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County accepts low bid on new HVAC system

The Oskaloosa Independent of Oskaloosa, Kansas

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Jefferson County's 53-year-old courthouse, which at times this past summer was a rather uncomfortable place to work, will be getting a new heating, ventilating and air conditioning system next year.

Meeting Monday afternoon at the courthouse, where "Chamber of Commerce weather" allowed the exterior doors to be propped open for a spell, the Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to accept one of two week-old bids on installing the system. It was supplied by Johnson Controls, which is willing to undertake the massive and possibly long overdue project for $359,035.

Public Works Director Bill Noll told Commissioners Richard Malm, Lynn Luck and Wayne Ledbetter that he had reviewed the bids, a task assigned to him a week earlier, and had found the apparent low bid, the Johnson Controls bid, to be fully in order. Having heard that, the trio then acted on the matter.

Noll said Johnson Controls could tackle the job beginning in January but was planning to wait until March, when the weather is generally more moderate, to remove the existing air handler and put a different one in its place. He also said the company would need to order some specific parts as soon as possible.

The other bid was submitted by McElroy's Inc., Topeka, and came in at $431,313.

At the request of Noll, the board unanimously approved a proposed Noxious Weed Management Plan for 2016. The Public Works director said the plan was identical to the one he put together for this year.

On a 3-0 vote, the commissioners backed the reappointment of Shellie Hopkins to the position of Noxious Weed supervisor.

Noll informed the board that county workers were reconstructing what he called the "catch pond" at the county's office and maintenance facility south of East Jefferson Street in Oskaloosa. He later told the paper that the pond was initially built to catch the salt that escapes from a nearby salt bin. He also said that the need to redo the pond was one reason behind the county's earlier decision to trade a parcel of land located in that general vicinity for a particular piece of property that belonged to Dave Taylor of rural Oskaloosa.

Noll reported that employees with the Road and Bridge Department were grading and graveling some of the roads near Rim Rock Farm following the cross country races that were held there on Saturday afternoon. But he also made it clear that the department's top priority continues to be the maintenance of the various roads adversely effected by the heavy rains this past spring.

In a related matter, the Public Works director informed the commissioners that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had assigned a new coordinator to work with Jefferson County and nearby counties to help them properly document the damage caused by floods and other major weather events for the purpose of filing claims to be reimbursed for damages.

John Perry with Quality Homes Inc., Summerfield, briefly appeared before the board to ask about the requirements that must be met to obtain a permit to move a house using county-owned roads. During the ensuing discussion, Malm asked Perry to get together with Noll at some point so they could work out a satisfactory arrangement whereby the company could move the house it wants to move while ensuring that the county has the visual proof it will need to go after the company for damages in the event any roads are torn up during the move.

Perry said he was somewhat confused by the form he was expected to fill out in applying for a permit. According to him, the last time the company applied for a moving permit in Jefferson County was in 2011.

Perry also said the company was planning on following the same route it used four years ago to transport the house it moved then. This route, according to him, has been used on at least three other occasions.

The route in question utilizes only paved roads.

County Appraiser Tanya Erich-sen reported that the reappraisal of real property in Jefferson County by her office would officially begin on Monday. She also informed the commissioners that the second certification of personal property had been completed.

According to Erichsen, the appraised value of personal property is up 2.7 percent to $925,364, while its assessed value has risen 1.9 percent to $98,148.

Emergency Management Director Keith Jeffers advised the board that the vehicle assigned to his department would be out of the county for two days (Wednesday and Thursday) later in the week so it could be outfitted with both a camper shell and radio equipment.

Jeffers also told the commissioners that county employees under Noll were continuing to clean the old "ambulance barn" to make it ready for use by his department.

Beth Brown, R.N., administrator of the Health Department, reminded the commissioners that the worst part of flu season was just around the corner and reported that her office had administered 705 flu shots since September. She also quickly reviewed the primary symptoms of the flu and mentioned a few of the steps the Centers for Disease Control recommends that people take to either avoid becoming ill in the first place or to keep the flu from spreading. Those steps include getting a flu shot, frequent washing of the hands, coughing and sneezing into one's own elbow area if a handkerchief cannot be reached in time, and staying home when one feels puny.

Brown reported that Kansas was free of flu activity at this time but that there was some activity elsewhere in the U.S. Two possible cases of the flu within the state ultimately tested negative, she said.

According to the administrator, flu season runs from October through May and peaks during the months of December, January and February.

Brown informed the commissioners that a work site wellness training workshop would be held this Thursday and Friday at Kendall State Bank in Valley Falls. She said 15 businesses from eight counties had registered to participate in the event, which is being sponsored by the Kansas Health Foundation.

The administrator expressed the hope that the workshop would become an annual event and that more Jefferson County businesses would elect to participate in it in the future.

On a 3-0 vote, the board OKd the reappointment of Oskaloosa's Jo Cross to a seat on the Board of Directors for the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging. She will be serving a three-year term.

The commissioners unanimously approved Resolution 2015-28, a resolution authorizing the county to enter into a Joint Governmental Purchasing agreement with the National Joint Powers Alliance for the purpose of facilitating the acquisition of equipment and supplies by the county through NJPA.

The meeting ended shortly before 1:45.

Copyright 2015 The Oskaloosa Independent, Oskaloosa, Kansas. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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