Decatur County Commissioners

The Decatur County Commissioners met on Monday. The board approved the claims.

Mark Mohr gave an update. The road that bridge 239 is on has been closed at the site. The demolition of the bridge is complete and they are moving forward with the construction. Bridge 116 is a stone arch bridge that United Consultants recommended they close for repair. The bridge has been repaired and is now open with a 20 ton weight limit. The covered bridge in Westport was damaged during the flood. The bridge has been inspected and no major issues were found, only cosmetic issues. They are currently looking to get it repaired.

Kenny Buening gave an update. There have been 54 building inspections, 9 new building permits, and 2 red tags. On Thursday they will be attending a code class with several city employees.

Rick Anderson with Johnson Melloh gave an energy report on county buildings. They looked at what could be put in, upgraded, or replaced throughout the county buildings to help with energy conservation and found some substantial opportunities for the county. Solar energy helps lock in utility rates for 20-30 years and the money saved could be used for infrastructure improvement. The next step of this project would be advertising. The commissioners are going to take some time for further research of the findings.

Joyce Brindley came to the board representing the Town of Westport. The town has major flooding and water issues causing damage to their infrastructure. They requested $55,000 for an engineer to do a study for their master plan.

Steve Ruble with Strand and Associates presented the proposal letter to begin the design process for a new highway facility. The services they would provide are a topographical survey, meet with the designated county staff, develop an updated space program, meet with the APC board, initiate utility coordination, contact their utilities, and provide a schematic site layout. This was approved to move forward.

Commander of the Guardians of Liberty Rick Sasser gave a presentation. The guardians are the constitutional militia for Decatur County. Sasser requested that Decatur County join 30 other counties in the state to become a second amendment sanctuary county. The board tabled this so that the new county attorney can become familiar with the request. The board would also like to see what the other 30 counties have come up with for their resolutions.

There was a maintenance agreement submitted for the AutoClear Scanner. They have 3 different packages at varying prices. The board approved the purchase of the platinum package for $4,400.

The ARP ordinance was approved.

There was a discussion on the Decatur County Fair Board. The board has been asking for the financial records from 2017-2021 since the beginning of the year and they have only received 2017-2018. Fair board member Robert Nobbe stated that he believes they did in fact give them the financial records however the commissioners have no record of any being received. Steve Gunn feels as though this has come out of left field and wants to know if the problem is with the whole board. The commissioners goal is to elect a new board to help the fairgrounds. President of the fair board Scott Best met with Mark Koors last Wednesday to discuss these issues. Best agreed with Koors on the issues and felt the board needed to be shrunk from the 21 members and that planning was chaotic. The management of the fairgrounds will go to the Decatur County Visitors Commission. Philip Deiwert would like to discuss this with his board before any divisions are set in stone. This is because they will need to look at the budget and rework it to include this. The board approved that the management of the fairgrounds will be removed from the fair board and given to the visitors commission- contingent on whether they accept it. The visitors commission will have until next meeting to make their decision and until then the fairgrounds will be managed by the commissioners. If they choose to not accept the management will stay under the commissioners until another entity can be decided upon. The board approved that the current authorized signatories for the bank account transfer the ownership of the accounts and assets to the county commissioners. The board approved to dissolve the 2021 fair board and appoint 5-7 new members. The fair board’s job will now be running the fair only.

The Power of the Past made an offer to purchase 23 acres for $300,000. The final payment will be by July 1, 2024 and no buildings will be built until the final payment. There will be a covenant in the deed that states it the power of the past were to no longer be around the property will be returned to the county. This will be reviewed at the next meeting.

Ken Bass received a plaque from the board for his dedicated time and service as the county attorney. Bass firmly believes the commissioners have nothing but the best interest of the county and its community in their mind and thanks them for being great to work with. The new county attorney is Chad Smith.

Morgan Schofield


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