At the Butler County Commission meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 3, Health Department Interim Administrator Jamie Downs and Community Health Nurse Dawn DeKnight brought three items of business to the board of commissioners.

The first item was an agreement for clinical laboratory experience for Butler Community College nursing students. Every three years, the county updates its agreement with the college. It is the exact same agreement and basically indemnifies each party from any potential claims filed in regard to the agreement. There is no revenue or cost associated with the agreement, and it simply provides an opportunity for some clinical experience to nursing students at BCC.

The second item was a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Child Start, a local nonprofit organization focused on early learning. Butler County has been providing services to Child Start since 2013, and Child Start has requested an update to the MOU. The pricing included is the same as current pricing for services by the county health department, and revenue will depend on the number of youth enrolled in Child Start from Butler County. The MOU identifies each party and allows for termination of the agreement with 30 days notice. It's similar to the past MOU and does not add any additional services other than what is already provided by the health department.

The third item was a FFY2018 Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor (BFPC) local agency grant contract between the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Butler County Health Department. The United States Department of Agriculture, through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, offers the Butler County Health Department federal funding as the local WIC agency to conduct the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for WIC and BFPC. The continuation of this program allows the health department to provide federal nutrition services and breastfeeding education and guidance to the Butler County citizens who qualify and need the services. The total grant contract amount is $189,502 for FFY2018 (Oct. 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2018), with WIC administrative funds being $174,544 and BFPC funds $14,958.

The board of commissioners approved all three items.

Following Downs and DeKnight, Chief Information Officer Scott Stoskopf presented three items of business.

First, he recommended approving WindStream Communications' new price quotes and authorizing computer services to acquire three-year agreements with the company as Butler County's telecom provider. WindStream's new proposed rates include additional features and performance at a lower monthly cost; the county could save over $2,200 a month, $26,400 a year, by changing to WindStream's new solution.

Additionally, Stoskopf recommended approving a quote from ISG for SANs disk space expansion since Butler County is adding approximately one terabyte of data to the SANs every one-and-a-half to two months. Space increase is primarily the digitizing of old county attorney cases, register of deeds back history and appraiser’s documentation. ISG's quote of $19,466 is well below the $30,000 capital improvement plan (CIP) estimate, and the CIP difference could be used to reevaluate the county's backup solutions.

Stoskopf then requested out-of-state travel for computer services staff training at the "Spiceworld 2017" Spiceworks Conference in Austin, Texas to be held Oct. 9-11. Spiceworks has products that computer services utilizes daily to monitor, report and control Butler County's network and equipment. A staff member sent to this conference will gain training and insight to additional uses for those products. The cost estimate for the trip is $1,957.25, which is not to exceed $2,100, and computer services has a budget for this training.

The board of commissioners approved Stoskopf's three items.

In other items of business, Finance Director and Assistant County Administrator Ryan Adkison brought a third proposal to be opened for financial advisory services to refund PBC Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2005. Last week, the county received two bids for the services. The third proposal was actually in the county's inbox on time but was misplaced; it's still a valid bid. The commissioners opened the bid, which is from Citycode Financial of Wichita. They moved to accept the bid and have staff tabulate it along with the other two and bring back a recommendation. Adkison stated he's putting together the staff screening and selection committee to select a proposal. Commissioner Marc Murphy volunteered to be on that committee.

During public comments, Symphony in the Flint Hills Executive Director Christy Davis confirmed that the event will return to Butler County next year. It will be held June 9, 2018 at Rosalia Ranch, and the theme will be water.

County commissioner Ed Myers informed the rest of the board that Clifford Township Treasurer Wayne Hinz passed away recently. The other members of the township board recommend appointing Curtis Wiebe to serve the remainder of the term as treasurer. The board of county commissioners approved Wiebe's appointment.

Before the meeting adjourned, Adkison and the commissioners discussed information related to the Butler County Jail. Adkison mentioned that he's been transferring funds to the jail since 2016.

"They spend about 300,000 bucks a month, and they make about 170 [thousand dollars] or so in fees .... The good news is: going from 60 to 68 [dollars] in per diem, it's about 15,000 bucks more that they should be generating per month .... So there's about 4,000 bucks a day that they're needing funding for," Adkison said.

The inmate count at the jail, particularly for U.S. Marshal inmates, is still down – which is a main factor for not making enough revenue.

"It's about 50 prisoners light of what it can handle," commissioner Mike Wheeler said.

In addition, Adkison talked about the Detention Officer Retention Incentive Program, which started Feb. 1, 2017 and will terminate Dec. 31, 2017, and the Detention Facility Revenue Incentive Policy that was approved July 11, 2017 and will not apply to employees hired on or after Oct. 1 of the budget year. The program and policy are supposed to help boost jail staffing and inmate numbers while bumping up the revenue. The facility was understaffed 10 people as of Sept. 5.

"We implemented that revenue incentive. The hiring incentive is going to lapse unless the commission wants to renew it, which Will [Johnson] and I would recommend you don't. So it'll lapse, and that revenue incentive will kick in," Adkison said.