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            The Board of County Commissioners met in special session in Hugoton, Kansas at Memorial Hall at 9:00 a.m. All commissioners and the County Clerk were present.


            The purpose of the meeting was to meet with commissioners from Morton, Stanton, and Stevens County as the four county consortium. Those attending were: Commissioners Shannon Dimitt and Martie Floyd, Stanton County; Commissioners Gary Baker, Dave Bozone, and O.D.Littrell, Stevens County; and Commissioner Allen Tucker, Morton County. Pam Bensel, Stevens County Clerk, Karla Dimitt, Stanton County Economic Development Director, and Neal Gillespie, Stevens County Economic Development Director, also attended the meeting.


            Mr. Gillespie gave a report on the meeting held between the four economic development directors. The group discussed what types of business could be pursued by the four counties. He said WEKANDO also needs a website.


            John Pinegar was called. He reported on the progress of House Bills 2434 and 2044.  Discussion was held on forming a Port Authority among the counties on the Cimarron Valley Rail line. The Port Authority would be separate from WEKANDO. It would include Haskell, Gray and Ford Counties as well as these four counties. Mr. Pinegar explained that federal and state funding for railroad improvements can not come to the counties. Funds have to come to a Port Authority. It was explained that if we don’t use the Port Authority there is no harm; but, if we need it, it’s there. The consensus was to proceed with trying to form a Port Authority. Discussion was held on meeting with the other counties involved. Commissioner Marty Long suggested that a delegation representing these four counties attend a commissioner meeting in the other counties to explain the need for a Port Authority.


            The commissioners authorized the Economic Development Directors to pursue information regarding potential types of businesses for this area.


            The meeting adjourned at 10:25 a.m.


Linda McHenry, County Clerk                                      Marty Long, Chairman