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County, Ellis representatives discuss shop's future

10/2/2012

By DAWNE LEIKER

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

As they look for answers to determine the future of the old Ellis public works shop building, Ellis County commissioners gave County Administrator Greg Sund authority to begin the legal process for disposal of the building.

Sund will meet with County Counselor Bill Jeter to determine the next step in advertising for proposals for the building.

"I think the sentiment is to keep it intact if we at all can," said Commissioner Glenn Diehl. "I think that's what the people of Ellis want."

Commission Chairman Swede Holmgren reminded commissioners the city of Ellis had expressed no interest in the building when asked for input last year by Ellis County commissioners.

The 14,000-square-foot building is located on a 2-acre plot used by Ellis County Public Works personnel.

An additional 4.4 acres adjacent to the building also is used by Ellis County to store millings.

Representing the Ellis Industrial Development Corp., Travis Kohlrus, Ellis, addressed county commissioners regarding the property.

"We hear of interest about getting use out of that building ... seems to always dead-end at the end of some road," Kohlrus said.

He asked commissioners what they hoped to accomplish with the property and expressed an interest in working with a business entity to develop a business plan using the property.

In other business, commissioners:

* Approved Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball's 2011 audit report.

* Received an update from Public Works Director Mike Graf regarding a Kansas Department of Transportation local consult meeting.

* Tabled discussion of the county's comprehensive plan until the Oct. 15 meeting to allow commissioners time to review the document.

* Discussed upcoming meetings, including the 2012 Fall Kansas County Officials and Highway Association, Kansas Legislative Policy Group and Kansas Association of Counties.

* Voted 3-0 to make lump sum contributions for the county's share of high-deductible health insurance plans for employees.

* Reclassified the position formerly classified as assistant deputy county clerk/payroll accounting clerk from range 29 to range 30, resulting in a 5-percent pay increase.

* Received an update from Sund on a job description for a newly created GIS position.

* Discussed options for choosing financial consultants for possible bond issues.

* Were given a progress report by Sund on Rural Water District #1C KANSTEP application.

* Conducted Sund's employment evaluation during an executive session.