LYNDON—The Osage County Board of Commissioners held their final meeting of 2016 Dec. 27 at the Osage County Courthouse.
“So other than some beer licenses, what do we have?” asked Fred Diver, commissioner.
The commissioners approved cereal malt beverages for Melvern Lake Marina, Doman’s General Store and Green Acres Restaurant. They also conducted business with the treasurers and road and bridge departments.
The commissioners reviewed the 2016 bridge inspection with Glen Tyson, road and bridge supervisor, and Bob Chambers, county engineer from Cook, Flatt and Strobel.
“You’ve got 230 bridges now,” Chambers said. “Not the most for any county, about average, number wise.”
Commissioners reviewed the report, which detailed the county’s worst bridges, based on weight and fracture ratings.
“We put together a chart here, it’s got all the bridge numbers, what the structure is, where it is, its deficiency rating,” Chambers said. “Actually, you’re in pretty good shape. You’ve got a lot of good bridges out there now – a lot of good concrete bridges that’ll last you a long time.”
Chambers noted the removal of several minimal use bridges with poor ratings.
“We deleted five bridges that we’ve closed and have no plans to ever replace,” Chambers said.
Tyson also noted the county’s work to reduce the number of fracture-critical bridges.
“We’ve got eight fracture critical bridges,” Tyson said. “We’ve eliminated half between closing and repairs. We started out with 17.”
Chambers noted the county was not awarded a grant for their most recent application.
“You didn’t get picked for the off-system bridge,” Chambers said. “I assumed since you got picked two years in a row, it was pretty thin. They will be starting another program in March or April, so we’ll try again when that rolls around.”
Tyson also discussed working with Cook, Flatt and Strobel on the road agreement surrounding the Reading wind farm.
“We’ll do whatever you want to keep your road happy and in shape,” Chambers said. “Usually, it’s the structures (bridges) that take the beating, not so much the roads. Usually it hurts worse when they’re turning.”
Chambers gave suggestions for the commissioners when they develop their road agreement with Renewable Energy Systems, the management company for the project.
“I would have them drive on certain roads,” Chambers said. “Have them go certain ways, stay on your good structures, and film the roads before and after.”
Chamber noted that his company worked with Coffey County, where three bridges were replaced due to the large construction project – one before the project started and two after it was complete.
Commissioners also fielded several requests from Shari Weber, county treasurer, the largest of which was a request related to improving areas noted in recent audits of the county.
“We’ve struggled for several years with our bank reconciliation,” Weber said. “Since we have implemented CheckWriter, there are certain bookkeeping pieces than can happen. This is going to take some staff training.”
Weber said the training would cost $1,200 per day, and would require two days of training.
“She suggested we start Jan. 1, to mark the things we push out, in terms of checks,” Weber said. “After 30 days of this, we start the reconciling process electronically.”
Commissioners approved Purchase Order 3221, authorizing $2,500 for training related to the CheckWriter reconciliation. Commissioners also approved ordering 500 copies of check logs for $550.90.
Weber also discussed a recent error in property taxes.
“We needed to send out about 2,000 statements to USD 420, because we had a mill levy that was inadvertently put in,” Weber said. “We are cutting checks to those people that have paid and given us too much.”
In other business, commissioners:
• hired Robert Reese, Jr., road and bridge department, at $14 per hour.
• approved Weber to seek uses for unneeded printer cartridges stored in the treasurer’s department.