County prepares for 2008-09 tax sale

News editor

County commissioners approved a request from County Attorney Susan Robson on Friday to begin work toward a tax sale for overdue 2008 and 2009 property taxes. More than $70,000 is still owed on back taxes for those two years, she wrote in her request.

Many properties on the overdue tax list are for small amounts. Commissioner Randy Dallke estimated there were between 15 and 20 that owed less than $20, and the list of overdue taxes is long.

“There’s a lot of ballgames here to play,” he said.

Chairman Roger Fleming questioned whether the county should go to the expense of a tax sale for properties that have small amounts past due, but the commission voted to start the process by having Hannaford Title & Abstract Co. begin title work.

Early voting planned for USD 410 special vote

The county will have early voting sessions from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at the Durham Community Center, 515 Douglas St., and June 11 at the Lehigh City Building, 110 E. Main St., for USD 410’s ballot issue to allow the district to raise its local option budget.

Early voting in the election is also available at the county clerk’s office at the courthouse. Regular voting will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 17 at the Hillsboro City Building.

In other business:

  • The county received a $207,339 check from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas for having less in claims than it paid in premiums. County Clerk Tina Spencer said she thought it was the largest insurance refund the county has ever received.
  • The county received $109,633 in sales tax revenue for the month, an increase of about 6 percent compared to the same time in 2013. About 47 percent of that was from the tax for the jail. Revenue is on pace to pay off bonds for the jail in advance of their due date, in which case the tax would be canceled at that time.
  • Hett Construction had the low bid to add a handicap parking stall and replace steps and a section of sidewalk at the courthouse for $5,300.
  • Spencer met in closed session with commissioners for five minutes to discuss personnel at Commissioner Dan Holub’s request. No action was taken on return to open session.
  • The roof of the Health Department building will need repaired. During recent rains, water has come through the roof, Spencer said.
  • Transfer station director Rollin Schmidt reported on the county’s recycling program. When the county takes recycling to Hutchinson, which has been about once a month so far, the loads have mostly been between 13 and 15 tons, he said. So far the program is cheaper than taking trash to a landfill.
  • The commission approved a raise from $12.83 to $13.08 an hour for Joe Vinduska at the transfer station as he has taken more duties after another employee’s departure.
  • The commission approved hiring three part-time workers for the Road and Bridge Department during the summer for $10 an hour.
  • Emergency manager Randy Frank met with commissioners in closed session for 20 minutes for his six-month evaluation. Fleming said commissioners are happy with the work Frank is doing.
  • The commission approved the 936-page regional hazard mitigation plan, which has already been approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • Donna Kreutziger and Neva Kreutziger presented quilts to Holub, Sheriff Rob Craft, and Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford recognizing their past military service. Craft and Crawford were unable to be present.
  • The commission and Spencer met in closed session for an hour to discuss county pay scales. No action was taken on return to open session. Holub said in addition to considering what nearby counties pay, he also wants to make sure similar positions in different departments are treated the same.
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