At the meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16, Juvenile Justice Services Administrator Ann Carpenter addressed the Butler County Board of Commissioners to recommend accepting the 2017 Reinvestment Grant in the amount of $72,702.97 to run until June 30, 2018.

"This is not a reimbursement grant to the county. These are dollars that were saved by eliminating putting youth in out-of-home placements. We've yet to determine whether that's a good or a bad thing – it's still too early. I'll be frank: we are struggling with providing services and appropriate placement for youth who should not be in their home – or cannot .... But we're working on that," Carpenter said.

This grant supports the regional collaborative grant to provide services for those youth in the community who are no longer being placed out of home.

"Sedgwick County is, frankly, being a great partner. The next step is that they will be opening up their temporary secure shelter for our KDOC [Kansas Department of Corrections] kids who can't go back home but need a temporary out-of-home placement," Carpenter said.

There is no match requirement for the grant, and a separate fund will be developed to track and account for all grant dollars.

The board of county commissioners approved the acceptance of the grant award.

Next, Chief Information Officer Scott Stoskopf requested authorization for Butler County Computer Services to purchase 12 months of CrowdStrike's Endpoint Protection Platforms Advanced, Falcon Platform Standard, OverWatch and support. This purchase is a result of last September's cyber attack, and Stoskopf explained that the CrowdStrike next-generation malware and cyber security monitoring will provide around-the-clock monitoring of every device on the county's network, as well as network traffic.

"We can, at the end of the year, evaluate whether or not we think the risk is still there," Stoskopf said.

The one-year cost for the CrowdStrike product and services is $18,346. The board of commissioners approved the purchase.

Later in the meeting, Public Works Director and County Engineer Darryl Lutz recommended approving a cost proposal for project surveying and preliminary engineering related to planned improvements at the intersection of SW Butler Road and SW 150th Street.

Butler County has a major improvement project planned for that intersection, and the county commission previously authorized staff to develop a scope and fee for engineering services for a two-phase project design approach. The first phase of the design will be to evaluate two intersection improvement options, which would include presenting concepts in a public, town-hall setting. The options to be considered are the construction of a traditional four-way intersection with traffic signals or the construction of a roundabout-type intersection. The second phase of the project will include final design, construction drawings and specifications after the improvement option has been chosen.

The Butler County Department of Public Works has been working with the firm TranSystems, Inc. of Wichita to develop a scope and fee proposal for phase-one engineering work. The cost of this phase is estimated to be approximately $94,000, which includes about $34,000 for the study and $60,000 for surveying. The cost for final design work is estimated to be in the range of $150,000-$250,000, depending on the intersection option selected and the final scope of work for engineering services. Subsequent construction costs aren't included in the costs of those two phases.

"The total project is about a four-to-five million dollar project for the entire mile of roadway that's going to be built by the intersection," Lutz said.

The project is planned in the county's capital improvement plan (CIP) and is in the approved Wichita Area Planning Organization Transportation Improvement Program for federal aid funding. The cost for both phases of design is below the CIP estimate.

The board of commissioners approved the estimated cost of engineering services for preliminary intersection design work.

Next, Lutz requested authorization to solicit proposals for contracting highway striping and re-striping work for 2018. Lutz expects that about 160 to 180 miles of county-maintained roads will be striped this year. Prior to 2016, Butler County used its own forces for annual striping or re-striping of paved, county-maintained roads. The striping work requires a highway painting rig, a specialized piece of equipment, and ties up personnel and other equipment resources for four weeks or more each summer.

In 2016, the county commission opted to start contracting the road striping and re-striping work. The county also implemented a revised striping program to re-stripe existing paint stripes every other year instead of every year. At Tuesday's meeting, Lutz proposed increasing the mil thickness requirement on the paint stripes in an attempt to improve the longevity and performance of the retro-reflectivity of the paint stripes. The price of annual striping work is expected to increase to approximately $150,000 as a result, but that amount should still end up less than the cost of re-striping every year. This item is budgeted for in the 2018 operations budget of the road and bridge fund.

The board approved the solicitation of proposals.

Then, Lutz and the board of commissioners held a work session to discuss possible project candidates to submit to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) for federal aid through High Risk Rural Roads (HRRR) funding.

KDOT administers a federal aid program for funding of roadway-related safety improvement projects under the HRRR program. Butler County has utilized program funding in the past for several road and intersection safety improvement projects. This year, the county's project application will be eligible for special consideration if a project is selected that has been identified as a priority project through the Local Road Safety Plan (LRSP) development process. The LRSP is intended to identify systemic safety improvements that will reduce risks associated with higher-than-average accident locations.

Butler County is one of four counties in Kansas that is participating in a pilot program to develop a model local road safety planning process. Butler County's plan is not complete, but a tentative project priority list has been developed – and KDOT has indicated that any projects on that list would be eligible for extra consideration. Lutz presented a summary list of high-scoring safety improvement projects to the county commission for review and discussion, with the intention of identifying one more of the project candidates for possible submission for HRRR funding. KDOT allocates $3,000,000 annually for program funding, and the project maximum is typically $500,000. Any projects submitted to KDOT this year would be considered for funding in FFY 2020, and any proposed project would be programmed in the county's CIP.

"I'd like to lean toward maybe a project application for the curves there at Butler and Parallel and then maybe, in a couple years, apply for the curves on Santa Fe Lake Road and Adams," Lutz said.

Lutz will return to the county commission with an application, which is due Feb. 1.

In other items of business, the board of commissioners were reminded that their visit to meet with legislators in Topeka has been rescheduled from Jan. 31 to Feb. 7.