LYNDON—The Osage County Board of Commissioners hosted Elizabeth Maxwell during Monday morning’s regular meeting. Maxwell presented an annual report and assessment for the East Central Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Center, which serves Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, Linn, Miami and Osage counties.
“Case management is for people who can’t quite get it all together themselves,” Maxwell said. “Our major services are cleaning houses, giving baths, doing grocery shopping, helping coordinate meals with Mid America Nutrition (Center), legal services…”
Maxwell said those services were handled locally by Glenn Jacobs.
“He’s your case manager for Osage County,” Maxwell said. “He also does Coffey County.”
Maxwell said the center, formerly known as the East Central Kansas area Agency on Aging, has recently expanded it services to additional groups.
“A new group we took on this year is the intellectual and developmentally disabled,” Maxwell said.
She said the organization manages cases in conjunction with COF Training Services, Inc., which handles day services for individuals.
“We do a lot of what we call custom care items,” Maxwell said. “One shot things you might need to stay in your home.”
Those items ranged from the installation of wheelchair ramps to exterminations, help moving from unfit rental properties and dental work.
“This year we’ve done a lot of teeth extractions and dentures,” Maxwell said.
The agency also provides assistance with Medicare registration, as well as limited utility assistance.
“We provide help, up to $150, one time,” Maxwell said. “Anything a person needs to have a better quality of life, to stay in their own home.”
Maxwell said the level of help is based on state and county funding, as well as donations.
“We’re on maintenance funding through this year,” she said. “It’s kind of play it by ear. I think legislators understand the value of services. It’s just who they decide to cut.”
“It’s frustrating for everybody,” said Ken Kuykendall, commissioner. “The county has to pick up a lot of stuff the state used to do, and we have to raise taxes to do it.”
“They can’t pull any more than they already have out of KDOT, they can’t take any more from the kids,” Maxwell said. “We figure we’re next on the list.”
Maxwell said the 11 regional agencies have submitted reports to legislative representatives, similar to the one presented to commissioners.
“We all put together some sort of report like this,” Maxwell said. “To remind them of what we’re doing, that there are real people out there, and it’s still cheaper to keep them in their home than put them in a nursing facility.”
View the complete East Central Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Center annual report.
Road and bridge tackles snow, ice
Glen Tyson, road and bridge supervisor, reported on a two days of treating ice and removing snow last week.
“Our roads were better than the state roads,” said Gaylord Anderson, commissioner.
Tyson said crews were out from 2 a.m. until 9 p.m. Jan. 21. He said the stock of salt and sand was ample, despite the long day.
“I’ve got six loads on order from Knights, and six loads we’re going to pick up on our own,” Tyson said. “When we get all of them, we’ll be back up in good shape.”
Tyson reported issues with some of the county trucks, one of which broke its drive line while treating roads.
“It wrapped around the air lines, and tore all the air lines off from the back end,” Tyson said. “We had to have it towed back in.”
Tyson also reported an issue with the department’s newest truck.
“We changed out an alternator, now it’s charging too much,” Tyson said.
Tyson said the truck is preferred for salt and sand dispersion, because it’s spreader is tied to the trucks speed.
“When it runs and works, it’s great,” Tyson said.
In other business, commissioners:
• discussed the ongoing repair of the courthouse elevator.
“We were real shocked they got started as early as they did,” said Anderson. “They originally told us it would be up to three months. They’ve already started and are quite a ways along.”
Clark Thompson, maintenance supervisor, said the piston for the elevator was removed last week.
“There was about seven or eight pieces,” Thompson said. “Then they pumped out all the water and oil.”
• hosted the monthly department head meeting, which included an update on department inventories; the introduction of Kevin Culley, noxious weed director for the road and bridge department; and discussions on CPR recertification.
• approved the reclassification of Shannon Smith, Osage County Sheriff’s Office employee, from dispatcher to jailer.
• approved emergency vehicle designation for Greg McCurdy, Lebo, member of the Melvern Fire Department.
• approved four change orders.
• conducted four executive sessions to discuss non-elected personnel, including a five-minute session with Rhonda Beets, county clerk; a 10-minute executive session with Tyson; a 20 minute session with Chris Carothers, former data collector for the appraiser’s office, who resigned Jan. 20; and a 10-minute session with commissioners.