Archive for Monday, December 22, 2008

County solid waste director resigns

A World War I doughboy statue stands outside the Leavenworth County Courthouse.

A World War I doughboy statue stands outside the Leavenworth County Courthouse.

December 22, 2008, 6:41 p.m.

Updated: December 23, 2008, 2:59 p.m.

Three Leavenworth County Sheriff’s deputies stood Thursday at the entrances to the chamber of the Leavenworth Board of County Commissioners.

The officers stood outside and watched as the commissioners, along with David Van Parys, county counselor, Heather Morgan, county administrator, and Jason Auvil, solid waste director, met in a quiet executive session for 30 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel.

After two more short executive sessions without Auvil, one to talk about non-elected personnel and another to talk about potential litigation, Auvil, who has served as the solid waste director since February of 2007, resigned his position.

Commissioner Dean Oroke said there has been a tremendous amount of miscommunication and dissension in the department since Auvil became the director.

“It’s probably in the best interest of the county,” commissioner Dean Oroke said. “That is a department that we have many state and federal rules and regulations, and we as a county cannot afford to stub our toes and not comply with rules and regulations that can come back and cost us tens of thousands of dollars.”

He cited recent events like broken lights at the transfer station and broken scales that lead to a truck hauling solid waste to be overloaded and eventually pulled over by the Kansas Highway Patrol.

“I think the fine was somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,800 that Hamm tacked right on to our bill,” Oroke said.

Calls by The Mirror to Auvil were not immediately returned.

As to why they needed sheriff’s deputies, Commissioner J.C. Tellefson just said, “we’re just taking care of business.”

After meeting privately with Van Parys and signing his resignation agreement, Auvil left the Leavenworth County Courthouse with the deputies to remove his items from the transfer station without incident.

In other business the commission:

• Unanimously voted to waive the RIF and TIF fees on the building permit for a new Basehor-Linwood School District building.

• Unanimously approved to let the Basehor Historical Museum Society keep the $317.21 balance left in the Leavenworth County Cultural Grant. Part of the remaining money will be used to purchase an $80 microphone.

• Unanimously voted to authorize the Buildings and Grounds department to contact with Dean Mechanical in the amount of $2,450 to install new washers and dryers at the Justice Center. The amount previously exceeds the established $1,500 limit for installation. The increase is due to new electrical conductors, dryer vents and plumbing connections that have to be installed.

• Authorized the renewal of a contract with the Kansas Department of Transportation to treat noxious weeds in 2009.

• Unanimously authorized the purchase of two Sterling motor graders for $239,818. The motor graders were purchased under a new cooperative purchasing agreement that Mike Spickelmier, public works director, said saved the county $60,000.

• Unanimously passed a motion to not give any building permits for the Basehor-Linwood Middle School until the commission gets a letter from the Kansas Department of Education stating that Horst Terrill & Karst Architects have complied with the necessary changed needed to the draft plans of the middle school. The commissioners received a letter from the KSDE’s office of the architect listing a number of things that needed to be corrected to make the plans for the school comply with state standards.

On Monday the commission:

• Met in a budget hearing to approve amendments to the 2008 budget. Commissioners J.C. Tellefson and Clyde Graeber voted in favor of augmenting the Leavenworth County Health Department’s budget by $30,000; the 911 budget by $40,000; the Juvenile Detention Center budget by $60,000; Sewer District One’s budget by $3,000; sewer districts three and six’s budget by $7,000; the capital reserve fund for Sewer District Two’s budget by $2,500; and the capital reserve fund for Sewer District Three’s budget by $7,100.

Commissioner Dean Oroke was not present for the hearing.

Linda Scheer, the county clerk, said none of the departments or budgets needed extra funds because they had cash on hand to handle the amendments.

• Granted a temporary use permit to Joseph and Rebecca Carey to live in their single-wide manufactured home. Current county regulations do not allow permanent residency in a single-wide home. The Careys said they are in the process of building their new home, but will not be able to start until they sell their old home.

Commissioner J.C. Tellefson said the pair had already made some efforts to clean up the property and he appreciated the attempts they were making at fixing the problems.

If the Careys begin to build their home within the next year, they will be able to extend the temporary use permit for another year until their home is complete. The commissioners also unanimously voted to wave the $30 application fee for the permit.

• Unanimously agreed to purchase a Federal Signal 2001 outdoor siren for the additional growth in the Falcon Lakes area. The emergency siren costs $19,907, of which $17,000 will come form the Capitol Outlay reserve fund and the rest from the equipment reserve fund. The commission also unanimously approved to enter into a contract with Blue Valley Public Safety for $19,992 to maintain all of the county’s sirens.

• Met in executive session with Heather Morgan, county administrator and Commissioner-elect John Flower, for 10 minutes to discuss potential litigation.


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