a proponent of hard‑surfacing roads, adding first and foremost, the safety issue for first responders. Which brings him to the second reason being, with the Highway T bridge construction going beyond the proposed Nov. 1 deadline for completion, it only lengthens the time for emergency responders to detour through county roads, some of which had flooding issues. He also questions whether the performance bond of the contractor is sufficient to cover the added time which could be to the end of the year; all three Commissioners’ agreed they had not been updated recently by MoDOT but will do so, in fact, Presiding Commissioner Miskel texted Preston Kramer, area engineer, during this discussion, for an update. Mr. Appler had contacted both MoDOT and Governor Mike Parson, neither of which responded; according to on‑site workers, there was a foundational problem on the south end where high water undermined the work being done. He mentions the performance bond and wonders if MoDOT may owe the county more money. Commission invited Mr. Appler to the Courthouse next week when Mr. Kramer will be there anyway and apologized for not being more up‑to‑date on this issue.
Commission welcomed Brian Samples, Owensville City Administrator to the meeting, sitting in as a visitor.
Presiding Commissioner Miskel received the following in correspondence: waiver of liability from USDA Farm Service Agency employee using courthouse parking lot; Central Workforce Development Board meeting Nov. 13; MoDNR Clean Water State Revolving Fund Intended Use plan and Priority List for 2020.
Commission had further discussion regarding last week’s visit by Callabyte and decided to sign the proposal offering high speed internet via fiber optic, with connection to be in January 2020. The extent of their services was left open as to inside maintenance connections, so Commissioner Holland called Rob Barnes for clarification on the extent of their work; since the Courthouse does not have an IT person, they agreed to run whatever needed to be done to the offices and up to the second floor courtroom so it has internet availability. Sheriff John Romanus came in during this discussion and Commissioner Holland put them in connection with each other for his office needs since Sheriff was not at last week’s meeting.
Sheriff Romanus had come in to let the Commission know he is working through some vehicle issues by trading in toward the purchase of maybe one more new one and one used one in order to have good vehicles on the road. Commission asked him to sit down with them sometime soon to discuss the EMD position, as the recent newspapers publication has caused a lot of questions; he agreed anytime they want, possibly at the end of next week’s business.
Presiding Commissioner Miskel asked Commissioner Holland if he had the MOPERM packet of information for Clerk Lietzow and he said he would have it to her office either today or tomorrow for sure. She said the adjuster’s determination of reimbursement was approximately $63,000 and the county has been paid approximately $54,000 plus this additional $1,600, it’s now over $55,000. Commissioner Holland said the only way to get more funding he believes the county deserves is through litigation and it was agreed not to pursue that for what it would cost in attorney fees.
REPORT OF FEES
Commission reviews report of fees for October 2019, from Pamela R. Greunke, Circuit Clerk and Recorder of Deeds for Divisions 1, 2 and 4 in the following amounts:
Rec Records Reten‑$2,400.76
County fees‑$ 608.43
Misc county fees‑$83.40
Dep. Sher. Sal. Suppl.‑$13.15
Inmate Security Fund‑$61.00
REPORT OF FEES
Commission reviewed monthly reports of fees collected by Lesa Lietzow, County Clerk for the month of October 2019 in the amount of $214.92 and from John Romanus, Sheriff for the same month in the amounts of $1,978.71 civil fee fund and $370.00 DSSSF.
ABATEMENTS AND ADDITIONS
Commission approved additions #8616 through #8633 and abatements #2067 through #2078.
Commissioner Jim Holland made a motion to adjourn commission until Nov. 14, 2019. Commissioner Jerry Lairmore seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned.