During their Tuesday meeting, the commissioners approved a contract with a lawyer to handle delinquent property taxes.
For the past couple of years, the Butler County Commissioners have contracted with Keyta Kelly, a lawyer from Tonganoxie, to handle delinquent property taxes.
During their Tuesday meeting, the commissioners approved a contract with Kelly for 2013.
Kelly is responsible for putting together the list of properties that will be auctioned during the county's next tax sale. Kelly gave the commissioners an overview of the process.
"There's a lot of little clerical matters in order to correctly initiate and complete a tax sale," she said. "Basically, the tax sale process takes anywhere from nine months to 12 months from start to finish."
Kelly told the commissioners she is currently working on properties with taxes delinquent back to 2008.
"This year 73 of them out there have not been redeemed," she said. "Our first step will be to contact the owners to give them the opportunity to pay the 2008 taxes in order to take it off the tax sale."
If the owner doesn't want to pay the 2008 taxes, Kelly will file a petition in district court. Once that step has been taken, a property owner would need to pay all of the taxes and associated costs to redeem the property.
"They can do that up until the time the tax sale starts," said Kelly.
Prior to approving the contract with Kelly, the commissioners replaced "aggressive" with "consistent" in the contract at the request of Commissioner Ed Myers.
Myers felt the part of the contract that stated the county was aggressively pursuing collection of the delinquent taxes was worded too strongly.
In other business, the commissioners:
• approved the purchase of printers by the CRI coordinator for the Sedgwick County preparedness program out of the CRI not to exceed $6,700.
Butler County is the fiscal agent for the region, which includes Sedgwick County. Through this grant program, each county is given $10,000 to spend as it chooses.
Sedgwick County has chosen to use a portion of its allotment for 53 printers.
Although none of the money for the printers will come from Butler County, the commissioners had to grant approval since Butler County is the fiscal agent.
The motion passed 3-1 with Commissioner Peggy Palmer opposed. Commissioner Mike Wheeler was not present.
• gave approval for the Department on Aging to enter a long term lease agreement with Kevin Unrein for office space at 2101 Dearborn, Suite 201 in Augusta to house the Butler County Department on Aging.
The department has outgrown its present office space. The initial lease will be for 10 years with a monthly fee of $2,816.
• granted approval for the Butler County Department on Aging to submit an order to the Kansas Department of Transportation for the purchase of a 13 passenger wheelchair accessible bus.
The cost will be around $62,000, and Butler County’s portion of that will be around $12,000.
• approved the purchase of galvanized bridge deck material for county bridge deck repair in the amount of $9,900.
• received and opened sealed bids for an asphalt surface overlay project on approximately 1.8 miles of SW Thunder Road.
The contract was awarded to APAC Kansas on the condition that all requirements are met after closer inspection of the submitted bid.
• received and opened request for proposals for property causality/workers compensation brokerage services.
• approved a revised personnel policy related to expense reimbursement for meals for county employees.