Marshall County Commissioner Barb Kickhaefer expressed concern Monday after hearing that people from Johnson County traveled to Marshall County to visit local relatives over the weekend.
“We need to be careful about having visitors from hot spots,” Kickhaefer said. “People need to be vigilant.”
As of Tuesday, Johnson County had the most COVID-19 cases in Kansas with 134.
In further coronavirus discussions at their Monday meeting, commissioners discussed precautions for Marshall County employees. The commissioners floated the idea of rotating county employees and having them work at different times to minimize exposure. But Kickhaefer said they decided the precaution was not yet necessary.
In addition, commissioners purchased four 55-gallon containers of hand sanitizer for $6,900, which will be shared with Community Memorial Healthcare, Frankfort Sanitation and cities in the county, if necessary.
As a precaution, the public was not allowed to attend the meeting and it was streamed live on the Marshall County Clerk and Election Office Facebook page. The meeting started at about 8:30 a.m., and the live stream experienced technical difficulties at around 9 a.m. The commissioners continued the meeting, which was a violation of the Kansas Open Meetings Act, until the live stream resumed at about 9:40 a.m. The commissioners were not immediately aware that their original live stream had ended.
According to a March 25 news release from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, public bodies subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act should “take any actions as may be necessary and reasonable under the circumstances of the emergency declaration to advance the state policy that ‘meetings for the conduct of governmental affairs and the transaction of governmental business be open to the public.’”
The commissioners had Network Computer Solutions, Manhattan, look into the issue later in the meeting.
Marshall County Clerk Sandy Wilson said afterward that the streaming issue appeared to be resolved for next week’s meeting.
In other action,
—Met with Marshall County Agency on Aging director Ashley Lyhane, who said federal disaster food boxes will be available to all county residents sometime in April.
—Approved the purchase of a Belgian Malinois for $10,500 from Code 2 K9 Services, Omaha, for the sheriff’s department. A deputy will attend three weeks of training with the dog, which helps with drug searches. The agency had a dog of the same breed that died recently.
On March 23,
— Received an update from Commissioner Keith Bramhall on the March 20 meeting in the courthouse basement to discuss providing assistance to county residents in need during the COVID-19 restrictions. He said Marshall County Partnership for Growth economic development director Ellen Barber provided information regarding small business assistance. Partnership would serve as a resource to businesses needing assistance and plans to establish a contact person in each town. The meeting was attended by emergency management director Bill Schwindamann, County Clerk Sandy Wilson, Blue Rapids Mayor Jerry Zayas, Vermillion Mayor Jim Woolsoncroft, Oketo Mayor Mel Holle, Frankfort Mayor Brian Smith, Waterville Mayor Josh Stoudt, Marysville Mayor Jason Barnes and Marysville assistant police chief Matt Simpson.
— Received an agreement from Schwab Eaton, Manhattan, for Kruse Dozer to begin construction of a new construction and demolition pit at the county landfill.
— Directed county public works administrator Mike Craig to make arrangements for courthouse janitor Tony Joyce to carry a work cell phone so Craig can contact him when necessary.
— Discussed with Craig the COVID-19 precautions being taken at public works shops, such as limiting outside visits and social distancing. He said due to weather they have not been working on bridge projects.
— Met with county counselor Jason Brinegar via telephone. Brinegar said he is working on the courthouse’s protocol during the time that it is closed to the public and is waiting on information from a couple of departments. The protocol will be distributed to all departments, posted on social media and placed at the courthouse front door when it is complete.
— Approved purchases: Cintas Fire Protection, Cincinnati, agency inspection, $1,711; Nelson Power & Lights, Marysville, electrical repairs, $1,263; Network Computer Solutions, Manhattan, Office 365 Business Essentials one-year subscription, $2,175; NCS, Network Computer Solutions, maintenance contract, $2,860; Network Computer Solutions, Network Computer Solutions-hosted Unified Secure Enterprise Wireless for courthouse, $3,102; Allied Technical Consultants, Hays, maintenance on 911 & address mapping, $2,500; Quadient, Carol Stream, Ill., postage, $3,500; Network Computer Solutions, labor to install all existing AV and install new BitDefender endpoint protection, $1,937; Network Computer Solutions, phase two network infrastructure and e-mail work, $5,355;
—Were told by Lyhane that Agency on Aging patrons are being allowed to pick up meals at nutrition sites from 11:30 to noon on weekdays. Lyhane also said she’s filled out paperwork for reimbursement of up to 75 percent of revenue lost due to ceasing out-of-county transportation. She said she discontinued mail delivery to the Agency on Aging and is having the mail picked up at the post office. Harvesters food distribution has been postponed until June, and the Bread Basket commodities have been canceled, she said. She said she has discontinued Twin Valley Developmental Services’ cleaning service and cleaning is now being done by county employees.
— Discussed county appraiser Francine Crome’s plan to purchase a new printer for her office.
— Discussed a Neighborhood Revitalization application for Brad and Tracy Studer, who are planning to build a new house but have decided not to build in Marysville’s Hartley Ridge subdivision. The commissioners agreed that the application could be amended once the Studers decide where they want to build.
—Approved the Home City sewer bill for its annual wastewater permit in the amount of $185.
—Approved four abatements with an assessed value of $12,488 and a tax value of $2,627.