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Stafford County Board of Commissioners approve budget

Stafford County Commission

The Stafford County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022, in the Commission Room in the Annex. Chairman Wycoff called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.

Present: Todd Wycoff, Bryce Garner, and Clayton Grimmett.

At 8:30 a.m. the Revenue Neutral Rate hearing commenced for the 2023 Stafford County and Stafford County Fire District No. 1 budgets.

There were no citizens present. Commissioner Garner moved and Commissioner Grimmett seconded, to adopt Resolution 2022-21, A resolution of Stafford County, Kansas to levy a property tax rate exceeding the revenue neutral rate and 2022-22, A resolution of Stafford County Fire District No. 1, Kansas to levy a property tax rate exceeding the revenue neutral rate.

Motion carried 3-0. The regular budget hearing was then held. Again, there were no citizens present. Commissioner Garner moved, and Commissioner Wycoff seconded, to approve the 2023 budget as presented. Motion carried 3-0.
Commissioner Grimmett moved, and Commissioner Garner seconded, to approve the minutes from the September 7th session.

Motion carried 3-0.

Misty Rudy, EMS Director, and Dr. Fritz Farmer joined the meeting. A debriefing discussion was held regarding the major vehicle accident that occurred last week on Hwy 50. It was decided that Misty would put together first responder kits to equip fire trucks and patrol cars with emergency medical supplies.

Carl Miller joined the meeting. He advised that he had been approached by Wichita County to help them train a replacement appraiser. He explained that most of his time spent there would be on weekends. He wanted to make the commissioners aware that he would be doing this and how it would work as to not disrupt his time in Stafford County.

September accounts payable vouchers and checks were approved and signed from the following funds:
General 1,420.69
Road & Bridge 643.91
Health 70.86
Nox Weed 34.72
EMS 73.20
Motor Vehicle 118.94
Sp Cap Improv 5,000.00

TOTAL $ 7,362.32
The meeting adjourned at 10:05 a.m.

County Commission reviews delinquent tax properties

August 31, 2022 Stafford County Commission meeting minutes

The Stafford County Board of County Commissioners met in regular session on Wednesday, August 31st, 2022, in the Commission Room in the Annex. Chairman Wycoff called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. Present: Todd Wycoff, Bryce Garner, and Clayton Grimmett.

Carl Miller, Appraiser, Vanessa Cornwell, and Lisa Milton from the Treasurer’s office advised the commissioners that they were going over outstanding items regarding delinquent taxes. They presented information regarding oil leases that had delinquent taxes and have been sold at sheriff sales. They wanted to verify that since those were sold at a sheriff sale that the delinquent taxes can be abated off the tax roll. Mike Robinson, County Attorney, approved the abatement of those taxes. They also discussed oil & gas warrants for delinquent taxes that are over 5 years delinquent. Some of these have changed ownership and they are researching current owners for those leases and want to verify that the taxes follow to the new owner. County Attorney Robinson advised the treasurer department to follow the process to revive the warrants and pursue collection of those taxes. Also presented was an uncollectable 2016 personal property tax warrant for a business that has dissolved leaving no recourse for collection which will be abated.

Commissioner Grimmett moved, and Commissioner Garner seconded, to approve the minutes from the August 24th session. Motion carried 3-0.

Phillip Nusser, Road Dept, presented information regarding a bridge grant program. The program will run for a period of 4 years. There are 2 locations that will be submitted now and a third that could be submitted later. Kirkham Michael will handle the grant submission paperwork.

Private utility road crossing permit 2022-831 from Thomas Garner, Inc. to lay an oil line across NW 10th Street 1 mile north and 1 ½ mile west of 50-281 intersection was presented. Commissioner Wycoff moved, and Commissioner Grimmett seconded, to approve county road crossing Permit #2022-831. Motion carried 3-0.

Commissioner Garner moved, and Commissioner Grimmett seconded, to appoint Jake Meyer as treasurer for Feldhut Cemetery to fulfill the unexpired term of Julie Rewerts. Motion carried 3-0.

Commissioner Garner moved, and Commissioner Grimmett seconded, to approve the landfill permit waivers for Kansas Dirt, Inc. to demolish two properties in St. John and haul the refuse to the Stafford County Landfill. Motion carried 3-0.
Commissioner Grimmett moved, and Commissioner Garner seconded, to increase Phillip Nusser’s salary an amount of $6,000.00 per year effective September 1, 2022. Motion carried 3-0.

Rob Murrow, Sheriff, advised the commissioners that since they have been unable to hire another dispatcher the department will be going to 12-hour dispatch shifts.

August payroll and accounts payable vouchers and checks were approved and signed from the following funds:
General 193,960.43
Road & Bridge 55,711.00
Health 10,824.39
Rural Fire 4,520.00
Nox Weed 4,140.00
Appraiser 12,058.80
Solid Waste 4,989.62
EMS 17,525.05
Motor Vehicle 250.00
PHEP Grant 100.00

TOTAL $ 304.079.29
The meeting adjourned at 10:10 a.m.

Macksville native hired as Great Bend Co-op Branch Manager

The Great Bend Co-op recently announced Macksville Native Ned Oak has been selected to serve as branch manager in their Seward location.

The announcement, made via Facebook can be seen below.

We are excited to introduce Ned Oak, our new Seward Branch Manager. Ned is a Macksville native who has an impressive history of working in grain handling and location management. Ned and his wife, Lynn, reside in Macksville and enjoy spending time with their kids and grandkids! Ned also enjoys hunting, fishing, and metal detecting when he’s not running an elevator!

When asked why Ned made the move to Great Bend Co-op, he said “I am excited to work here because of how the co-op is structured. I have great help at Seward and great support from the Main Office. I also know several producers, so that is nice too!”

Stop by and meet Ned next time you are traveling to the big city of Seward, KS!

Macksville City Library expansion underway

After a ten year journey, the Macksville City Library expansion project is underway.

“In 2011 this journey began, and our motto was “Dreaming Bigger!” according to an announcement from the library. “With help from the South Central Kansas Library System, we consulted an architect and drew up preliminary plans. We then approached the City Council and were told, ‘If you can raise the funds, you can build it…'”

And so they did.

“Now, 11 years down the road, and hundreds of memorials, many fundraisers, numerous grants, multiple gifts, raffles, and donations later, we are breaking ground for the new addition,” the announcement said. “On August 8th construction workers are planning to begin groundwork on the addition to the library.  B&R Builders, LLC will be in charge of the project, using plans from William Morris Associates, Architects.”

“The new addition will extend east of the existing building and will offer a programming space, children’s book area, a handicap accessible restroom/storm shelter, central heat and air, hot water, and much needed elbow room for patrons and visitors of the Macksville City Library,” the announcement continued.

KBI reports death of Macksville police officer after search warrant ordered

Kansas Bureau of Investigation

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation High Risk Warrant Team, supported by the Kansas Highway Patrol Special Response Team, were requested to assist in the execution of a search warrant in Macksville.

On Monday, August 1, at approximately 12:15 p.m., KBI agents arrived at 410 N. Sheaffer to execute a search warrant for Michael Lee, 41, of Macksville, Kansas. Lee was a City of Macksville employee, serving as a part-time police officer. He was being investigated for the Crime of Sexual Exploitation of a Child.

When law enforcement attempted to execute the search warrant, Lee barricaded himself in his residence and refused to comply with law enforcement orders to come out. An arrest warrant was then obtained for Interference with Law Enforcement.

Shortly before 6:35 p.m., Lee opened the door and stepped into the threshold with a gun in hand. Law enforcement attempted to subdue him with less lethal techniques. At approximately 6:35 p.m., Lee shot himself to death.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information will be released at this time.

South Central Community Foundation grant cycle open

In their continuing effort to support organizations across central Kansas the South Central Community Foundation’s grant cycle opened on June 1.

Any 501c3 in Barber, Comanche, Kingman, Kiowa, Pratt, Rice and Stafford counties can apply, according to their website.

Applications are due August 31 and can be completed online by clicking here

“This year the Community Grant is capped at $2,000, the Children’s Health Grant is for $5,000, and the Teacher’s Grant is for $250,” the website said.

Grant decisions will be announced during the second week of October, the said, and an awards ceremony will be scheduled at a later date.

For more information about the South Central Community Foundation, visit their website,

Macksville Public Library features new memorial books

The Macksville Public Library this week announced they are honored to share recent memorial books with patrons young and old.

“In memory of Bob Buckman, the first ten Hank the Cowdog books, by John Erickson, were donated, as well as the book, Sit. Stay. Love. Life Lessons from a Doggie, written by Chalaine Kilduff,” according to the announcement.

Bob loved dogs, the announcement said, adding “it is on good authority that he was once quoted as saying‘How can you raise kids without dogs?'”

“This librarian agrees, and goes one further,” the announcement continued. “How can you have a library without lots of books about dogs?!  So thankful to add to our collection. And, this past weekend a grandmother brought in four grandkids, with one specifically looking for a Hank the Cowdog book.”

Another recent memorial book was given in memory of Twylla Suiter.

“Twylla loved books, including those by Debbie Macomber,” the announcement said. “The author’s latest, The Best Is Yet to Come was given in Twylla’s name, and has already been read and recommended by two patrons.”

“Memorials were also given to the building fund in memory of Twylla,” it continued. “We are thankful to remember this avid reader and beloved community member and friend in this special way.”

The final memorial book spotlighted here was given in memory of Mark Zwink.

“Mark was a graduate of Macksville High School, a pitcher for the Mustangs, and a lifelong sports fan,” the announcement said. “The book given in his memory is Right Down the Middle: The Ralph Terry Story.

For more information about these and other memorials, visit the library’s thanks and memorials page.

Work on Macksville Road planned

Pawnee County

Highway Administrator Kurt Demel reminds us that the time has arrived for road construction to begin on Pawnee County blacktops.

This year Heft & Sons has mixed 7,500 tons of cold mix asphalt which is 2,000 tons less than last year due to the rising cost of oil.

The asphalt will be used for spot overlays and repairs on our blacktop.

Road work will begin in the mid part of this week beginning on the Macksville Road (40th Ave) and moving over to the John Lewis Road (L Road).

After repairs are made in those areas the road crews will be moving out west to the North and South Rozel Roads, North Burdett & Burdett Cemetery Roads.

Keep an eye out for the guys out on the road and give’em a brake!

Two arrested after Pawnee County Feedlot theft

Pawnee County Attorney

LARNED – Ruben Lopez-Lupercio, 44, and Axel Elian Gomez-Saldana, 24, both of Larned, appeared on bond in the Pawnee County District Court, Tuesday afternoon for an evidentiary Preliminary Hearing on one count of Felony Theft of property worth between $1,500 and $25,000.

The pair are accused of stealing eleven heifers. Evidence presented at the preliminary hearing indicated an investigation was opened after a State Cattle Brand Inspector recognized feedlot finished heifers attempting to be sold at the La Crosse sale barn on December 10, 2021.

The matter was then referred to the Attorney General’s Livestock/Brand investigation unit who determined some of the heifers were branded with a brand registered to a Pawnee County Feedlot. With the assistance of the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Department, it was later determined that Lopez-Lupercio and Gomez-Saldana were employed as cowboys at the feedlot near Pawnee Rock, Kansas. They were arrested without incident at the feedlot on January 6, 2022, after the feedlot ownership requested charges be pressed.

Following the hearing, the magistrate judge determined the State had presented sufficient evidence to support the charge and bound the pair over to the higher court. Arraignment has been scheduled for September 15, 2022.

All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.