Thursday, December 23, 2010

Riley County Commission

December 23, 2010
Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Kearns and Johnson present, Kearns presiding.

Commissioners discussed a building with a collapsing roof located in downtown Ogden. It had housed a dry cleaning business and there are concerns about environmental and health related issues. It was agreed the problem rests with Ogden and the Health Department should be called in to investigate. Apparently Ogden officials are reluctant to deal with the costs that may be involved.

Some discussion followed about companies interested in the development of the NBAF facility not willing to make commitments to move to Manhattan until the NBAF walls begin to go up. The Chamber of Commerce, perhaps related to the NBAF issue, appears to be looking at opposing the Living Wage effort.

County Attorney Barry Wilkerson said his office may have only one more trial that will take place before the end of the year. He hopes that will give Court personnel a chance to catch up on their backlog of work. He felt the year was successful in putting a lot of “bad guys” behind bars. His office is seeing more drug traffic as gang members move from one place to another using major highways such as I-70 and stop off at adjacent towns. Commissioner Kearns asked if young women in Aggieville were still being drugged and assaulted. Wilkerson replied the problem is more that binge drinking occurs in private residences then the people go to Aggieville and assaults occur. Kearns asked if some bars tended to have more bad incidents than others. Wilkerson suggested that question be asked of the police.

County Extension Director Jennifer Wilson reported her office had received a grant of more than $10,000 to hire a site coordinator to staff a free tax preparation service to be located at the Manhattan Public Library beginning February 1. Currently 23 volunteers have agreed to help. Many are student members of the K-State accounting honorary. Persons may apply for help at the Extension office located in the Courthouse beginning January 15.

Extension specialist Greg McClure announced a series of classes on farm management will be offered which are designed specifically for women and called “Annie’s Project”. He noted that women are often becoming the responsible party for managing the business aspects of the farm and need to learn how to determine the cost of production, understand financial statements, make marketing decisions and develop marketing plans. Sometimes a woman may inherit a farm or her spouse may find it necessary to hold a second job leaving much of the farm management details to the wife. Registrations are due in the Extension office by January 28 along with a $40 registration fee.

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