BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF DOUGLAS COUNTY, KANSAS
Public comment will be taken for each regular agenda item as each item is discussed. Individuals will be limited to one comment per agenda item. Individuals are asked to come to the microphone, sign in, and state their name. Speakers are asked to sign in so that the spelling of names is correct in the minutes of the meeting. Speakers should address all comments/questions to the Commission.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2019
5:30 p.m. BUSINESS MEETING
(1) (a) Consider approval of Commission Orders;
(b) Consider approval of a resolution authorizing the levy of an annual tax for the special building fund and specifying the purposes for such tax. (Cammy Owens);
(c) Consider approval of a Cereal Malt Beverage License for White Tail Run Winery LLC located at 2327 N 400 Road, Edgerton, Kansas (Clerk’s Office);
(d) Consider approval to execute contract for the expansion of the Douglas County Correctional Facility (Jackie Waggoner);
(e) Accept retroactive approval for the following Resolutions: Resolution 19-17 Disaster Resolution for August 1, 2019 flood event; Resolution 19-18 Disaster Termination Resolution for the April 28, 2019 flood; Resolution 19-19 Disaster Termination Resolution for the May 28, 2019 Tornado; and Resolution 19-20 Disaster Continuance Resolution for the August 1, 2019 flood. (Joe Hoelscher);
(f) Consider approval of a County resolution that officially initiates the process to consider rescinding the “minimum maintenance” designation of a portion of N100 Road and direct Public Works staff to transmit the resolution to the Planning Department. (Kevin Sontag)
(g) Consider adoption of the amendments proposed in Home Rule Resolution 19-8-1 for Chapter 13, 13-107.4.1 Construction Codes (Tina Rakes);
(h) Authorize staff to purchase two SAN storage units with a three-year service agreement from CDWG for a price of $81,990 utilizing funding in the Register of Deeds technology fund (Jim Lawson);
(i) Consider approval of the minutes from June 5, June 19, June 26, July 24 and July 31, 2019; and
(j) Accounts payable.
(2) Public Hearing to receive public comment on the 2020 Budget and consider approval of a County resolution expressing the property taxation policy of the Douglas County Commission with respect to financing the annual budget for 2020.
(3) Accept the 2018 Audit and Financial Statements (Sarah Plinsky)
(4) Annual Compliance for the LDCFM Agency Accreditation (Shaun Coffey)-presentation.
(5) Consider extending the Douglas County lease with the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority to a 99-year lease as a HUD requirement to receive state/federal funding
(6) Discussion and direction from the County Commission on Certificate of Survey’s outside the Urban Growth Area (Tonya Voigt)
(7) Consider additional project costs for 1006 New Hampshire (Pam Weigand)
(8) Discussion of hiring process for County Administrator position (no backup)
(9) General Public Comment
General Public Comment will be at the end of each meeting with a limit of one comment per person and keep their comments brief. Individuals may not give unused time to other speakers. As a general practice, the Commission will not discuss/debate these items, nor will the Commission make decisions on items presented during this time, rather they will refer the items to staff for follow up, if necessary.
(10) Committee Reports
(11) Commissioner and/or Administrator Miscellaneous
August 14, 2019
Derusseau called the Regular Session to order at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 with all Commissioners present.
CONSENT AGENDA 08-14-19
Kelly moved approval of the following Consent Agenda:
► Commission Order No. 19-041 on file in the office of the County Clerk;
► The following County Resolutions: Resolution No. 19-17 Disaster Resolution for August 1, 2019 flood event; Resolution No. 19-18 Disaster Termination Resolution for the April 28, 2019 flood; Resolution No. 19-19 Disaster Termination Resolution for the May 28, 2019 Tornado; and Resolution No. 19-20 Disaster Continuance Resolution for the August 1, 2019 flood;
► Resolution No. 19-21 granting a cereal malt beverage license to White Tail Run Winery located at 2327 N 400 Road, Edgerton, KS;
► Resolution No. 19-22 initiating the process to consider rescinding the “minimum maintenance” designation for a portion of N100 Road and requesting a recommendation from the Planning Commission.
► Resolution No. 19-23 authorizing the levy of an annual tax for the Special
Building Fund and specifying the purposes for the tax:
► Contract with Turner Construction for Construction Manager at Risk services of the expansion of the Douglas County Correctional Facility;
► Adoption of Home Rule Resolution No. HR-19-8-1 of the Board of County Commissioners amending the Construction Codes of Douglas County, Kansas, September 19, 2012 Edition, as codified at Chapter 13 of the Douglas County Code, pertaining to one-story detached accessory structures;
► Authorized the purchase of two SAN storage units with a three-year service agreement from CDWG for a price of $81,990 utilizing the Register of Deeds technology fund; and
► Accounts payable in the amount of $330,977.11 to be paid on 08/15/19; and $715,930.62 paid on 08/07/19.
Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.
Pulled from the agenda:
The item to consider the approval of the minutes from the June 5, June 19, June 26 and July 31, 2019 meetings was deferred to the next agenda.
2020 BUDGET HEARING 08-14-19
Sarah Plinsky, Interim County Administrator, stated that the public hearing is the last public process in adopting the 2020 Budget. She noted that during the finalizing of the budget process, it was determined that the funding for the Senior Resource Center (SRC) included some funding that had been intended to be a one-time only funding for 2019 in the amount of $25,000. This reduces the 2020 SRC Budget allocation by $25,000 and that money was moved to the non-appropriated fund balance. The change does not impact what was published or the public hearing requirements. Also outstanding, this budget included authority to complete the training tower project with Lawrence Douglas County Fire and Medical (LDCFM) but the item has not been approved in the CIP. Staff would like direction on when the Commission would like to discuss completion of this project. Cammy Owens, Budget Director, was also available for questions.
Kelly moved to open a public hearing to receive public comment on the 2020 Budget and consider approval of a County Resolution expressing the property taxation policy of the Douglas County Commission with respect to financing the annual budget for 2020. Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.
Joanna Harader, Justice Matters, stated she supported the Douglas County Commissions’ decision to put funding toward the Drug Court and hopes that other money set aside to address the overcrowding at the jail can also be used creatively in conjunction with suggestions from District Attorney Charles Branson, and studies being considered by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
Derusseau closed the public hearing.
Commissioners Derusseau, Thellman and Kelly expressed their appreciation for this year’s budget process where the agencies and Commissioners sat in round table style together to discuss budget concerns. It was a consensus this year’s process was a brilliant change.
Thellman moved to approve the 2020 Budget and Resolution No. 19-24 expressing the property taxation policy of the Douglas County Commission with respect to financing the annual budget for 2020. Motion was seconded by Kelly and carried 3-0.
2018 AUDIT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT 08-14-19
Tara J. Laughlin, AGH, made a presentation to the Board on the 2018 Audit and Financial Statement. It was the opinion from the audit everything was comparable to the 2017 audit year. No changes were recommended from an accounting perspective. The opinion was a modified opinion, known as a “clean” opinion and reflects books and records of the County.
Derusseau opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.
Kelly moved to accept the 2018 Audit and Financial Statement as presented. Motion was seconded by Derusseau and carried 3-0.
LAWRENCE-DOUGLAS COUNTY FIRE AND MEDICAL 08-14-19
Tom Fagan, Division Chief of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical (LDCFM), conducted a presentation to the Board on the annual compliance for the LDCFM Agency Accreditation.
Three areas discussed that the continuous performance model covered included: total response time, response time from the alarm, and response including travel time.
No action was taken.
LAWRENCE-DOUGLAS COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY 08-14-19
Jill Jolicoeur, Assistant to the County Administrator, asked the Board to consider an amended lease extension with the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority. In order to access $200,000 in additional state and federal funding for the mental health supportive housing project to install solar panels and built-in furniture, HUD requires the 30-year lease be amended to a 99-year lease.
Derusseau opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.
Thellman moved to approve an amended lease agreement with the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority extending the lease agreement for mental health supportive housing from 30 years to 99 years.
Motion was seconded by Kelly and carried 3-0.
ZONING & CODES/CERTIFICATES OF SURVEYS 08-14-19
Tonya Voigt, Co-Director of Zoning & Codes, conducted a presentation to the Board of County Commissioners regarding a dramatic rise in Certificates of Survey (COS) applications received for Rural Douglas County. Staff has received an increasing number of concerns from nearby neighbors regarding the amount of working farmland being removed from production, the number of lots being created and the impacts on local roads. Because Certificates of Surveys are administratively approved, neighboring property owners are unaware of changes until the development has been approved.
At this time the only option for concerned property owner to voice a concern is to request an appeal to the Commission when the COS application has been approved. The language in the Subdivision Regulations is vague and doesn’t outline a clear appeal process or the factors to consider when appealing. Staff has been working on draft revised Zoning Regulations for the Board to review which propose to add zoning districts to identify agricultural versus residential land uses.
In light of the dramatic increase in recent development applications and the subsequent concerns from neighboring landowners, Staff asked the Board to consider a moratorium on Certificates of Survey until the proposed Zoning Regulations have been discussed or adopted, and to work on an appeal process for Certificates of Survey to give neighbors a chance to have input and voice concerns. The ideal outcome would be a set of regulations that support the Comprehensive Plan and protect natural and agricultural land characteristics in our rural area.
Staff will schedule a Work Session for September 18 for discussion and direction regarding draft Zoning Regulations.
Derusseau opened the item for public comment.
Karen Willey, Planning Commissioner, rural land owner, rural fire fighter, said she was speaking for herself. She has been involved in working on the Comprehensive Plan. She said where we want the most development, as Comprehensive Plan spells out, is the infill development first, then within the City of Lawrence, then within the UGA and then outside of the UGA, though the processes we have in place make that difficult. Currently the easiest development available is in the rural areas and we can’t handle that kind of growth with the services we provide. She said as a rural fire fighter we can’t deal with that growth. The current process is not appropriate for the intense development pressure we are seeing in these areas. Willey said she supports the work Douglas County staff is doing. There is a huge need to relook at this. We are very outdated and there is a lack of public process for Certificates of Survey. She feels the Planning Commission knows less than they should about this. There is no opportunity for the rural voice other than the developer or the applicant. She feels we desperately need to look at long-term goals for development in the County
Rick Hird, 856 E 1150 Road, said he feels he has a sense of the flavor for the rural community. He said it is a terribly difficult job balancing the interests of landowners being able to use their land as they see fit and controlling sprawl outside the UGA. There is a problem with the way these goals and policies are translated into the process. He called this a “disconnect” we need to solve. He also feels the rural land owner should have an opportunity to voice concerns about a site plan approval. He feels there is a lack of opportunity to participate in the process. He encouraged a brief moratorium on COS approvals.
Charlie Thomas, 673 E 475 Road, stated there is a new development down the road from where lives and he found out about it though gossip, not through a formal method of notification. He feels it is important to look at the character or sensibility of county living. There are regulations for historic west Lawrence and he would like to see those same types of proposals for county living. Thomas said we have something unique and special and we shouldn’t let developers come in and buy up land just for development.
Leigh Boyd, Douglas County resident, stated she feels living on country is being threatened. She enjoys the friendliness of having neighbors but not too many. She said the property next to her is being split into five lots by a realtor that is not local. She thought only one home could be built on 20 acres and was shocked to find out that is not the case.
Derusseau closed public comment.
Kelly stated the map showing the number of Certificates of Surveys is alarming. He is disappointed that we have a Comprehensive Plan to preserve the rural character but it’s doing the exact opposite. He feels we need to have a larger conversation about how the Comprehensive Plan is implemented and how policy is addressed by the Planning Commission and Planning Staff. Kelly stated he is very supportive of a moratorium and he wants to give the public plenty of time to weigh in on the changes. He feels we need to have a conversation with how the County publicizing things.
Thellman said some people feel like there is an empty space in the rural area so we need to fill it. But we have made a concerted effort in Douglas County to say there is a value to the empty agricultural rural space. It is valuable in terms of farming, environment, habitat and a rural community that wants to be rural. There is a strong sentiment that people here want rural Douglas County to be rural. They want farms and open spaces. Thellman said we need to correct this. Our plans need to reflect this. Thellman stated she supports a moratorium. In the meantime, we need to get an appeal process for those pending certificates. She stated she knows there will be some push back but there is a need to balance private property rights with County policies. She also looks forward to bringing the Certificate approval process back to the County Commission.
Derusseau thanked staff for bringing this information to the Commissions’ attention. She found the number of certificates shocking. She agrees that we have a 2020 Plan and a 2040 Plan and no process to back it up. She asked “who was looking out for the County,” and feels this would never happen in the City of Lawrence. Derusseau said we need to take a step back and look at the process and ways to support our goals. She is supportive of the moratorium.
There was discussion that legal council is reviewing language for a moratorium; and to determine if staff can voluntarily inform property owners when an application is received and share the appeal process until the text amendments have been changed. It will be a minimum of 16 weeks before staff will have a draft set of text amendments.
It was the consensus of the Board that staff present a moratorium for consideration on next week’s agenda.
1006 NEW HAMPSHIRE CONTRACT 08-14-19
The Board considered additional project costs for the 1006 New Hampshire Project. Pam Weigand, Director of Criminal Justice, presented the item.
Additional costs were provided in a spreadsheet for a total cost of $204,105 broken down as follows: $116,562 for furniture for Phase 2; $52,049 for Secure Door Access, $1,912 file system, $6,482 for signage, $12,500 data/network wiring, $4,600 plan review fee, $1,000 Metal detector and $9,000 cameras.
Derusseau opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.
Kelly moved to approve the collective cost of $204,105 for the 1006 New Hampshire project and allow the Interim County Administrator to approve change orders up to 10% of this cost. Motion was seconded by Thellman and carried 3-0.
COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR POSITION 08-14-19
The Board of County Commissioners discussed their thoughts on hiring the position of County Administrator.
Kelly said the Commission needed to define what they are after with the position and whether there is someone internally that could fill the position or whether there needed to be a discussion on whether a search is necessary.
Thellman commented that past County Administrator Craig Weinaug had stated prior to his retirement that there would be a search process. However, Thellman said the County has a person in our midst, Interim County Administrator Sarah Plinsky, who has served in the capacity of Administrator since Weinaug’s retirement, taking the County through natural disasters and complicated initiatives with criminal justice, the behavioral health project and many other moving parts. She stated she does not feel a strong need to follow tradition with a search. The things our community needs is senior leadership and knowledge and she feels Plinsky fills those needs.
Derusseau agreed. What she is looking for is institutional knowledge, relationships and an investment in the community. She stated the position of County Administrator is a big job and has to have a professional relationship with the community and every official in the County. Derusseau stated we are not going to find someone that meets the needs of our community more than Sarah Plinsky.
Derusseau opened the item for public comment.
Pam Weigand, Director of Criminal Justice Department, stated she has been with Douglas County for 27 years. She feels when you have talent in front of us and we don’t need to look farther. Weigand stated she supports the retention of Sarah Plinsky in the position of County Administrator.
Karen Willey, Planning Commissioner, stated she supports Sarah Plinsky as County Administrator. She feels the Board needs to weigh the time and energy needed for a search and how long it would take to get a new person up to speed. She stated Plinsky is held in such high esteem so to do a search is unnecessary.
Cammy Owens, Budget Director, commented she was speaking professionally and personally that Sarah Plinsky is one of the most effective, efficient bosses she has had. She said Plinsky has been working her tail off the past nine months as Interim County Administrator and patiently waiting for a decision. She agrees the right person for the position is Sarah Plinsky.
It was the consensus of the Board to provide public comment on the August 21 County Commission agenda to give the public a chance to make comment on hiring the position for County Administrator.
APPOINTMENTS 08-14-19– None.
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT 08-14-19 – None.
COMMITTEE REPORTS 08-14-19
Kelly stated he attended the two Housing Committee meetings that focused on funding availability and discussed how to deal with federal tax credits.
Jill Jolicoeur, Assistant to the County Administrator, gave a brief update on the status of The Shelter. Thellman stated she wanted the public to understand that the County did fully fund the emergency funding request for $148,000 made by The Shelter.
COMMISSIONERS AND/OR ADMINISTRATIVE MISCELLANEOUS 08-14-19
Two or more Commissioners may be in attendance to the following:
- CJCC Presentation about the Law Enforcement Contact Study: Monday, August 19 from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM in the Lawrence Public Library Auditorium (707 Vermont St.).
- Swearing In and Reception for Mark Simpson as District Judge for the 7th Judicial District: Friday, August 23 at 3:30 PM in the Division II Courtroom of the Douglas County District Court (111 E. 11th St.).
- Lawrence Schools Foundation Community Education Breakfast: Friday, September 20 from 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM at the Lawrence DoubleTree by Hilton (200 McDonald Dr.).
- The Senior Resource Center Board Minutes for May and June where included in the agenda packet.
- The Douglas County Appraisal Newsletter for July, included in the agenda packet, discussed market land time trend study, residential time trend study, a depreciation study, and commercial property surveys.
- The Long Term Recovery Committee met on August 13. The Disaster resolution related to the April 2019 flooding and the May 28, 2019 tornado expired on July 12. This defines the disaster period, but public funds spent on the event after that date are eligible for reimbursement. The flooding event on August 1 did not meet state thresholds for disaster response or individual assistance. We have issued a local disaster resolution. The Financial Assistance sub-committee plans to meet this week to determine what processes will be used to distribute funds. That group includes Douglas County Community Foundation as well as other entities. They will report back to the committee next Tuesday, August 20.
Open Board Appointments
- Douglas County Food Policy Council (Local food system/Ag Producer) - (2) positions open;
- JAAA Advisory Council - (1) position open;
- JAAA Board of Directors - (1) position open;
- Lawrence-Douglas County Advocacy Council on Aging - (10) open positions;
- Joint Economic Development Council – (2) positions open; and
- Public Building Commission – (1) position open.
Derusseau adjourned the meeting at 8:05 p.m.
Michelle Derusseau, Chair Patrick Kelly, Vice-Chair
Jamie Shew, County Clerk Nancy Thellman, Member