Monday, September 12, 2011

Riley County Commission mtg 9-12-11

All Commissioners present.

Johnette Shepek, Budget and Finance Officer, presented a copy of a proposed 2012 budget brochure. After some discussion, a few alterations were suggested. Ms. Shepek will incorporate the revisions and present it again for final approval. The brochure will be available at the public library, all county offices, and possibly other sites.

Robin Cole, Director of Pawnee Mental Health Services, and Karen McCulloh, read a proclamation recognizing September 2011 as National Recovery Month in Riley County. The Manhattan Arts Center has an exhibit called "Unmasking Mental Illness" that will run through October 22nd. There will be an event sponsored by mental health entities in the city and county, free and open to the public, at the Manhattan Fire Station on Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Highlights will include a guest speaker, a balloon launch, and lunch. Interested persons may contribute to Pawnee's Unmasking Mental Illness Fund, c/o Pawnee Mental Health Services Endowment Assoc., P.O. Box 164, Manhattan KS 66505-0164.

Cheryl Collins, Museum Director, said the Historical Society and Museum will host a Kansas 150 lunchtime lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 12:00 p.m., at the Riley County Historical Museum. Ms. Collins will speak on "Flint Hills Families: the Poole Family." The final lecture in the series will be November 15. On Sept. 25, 3:00 p.m., at the Manhattan Public Library, Ms. Collins will be one of the people presenting at the panel discussion called, "150 Years of Tall Tales, Heroes, and Out Right Lies." Her contribution will be on Johnny Kaw (Out Right Lie).

Jennifer Wilson, County Extension Director, announced upcoming workshops on Medicare basics and on how to navigate the Medicare Plan Finder. Further information is available on the Riley County web site or by calling 785-537-6360.

Rich Vargo, County Clerk, announced the public hearing for County Commissioner redistricting for Monday, Sept. 12, 6:00 p.m., in the County Commission chambers. Commissioners are attempting to arrive at a plan that equalizes the three districts in accordance with the federal census. No definite action will take place because Mr. Johnson will be absent, but public input is eagerly sought. Clancy Holeman said the redistricting is by law required to be compact and equal in numbers. Traditionally, districts must not split precincts to avoid conflict with state districts. The count must be based on the census population and not voter numbers.

Leon Hobson, Public Works Director/County Engineer, updated Commissioners on projects. The project at Pillsbury Crossing was postponed one week in respect for the family of an area resident who died. North Otter Creek box is finished, and Wildcat Creek continues apace. At the shooting range, a consultant has provided the names of design specialists, and they continue to gather information. Rod Meredith, Asst. Director, showed the results of traffic counts in the Fairmont Park area. They are making assessments regarding which roads may be eligible to become county roads (others would remain township roads). Two township residents expressed their wish that all the roads in the area would become county roads. Paving and snow removal are considerations.

Clancy Holeman discussed a proposed resolution for Courthouse parking. The lot at Fifth Street and Humboldt presently has a $5 fine for parking longer than the one-hour limit. Some people (employees of the county) are known to other employees to be habitually violating the time limit. Discussion centered on how much the fine should be raised. It was decided by consensus that $25 was a good place to start. If violations continue, it may be raised as high as $50.

Someone suggested that the mayors of small cities in Riley County be allowed to speak in a public forum about the impact on their cities of the half-cent sales tax proposals.

Cheryl Collins asked Commissioners to choose material for the framing of exhibits displayed in the County Commission meeting room. Wood and metal samples in several colors were considered. Black metal was the material chosen by consensus. Collins mentioned that the Kansas Preservation Plan has been published, and it extends through 2016.

Leon Hobson presided over bid openings for two projects. The North Otter Branch Road bridge replacement received nine bids, and they were submitted to staff for study and recommendation by a 3-0 vote. The Jerusalem Road bridge replacement also received nine bids, and they were submitted to staff for study and recommendation a 3-0 vote.

Submitted by Lyndal Nyberg.

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