What to do with an unclaimed body sparked a resolution by the Dickinson County Commission at its regular meeting Thursday.
“We knew it was going to come up sooner or later,” County Administrator Brad Homman said of the issue of a deceased indigent. He said in 2010 the Kansas Legislature put the burden of funding the expense of an unclaimed body onto county commissions. Prior to that, SRS was responsible.
“We have had our first incident where we had a death that would be categorized as an unclaimed body,” he said.
Homman said the county had reached a contract agreement with the funeral homes in Dickinson County.
The agreement, which the commission approved, calls for a $750 fee plus expenses of cremation. The person must be a resident of Dickinson County. The county can use assets of the deceased to help meet those costs.
Homman reported on county sales tax collections for July.
“Sales tax is down a little bit,” Homman said. “I anticipate that we will probably see that go down a little more with the restricted access of Interstate 70,” he said. “That is certainly not going to help the issue.”
The Kansas Department of Transportation closed the eastbound exit and entrance ramps on Aug. 19. According to KDOT, it is expected to reopen next week.
Commissioner Craig Chamberlin said the westbound ramps would be closed next year.
Homman said sales tax figures are usually 60 days behind, thus the impact of that closure will be a couple months coming.
Chamberlin asked Doug Thompson, Chapman city attorney, about the Chapman sales tax figures.
“I think it has been staying pretty consistent,” he said. “They (council) have been pleased.”
Homman said the county’s annual sales tax projection is $1.1 million. The current figure is $849,000.
“We’re probably going to meet that. This interstate project could shoot us in the foot but I would like to see more than $1.1. There is not much we can do about it.”
Homman reported that the project to turn the former Navarre grade school building into a community center has been given a green light to continue forward. The Lions Club, through the county commission, applied for a block grant through the Kansas Department of Commerce for renovation costs.
After an inspection of the site and a visit with community members, the state will authorize an architect to do a study of the project, Homman said.
“That is a good sign. The state is behind that,” Homman said.
Homman gave a report on the county-wide clean up last week.
“The county took in 154.24 tons of garbage,” he said.
Cost to the county was $6,534.11. The five major cities brought in 68.86 tons.
“I would categorize it as fairly successful,” Homman said of the clean up. “We had a good week. It went really well.”
There was no clean up week in 2012 and total tons for 2011 was 149.24.
Homman said Kworc audited the Dickinson County highway shop, an audit which is done periodically. He said there were four areas of concern.
“All of which have been identified and taken care of. None of them would I categorize as major,” he told the commission.