The Atchison County Commission met Thursday, April 25, 2019. Present were: Presiding Commissioner Curtis Livengood, South District Commissioner Richard Burke, and North District Commissioner Jim Quimby. Susette Taylor, Clerk of the Commission was absent.

Chad Ottmann with Ottmann Electric was in to visit with the commission about an extension on the deadline to complete the wiring for the new heating and cooling system in the courthouse. Contract completion date is April 30, 2019. Due to uncontrolled circumstances related to the flooding he requested an additional week to two weeks at the most to complete the project. The commission granted the request.

The commission reviewed a cease and desist order prepared by Attorney Ivan Schraeder to be served on BNSF Railroad for failing to comply with Atchison County Flood Plain permitting. They will meet in special session on Friday, April 26, 2019, to vote on adoption.

Road & Bridge Supervisor Adam Meyer was in to discuss road matters.

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The Commission met Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Present were: Presiding Commissioner Curtis Livengood, South District Commissioner Richard Burke, and North District Commissioner Jim Quimby. Susette Taylor, Clerk of the Commission, was absent.

The commissioners participated in a conference call with the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments to discuss and review the contract with Workforce Development.

Rhonda Wiley, Emergency Director, was in stating the BNSF Railroad wanted to meet with the commission as soon as possible. A special meeting was organized for 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon to discuss BNSF and non-compliance with the Atchison County Flood Plain Ordinance and permitting process.

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The Commission met in special session Tuesday afternoon, April 30, 2019. Present were: Curt Livengood, Presiding Commissioner; Jim Quimby, North District Commissioner; Richard Burke, South District Commissioner; Rhonda Wiley, Emergency Management Director; Mark Manchester, Deputy Emergency Management Director; S. Casey Turnbull, BNSF; Dan Harrison, BNSF; Rick Johnson, RJ Corman Co.; Jeff Davis, BNSF Executive Director of State Government Affairs; Garry L. Garst, Atchison County Levee District; and Jason Garst, Atchison County Levee District.

Curt Livengood opened the meeting by expressing the desire to get everyone together to discuss the water situation on the bottom. He invited the levee district to attend as they know the ongoing water challenges in the levee system.

He asked the railroad representatives if they plan on honoring our flood permit ordinance. Jeff Davis responded that they don’t feel that it pertains to them as they are not building new line, but simply repairing existing line. Curt explained that according to FEMA, everyone doing work on the bottom is required to comply. Mr. Davis asked for a copy of the letter from FEMA stating this. Rhonda Wiley said she could get a copy of the letter for them.

Curt asked why they think they aren’t required to comply. Jeff Davis commented that according to their attorneys, the ordinance doesn’t apply as interstate commerce is exempt from local zoning. Curt asked if they ever get them and Jeff indicated that they have a Memorandum of Understanding with the Corps so he’s not able to say. According to Rhonda, the Corps of Engineers relayed to her that the railroad is obligated to abide by all local ordinances. More discussion was had regarding the legal responsibility of the railroad.

Conversation moved to a discussion about adding flumes and/or culverts to the project as they are repairing to prevent damage the next time flooding happens. There was much discussion on this aspect of the repairs, and at one point one of the railroad representatives suggested putting a flume under Hwy. 136.

Jeff Davis summarized that he will go back and relay that Atchison County would like a box culvert on the tracks around the 124/125 area and at Phelps City. One of the other men asked what the railroad could do to resolve this issue. Curt responded that if they would complete the one page flood permit, that would go a long way to show the locals that the railroad is doing exactly what they are required to do when they have to rebuild. Jeff reiterated that they are simply maintaining an existing structure.

The question was posed by the railroad, can they resume work? Curt said they would discuss the matter and respond as soon as possible.

After confirming Rhonda and Jeff as contact persons, the meeting was adjourned. The levee officials stayed and had further discussion with the commissioners regarding the steps going forward. Curt stated that he would call the county’s attorney (Ivan) to see what the next move should be.

Curt suggested, through legal counsel, to send a letter to the railroad agreeing to mitigation before proceeding with work.

The levee district stated they need a promise of adequate underflow south of Langdon near the 124.

Curt called the attorney and put him on speaker phone. Curt updated him on the meeting. Ivan suggested talking to engineers to determine what adequate underflow would be, and the railroad would be required to supply a mitigation plan for adequate underflow. The county will also request the railroad apply for floodplains permit. It is agreed that Rhonda will follow up with Ivan.

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The Commission met Thursday, May 2, 2019. Present were: South District Commissioner Richard Burke,and North District Commissioner Jim Quimby. Presiding Commissioner Curtis Livengood and Susette Taylor, Clerk of the Commission were absent.

Department monthly reports were reviewed and approved.

Emergency Management Director Wiley took Commissioner Burke and Commissioner Quimby to assess flood damage.

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The Commission met May 7, 2019. Present were: Presiding Commissioner Curtis Livengood, South District Commissioner Richard Burke, North District Commissioner Jim Quimby, and Susette Taylor, Clerk of the Commission.

Monthly department reports were reviewed and approved.

The commission hosted a meeting at 9:00 a.m. with the USDA Rural Development at the Velma Houts Building for all political subdivisions in the county. Amber Barnes and Cissy Behler were present to explain the details of the program.

The program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings. Thirteen political sub-divisions from the county were represented at the meeting.

The commission returned to the courthouse to continue the agenda.

Clerk Taylor presented a liquor license request from My Store, 711 S. 10th Street in Tarkio, by applicant Amir Raza. The request was for Original Package Liquor and Original Package Liquor Sunday. The commissioners voted to approve the application.

Presiding Commissioner Livengood contacted Governor Parson’s office, Congress Graves’ office and Senator Hawley’s office to voice concerns about the lack of a federal declaration in Atchison County and to inquire about all of them meeting as a group together with members of the levee districts and elected officials from Atchison and Holt Counties to see how we can assist them with making the state’s voice heard. All offices assured him that letters have been sent to the President with the request and the FEMA documents required had just been completed by them.

Road and Bridge Supervisor Adam Meyer discussed becoming a member of Sourcewell, a cooperative bidding program. He reported there is no charge for membership, but you must be a member to participate in the program. The commission tabled the discussion until Thursday.