Skip to contentSkip to navigation

Commission Board Meeting on Wed, March 15, 2017 - 4:00 PM

Meeting Agenda: 


4:00 p.m. 

-2017 KAC Awards for departments

(1) (a)  Consider approval of Commission Orders;
 (b)  Consider approval of Lawrence Landmark Application for the 1869 Means Family Stone House – Douglas County Fairgrounds (Jan Shupert-Arick);
 (c) Consider amending Lone Star Lake Park rules and regulations (Keith Browning);
 (d)  Consider recommendation of Mail Service Contract (Jackie Waggoner);
 (e) Consider acquisition of easement for Project No. 2015-05 for County Route 458 additional tracks (Michael Kelly); and
 (f)  Consider awarding renewable contract for pavement marking services, Project No. 2017-07 (Keith Browning).

(2) 17-00022: Consider a request to rezone approximately 0.58 acres from County B-1 (Neighborhood Business  District to County R-1 (Single-Family Residential) District at 697 E 1725 Road, Baldwin City. Submitted by Vinland Preservation LLC, property owner of record. (Becky Pepper is the planner).

(3) Consider agreement to reimburse KDOT for federal fund disbursement overage, Supplemental Agreement No. 2 to Agreement No. 48-12, Project No. 23 C-4123-01, replacement of Route 1057 bridge over the Wakarusa River (Keith Browning).

(4) Presentation from Justice Matters (Justice Matters)-No Backup

(5) (a) Consider approval of Accounts Payable (if necessary)  
 (b) Appointments  
 -MPO Bicycle Advisory Committee (2) positions
 -Community Corrections (1) position
 -Board of Zoning Appeals (1) position 10/16
 -Lawrence-Douglas County Mental Health Board – (1) joint position 04/17
 -Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority Board (1) position 06/17 
 -Metropolitan Planning Commission – Positions (2) 05/17
 (c)  Public Comment
 (d)  Miscellaneous   

(6) Adjourn


Related Document(s): 
Meeting Location: 
County Courthouse
Street Address: 
1100 Massachusetts St, Lawrence, KS 66044, USA
Meeting Minutes: 

March 15, 2017

Gaughan called the regular meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 with all members present.

The County Commissioners honored the following employees with Kansas Associations of Counties Service Awards:

Craig Weinaug, 24
Shawn Showman, 8
District Attorney
Amanda Stofko, 8
Jim Rousselo, 24
Public Works
Steve Cates,8
Charles Quinn, 16
Sheriff’s office
Donn Dunkle, 8
Kristen Dymacek 8
Philip Mathis, 8
David Stoffer, 8
Cindy Axman, 16
Mario Godinez, 16
Darcie Holthaus, 16
David Oakes, 16
Clark Rials, 24
Candice Norman,  8
Youth Service
Lacey Thomas, 8
Rick West, 8
Casey Crane, 16
Stephanie More, 16
Pam Weigand, 24

Gaughan moved approval of the following Consent Agenda:
►  Commission Order No. 17-013 (on file in the office the County Clerk);
►  Application to submit Lawrence Landmark Application to place Means house on the local historical register;
►  Accepted the negotiated proposal for mailing services and awarded the contract to Lineage Mailing Services; and
►  Acquisition of Easements for Project No. 2015-05; County Route 458 with the following landowners: Judith N. Pierson, Trustee under “The Judith N. Pierson Revocable Trust: dated March 1995 (Lawrence, KS; Tract 6); Judith N Pierson (Lawrence, KS; Tract 8); Douglas W. and Nancy Brenn (Lawrence, KS; Tract 12); Dennis A. Thome (Lawrence, KS; Tracts 13, 20, 26 & 28); Ron Eugene and Trudy Mae Rice (Lawrence, KS; Tract 25); Joseph M. and Rosalind R. Jennings (Lawence, KS; Tract 30); William Alexander Ramer (Lawrence, KS; Tract 33); and Mike Harris, also known as Michael J. Harris (Lawrence, KS: Tract 47).

Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.

Pulled from the agenda:
The Board considered amending the Lone Star Lake Rules and Regulations. The item was pulled from the Consent Agenda for discussion.

Beth Reiber, 1235 Kentucky, stated concerns that the definition of “suitable camping shelter” would allow only RVs and wants to make sure vans rigged for camping and “camping hammocks” are allowed.

Derusseau said she received several concerns about prohibiting hammocks at the lake. She asked staff for more clarification on the language intent. Keith Browning, Director of Public Works, stated the intent is not to prohibit hammocks, but to require people to have camping equipment, and prohibit people from sleeping in their cars. It is an attempt to define “suitable camping shelter” as follows: “A maximum of two camping shelters shall be allowed per camping site with a maximum of 8 persons per site. A suitable camping shelter is required. A suitable camping shelter is one whose primary purpose is for camping and is appropriate for anticipated weather during the camping visit.”

Browning stated a “hammock with the rain fly” would be acceptable because it’s built for camping.

Browning went on to define, “Suitable shelter may include camping gear intended to protect the camper from the elements. This is not necessarily a tent, but gear to keep you protected from the elements.” He also stated a suitable camping shelter does not include motor vehicles. However language regarding vans converted to a camper could be added. 
Keith added the newspaper article mentioned we are prohibiting drones at the park, which is not correct. Drones are prohibited in the swimming and camp areas for safety and privacy concerns.

It was the consensus of the Board for staff to update the language per discussion and bring back for consideration at a later date. 

The Board considered 17-00022 a request to rezone approximately 0.58 acres from County B-1 (Neighborhood Business District to County R-1 (Single-Family Residential) District at 697 E 1725 Road, Baldwin City. The application was submitted by Vinland Preservation LLC, property owner of record. Becky Pepper, Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning staff, presented the item.

Staff recommends approval of the request based upon the following findings of fact:

I. Zoning and land uses of surrounding properties.  The primary purpose of the R-1 District is to provide for the single-family residential development. While there is not R-1 zoning in the area, the existing development to the south of the property aligns with primary purpose of the R-1 District. Therefore, The R-1 District would be compatible with the surrounding uses.

II. Character of the area. The subject property is in the unincorporated town of Vinland. The properties to the south are small platted lots that contain single-family uses similar to the residential use desired for the subject property. The rezoning is consistent with the existing land development to the south of the property.

III. Suitability of subject property for the uses to which it has been restricted. With the small, low density lots to the south, the subject property is suited to the uses which are permitted in the R-1 District.

IV. Length to which removal of restrictions will detrimentally affect nearby property. The property was zoned to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) District in 1972 to accommodate the development of the property with an antique shop and law office. Development of the property for those uses, however, never occurred. A portion of the existing church building was converted to a single family residence in 1982, however that use has since been abandoned and the property is vacant.

V. Extent to which removal of restrictions will detrimentally affect nearby property. The primary purpose of the R-1 District is to provide for the single-family residential development. This type of development will be compatible with the existing land uses found in the unincorporated town of Vinland and will protect the existing character of the area. Therefore, a small area of R-1 District zoning should have minimal detrimental effect on nearby properties.

VI. Relative gain to the public health, safety and welfare by the destruction of the value of the petitioner’s property as compared to the hardship imposed upon the individual landowners. There are no detrimental impacts associated with the approval of the rezoning anticipated on nearby properties.

Gaughan opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.

Gaughan moved to approve the request to rezone approximately 0.58 acres from B-1 (Neighborhood Business) District to R-1 (Single-Family Residential) District as it is the appropriate zoning district for the subject property. Motion was seconded by Derusseau and carried 3-0.

The County Commission considered an agreement to reimburse KDOT for federal fund disbursement overage, Supplemental Agreement No. 2 to Agreement No. 48-12, Project No. 23 C-4123-01, replacement of Route 1057 bridge over the Wakarusa River. Keith Browning, Director of Public Works, presented the item.

Browning stated in January 2017, the County was notified that KDOT never retained any federal funding allocations from Douglas County to pay the $507,019.83 owed KDOT, and that balance is still due. KDOT acknowledges this was an oversight on their part. As opposed to a lump sum payment, KDOT proposes Douglas County pay the amount owed by allowing KDOT to retain 50% of the amount of Douglas County’s allocation of federal funds available to be exchanged beginning in 2018. The remainder of the amount owed would be withheld from Douglas County’s 2019 allocation of federal funds. There would be no reduction of available federal funds in 2017.

The Supplemental Agreement No.2 to Agreement No. 48-12 lays out the terms of the reimbursement to KDOT. Beginning in 2018, KDOT would exchange Douglas County’s federal fund appropriations for State funds at a 100% exchange rate (the typical exchange rate is 90%), and KDOT would retain 50% of the exchange funds. In 2019, KDOT would retain exchanged funds for the remainder of the total amount owed, or up to 50% of the 2019 exchanged funds, whichever is less.

Gaughan opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.

Gaughan moved to authorize the approval of Supplemental Agreement 2 to Agreement No. 48-12 stipulating terms of Douglas County reimbursing KDOT for $507,019.83 in federal fund allocation overages on Project no. 23 C-4123-01, the replacement of the Route 1057 bridge over the Wakarusa River, constructed in 2012. Motion was seconded by Derusseau and carried 3-0.

Rose Schmidt, Board Member for Justice Matters, acknowledged the tremendous amount of progress the County has made in criminal justice efforts. She said Justice Matters started working on mental health efforts because they had heard stories of people not having alternatives to jail. They then discovered a whole new population of people with mental health issues with no connection to the justice system. Schmidt said Justice Matters would like to see people have treatment options here in our community as opposed to having to go to Osawatomie State Hospital. She is aware of the County lead proposal for a Crisis Center, but has concerns the process to get things up and running would take up to five years. Schmidt said Justice Matters would like to propose renting and remodeling an existing building they feel could be up and running within a 90-day period at a cost of $140,000. Schmidt did not offer a means of funding the project, other than the County to find a funding source.

Schmidt proposed using the existing former SRS building at 19th and Delaware. Treatments would not be a substitute to Bert Nash but a place for detox services with a sobering and crisis unit.

Thellman asked Schmidt how she proposed to staff the building. Schmidt said we would have to work staffing out with Bert Nash and the County by either transferring staff from Bert Nash and eventually adding new staff. 

David Johnson, CEO Bert Nash, stated there are three things he wanted to provide assurance of: 1) the crisis stabilization building is not the jail or the hospital. The criteria the hospital has to meet for care is more complicated. He also stated he has never heard the crisis center would take 3-5 years. What he heard was approximately two years. 2) In terms of services and social detox, there is a fine line between social and medical detox. Medical detox takes place in a hospital. In fact to be prudent for social detox, you want access to medical services. There is no magic number in blood count that means “safe.” Services would need to be close to a hospital; and 3) the Crisis Center would provide more complete services with the ability to engage in frequent treatment after release. Social detox is just a few hours. Bert Nash and the County have been committed to not being satisfied with what others are doing. We want to provide the best services and a repurposed building is not it. Johnson said the challenge is not so much the construction cost of a building but the operating cost over time. These programs do not break even. They have to have subsidy to move forward.

Thellman said some of the concerns she’s heard is the new unit at the hospital is just a nicer place to house people waiting to go to Osawatomie. She asked Karen Shumate, Chief Operating Officer at LMH, to discuss the hospitals goals on the crisis unit.

Shumate stated after listening to discussion tonight we need to determine some common definitions on crisis stabilization and observation. In a hospital, crisis stabilization means that immediate period when a person comes in and they receive medication or a quiet calming area in the first 24 hours. We’ve had good discussions with all the agencies in town. What we can do with our facility is still up in the air based on what can fit in the area and what they can work with Bert Nash in developing a program. Capital costs for getting started is minimal compared to the ongoing costs of providing 24-hour care. Shumate added those types of talented professionals are hard to find. It’s hard to keep well trained, competent staff in this kind of stressful environment. Shumate said we are too preliminary at this time, but have the right people at the table to figure things out. Shumate also said what she is hearing tonight is people focusing on immediate services. For those in the business, that is not the problem they see. The bigger problem is the need for community services to support people once they come home and the need to keep them in their homes.

Thellman asked if the unit will be equipped to be more than a holding area for people to go to Osawatomie. Shumate said, absolutely, that is what they are working on and finding ways to bring in Bert Nash staff with their schedules.

Gaughan said he wanted to clarity the wait time to be admitted to Osawatomie is about 92 hours. But if you have insurance you can go to Stormont Vail or several other locations. Shumate clarified the new data finds the wait to Osawatomie is 78 hours. The wait is less about insurance and more about whether it is a voluntary admission or involuntary. Involuntary admissions in our area have to go to Osawatomie. If you are voluntarily and seek treatment you have a lot more options.

Shumate said we have some aggressive timelines set. Once decisions are made, the facility can get started fairly quickly. The part that will take longer is the case management, which Sarah Plinsky, Assistant County Administrator, is working to continue services to transition people back into the community.

Plinsky said the “case management group” is working on those efforts. She feels staffing plans can be created to start the effort, but the funding is ultimately a Commission decision and it’s expensive for staffing and benefits but key to support the efforts. We need to talk about where those funds will come from. Shumate added we need the support system in place or people will fall back. She said she has never seen so many community resources at the same table all going in the same direction. Everyone can feel good about that.

Gaughan asked if LMH were to add four rooms to the Crisis Unit would it be in addition to the three stabilization rooms they already have. Shumate responded “yes” the stabilization rooms have to stay, but she can’t comment at this time exactly how many rooms will be added to the new unit.

Thellman commented she visited ComCare who has a crisis observation unit. Often times they are not full with a half million people in their city. We need to understand the scale of our Douglas County needs so we can afford to staff these wonderful programs.

Shumate stated we do sobering at LMH now but haven’t kept numbers. They are going to start. She sees utilizing the stabilization rooms for some of the patients. Sometimes they aren’t breathing well when they come in. They could be moved to the new unit once they become stable.

Plinsky said one of the subgroups is about addiction. We have medical detox services provided by LMH currently. The group will continue to explore both social sobering and social detox. She feels both can be done in a different type model. We need to determine how they can work in conjunction with the hospital. These cases are complex. At the ComCare visit, she learned their need was medical detox. We already have that.

Thellman said she what she envisions is the potential for care all in the same block like a campus for pre, during and post crisis care with the seamless sense of getting a person through a hard time. In San Antonio, the care is all in one place. The area was a real benefit to the community, especially for those without transportation. 

Gaughan opened the item for public comment.

Graham Kreicker, 1421 W 2nd Street, stated he is happy to see this Commission so interested in seeing the severe problem of mental health answered. He would like to see the Commissioners appropriate at least half the funding for the crisis center in next year’s budget. He would also like to see the temporary location proposed by Justice Matters approved with a five-year lease.

Bill Simons, Douglas County resident, said he is concerned about how long it is taking to complete the proposed crisis center. He is worried when this item comes up for public consideration on a ballot, other bonds will conflict. Simons said things are getting worse for people with mental health and the community is not meeting their needs.

Angie Blair, 1922 Barker Avenue, said she is a registered nurse who has worked in mental health. She feels we will always have staffing and funding problems no matter what we do. The expense of doing nothing is gut-wrenching because our friends and family are dying.

Gaughan moved to approve accounts payable in the amount of $386,586.92 to be paid on 03/16/17. Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.

Gaughan moved to adjourn the meeting. Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.

____________________________  ____________________________
 Mike Gaughan, Chair                        Nancy Thellman, Vice-Chair
 ____________________________  _____________________________  
Jamie Shew, County Clerk                 Michelle Derusseau, Member