The regular monthly meeting of the Soldier Township Board was called to order on November 2, 2021, at 12:12 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, Scott Day
Member McNorton made a motion to approve the check register, the minutes from October 5, 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 announced the receipt of a letter from the District Attorney advising of the scheduled Plea for the case of State of Kansas vs Pamela G Buckhalter. It is scheduled for December 2, 2021, at 3:00 p.m.
Mr. Oliva provided an update on the remaining budgeted funds for the General budget for 2021, reporting that the expenditures are right where they should be for the year at about 85%.
Health insurance costs continue to be a concern, however, should remain within budgetary limits.
A meeting will be held later this week between Mr. Oliva and Chief Schmitt with a grant writer to begin investigating applying for grants for the Fire Department.
Scott Day, of Day Insurance, presented health insurance policy renewal rates for 2022. The presented plan changes the co-insurance responsibility from 50/50 to 70/30 responsibility, with no increase in premium costs or member deductibles. Member Mathes made a motion to approve the change to a 70/30 insurance plan for a cost of$183,052.41. Member McNorton seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
Mr. Oliva presented a request for a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for all employees of the township. Chief Schmitt and Mr. Oliva lead the discussion of budgetary needs to cover this proposed increase. Following the discussion, Member Glasgow moved to approve a 4% Cost of Living Adjustment. Member Mathes seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
Chief Schmitt presented the written Fire Report. The number of service calls continues to increase compared to previous years. The Wildland pants, purchased using the 50/50 forestry grant, have arrived and the bills will be submitted to the Forestry Department for reimbursement. The Firefighter Association fundraising chili feed held on October 23, netted approximately $1,500. The department hosted a “Trunk or Treat” for Halloween and had a good turnout of approximately six hundred vehicles. And the continued work on the County EMS crisis care plan has resulted in increased communication with the hospitals.
Chief Schmitt presented bids received from three contractors with proposals for the construction of replacing the existing ramp, steps, and landing to the Conference Room at the Fire Station, ensuring that it complies with ADA standards. After discussion, Member Mathes motioned to approve the bid received from Cousins Concrete for a total amount of $4,000. Member McNortonon seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
Mr. Oliva presented the Road report, updating on the areas of road repair that were completed in the past month.
An invoice for $3,828.00 was received from Shawnee County Weed Department for 2021 Noxious Weed Control per contract #Cl 1-2021. This was for spraying 132 miles for weed control, including labor, equipment, and materials. The contract for 2022 was also included for review, consideration, and signature. The potential cost increase in this contract will be minimal for the township. Member McNorton made a motion to approve the contract with Shawnee County Weed Department for Noxious Weed Control for 2022. Member Mathes seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
Mr. Oliva presented new pricing for the installation of culverts. The new pricing is the first increase since 2008 and is necessary due to the drastic increase in the cost of the metal culvert tubes. The new prices will cover the cost of materials but will not result in additional revenue for the department. Member McNorton made a motion to accept the new pricing for culvert installations. Member Glasgow seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
Member Glasgow made a motion to move into closed Executive Session, beginning at 1:10, for a period not to exceed 20 minutes, to discuss non-elected personnel. Seconded by Member Mathes. The exception was made to include Lee Hendricks, Doug Schmitt, and Bob Oliva. At 1:20, a motion was made to continue in Executive Session for an additional five minutes under attorney-client privilege. The exception was made to include the same people. The motion was seconded and carried 3-0. At 1:25, the Board came out of executive session and convened in open regular session.
Member Mathes motioned to increase the pay rate for Laurie Moody by $3.00 per hour. Member Glasgow seconded the motion. Motion carried 3-0.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the meeting adjourned at 1:29 p.m. The next monthly Board meeting will be held on December 7, 2021, at 12:15 p.m.
Approved by: Karl McNorton, Jerry Glasgow, and Mike Mathes