Chairman McElhaney called the meeting to order at 6:35 P.M. on Wednesday, March 6, 2002. All members were present. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Chairman McElhaney read a proclamation proclaiming Kim Thompson-Flick as the 2000-2001 Douglas County First Responder of the Year. Jones moved that the Proclamation be adopted as read; seconded by McElhaney and carried unanimously.
CONSENT AGENDA 03-06-02
Jones made a motion to approve the following Consent Agenda:
- Approve Commissioners Order Nos. 5003 and 5004. Orders are on file in the office of the County Clerk.
- Authorize the Chairman to affix his signature to Contracts for Highway Purposes between Douglas County, Kansas and Marvin G. Oshel; Douglas County, Kansas and Catherine L. Nichols Revocable Trust; and Douglas County and Max and Wilma Rife.
Motion was seconded by Johnson and carried unanimously.
PARKS - WELLS 03-06-02
McElhaney introduced Karen Flick who was present to discuss the proposed prairie restoration project at Wells Overlook. Ms. Flick advised the Board that she had contacted several people living in the area regarding the project. She noted that there was a consensus that people would like to see the park restored so that families, scouts, schools and community groups could use it again. There was also the consensus that the scrub trees be cleaned out and the large trees be left. Steve Smith, a resident west of the park also spoke in support of keeping as many of the trees as possible. He stated that the maintenance of the infrastructure needs to be addressed. McElhaney thanked Ms. Flick and Mr. Smith for expressing their concerns and comments. He advised that the committee is in the process of exploring different alternatives. No action was taken.
ZONING & RESOLUTIONS 03-06-02
The Board discussed approval of the re-establishment of a Home Rule Resolution continuing the establishment of a 250' minimum road frontage requirement. Keith Dabney, Director of Zoning & Codes was present for the discussion. Two drafts of the resolution were presented - the first resolution requires the road to be completed prior to the issuance of a building permit. Linda Finger, Director of the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Department, recommends approval of this version. The second resolution allows the County Engineer to require a bond and construction plans, but allows a building permit to be issued prior to constructing the road. Keith Browning, County Engineer/Director of Public Works recommends approval of this version. It was the consensus of the Board to adopt the resolution recommended by Browning. Johnson made a motion to approve Home Rule Resolution No. HR-02-03-1, providing for the temporary prohibition of the issuance of permits for the construction or placement of dwellings and mobile homes on certain tracts. Motion was seconded by Jones and carried unanimously.
The Board discussed the possibility of creating a Marion Township Fire District. Craig Weinaug, County Administrator, explained that some citizens in Marion Township who have been exploring the possibility of finding alternatives for fire protection. He explained that they are currently under a fire district that is based out of Osage County and are interested in other alternatives that would possibly improve their fire insurance rating for this area. He noted that if this effort is pursued, the first step would be to obtain an agreement with Osage County to de-annex that particular territory in Douglas County from their tax base. This is something that is completely within their prerogative to approve or not to approve. He also noted that this meeting is only for the purpose to expose the Board to the issues.
Evan Ice, County Counselor, was present and explained the process of de-annexation.
Bruce Snodgrass spoke in support of creating a fire district noting that improved fire protection would improve insurance ratings.
Jim Jolly, Marion Township Treasurer, expressed the Township Board's position to stay with the status quo.
Walt Bigham, Fire Chief for Osage County District 4, defended the performance of the district. He also noted problems in obtaining volunteers.
Rod Brown, Chief of Wakarusa Township, expressed his opinion that a local township would be an improvement since response time would be less. He then addressed the issue of volunteers stating that if there's good leadership, you will keep and retain those volunteers.
It was the consensus of the Board that staff be directed to pursue the various issues raised and schedule further discussion in the future.
AGREEMENTS & COURTHOUSE 03-06-02
The Board discussed bids received for the installation of a fire sprinkling system in the County Courthouse. Johnson moved approval of the low bid received from Conley Sprinkler, Inc. in the amount of $159,000; seconded by Jones and carried unanimously.
McElhaney made a motion for adjournment; seconded by Johnson and carried unanimously.
Jere McElhaney, Chairman Bob Johnson, Member
Patty Jaimes, County Clerk Charles Jones, Member