Neosho County Commish

Neosho County Commissioners listen intently during a recent regular session.

ERIE - Neosho County Commissioners ended an interlocal agreement with the City of Chanute for the Code Red emergency alert system Tuesday.

The city will still be able to access the system through the county for emergency messages, and county commissioners divided the program cost between two departments.

Emergency Management Director Melanie Kent-Culp gave the commission an update after communicating with Chanute City Manager Todd Newman by email.

The service provides alerts for weather or missing people. Lori Nally, 911 Director, said Chanute will still be able to send missing children or elderly or other emergency notices by contacting the 911 department.

Commission chair Gail Klaassen said she understood Chanute is using a different carrier.

Before, Chanute paid half of the annual renewal fee, 911 paid one fourth and Emergency Management paid one fourth. The $12,700 fee will now split between 911 and Emergency Management.

“It amazes me that we have to make this decision,” Kent-Culp said. “Nobody’s going to win.”

The service contract is still valid until 2023. County officials said the city normally would be required to send notice 60 days before it expires, but they will consider Aug. 7 as the end of the 60-day period.

In other business, the commission received 2023 budget requests from Southeast Kansas Mental Health and the Neosho County Conservation District during Tuesday’s meeting.

SEKMH Executive Director Nathan Fawson presented a request for $159,995. He discussed some of the programs the service provides, and said it has 275 employees across six counties.

SEKMH is purchasing a building on south Grant and will continue to serve clients from its south Kansas Avenue location. It is working to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center, which will allow it to receive federal funding under a model where Medicaid payments equal costs.

SEKMHC is requesting the same funding level as last year. The conservation district also is not seeking an increase, and received $47,444 in 2021.

District affiliate Joyce Kramer provided a breakdown of state and local funding. The district received $22,000 in state aid last year and will receive $24,000 this year.

Klaassen said she has followed news accounts of valuations in Allen and Labette counties and in Chanute, and wanted to know for Neosho County. Commissioner Nic Galemore questioned whether the figures reported were appraised values or assessed, which is how much is actually taxable.

The county commission will meet at 2 pm June 28 and June 30 for budget workshops. On July 7 it will have a budget workshop at 10 am and a normal meeting at 2 pm, and on Aug. 1 it will hold its regular meeting at 9 am.

Commissioners met with Master Tech Truck and Equipment representative David Williams to receive specifications and price proposals for two dump trucks and a semi rig tractor.

The company is based in Wichita and is a factory-direct distributor. It has shops in Emporia, Wichita and other cities and service trucks to do work in the field.

Williams said the company uses a Sourcewell program to match up equipment to how it will be used and the conditions. He will be on the agenda July 7 to hear the commission’s response.

Commissioners voted to let Evergy move forward on a proposal to place an electrical substation east of Erie.

Engineer Jade Lassiter said the company is closing on 13 acres on 140th Road. The substation will not be related to renewable energy generation and will serve the county as a whole. Commissioner Paul Westhoff said he has received calls concerning lines, but Lasseter said they do not have the scope of the transmission lines yet. The substation will be in service in 2024.

Commissioners also approved hiring engineers to do design and inspection on an asphalt project on 205th Road.

The project by Cook, Flatt and Stroble will cost $117,100 for two contracts to design and to inspect the asphalt overlay from the Chanute city limits to Grady Road. The road, which becomes 14th Street in the city, is a separate project from one to repair a bridge at Grady Road and will be funded differently.

Klaassen warned the road might leave less money available for work on Plummer Avenue.

“It’s going to have to be done some day,” Road and Bridge Director Mike Brown said.

Letting for the Grady Road bridge will be Aug. 1.

Recommended for you

Load comments