The Regular meeting of the Kiowa County Commissioners was called to order on June 9, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. by Chairman Donald Oswald. Oswald opened the meeting with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Cindy McLoud, entered the meeting at 9:10 a.m., as a member of the audience.
Minutes: Robertson moved, and Lening seconded the motion to approve the May 28, 2022; minutes as presented. Motion carried.
Vouchers: Robertson moved, and Lening seconded the motion to approve the vouchers as presented. Motion carried.
Agenda: Oswald moved, to approve the amended agenda with two additions. Robertson seconds the motion, carried. New Business: Liquor License.
KCEDF Updates: Cindy McLoud entered the meeting reporting that she wants to record for her and Betsy Barnett (Kiowa Independent). The board was okay with her recording.
American Legion Hall Grant was discussed. The Kiowa County Historic Preservation Board will be meeting with Legion Commander, Danny Richards to get further information with the tax credits.
Cactus Drive: McLoud said things are moving along just fine.
Discussion over the transit van garage was reviewed. The County Coroner’s Office will be included in this garage.
SECOG Mini Grants: There are 4–$5,000. Mini grants available for the County to apply for. The BOCC is looking into some electrical upgrades at the fairgrounds as well as the courthouse.
Meredith Burcham, with County Technical Services Inc. entered the meeting by Zoom to provide updates to the Commissioners. She provided information in regard to insurance claims for the past year.
Burcham reported that claims were down in 2021 due to Covid as a whole.
She will be checking to see if deductibles will be raised for law enforcement and will possibly be scheduling regular meetings with the different area sheriff departments to see if there is further safety training available.
Burcham highlighted other areas of concern and then thanked the BOCC for their time and ended the meeting at 10:20 a.m.
John Negley entered the meeting to discuss the road south of Eads near his farm headquarters, and requested for it to be lowered due to flooding issues. Negley said the bridge is getting plugged and he would like to get the road lowered so the water can go over it. Negley has concern that if something isn’t done this will cause flooding to his grain bins and shed. Negley had contacted both Fort Lyon Canal Company and Amity Ditch to voice his concerns. Lening said the BOCC will contact the Road Foremen and see what they can do.
Negley thanked the BOCC and exited the meeting.
Members of the community entering the meeting were Raina Lucero and Cindy McLoud, both with the Kiowa County Independent and Pam Cole, Board Member of Planning and Zoning.
Wind Project Update: Lauren Kaapcke, Project Developer for Engie Energy and the Wild Stallion Wind Project; entered the meeting to discuss the wind tower and transmission lines in Kiowa County. Kaapcke reported the location they are inquiring is northeast of Hartman, CO. and will be located east of Highway 385. She went onto explain that if this all goes through there will be need of housing for 130 people when construction begins. The housing for this many people was mentioned and the thought is to spread the housing throughout the community/county which will help relieve some of the stress to just one location.
Engie North America with the Wild Stallion Wind Project will be signing RFP’s
(Request for Proposal) with Excel in August and if all goes well, the first phase could take place in 2024. By early 2025 construction could be underway.
Kaapcke said one of the main benefits this company could bring to the county is an estimated 38 million dollars in tax revenue over the years. She also said when this project is completed it will create 6 to 8 permanent jobs for Kiowa County.
With no other questions left to be answered, Kaapcke thanked the BOCC for their time and exited the meeting.
Jeanette Filpi, Interim CEO for the Kiowa County Hospital District along with three hospital directors, Matt Prince, Mary Eikner and Pam Cole entered as a member of the audience and also representing Kiowa County Hospital District.
Fil pi introduced the three board members present and she said she felt this would be a strong board who will work to make this hospital better than ever.
Fil pi began conversation of the Interim EMS Director, Russ Watson. He is the local Fire Chief and will continue to hold both positions until an EMS Director has been appointed.
Filpi discussed the RETAC and its importance. The members for Kiowa County are County Emergency Director-Shellie Englehardt, Interim EMS Director-Russ Watson and Trauma Nurse, Rachel Bletzacker.
Filpi is looking into each hospital department to see where improvements could be made. She said as an incentive to keep the regular employees at the hospital they offered a bonus to full time employees as well as to part time employees. She wanted to thank every employee for “hanging in with the hospital” while all the uncertainty with the hospital was going on.
Filpi reported there will be training held at the EMS Building on Maine Street on June 21st and 22nd• The EMS building will become the new training site for the hospital.
Filpi thanked the BOCC for their time. Fil pi and the other attendees exited at 12:15 p.m.
Oswald moved, and Robertson seconded the motion to recess for lunch at 12:16 p.m. Motion carried.
The regular meeting reconvened at 1:05 p.m.
Zoe Colvin, Finance Officer, and Jason Dittburner, Housing Rehab Loan Officer for Southeast Colorado Economic Development, entered the meeting to present the SFOO Loan Agreement.
Lening moved, and Robertson seconded the motion to move into the public hearing for the SFOO Loan Program. Motion carried at 1:10 p.m.
No one from the public was present.
Oswald moved, and Lening seconded to move out of the SECED Public Hearing and back into the regular meeting at 1:24 p.m. Motion carried.
Oswald moved, to sign the 3 year Agreement for the Single Family Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Loan. Robertson second, motion carried.
Colvin and Dittburner thanked the BOCC and exited the meeting.
Adamson discussed the need for housing in Kiowa County. McLoud stated that Prowers County has already begun building more motels and remodeling some of the older ones, so they will be ready for the influx of people moving into the area. Adamson explained that Mr. Yearman, Consultant with SECED, had requested the county to waive the fee for the building permits to the housing projects in Eads.
Commissioner Lening stated if we do for one we will be asked to do it for all. He stated other concerns on the fees for the housing project.
With discussions ending over the permit fees, Oswald moved, and Robertson seconded the motion to charge the full permit fees and earmark the fund for future use in housing development for Kiowa County. Motion carried.
Landfill/Recycling Update: Administrator Adamson reported the recycling bus has broken down and Landfill Manager Jeff Scranton is trying to get it repaired.
Planning & Zoning/Fee Schedule: Administrator Adamson met with Excel and they will be submitting their preliminary application in July.
Tri-State Generation and Transmission will be holding a community meeting on June 30th at the Plainview School from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Tri State staff will be there to answer any questions.
County Equipment/Fee Schedule: Road Foreman Allen Watts entered the meeting to discuss the fee schedule on cleaning of the cattle guards and fences that the Road and Bridge Department is responsible for.
The Commissioners agreed the County will charge $75.00 for opening/closing a cremation site, instead of the standard price for opening/closing of a grave site.
The BOCC discussed the issue that John Negley had visited that morning in regard to water running into his farm. Road Foreman Watts will contact Mr. Negley regarding this matter.
Watts discussed the bathrooms at the lakes. He said they are a mess and that the State Park employee had overlooked some of the restrooms. Watts is concerned for the wellbeing of the public. Administrator Adamson will contact the State Park Service and see if there is a misunderstanding as to who was responsible for the Lake Clean Up this year.
Lening discussed the road complaint on County Rd J. Road Foreman Watts said this has been going on for years and looks for it to continue. Watts said his crew has been over their and graded this road.
Watts exited the meeting at 3:13 p.m.
Diana Flory, Kiowa County Treasurer; entered the meeting to discuss the budget and the new process for payroll. Flory explained that the fund is not balancing, and she is concerned over it. Adamson explained to Flory that it is in the funds that have payroll in it that seem to be an issue. Mandy Brown, CPA will be here June 17th to assist Adamson on this matter. Flory thanked the BOCC for their time and exited the meeting at 3:45 p.m.
Upcoming Meetings and Reports were reviewed and signed.
Time off Request Forms: Oswald moved to approve the time off request. Lening seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Facility Rental Deposits/Sewer Issue: The Senior Center had plumbing issues over the Memorial weekend. These issues then in turn caused problems for the National Park Service. The County will hold the $25.00 deposit fee and wait to see what other fees may be incurred.
Ambulance Licenses: Oswald moved to sign the ambulance licenses for the 2022 year. Lening second, motion carried.
DTR Tower Insurance: Adamson presented the bill for insurance on the DTR Tower. Bill will be paid.
VSO Assistant: Adamson will contact Eric Moncibais, with Department of Veteran’s Services to assist in setting up appointments for local veterans.
RETAC Board Appointment: Lening moved, to appoint Trauma Director, Rachel Bletzacker and Chairman Oswald to the Finance Committee for RETAC. Robertson second, motion carried.
Fair Board Liquid License: Tabled. Clerk Weeks will contact the Liquor Board to get clarification of application.
Vehicle Insurance: Adamson reported that one of the Sheriff’s Vehicles was totaled and the other vehicle will be repaired.
With no further business to discuss, Oswald moved, to adjourn the meeting at 5:31 p.m. Lening second, motion carried.