County Commission Sept 18, 2011
All members present.
Rod Meredith, Assistant Public Works Director/Parks Director, said that McDowell Creek Road is getting a great deal of traffic from people turning off there from Interstate 70. They seem to think it will be quicker than going to the Highway 177 exit. This is especially noticeable on game days. The result is congestion at the intersection of McDowell Creek Rd. and Highway 177. KDOT will be asked for permission to put up a sign recommending the 177 exit.
Meredith said that his department installed playground equipment in Leonardville. The department also worked on the Fairmont River trail, clearing out brush and widening the trail for easier maintenance. This is a joint project for the city and county. They are also working on sound deadening in the Keats community building and repairing a railing at Rocky Ford.
Jennifer Wilson announced progress on the Take Charge Challenge. This is an energy efficiency competition between Manhattan/Kansas State University and Lawrence/University of Kansas. The purpose is to see which community can save the most energy and best promote the importance of energy conservation. The winning community will receive $100,000 from the Kansas Energy Office to be applied toward future energy efficiency initiatives. The award will be split evenly between Kansas State University and the City of Manhattan. She said that KSU/Manhattan may be ahead, but there is still more time to improve their standing. Replacing regular light bulbs with energy efficient ones, having energy audits, and attending educational events are ways to add to the point totals.
Johnette Shepek announced the new county budget brochure which will be out soon. It will be available at the county clerk’s office, the county office building's entry, the public library and online at the county website. All budget information is available online at http://www.rileycountyks.gov/index.aspx?nid=30.
Greg Vahrenberg from Piper Jaffray & Co. and Mary Carson from Triplett, Woolf & Garretson LLC presented information on Public Building Commissions and how they can be a tool for financing public buildings, etc.
Julie Merklin, observer