It was a short meeting for Montgomery County commissioners Monday morning and after they approved the agenda with one change, minutes of the last meeting, invoices and correspondence, the Rev. Renita Butler, of the Friends Evangelical Church in Independence gave the invocation.

First on the agenda was Montgomery County Treasurer Nancy Clubine who requested an executive session for no more than 15 minutes which was approved. When Clubine and commissioners came back from executive session No action was taken.

Public Works Coordinator Robert Bever then spoke with the commission regarding a letter from the Federal Highway Administration about the Kansas Federal Lands Access Program for a project on County Road 4800 (Westernaire Rd.) which informed the department they were not selected for funding. "We have been denied so that one has come and gone," explained Bever. "The only one we still have going is the last of the three bridges. Talking to Kenny Blair, we found out last week that now this money will come from the feds." The State of Kansas also has the same program so Bever said his thought is why would counties get it if the state is going to be on the same program, why wouldn't they get it first because they control the money.

"If we had known that up front I probably wouldn't have wasted your time. There is still a chance but if we get it, it will be a miracle," Bever stated. "I'm just telling you I'm not counting on it after getting that letter back." He stated disgust at having put all the work into the grant proposal yet having the state get first shot at it.

The other item Bever presented to commissioners was regarding equipment. The department was having issues finding a used tilt top trailer and requested the commission give them permission to solicit bids for a new tilt top trailer. "I think I've found a (tilt top) trailer but if that falls through we might come back to this," Bever said. "Just keep that in mind."

Bever spoke of being approached by the city of South Coffeyville, Okla. asking for help in doing some work for them. "We do work for small cities within our county. We have a flat rate if they want to use a piece of equipment," he stated. "[South Coffeyville] has three lagoons down there, this is in Oklahoma, needing trees trimmed. We just finished up doing work in Coffeyville— the gun range and other stuff — for the city. But what are your thoughts on doing work outside the county?"

Discussion was held on the subject including Commissioner Ryan York offering the name of a contractor who could do the work for the City of South Coffeyville as they had done Labette County roads. State laws were discussed as well as the wear and tear on county equipment, liability insurance going across state lines and charges. Bever told the commission the work would take two to three days and they offer county help for a flat rate of $150 an hour. It was decided to give them the name and number of the proposed contractor and if that didn't work out for them, the commission would look into it again at that time.

"My last item is, I'm going to retire Nov. 30," Bever stated. "I thank you for the past opportunities. I appreciate it." All three commissioners thanked Bever for his service to the county and told him how much they appreciated his hard work.

County Clerk Charlotte Schmidt told commissioners Jason Clubine was unable to attend the meeting and asked her to bring the service agreement with Alliance Service for internet services at county facilities. "This is the same one we have had for quite a while and it's $300 cheaper than what we did get it for," Schmidt noted. She asked for a motion to enter into the agreement and the chairman's signature if approved. "That is headed in the right direction — lower," said Commissioner Larry McManus. "That is the word that caught my attention," added Schmidt. The Alliance Service agreement was approved unanimously. 

Independence City Commissioner Louis Ysusi approached the commission with two questions. The first question was in regard to services for smaller communities within Montgomery County. "What type of services do you offer? Do you enter into an inter-local agreement with some of these communities or if they ask and you are able to oblige their request, you say here is the fee and you are willing to do that?" inquired Ysusi. "The reason I ask is for the city commissioners, I think we are looking at getting together with the other city councils and commissions trying to find ways to operate more efficiently." The county commissioners said they do help cities in the county and his idea makes sense but it's just never been organized.

Ysusi's second question to the county commission was who did the overlay work on N. 5th St., the county's part, "Did the county do that or was that Heckert?" Commissioner York answered that Heckert Construction did the work Ysusi spoke of. "They can get it done cheaper than we can do it," added Commissioner McManus.

The next meeting of Montgomery County Commission will be Monday, Nov. 12 at 9 a.m. in the lower level of the Judicial Center, Independence. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.