The Finney County Commission on Monday approved a draft of a memo of understanding that defines the responsibilities of the county and the City of Holcomb for maintenance of roads between the two entities.

Holcomb is proposing to annex a portion of Jones Avenue from its north city limits to the Loves store, including the Jones Avenue/IBP Road/Big Lowe Road intersection, according to County Engineer John Ellermann. Because Jones Avenue and Main Street in Holcomb are FAS routes (Federal-aid secondary highway system), the county has some responsibilities for their maintenance. The MOU calls for the county to continue performing snow removal, street sealing, centerline striping and pavement markings of the main driving surfaces, Ellermann said.

Holcomb will assume maintenance of the traffic signals, the added width to Main Street for parking, sidewalks, curbs and gutters and signage. Any projects in excess of routine maintenance will be negotiated in a separate agreement.

Holcomb already had approved a draft of the MOU, and since it was approved by the county, Holcomb will then make the final approval.

Also during Monday’s meeting, county commissioners approved an agreement that Dr. Bryan Stucky would serve as county coroner.

Finney County Coroner Dr. Scott Booker sent a letter on Jan. 17 stating that heresigned as coroner effective immediately. The letter stated that Stucky, also with Plaza Medical, agreed to assume the role as coroner. 

In 2017, then County Coroner Dr. Thomas Koksal (Plaza Medical) retired from practice and the County Commission appointed Dr. Booker. Recently, Dr. Booker moved his practice from Plaza Medical to Siena Medical Clinic at St. Catherine Hospital.

In addition to the coroner, Finney County pays a monthly amount to Plaza Medical for payment to the district coroner and all deputy district coroners that are other doctors at Plaza Medical, according.

In other business:

• Commissioners approved a rezoning of property at 500 S. Farmland Road from manufactured home park to a rural industrial.

• Commissioners approved a rezoning of property at 8540 S. Road 16 from an agricultural to rural residential.

• Commissioners approved an annual contract between the Kansas Department of Transportation and the county’s Noxious Weed department for the treatment and/or eradication of noxious weeds on state highway right of way within Finney County. The annual contract rates were raised for 2018 to $45 per hour for equipment and $45 per hour for labor. Last year's rates were $42 per hour for equipment and $41 per hour for labor. The county raised the rates to be more inline with other counties in this area, according to meeting documents.

• Thomas Walker was re-appointed as the non-lawyer member of the 25th Judicial District Nominating Commission for Finney County. His new term would run from March 5 to March 7, 2022.

• Commissioners approved a supplemental agreement to KDOT’s Federal Fund Exchange Program. The program has been a tool to use federal dollars on projects and materials without having to follow strict federal design standards and specifications, according to county documents. In June 2016, Finney County entered into an agreement with KDOT to exchange the county's federal funds for state funds at a rate of 90 cents state funds for every $1 federal funds. Last year, KDOT reduced the exchange rate to 75 cents state funds for every $1 federal funds.

With the exchange, the county is reimbursed for projects or materials that it is going to do or buy anyway. Last year, the county exchanged approximately $240,000 that was used to offset the Road & Bridge budget for the annual street sealing project. 

• Bob Sperling was appointed to the Finney County Committee on Aging board, replacing Rosa Esquivel, who resigned due to time constraints.

• Commissioners were approved for the following committee assignments: Dave Jones was assigned to the Finney County Local Emergency Planning Committee, Finney County Library Board, Finney County Aging Board (attends for information); and the Planning Commission (attends for information); Larry Jones was assigned to the Juvenile Detention Center Advisory Board, Building and Road Maintenance Program Committee, Parks and Recreation Fund Committee, and the Workforce Development Board; Dr. Bill Clifford was assigned to the Compass Behavioral Health Board and the Audit Committee; Lon Pishny was assigned to the Convention and Tourism/Visitors Bureau board – Ad Hoc Board and the Waste Management Committee.bDuane Drees was assigned to the Great Plains Development, Inc. Board, and will attend Finney County Economic Development Corporation and Fair board meetings.

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