July 5th BOCC Meeting

More Bulls Bullying, Landfill Made More $’s,
Public Health/Clinic Relationship Ended?

Board of County
Commissioners (BOCC)

-July 5, 2017


by Jackie Bubis,

The meeting started at 9 a.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call.  Introductions of the public in attendance followed.

The public comment time was extensive with citizens living in the vicinity of CR 390 and 391 coming to discuss their feelings about the cattle guards requested by Dr. Hamilton on CR 390.   The discussion was passionate, especially with Dr. Hamilton being unresponsive to calls that two of his mean bulls are running the neighborhood.  Apparently even before the BOCC meeting in Wetmore was finished, fences were being taken down on Hamilton’s property.  Calls to the Sheriff, to Chairman Kattnig and to the brand inspector only resulted in frustration as these bulls ran amok.

There were neighbors of Hamilton’s that stressed repeatedly that Hamilton is not a good neighbor, does not properly keep up his fences and has bought up properties when owners became exasperated with his bullying behavior.

There was discussion with Sheriff Byerly who adamantly stood with the folks being troubled by these bulls and the fact that Hamilton is simply blowing them off.  It was also revealed that these bulls are not tagged and are possibly spreading bovine trichomoniasis to neighboring cattle.  These citizen’s frustration at getting no support was evident.

The Board approved the minutes from the June 21st and June 30th meetings.

Commissioner Items

Commissioner Printz reported that he attended an Upper Arkansas Council of Governments meeting and that it went well.

Attorney Items

Attorney Clint Smith went to a meeting last Friday regarding a security issue for the county that he will report on in Executive Session.

The Board passed Resolution 17-12 honoring Under Sheriff Chris Barr, Sgt Mike Halpin, and Deputy Brandon Schoch for heroic service during the early hours of the Junkins fire.

The Board went into Executive Session for legal advice regarding the cattle guards requested by Dr. Hamilton and for Mr. Smith to update them on the security issues.  (The Executive Session lasted just over an hour.)

After returning to Public Session, Mr. Printz began by stating his opinion was that this was a long-standing issue of neighbors not getting along and wondered what place the county had in the matter.  He reiterated his disgust for the $150K the county spent on litigation, stated that his job was to protect the county, and rebuked, “If you guys can’t get along, I’m sorry.  Make a change.”

Commissioner Hood asked for clarification from the Wetmore citizens if Hamilton had even been called about the bulls.  Mike Halpin answered that he had and that two of Hamilton’s men had shown up, tried to round up the bulls on foot, were unsuccessful, and left.  She also stated that the Board had contacted the state veterinarian while in Executive Session and were told that Hamilton needed to catch and corral the bulls, and have them tested right away.  Gary Zeigler said he would send a crew to Wetmore to capture the bulls.

The two options that Mr. Smith iterated for the Board were: 1) To do nothing, simply reject the request from Hamilton or 2) To allow the cattle guards to be put in with the condition that the fencing be put back up that was taken down recently.

Halpin stated that either of those two options would be acceptable to him.  It was left up in the air, with Hamilton’s manager instructed to see if Hamilton will agree to either of those options.  The item may be addressed at the mid-month BOCC meeting.

Old Business

Mrs. Hood reported on the SIPA grant coming in for $3K for video streaming equipment.

Staff Reports

Rusty Christensen gave the Landfill/Recycling Report.  For the first half of the year, the income at the landfill is up $12K from this time last year.  Expenses are about the same.  The Board discussed the information that our county landfill fees are slightly lower than most counties our size.  Rusty recommended that we wait until January if we plan on raising fees.  Commissioner Kattnig agreed saying he felt that increased fees will result in an increase in illegal dumping.  While Commissioner Hood was okay with “wait and see” she stressed that money needs to be put away for long term planning.

Cindy Howard gave the OEM Report and handed out fliers for the Public Safety Days, scheduled for August 5th, and Community Slash Collection Event, scheduled for August 6th.  Mr. Kattnig mentioned that he thought the county would need to hire at least a part-time assistant for Howard at some point.  She added that the IT Department would soon require help as well.   Mr. Kattnig also suggested that the county might have to put fire mitigation requirements into the zoning resolution.

Public Health Nurse, Elisa Magnuson, gave her report.  AED’s have been ordered for the Wetmore Community Center.  The Public Health Department/Nurse is investigating options for their medical advisor.  The relationship between the Clinic and Public Health with regard to medical control has been ended.  Magnuson expressed frustration with clinic leadership on this issue.  (Note: this is not the first time that the clinic has refused to work with other entities in the community.)

The HR/Finance director Dawna Hobby got signatures she needed and had no updated report for this meeting.

The Veteran Service Office report was given by Tim Schwartz.  He reported 68 visits in June despite being gone for a week for the national conference.  He reported on several programs he learned about at conference.  The Board approved his report.

The meeting adjourned at 1 p.m.