Bourbon County Commissioners approved the purchase of a rubber tire excavator on Monday during its regular meeting. Commissioners chose a 2011 Hyundai 210W/9 rental model with 850 hours of use from Victor L. Phillips for $139,250.
Commissioner Allen Warren said the money will come from a $75,000 finance agreement with UMB, $20,000 from the road and bridge budget and $44,250 from sales taxes targeted for hard surface roads.
He said the revenue from sales taxes would equal 32 percent of the cost of the equipment and expressed confidence last Friday that it would be used at least one-third of the time on hard-surface roads.
"I think it could be qualified to use on hard-surface roads," Warren said. "It's probably the best option to clean ditches out."
The excavator comes with 42- and a 48-inch buckets.
Public Works Director Marty Pearson said he could probably put the excavator to work four days of most weeks.
Also on Monday, Dylan Marlow, director of security at the Southeast Kansas Regional Correctional Center, told commissioners Kyla Probasco has been hired as the new registered nurse at the jail.
Marlow said the SEKRCC had 70 inmates this week and 80 last week. He added they are paying to house multiple inmates at Allen and Cherokee counties, because Cherokee County ran out of room.
Marlow said there are some concerns about the other institutions' prescription drug policies.
"Once we send our inmates over there, it's costing us a little more money. When they are inside my facilities downstairs, we do things a certain way. We don't allow narcotics and things like that," Marlow said. "They go to Allen County and there have been several of them that have made trips to the hospital. I think a lot of it is self-inflicted, because they have figured out how they can get out over there and how they can get meds."
Marlow said he has been rotating inmates from facility to facility so they don't get too comfortable.
He also said 14 inmates had to be transported from Cherokee County to Allen County and back again due to heating problems at Cherokee County.
"I'm going to have to look into another option," Marlow said.
He said that although these places usually have room, it seems now they are getting to the point where his department is getting calls to pick more inmates up and find alternative housing for them.
Commissioners also discussed the ongoing reclamation at the Blake Quarry.
*Bourbon County resident Larry Quirin came by Friday's meeting in person to thank commissioners for recent gravel work on Locust Road. "The work far exceeded my expectations. Your employees are impressive. They are very professional," Quirin said.
*Warren suggested Pearson schedule a weekly call to Heartland Electric for a $16,500 bill which remains unpaid after subcontractors for Heartland used gravel from county roads to set utility poles in early September.
*Commissioners decided to renew an advertisement for $175 in the 2013 Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Directory.
*Commissioner Harold Coleman suggested that reflectors be placed to provide warning of a culvert east of Tomahawk on 235th Street.