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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • County commissioner, counselor claim no conflict of interest

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  • Pratt County Commissioner Glenna Borho and Pratt County Counselor Robert Schmisseur both proclaimed their rumored conflicts of interest involving British Petroleum (BP) are unfounded.
    Borho said she did not know her husband and his partner had signed leases with BP, which, according to her, are outside the scope of the 20,000 -acre wind farm BP is planning for southeast Pratt County. Borho said she does not have a substantial interest in BP in the county, according to Kansas State Statutes.
    Statutes require an individual, or family; receive at least $2,000 annually to be considered as having a substantial interest. The lease signed by Borho's husband only brings in a little over $1,400 annually, thus, taking her out of the substantial interest category.
    "I think I know how to be above board," said Borho.
    Schmisseur said he received more than $2,000 from BP last year and his property being leased to BP is also outside the 20,000-acre wind farm area. Schmisseur stated he has extensive holdings with leases in Pratt, Gray, and Kiowa counties in Kansas and others outside of the state.
    Schmisseur said he thought anyone questioning his purported conflict of interest, should come to a commission meeting, or planning and zoning board meeting, to confront him with any evidence of a conflict of interest.
    "I'm your lawyer," said Schmisseur addressing the commissioners. "I don't vote."
    In other matters, commissioners:
    • were informed by Pratt County Veterans' Memorial Lake Supervisor Nick Birdsong that all facilities were up an available, including the fish cleaning station. Security systems at the lake will be addressed this week
    • signed an agreement with the railroad to put in a guarded crossing at southwest 40th Ave. The guarded crossing will be totally paid for by the railroad. A complete guarded crossing would cost about $210,000, according to Pratt County Road and Bridge Supervisor Randy Phillippi.
    • WPX Drilling (horizontal drilling) will be working on site development in the next two days.
    • approved Mark McManaman purchasing eight refurbished air bottles at a cost of $125 each. The bottles are used to operate air chisels, packs and bags during emergency situations.
    • discussed replacing damaged trees with Lee Rose. After a lengthy amount of time, Rose asked if he could get back to the county in the near future.
    • Discussed Pratt County Health Department issues with Director Debbie McGraw. There will be a car seat safety check held at Doug Reh Chevrolet on May 1st, from 9 a.m. to noon.
    • Visited with Robert Torres concerning older septic tanks in the county with more and more 20 years old and older needing to be repaired, pumped or replaced.

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