The regular monthly meeting of the Soldier Township Board was called to order on October 5, 2021, at 12:15 p.m. Board members present were Karl McNorton, Jerry Glasgow, and Mike Mathes. Also present were Chief Doug Schmitt representing the Fire Department, Bob Oliva representing the Road Department, and Laurie Moody, Bookkeeper.
Guests in Attendance:
Lee Hendricks and Larking Downing
Member McNorton made a motion to approve the check register, the minutes from September 7, 2021, Board meeting, and the agenda, as presented, with no additions or amendments. Member Mathes seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
Public Comment and Communication:
There were no public comments or communication.
Mr. Oliva provided an update on the remaining budgeted funds for the General budget for 2021. He pointed out that the health insurance costs appear to be going over budget, but the financial statement does not reflect the additional funds that are transferred to and held in a separate bank account specifically for medical costs. The funds are still available and can be transferred back into our general bank account, if necessary. Overall spending for the remaining months of 2021 will be minimal to stay within budgetary constraints.
Blue Cross Blue Shield did not have their renewal rates available to date, so will not be presented until the next Board meeting.
Chief Schmitt reported there has been no advancement on the allocation of any ARPA funds to the Township from the County, though we are still hopeful for some allocation from the State. There has been discussion that the County is striving to use ARPA funds to cover the costs of a virtual medical option which will take some of the load off of emergency medical staff.
Chief Schmitt presented the Fire Report, emphasizing that the COVID-19 numbers are declining at this time, although the overall number of calls has not decreased.
The Fire Department is presently about 3% over budget for personnel costs mostly due to the overtime necessary to cover absences related to COVID-19. However, the Department is currently approximately 10% below budget overall. Chief Schmitt anticipates potential challenges with finding replacements for future open positions and retaining trained personnel on a long-term basis. The labor shortage is creating a unique staffing situation within the Department. We were requested to submit salary and benefit information for a Wage Study being performed for Mission Township and we will receive a copy of that study.
Mr. Oliva presented truck bids from two (2) companies. Truck Center Companies in Salina, KS submitted a bid for the truck cab and chassis only for $91,382. FYDA Freightliner from Columbus, OH submitted a bid for the complete truck, including snowplow, for $182,009.
After discussion, a motion was made by Member Mathes to purchase the complete truck from FYDA Freightliner for $182,009 using funds out of the Special Highway Fund. The motion was seconded by Member McNorton. Motion carried 3-0.
Mr. Oliva presented the Road Report. The crew paved numerous streets in the Cherry Creek Subdivision, at the cost of approximately $140,000 in materials for the month of September. Several streets in that subdivision will require extensive repair prior to paving. These repairs are necessary due to the methods used when the utilities and roads were initially installed by the developer of the subdivision. These repairs will be performed in 2022. The County painted the centerline stripe on several of the newly paved roads but they were not able to obtain the white paint needed for the edge stripes.
Discussion opened pertaining to the possibility of purchasing or signing a long-term lease for a larger mill in the future. This would enable our road crew to prepare road surfaces for paving independently and not have to contract other companies to do it. It would enable the Department to better control the time involved and the cost of milling. Mr. Oliva will continue to explore this possibility.
Member Glasgow reported having received communication from a resident about potholes and the overall condition of Haven Road. Mr. Oliva will assess the condition of the road and schedule appropriate action.
Member Glasgow made a motion to move into closed Executive Session, beginning at I:00 p.m. for a period of time not to exceed 15 minutes, to discuss client/attorney information, as permitted under the Kansas Open Meetings Law. The motion was seconded by Member McNorton. After discussion, the motion carried 3-0. Present were Karl McNorton, Jerry Glasgow, Mike Mathes, Bob Oliva, Doug Schmitt, Lee Hendricks, and Laurie Moody.
The Board formally extended the executive session for an additional 15 minutes to continue discussions. At I:28 p.m. the Board came out of executive session and convened in open regular session. There was no unauthorized subject matter discussed and no binding unauthorized action was taken.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Member Glasgow made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Member Mathes and carried 3-0. Meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
The next monthly Board meeting will be held on November 2, 2021, at 12:15 p.m.
Approved by: Karl McNorton, Jerry Glasgow, and Mike Mathes