Riley County Commission July 24, 2017

Riley County Commission July 24,

Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Wells and Wilson present, Rodriguez absent.

Lori Feldcamp, director of Big Lakes Developmental Center, reported the Legislature approved a 3% increase in funding for developmental disabilities centers this year.  The two year budgeting process provides for a similar increase for a following year.  Feldcamp says the increase will allow Big Lakes to raise hourly salaries to $11.  Low salaries have made it difficult to attract employees and keep positions filled.  The increase in funding is the first for Kansas’ developmental disabilities centers in nine years.

Feldcamp said BLDC is initiating a drive to raise endowment funds to provide the agency security against budget cuts in the future.

Riley County Extension Director Jennifer Wilson said efforts are underway to prepare for the Riley County Fair to be held July 27 through 31.  Admission is free and a $25 wristband allows the person to enjoy all rides from 6-10 pm each night. The Kaw Valley Rodeo will also be held at the Fair July 27, 28 and 29 in Wells Arena starting at 8 pm. This year the announcer will be on horseback in the ring.  Entries are coming in from many states.

The Tax Auction on delinquent ad valorem property is scheduled for August 16th.  Persons interested should check the County website.

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USD 383 Board of Education, July 5, 2017

Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer

Board members elected Darell Edie to serve as board president.  Both Curt Herrman and Leah Fliter were nominated for vice-president.  Board members voted by ballot and elected Mr. Herrman to serve.  The board also approved several other routine annual appointments.

The board received an update from Lew Faust, Dir. of Business Services, about budget planning.  Both sides of the school funding lawsuit have filed their briefs.  The state maintains that the proposed budget is adequate, and if the Supreme Court finds otherwise, the Legislature should be allowed to fix it.  The plaintiffs claim the proposed funding is inadequate and believe schools should close on Aug. 1 if the funding isn’t fixed.  Mr. Faust also reported that he had just been notified that the district’s budget authority had increased, and he had not had time to develop a report.

Board members approved front door and window replacement for Lee Elementary because both had been damaged in a automobile accident in April.  The driver’s insurance covered the replacement expenses.  The board also approved sanitary sewer repairs at MHS West Campus and an HVAC piping replacement at Anthony.

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Riley Count Commissioners Board Meeting, June 26, 2017

Board of Riley County Commissioners June 26, 2017

Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Wells, Rodriguez and Wilson present, Wells as chair.

Robbin Cole, director of Pawnee Mental Health Services, said the news from the legislative session this year is basically positive. Community mental health facilities are allowed to exempt guns from their premises and first responders may now administer medication to deal with opioid abuse.

Osawatomie State Hospital continues to lose $1 million a month because of lack of federal certification; however, issues affecting patients have been corrected and remaining deficiencies involve food service and policies. Governor Brownback still would like to privatize State hospitals.

Jane Freyenberger, WIC Supervisor, presented the Kansas Local Health Department Agency’s proposed budget to cover WIC and breastfeeding services for Riley County, Fort Riley and Pottawatomie County. All federal funds are involved. The Commissioners approved the $874,161 request for FY 2018.

County Counselor Clancy Holeman presented a request for a fence viewing. Kansas Statutes require that the board of county commissioners shall act as “fence viewers” upon request. The Commissioners asked Holeman to find an agreeable time involving all the Commissioners and parties involved.

The Director of the Riley County Museum, Cheryl Collins, encouraged people to attend a presentation by Allana Saenger Parker, “Summer Outside the City: Eureka Lake Resort”. The lake once existed about where the Flint Hills Job Corps is now. It involved an amusement park and resort that attracted tourists from as far away as Chicago. Parker will speak at 7:00 p.m. at the Manhattan Public Library on Wednesday, June 28.

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Riley County Law Board, June 19, 2017

Observer: Greg Wurst

The Riley County Law Board met at noon on Monday, June 19.
There were general comments on a Manhattan Mercury editorial which stated that the RCPD was not timely in responding to their requests for information. The gist was that the RCPD had to work at it’s own pace and was not responsible for commenting before the Mercury press time.

There was no public comment on the proposed 2018 budget which was passed.

There was a 30 minute executive session.

Captain Schoen reported that Coplogic software has been tried and is not being used because it was supposed to cut down on paperwork, but it is more important for an officer to respond rather than just make a computer report.
Meeting was adjourned.

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USD 383 Board of Education, June 7, 2017

Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer

Lew Faust, Dir. of Business Services, reported on the school finance bill, which passed both the House and the Senate Monday night.  The bill will need to be evaluated by the Supreme Court to determine if it adequately meets academic needs.  Mr. Faust speculated that there might be issues with the bill, and hopefully, a new deadline will be set that will allow any inadequacies to be addressed.  The bill established the state foundation aid at $4,006 per pupil, which is an increase from the current $3,852 per pupil.  Next year, the state foundation aid will be $4,128, and after that, increases will be based on the Midwest Consumer Price Index.  Other features of the bill included funding for all-day kindergarten, increased funding for at-risk, and increased funding for special education.  Transportation funding saw little change, and virtual education funding was the same.  Determining the enrollment count was more complicated than in the past, and for some programs, funding will be based on the current year’s enrollment instead of the previous year’s, which could result in the state needing to come up with additional funds for a program.  Mr. Faust said the new finance formula feels a lot like the old formula.  Dave Colburn wanted to remind everyone that this happened because of the Supreme Court.

Mr. Faust provided the board with updated information for budget planning.  Health insurance was expected to increase by 7%, which amounts to $315,000.  Overtime decreased by $50,000, which was attributed in part to increased pay for bus drivers, being able to hire enough drivers, and then not needing other staff to drive overtime.  The general fund budget authority was projected to increase by $2.5 million, the supplemental fund was projected to increase by $538,000, and the cost of living authority was projected as $785,000.  Leah Fliter commented that the board has been complaining about funding, and if the board starts using the additional authority for property tax relief and not for the classroom, she will complain.

The board received an annual report on district health services.  Of the school population, 88% of students received health services, and there were 71,199 visits to school nurses.  The board received a report on MHS athletics and activities, with 69% of students participating in an activity.  There had been an effort the past year to get more freshmen involved.  The board was also provided with reports on early childhood programs and professional development and collaboration.

The board approved adopting curriculum for early learning programs, the purchase of anti-virus computer software ($47,522), and the purchase of theatrical lighting for Rezac Auditorium at MHS ($75,500).

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Riley County Commission, May 22 and May 25, 2017

Riley County Commission May 22, 2017

Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Wells, Rodriguez and Wilson present, Wells chair.

During the open comment period Commissioner Wells expressed frustration at recent remarks made by Representative Ron Highland that Wells felt downplayed the serious fiscal situation now facing the State.  He and Commissioner Rodriguez spoke against any plans to raise State funds by increasing the cost of utilities.  Wells said the State should face the funding problems for schools openly and fairly, not by imposing hidden burdens on poor and elderly persons by taxing basic utilities such as gas and electric services.

Pat Collins, Emergency Management Director, said Riley County Fire District #1 just completed a classification audit from the Insurance Services Organization.  The ISO evaluates municipal fire protection efforts in communities throughout the country.

According to Collins the report was mostly positive.  All but four stations received an upgrade in status.  Ashland, Peach Grove, Mayday and parts of Hunters Island, however, were downgraded.

A legislative report presented by County Counselor Clancy Holeman essentially indicated most work remains on hold until the questions of funding for schools and the basic State budget are resolved.

County Commission May 25, 2017

Commissioners Wells, Rodriguez and Wilson present, Wells chair.

Commissioners approved a resolution reappointing the County Appraiser.

Craig Cox, Assistant County Attorney, asked Commissioners to approve or disapprove an agreement to accept Via Christi’s proposed increase in management fees pertaining to ambulance services. Via Christi allowed the Board until May 30, 2017, to either continue the current arrangement of ambulance operations or accept a termination date effective December 1, 2017.

The Commissioners agreed to send a letter to Via Christi accepting the services termination date as of midnight November 30, 2017.  Most likely the ambulance staff at the hospital will move over and become County employees.   It is estimated the change will result in $200,000 or more in savings to the County.

Commissioners approved a Health Department request to submit a letter to the Caroline Peine  Charitable Foundation for a grant to develop a quality improvement program to support and train family child care providers.  The Commissioners approved the request.

Kevin Howser, IT/GIS Director, said search and rescue operations are being utilized in locating Little  Apple bicycles.   The project is being used for training the search and rescue operators.

Country Stampede will be held June 22 through 24.

The 29th annual Garden Tour is scheduled for Sunday June 11.

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Riley County Commission, April 24, 2017 and April 27, 2017

Riley County Commission April 24, 2017

Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Wells, Rodriguez and Wilson present, Wells presiding.

Robbin Cole, Director of Pawnee Mental Health Services, said the association of community mental health providers still has funding requests pending when the Legislature returns.  Of particular concern is getting the 4% cuts in Medicaid reimbursements restored to previous levels.

Other concerns involve the lack of adequate crisis care at community levels.  Local crisis centers would reduce the problems of mentally ill persons winding up in jails or in regular hospitals not prepared to deal with mental health treatment.  Ossawatomie State Hospital still has not met  federal re-certification requirements.  A major problem for the hospital is lack of qualified staff.  Kansas continues to look into the possibility of privatization.

Jennifer Green, Health Department Director, said the Department has prepared a letter of request for funds available through the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation Deihl Fund.  The amount requested is $289,226.58 for a three year grant to provide health services to USD 383 students living in families without stable housing.  She said homeless youth face significant health issues beyond those of other students.  The grant funds would provide for a full time nurse, a Spanish language interpreter and transportation costs.  The Commission voted to submit the grant proposal.

It was announced that the new security requirements at the Courthouse begin today.  The east entrance is the only entrance.  South and west doors will be used as exits only.


 Riley County Commission April 27, 2017

Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Rodriguez and Wilson present, Wells joined the meeting at 10:50.

County Counselor Clancy Holeman reported that a draft for an interlocal agreement to allow County law enforcement to use Range 27 at Ft. Riley for firearms training has been developed and is ready to submit to the Attorney General for informal review.

Kevin Howser, IT/GIS Director, said his office is continuing to inform County staff about safe security measures to guard against malware and viruses.  He is looking into the possibility of expanding the Geographic Information System as WIFI becomes more available in the community.

Shelly Williams, Community Corrections Director, described the lengthy process of preparing the agency’s 125 page plan required for submission to the Legislature.  The Governor’s budget recommendation is for 8% lower funding for community corrections.  She also presented a budget for a Behavioral Health Grant designed to reduce recidivism.  The Commission approved both applications.


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Riley County Commission Meeting, April 3, 2017

Report on the Board of Riley County Commissioners Meeting for April 3, 2017

Topics of the Business Meeting

Observer:  Bill Shenk-Hamlin

  • Commissioners proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention month. The proclamation asserted that children are the key to the State’s future and so they have a right to be safe. Since child abuse and neglect can be prevented, our community should provide help to that end.
  • Drew and Amber Vennum petitioned the County Commission to rezone a tract of land from “AG” (Agricultural District) to “C-PUD” (Commercial Planned Unit Development). The land is approximately 50 acres in size and located just south of Randolph township overlooking Tuttle Creek Lake. Secrest Road accesses the area. The Vennums want to purpose the land for conferences, retreats, meetings and other social and recreational uses. Commissioners were mostly focused on accessing the site using Secrest Road, which is unpaved. The site could potentially receive a substantial number of visitors from April to October and a gravel road, they thought, is simply not safe enough to handle the traffic. The petition was tabled until Secrest Road is improved. There are no plans to pave Secrest.
  • The minutes for the March 27, 2017 meeting were approved.

Press Conference Topics

  • Captain Josh Kyle of the RCPD provided information about police calls and citations during Fake Patty’s Day. This year, FPD experienced fewer citizen generated calls for service than in previous years. Calls to RCPD generally concern noise, parking, checking the welfare of participants, unruly participants, and non-injurous accidents. Of the five, parking and welfare issues had the most calls. The lowest number of citations were written this year in comparison to earlier years. Of the total, most were written for possession of an open container in public and parking violations. RCPD theorizes that the cold and rainy conditions over FPD reduced the police calls and citations.
  • Cherl Collins reported that the Riley County Historical Society will hold its annual program and dinner meeting on April 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Zeandale Community Church. Anyone may attend if they make a reservation and pay $13 for the dinner.
  • Leon Hobson, Public Works Director, reported on the status of various road and bridge construction site in Riley County.
  • Cindy Volanti, Human Resource Manager, asked Commissioners to retain the Columbus Day employee training program for 2017, to add a urinalysis technician for the Community Corrections Department, and to make a change in their workers’ compensation and leave policy. All three requests were approved.
  • Monty Wedel, Planning Projects Director, discussed an area north of Tuttle Creek Blvd near North 48th Street that could become a site where commercial shops might be developed. The area requires both water and sewer service. Commissioners told planner to study the requirements for service but will wait until someone requests use of the site for shops.
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Riley County Commission, March 27, 2017

Joan Strickler, observer

Riley County Commission March 27, 2017

Commissioners Wells, Rodriguez and Wilson present, Wells presiding.

Lori Feldcamp, director of the Big Lakes Developmental Center, expressed her hope that a proposed increase in State funding for centers serving persons with developmental disabilities will actually be passed into law.  Staff members have had no salary increases for eleven years placing the centers in a difficult position in personnel recruitment.

She spoke in support of efforts do away with the consolidation of seven disability groups under one waiver.  The needs of persons with different disabilities can vary greatly. The DD Centers would prefer to conduct all the assessments separately.

Emergency Management Director Pat Collins announced the Transfer Station will be burning material over the next several days.

Volunteer firefighters dealt with 28 calls last week.   At one time 6 fires occurred at the same time requiring all but one truck out to provide help.

County Counselor Clancy Holeman noted the Legislature will begin first adjournment this coming Friday.  One measure under consideration is of particular concern to the counties.   It would make the position of county appraiser an elected rather than appointed position.  Such a change could lead to property appraisals influenced by politics rather than made on the basis of fair value.   At one time appraisers were elected leading to a non-uniform appraisal system throughout the State.

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Observer: Helen C. Estes

The Riley County Health Department Public Health Advisory Council (PHAC) met as scheduled.  The monthly meeting was called to order by Adam Bowen, PHAC Chair.

Director’s Report:  (Given by Jennifer Green, RCHD Director.)

  1. A summary of all of the grants to be applied for by RCHD was given as some of these must be approved by the BOH prior to submission of applications. Jennifer pointed out changes in amounts requested in 2016 & relayed the reasons associated with the changes.  She pointed out areas where available funding had decreased for 2017 & showed the resultant adjustments required to accommodate these areas.  Of particular concern was the need to combine the Maternal-Child & Reproductive Health monies with the Immunization monies as there will be less available monies for immunization services.  It is anticipated that this might create an area of discussion by the BOH so Jennifer requested that any available public/citizen voices be available when she presents all of this information to the BOH (Riley County Commissioners).
  2. Later this week there will be an application for WIC monies.
  3. A newly hired individual will soon be onboard to assist with the accreditation process.
  4. There are two vacancies now available. Especially important to fill ASAP is that of the APRN.  This is a highly specific position & critical for the services of Family Planning & Reproductive Health.  Jennifer has requested that all PHAC members keep this critical need in mind when out in the community & to refer any known nurse practitioner who qualifies.  This positon requires not only APRN licensure but also specifies @ least one year of experience with Family Planning & Reproductive Health along with four years of nursing experience.
  5. The National Public Health Week is the first week of April. RCHD has planned a special event during this week.  It is Bug-A-Palooza to be set-up @ the Manhattan City Park Pavilion on 06April2017.  The focus of this event will be:  1) Summer Safety Aspects such as mosquitoe & other types of bug bites; 2) Vaccines will also be available.  KSU personnel will also participate.  This will be available for the community.  Family attendance will be encouraged.


  • It was proposed that RCHD involvement with childcare provider inspections be considered a topic for deeper discussion in upcoming meetings. A preliminary discussion started @ this meeting but time was a limiting factor & it was determined that childcare (& providers) are important to the community.
  • Also mentioned as a topic from previous meetings was the need for increased numbers of Primary Care Physicians in Manhattan. One PHAC member indicated that she understood Via Christi had hired three additional Family Practice Physicians but this was not confirmed.  This subject was tabled for a future meeting.

The meeting was adjourned @ 5:05 p.m.

The next meeting is scheduled for 22March2017

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