The Pottawatomie County Commission on Monday accepted a low bid from Farmers State Bank for the lease-purchase of 42 new air packs for Consolidated Fire District 1.
The county will finance $300,000 of the $337,000 total cost through Farmers State Bank, which submitted a low interest rate bid of 1.95%.
While the decision was unanimous, Commissioner Pat Weixelman gave his begrudging approval, saying the commission is overspending.
“Slowly but surely, I think we’re overextending ourselves on some of this stuff,” Weixelman said, citing recent spending for fire and EMS equipment, as well as capital improvement projects. “I think we’re overspending, and one of these days it’s going to sneak up and bite us in the ass.”
At Weixelman’s request, finance officer Heather Gladbach presented figures for current lease-purchase costs for CFD 1, which includes Olsburg, Havensville, Wheaton, St. George and Emmett.
Equipment and facilities currently financed for the fire district includes three new fire stations (Olsburg, Wheaton and Havensville), four brush trucks, four pumper trucks, four tanker trucks and the 42 air packs approved Monday.
Total lease-purchase payments in 2021 will be $88,881 — $16,373 for principal and $72,508 for interest, according to Gladbach.
“We’ve had millions go out the door,” Weixelman said. “I’m going to look at everything that comes through here this year, and I’m going to look at the budget next year. I just want you to know.”
In other business Monday, the commission:
• Agreed to terms on developers’ responsibilities for maintaining detention ponds in their subdivisions.
Developers in subdivisions without a homeowner’s association will be responsible for maintenance of the ponds for the first two years of development, and pay a fee of $100 per lot to the county for the cost of any future maintenance.
Cody and Will Hartwich, owners of HB Development, asked the commission to resolve the issue, which has been delaying their planned subdivision off Rockenham Road.
“At some point there will be maintenance needed on those ponds, the question is, who’s going to pay for it,” Counselor John Watt told commissioners. “Most of the major (maintenance) work is going to come in the first two or three years, but at some point these things are going to become a county responsibility.”
Watt is expected to finalize a resolution for the proposed policy for the commission’s future consideration.
• Authorized a change order in the contract for the new Blue Township EMS station to employ a different contractor to install an irrigation system and sod.
The change is expected to save $11,000, according to Scott Campbell, maintenance supervisor, and Dustin Newman, assistant public works director.
With the anticipated savings, the commission also authorized Campbell and Newman to investigate the cost of installation of a flag pole and a sign for the building, located on Green Valley Rd. just north of U.S. Highway 24.
• Heard from Health Director Lisa Kenworthy about the one “presumptive positive” case of coronavirus in Kansas — a woman in Johnson County.
Kenworthy said her office receives weekly updates on the status of the virus from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and passes that information along to county law enforcement and EMS officials.
“The biggest thing we’ll do is investigate the contacts if there is a positive case in the county,” Kenworthy said.
• Approved a contribution of $750 to the newly-formed Westmoreland Senior Citizens group.
• Authorized members of the Broderick Family and Community Education (FCE) to obtain a cost estimate to replace five tiles missing from the roof of the old limestone jail just east of the county courthouse at Westmoreland.
The FCE has set aside funds for the upkeep of the jail as a community service project, according to member Dru Clarke.
Commission Chair Dee McKee asked the FCE members if they were interested in taking over ownership and future maintenance of the building.
“There’s no way our organization could take over the building,” Clarke said. “We run on a shoestring budget.”