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Coop plans to attend ag disease exercise

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Emergency manager Terri Coop updated county leaders during her monthly visit with the Bourbon County Commission on Monday. Coop told commissioners she hopes to attend an exercise on the outbreak and control of agricultural diseases in October in Western Kansas.

"We border two state lines and have the largest sale barn in the area," Coop said.

She said she hopes to get proper credentials before the exercise so that she may fully participate. She said after meeting with a regional veterinarian for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, she learned there has been an "uptick" in requests for USDA investigations. She added that there is a non-harmful ailment going around that mimics the symptoms of hoof and mouth disease.

Coop also presented commissioners with informational packets entitled "What is Emergency Management?" which included links to four online training classes should commissioners be interested.

Coop also said she plans to get out into the county to let more people know what to do in case of disaster and how to teach people to "become part of the solution" should a disaster occur.

Coop also showed commissioners the brochure she had printed for an upcoming volunteer drive for the Citizens Emergency Response Team. Coop plans to start her CERT volunteer drive soon. She said there are three steps to becoming a CERT member: filling out an application, an invitation to join and training.

Commissioners sat through two executive sessions on Friday, one regarding non-elected personnel and one involving possible litigation. No action was taken on either.

County Appraiser Judy Wallis told commissioners that despite two years of drought, ag use values will be going up significantly this year. Kansas State University develops the formula for ag use values based on various soil types.

She said appraisal values are based on an eight-year average with the oldest year being thrown out of the averaging. She said drought considerations won't be taken into account until next year.

Ag use formulas valuate the production value of land versus the property value of land.

Commissioners also opted to keep the current hours at the Bourbon County Landfill after visiting Monday morning with Public Works Director Marty Pearson.

Workers at the landfill had suggested operating hours of 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, but Pearson said he estimates his employees would only be logging about 35 hours per week if that happened. Commissioners decided to keep an 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday schedule and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekends. The schedule would allow about one-half hour at the end of the day for accounting and paperwork and about two hours on Saturdays after closing to push earth around. The landfill will remain closed the Saturday before a Monday holiday.

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