The regular monthly meeting of the Soldier Township Board was called to order on June 1, 2021, at 12:10 pm. Board members present were Jerry Glasgow, Karl McNorton, and Mike Mathes. Chief Doug Schmitt represented the Fire Department and Bob Olivia represented the Road Department.
Guests in attendance were:
Laurie Moody (Bookkeeper), Steve Vess, and Larkin Downing
Member Glasgow made a motion to approve the check register and the minutes as presented. Member McNorton seconded the motion. Motion was approved 3-0. Member Glasgow made a motion to approve the agenda as presented, with no additions. Member Mathes seconded the motion to approve the agenda. Motion was approved 3-0.
Public comment and communication:
Member Glasgow opened discussions about an email he had received from Mr. Golder concerning the property located on Wenonah Road. Information was shared by Mr. Oliva and Steve Vess concerning the status of the property.
Mr. Oliva directed the Board’s attention to the copy of Senate Bill 13 which was included for their review. Mr. Oliva summarized the information he had received from the County, that the Township would receive the same amount of funding unless the Township goes through the hearing process. After some discussion, Member McNorton stated he feels it would be to the Township’s advantage to finalize the budget in August then proceed with the process, taking advantage of the extended deadline. Mr. Oliva explained, if we do that, the County mails out notices to the public, for which costs the Township will be responsible. Also, the Bill does not address the current population increase, which is also increasing the needs for which the Township
is responsible. Member McNorton agreed that the Township needs to begin the hearing process and stay mill levy neutral, if possible.
Mr. Oliva stated that he had spoken with a representative about the CDARS account which is currently earning 0.01 percent. A money market account will earn 0.1 percent. After discussion, it was decided to open a money market account and move the funds from the CDARS account to that new account.
Mr. Oliva updated the board on the closing date for the Button Road property sale, which should now be around June 15, 2021.
General expenditures for 2021 are right on track where they should be at this time of the year. The one area of potential concern for next year would be the increased funding ofKP&F.
Chief Schmitt reported that he and Larkin had traveled to I-lays, KS to check on the progress of the brush truck and that it is still on track for delivery in June.
Chief Schmitt has witnessed that COVID transmission rates seem to have slowed dramatically and there is little guidance coming now from the County. Due to this, the Annual Chili Feed has now been scheduled for Saturday, October 23, 2021, and he is planning a pancake feed for next Spring.
Financially, the Fire Department is within a quarter of a percentile of where it was projected to be at this time, even though the fire season necessitated more overtime hours than originally anticipated.
Chief Schmitt has hired six (6) new part-time firefighters who all started orientation last Wednesday.
Mr. Oliva reported Michael Bailey resigned this morning. We are now short two crew members and will be seeking applicants to fill those positions as soon as possible.
The repair has been cleaned up at 35th and Hwy 75 but will continue with further repairs in the fall. The crew has been concentrating lately on maintaining and repairing the ditches and culverts, taking our backlog of existing work orders to about 30-40. We are getting ready to begin some overlays and chip sealing around 46th Street South and Topeka West. Next year will be between 46th and 62nd and Topeka West. There is one other back project at 62nd to finish up and Indian Creek from 54th to 46 th and overlay from last year.
Member Mathes moved to go into executive session until 12:40 p.m. Member Glasgow seconded the motion that the board recess for a closed executive session to discuss non-elected personnel, as permitted under the Kansas Open Meetings Law. After discussion, the motion was approved 3-0. Mr. Oliva and Chief Schmitt also attended the executive session.
The Board came out of its closed executive session at 12:40 p.m. and convened in open regular session, and that no binding unauthorized subject matter was discussed nor was any binding unauthorized action taken by the board at the closed executive session.
Member Mathes made a motion to buy out the contract of Laurie Moody from Key Staffing and to employ Ms. Moody in the position of a full-time bookkeeper. Member McNorton seconded the motion. After discussion, the motion was approved 3-0.
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the same was duly adjourned.
The next monthly board meeting will be held on July 6, 2021, at 12:15 pm.
Approved by: Karl McNorton, Jerry Glasgow, and Mike Mathes