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Commission Board Meeting on Wed, May 9, 2018 - 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM

Meeting Agenda: 


4:00 p.m.

-KAC Recognition for Sheriff’s Dept. (Ken McGovern)
-Proclamation for “Mental Health Month” (Patrick Schmitz)
-Proclamation “Honoring Connie Fitzpatrick for recognition from National Association of Latino Arts and Culture for local food policy work”

(1) (a)  Consider approval of Commission Orders;
 (b) Consider a County Resolution directing the County Counselor to institute a judicial tax   foreclosure action in the District Court of Douglas County (Paula Gilchrist);
 (c) Consider approval of low bid for supply of highway de-icing salt (Keith Browning);
 (d) Consider approval of acquisition of easement for drainage structure replacement, Project No. 2014-66 (Kevin Sontag)

(2) Consider approval of contract for new election equipment (Jamie Shew)

(3) Determine the 2019 road maintenance budget for the Hesper Charter Road Improvement District (Keith Browning);

(4) Update on Harvesting Opportunity Symposium (Helen Schnoes)-No backup

(5) Executive Session for consultation with the Board’s attorney regarding pending litigation.
-No backup

(6) (a) Consider approval of Accounts Payable (if necessary)  
 (b) Appointments  
-Board of Zoning Appeals (1) positions 10/17
-Building Code of Appeals Board (2) positions 12/16
-Community Corrections Advisory Board (1) position 
-JAAA Advisory Council (2) position
-JAAA Board of Directors (1) position
 (c)  Public Comment
(d) Miscellaneous


6:00 p.m.
(7) Consider approval of a Special Event Permit application from a ReKinection Celebration event Scheduled for September 28-30, 2018 (Laura Lockton and Humayun Khan)

(8) Adjourn


Related Document(s): 
Meeting Location: 
County Courthouse
Street Address: 
1100 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044
Meeting Minutes: 

May 9, 2018

Thellman called the regular meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 with all members present.

Thellman moved to approve a proclamation declaring May as “Mental Health Month” in Douglas County. Motion was seconded by Gaughan and carried 3-0.

The Board approved a proclamation honoring Connie Fitzpatrick for her recognition from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture for her local food policy work. 
Thellman moved approval of the following Consent Agenda:
►  Commission Order Nos. 18-022 and 18-023 on file in the office the County Clerk);
►  Resolution 18-13 directing the County Counselor to institute a judicial tax foreclosure action in the District Court of Douglas County, Kansas;
►  Low bid from Independent Salt for the supply of 3000 tons of highway de-icing salt at a total cost of $140,550.00 for the Public Works Department; and
►  Acquisition of permanent easement for drainage structure replacement for Project No. 2014-66 (Str. No. 12.15N-17.50E) with the following property owners: The Stephen W. Crawford Trust, dated June 28, 2006 for Stephen W. Crawford, Trustee, 1777 N 1150 Road, Lawrence, Kansas, Tract Nos. 1 and 4; The Laurel A. Holladay Trust dated May 29, 2007 for Laurel A. Holloday, Trustee, 1201 E 1750 Road, Lawrence, Kansas, Tract No. 2; and Gwendolyn S. Olivarez, John S. Adams, Jr. and Susan J. Adams, 34190 Orchard Dr., De Soto, Kansas, Tract No. 3.

Motion was seconded by Gaughan and carried 3-0.

The Board considered the approval of a contract for new election equipment. County Clerk Jamie Shew presented the item.

The current election equipment was purchased in 2006 with a life expectancy of 10-15 years. The County has been building an equipment reserve in anticipation of replacing this equipment sometime after 2016. After an extensive selection process, the Douglas County Clerk’s office is ready to select, implement and deploy new election equipment for 2018. It is recommended the Douglas County Clerk enter into a contract with Henry M. Adkins & Sons, Inc. for the supply of a precinct based, paper tabulated election software and hardware system from Unisyn Voting Solution. Adkins has proposed a two-year warranty on all equipment which was above the requested one-year warranty which will save Douglas County an additional $50,000 for that covered year. The final contract presented with this proposal is $676,170 for implementation of the equipment by the August 2018 election with anticipated yearly costs, after the completion of the two-year warranty, estimated at $50,000 per year. This is not a new or additional expenditure for 2018.

Gaughan stated concerns about making the purchase without knowing the outcome of the Proposition 1 election. Shew responded he needed the approval in order to get the equipment delivered before the August 2018 election. The money is in an equipment reserve fund and has been anticipated for some time.

Thellman opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.

Thellman moved to approve the low bid with Henry M. Adkins & Sons, Inc. for the supply of a precinct based, paper tabulated election software and hardware system from Unisyn Voting Solution. Motion was seconded by Derusseau and carried 3-0.

Keith Browning, Director of Public Works, provided background on the creation of the Hesper Charter Road Improvement District (Hesper CRID). CRID property owners are assessed for a portion of road maintenance costs with Douglas County funding the remaining maintenance costs.

Last year the 2018 maintenance budget was set at $52,000 with the intent for the budget to remain at $52,000 annually from 2019 through 2028. Browning supplied a spreadsheet calculating the 2019 assessments required for each individual property owner (IPO) in the district. The spreadsheet shows Douglas County (in lieu of Eudora Township) contributing $32,939 of the total $52,000. This leaves $19,061 to be paid by the IPOs. Each would be assessed $453.83.

Cody Bryan, member of the Hesper Advisory Committee, stated the committee approves of the proposed budget.

Thellman opened the item for public comment. No comment was received.
Thellman moved to approve the 2019 Hesper CRID maintenance budget at $52,000 as lined out by the Hesper Charter Road Improvement District. Motion was seconded by Gaughan and carried 3-0.

Helen Schnoes, Sustainability and Food Systems Planner for Douglas County, presented an update about the Harvesting Opportunities in Kansas: A Symposium on Building Community Wealth through Food and Farming. The symposium will take place Thursday, May 31 at KU Business School (Capitol Federal Hall). The event is made possible by a collaboration with American Farmland Trust and US Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Marketing Service. The event builds upon a policy action item (1.1.1) in the Douglas County Food System Plan to support economic development priorities for food systems development. The Douglas County Food Policy Council is leading organization of the event, which has become a statewide convening. It will feature nationally-recognized leaders in local/regional food systems work from the federal government, non-profits, and land-grant research institutions. The focus will be to delve into ideas presented in the Harvesting Opportunities book published in 2017 by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and National Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Workshops will focus on content within a USDA Economics of Local Food Toolkit. Local event sponsors include K-State Research & Extension (Douglas and Johnson Counties), Douglas County Farm Bureau, The Merc Co+op, e-communities Douglas County, and Douglas County Community Foundation. Statewide partners include Sunflower Foundation, Kansas Alliance for Wellness, Kansas Rural Center, and Kansas Farmers Union / KS Beginning Farmer Coalition. Funding support will go towards a package of takeaway documents/tools for participants to use to advance the ideas/strategies presented at the event.

At 4:40 p.m. Thellman moved to recess into executive session to discuss pending litigation with legal counsel. The justification for this executive session if for consultation with an attorney for the Board of County Commissioners which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship. We will return to this room at 5:00 p.m. Attendees included: Craig Weinaug, County Administrator; Sarah Plinsky, Assistant County Administrator; and Mike Seck, Legal Counsel.

At 5:00 p.m., the Board returned to regular session. No action was taken on executive session.

Thellman moved to approve payroll in the amount of $294,288.63 to be paid on 05/10/18. Motion was seconded by Gaughan and carried 3-0.

RECESS 05-09-18
At 5:00 p.m., Thellman moved for the Board to recess until 6:00 p.m. Motion was seconded by Gaughan and carried 3-0.

RECONVENE 05-09-18
The Board reconvene the meeting of the County Commission at 6:00 p.m.

ZONING 05-09-18
The Board considered approval of a Special Event Permit application for a ReKinection Arts and Wellness Event scheduled for September 28-30, 2018 at 375 B 851st Diagonal Road in Overbrook, Kansas. The application was submitted by Laura Lockton, property owner of record. Sean Reid, Director of Zoning and Codes, presented the item.

Currently the land use is A (Agriculture) with surrounding properties also zoned A (Agriculture and Residential). According to the application, the event would consist of yoga, motivational speakers, holistic healing, kid activities, aerial and performing arts workshops and live art. Vendors would sell arts, crafts, and food and wellness services. The applicant said they will not sell alcohol or allow large amounts of alcohol to be brought in. Amplified music will end at 11 p.m. They will take steps to ensure attendees do not cross the property lines. 

Upon staff review, the following recommendations, if the Special Event Permit application is approved, are as follows:

1.  Approval of the three-day event for a wellness and arts event on September 28-30, 2018 from 8 AM to 11 PM.
2. Overnight camping will be allowed in designated camping areas only. No fires will be allowed within the camping areas. A fire watch is required at all times to prevent campfires.
3. A mowed perimeter of 30’ around the camping areas must be established to separate the camper area from taller grasses or untrimmed trees. Nothing is allowed within the perimeter area including tents, vehicles, sleeping areas, etc. Any parking area or areas with heat generating equipment must also be mowed. Codes in conjunction with the Clinton Fire will inspect and approve all mowed areas prior to the event.
4.  No smoking shall be posted in all areas; a designated smoking area must be established on hard surface using proper receptacles for disposal.
5.  All performance areas which involve structures will have adequate fire suppression equipment immediately available at the structure. A fire watch is required at all times.
6.  Hard surface roads accessing all main locations within the site will be constructed in accordance with and approved by Clinton Fire and LDCFM (Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical) prior to the event.
7.  A pre-event, health, fire/life safety, and ADA compliance site inspection, conducted by Zoning & Codes and Clinton Fire on the day prior to the event. The applicant must obtain health, fire/life safety, and ADA compliance inspection approval from Zoning & Codes and Clinton Fire prior to the event opening to the public. The applicant or his representative must be on-site for the inspection.
8.  The applicant must provide satisfactory evidence of General Liability insurance in the
amount of not less than $1,000,000. The policy shall provide defense and indemnity from any and all liability associated with the event to Douglas County, Clinton Township, the Clinton Township Fire Department, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical, and each of these entities’ officers, employees, and agents. The applicant must also provide evidence that Douglas County, Clinton Township, the Clinton Township Fire Department, and Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical are named as additional insureds under that
 policy for purposes of this event.
9.  ADA spaces shall be clearly delineated in the parking areas and signed in accordance with the ADA Guidelines and Zoning Regulations.
10.  Copies of all agreements & contracts entered into by the applicant for waste disposal services, portable toilet provisions, and security services must be provided.
11.  All permits required by Chapter 13 (Construction Code of Douglas County) and inspections required for construction of temporary structures (temporary structures shall include any tent over 120 square feet in area, any stage or platform, or any building intended for human occupancy or use), erection of food and beverage tents, portable generators, and any other temporary electrical services shall be obtained, inspected, and approved in a timely manner prior to the event.
12.  Map of the location of off-premise directional signs and signed forms from each property owner where a sign is located. Signs are not permitted on road rights-of-way and are limited to 30 sq. inches in size. The only information to be displayed on the signs are the event name, contact phone number, and directional arrow. Signs are permitted to be set one day prior to the event and must be removed and properly disposed of the day after the event.
13.  Site restoration to be completed within 5 working days after the event. This shall include complete removal of the stage, other temporary structures constructed for the event.
14.  8-15 parking attendants will be staffed 24/7. Security at the main check-in point can assist in directing traffic. The final number of parking and traffic attendants be provided
 to the Zoning & Codes office a minimum of 48 hours prior to the event.
15.  Entrance widening must be constructed and approved by Douglas County Public Works prior to the event.
16. No fireworks will be permitted. No fires will be allowed if a burn ban is in effect.
17. The County noise ordinance must be honored; any noise considered excessive after 11pm is prohibited.
18. No lighting shall project onto adjoining residential lots. Use of spot lighting or other glaring lighting should be prohibited.
19. Applicant shall ensure that only caterers licensed by the State of Kansas are contracted to provide food; caterers shall be bonded.
20. No alcohol may be sold at retail during this event.
21. The applicant must abide by all requirements imposed by Clinton Fire Township, LDCFM Agency and all Law Enforcement agencies.
22. The applicant must pay or reimburse all costs incurred by or on account of Public Agency activities associated with the event.

Reid said the impact of some of the proposed events may have a negative effect on the surrounding community. Based on information received, there was a fire on the proposed site (on a fire ban day) that damaged fencing and required multiple fire agencies to assist on March 14, 2018. Reid said the event is proposed for September, which has a higher probability for fires. There was an event held on April 27, 2018 that should have had an event permit. There were several noise complaints. The music ended at an appropriate time the first night, but not the second night. There were situations heard by the patrol division which leaves staff with questions and concerns.

Concerns stated by the Commission included: if there is an appropriate amount of liability insurance to cover any damage; the need for insurance to cover multiple fire agencies, whether a SEP normally covers overnight camping events, the need for insurance to guarantee reimbursement to Douglas County for damages, and having a sufficient amount of gravel needed for emergency vehicles to travel on the property in the event of an emergency.

Laura Lockton, applicant, stated at the April 27 event noise did exceed the noise ordinance cutoff. There were a large number of people that showed up that were not invited. It was published on Facebook as a family event. She said for the permitted event, she would abide by all ordinances. As for gravel, she calculated a need of 2000 ft. of gravel. She said employees and vendors will generate taxes for this event and she plans to give 10% of the proceeds to a charity. Lockton said she plans to do two of these types of events per year and feels they are compatible with the neighborhood. She said she works for an insurance company and has already obtained liability insurance for the event. She will restore the site within five day. Everyone will be notified of the rules. She has done several of these types of functions before in South Missouri.

Derusseau expressed concerns about how Lockton will handle the checking people at the gate and bringing in alcohol. Lockton responded no kegs will be allowed or public intoxication.

Derusseau asked how she will control the number of people as Lockton said more people showed up at the April event then were invited. Locked said she will use tickets and wrist bands. There will be a set number of tickets sold in advance and at the gate.

Derusseau said your April event did not have a permit and Lockton had started billing the event as early as February 2018 and nowhere in the billing did it list the event was for family only.

Thellman stated that she feels Lockton found out she had to have a permit and decided to bill the event as a family event. Lockton said there ended up being a lot of people because so many wanted to be involved. She was sorry it didn’t work out.

Derusseau said she would like to hear about the safety issues Lieutenant McCall witnessed at the April event.

Lieutenant Blake McCall, Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, stated he had heard there was going to be a big event at the property in question. On Friday, April 27, he received an email that said Laura Lockton called in acknowledging she will be having a small event at the property. McCall said this caught his attention that she was describing the “big event” he had heard about. He had received an email regarding a noise complaint for Friday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, it happened again. On his way to the noise complaint, he did a traffic stop on a gentleman who was on his way to a “big party out by the lake.” McCall asked the gentleman if he had to pay to get into the event. He responded “no” but he had to make a donation, which sounded like paying to get in. McCall said he decided to check out the location. On his way he encountered a young man walking west a quarter mile away from the event in the middle of the road with a guitar on his back. The man said he was out for a walk though there was nothing out the direction he was heading. McCall asked him to walk on the shoulder. He said the man looked like he had either had enough of something or was tired of the event. When McCall got to the event, he was shocked at the size and the number of tents. One was the size of a small circus tent. The grass had been mowed down to make pathways. It looked organized.  McCall said he felt the Sheriff’s office was deceived about the size of this event. It was not a small gathering. This was a big ordeal that needed a permit. Saturday night had two more noise complaints. McCall said Lockton was called but she didn’t answer. She had told the Sheriff’s office she would respond immediately. The deputy that handled the noise complaint had to wait until Lockton was done on stage before she could turn would turn down the music. That took a while. 

Thellman opened the item for public comment.

Jackie Craine, 1045 E 251 Diagonal Road, said she received fire damage caused at an event held by Laura Lockton on March 14. Craine said her pastures were destroyed. The fire came within 50 feet of her house. She said Lockton did not notify her there was a fire, she just left the premises. There was also a burn ban that day. The next day Lockton came to apologize and said she had no liability insurance. The liability insurance she claims she has she took out after the fact. Craine said the damage had to be turned into her own insurance company. On issue two, Craine said she did call 911 the night of the April 27 event. There were at least 50 cars, signs that said “vendors this way, patrons this way.” Craine said if Lockton is selling tickets to an event, it is a commercial event. She needs liability insurance and a permit. Crain stated concerns about the safety of individuals in the area, drinking, trespassing and theft. Lockton is planning on having these types of events every other month according to her advertisements on Facebook.

Steve Crane, 484 W 1050 Road, said he heard the noise a mile away from the event and had to close his windows. The amount of insurance Lockton claims to have of $1 million is not adequate for an event this size. He is very opposed to any future events.

Christy Khatib 1047 E 251st Diagonal Road, said neighbors are critically important in the country. It’s a relationship based on trust and mutual respect.
Khatib said she has grave concerns about Lockton being forthright and honest. Lockton didn’t take the necessary actions to keep people safe. Based on behaviors and actions, Khatib said she doesn’t feel Lockton will abide by the rules. She is advertising she plans to add a commercial retreat building people can come use at any time with cabins and fire pits.

Peggy Smith, 852 E 300 Road, said the entrance to the event was less than 400 feet from road. She is concerned about traffic backup and safety. She said a $1 million liability policy is not enough for a large event. She also feels this is not an agricultural event, it’s commercial. 

Saundra Hiller, 798 E 100 Road, said she lives four miles from the event and heard the music at her house which went on until 12:47 a.m. Hiller said she doesn’t want the trash, noise, alcohol or drugs in the area. Hiller feels Lockton will have trouble limiting the September event to a 1,000 attendees since she could not control the April event. She is concerned for the safety of her and her neighbors and is opposed to the event.

Gary Brown, 1055 E 251 Diagonal Road, said his first concern was the March 14 fire that came within 450 feet of his house. Second, the April 27 events looked like a carnival with about 300 cars. Brown said he is very familiar with what a permit process is and Lockton had disregard for that process. Lockton’s advertisement on the web said people are free to wander around in the woods. Brown said that is a concern. Before she changed her ad, Lockton advertised having an event in June, July, August and September. She hasn’t received approval for a permit for the September event yet. If the permit is granted, he feels this will be a perpetual problem. He is opposed the event.

Debbie Felkin, 5627 Chimney Rock Circle, used to live in the area. She came to support her neighbors in requesting a denial of the permit.  She said Lockton fled without warning the neighbors of the fire in March.

Dale Bergeman, 5262 Chimney Rock Circle, said at the time of the March 14 fire, he was in the process of trying to sell his house. It took 10-12 fire trucks and about eight hours to put out the fire. There was 20-30 acres of damage. Lockton came to talk to him about the September event but didn’t mention the April 27 event. He saw it was advertised on Facebook and feels he was lied to. He is opposed to the event.

Linda Carver, 1045 E 251st Diagonal Road, said the March 14 fire caused $24,000 in damage to her PVC fencing.  She said Lockton apologized but hasn’t offered to cover the damage.

Lockton said she feels bad that this was her introduction to the neighborhood and feels terrible about the fire. She thought her homeowners insurance would cover the damage. She didn’t intend to have so many people attend her event in April. About the noise level, she said the noise ordinance does not have a decibel level restriction. She didn’t feel the noise was too loud. If approved for her event, she would be glad to abide by an attendance limit as she would like to have other events in the future.

Charles Thomas, 673 E 475 Road, said it is Lockton’s future performance he is concerned about. The Board can only base its decision on her past performance, lack of insurance and permit.

Thellman closed the public hearing and brought the discussion back to the Commission.

Gaughan stated said tonight’s meeting is about a future event and there are concerns. He said Lockton’s Facebook page had 600 RSVPs. He asked how Zoning and Codes can anticipate numbers when the family event was not managed. Gaughan said the bottom line is we can’t predict the scale of this event so we can’t predict the appropriate level of insurance and public safety. We’ve dealt with some big events in the County with clear processes in place, flow of traffic and human traffic. He said this event does not meet the standards.

Derusseau said after listening to the comments and reading the packet she has concerns about overnight stays and fires. When the permit system was setup, it wasn’t designed for multiple days, overnight stays and camping. She feels this type of event is not appropriate for the rural community.

Thellman said even with 22 conditions set by staff, she does not feel confident Lockton will stay within those conditions and be sure safety and welfare of the community is protected. She is not in support of the event. On the other hand, Thellman said she hopes the neighborhood will give this new neighbor a chance to bridge hard feelings.

Thellman moved to deny the Special Event Permit application for a ReKinection Arts and Wellness Event scheduled for September 28-30, 2018 at 375 B 851st Diagonal Road in Overbrook, Kansas. Motion was seconded by Derusseau and carried 3-0.

Thellman moved to adjourn the meeting. Motion was seconded by Gaughan and carried 3-0.

____________________________  ____________________________
 Nancy Thellman, Chair                      Michelle Derusseau, Vice-Chair
 ___________________________  _____________________________  
Jamie Shew, County Clerk                  Mike Gaughan, Member