Riley County Commission, February 5, 2018

Riley County Commissioners Meeting for Monday, February 5, 2018
Observer:  Bill Schenck-Hamlin

Business MeetingRiley County Commission, February 5, 2018

1. Commissioners approved a set of tax roll corrections.

2. Commissioners funded a travel request for Allen Todd and Greg McHenry to attend the 2018 International Association of Assessing Officers conference.

3. Commissioners funded a travel request for Garry Rosewicz to attend Public Works conference in Wisconsin.

4. Commissioners gave permission to install a sign in the right of way of the Manhattan airport terminal. A large sign (38’ X 12’) will be installed at the entrance of the airport terminal. The sign reads: Fly MHK.

5. Commissioners approved the use of cell phones for staff.

6. Commissioners approved the minutes from the last meeting.

7. Commissioners reviewed the agendas for meetings on 02/08/2018 and 02/12/2018.

8. Riley County counselor and director of administrative services, Clancy Holeman, reviewed pending county projects.
Press Conference

9. Captain Rich Fink of RCPD had nothing special to report about Manhattan traffic or crime.

10. Cheryl Collins said that The Riley County Historical Society and Museum will present three programs on Manhattan life in the 1880s. On February 8 at the Manhattan Public Library from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, the Historical Society will examine home furnishings, comforts of the home, and controversial topics of the time. The Wolf house will be toured on March 15th and April 19th.

11. Gary Rosewicz will hold a public meeting for a bridge replacement at or near Randolph. The meeting is public and folks will discuss a couple of options for the replacement. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 13 at Randolph City Hall.

12. David Adams, the EMS Director, provided the commissioners with options for increasing the size of the Manhattan Ambulance service. Though ambulances can serve Manhattan residents quickly (under 10 minutes from the time of the 911 call), northern areas of the county cannot be served so quickly. Adams presented four scenarios for improving the situation. Each scenario reduced the amount of time to serve cities of Riley, Randolph, and Leonardville. Commissioners will need time to decide on the best scenario.

Meeting Adjourned

Posted in News and Updates, Riley County Commission | Leave a comment

Riley County Commission, January 25, 2018

Riley County Commission January 25, 2018

Joan Strickler, observer.

Commissioners Rodriguez, Wells and Wilson present, Rodriguez chair.

Commissioner Wells mentioned his concern about the amount of food that is thrown out in our country.

County Counselor/Director of Administrative Services Clancy Holeman led an administrative work session on the recommendation to approve the proposed Radio Communication Systems User Agreement. Riley County will be responsible for paying $1,262,514.50 of the $7,428,802.74 total system cost.  Non-County entities are to be contractually obligated to pay the additional cost of the System.  The current radio system used by entities such as police, fire, and EMS emergency response personnel has not been functioning properly.

Kevin Howser, IT/GIS Director, gave an extensive update of activities including getting operational a video conferencing system for judges to deal with distance situations such as State Hospital involuntary commitment hearings.  His staff also is working on Windows 10 upgrades.

Commissioners were presented with a K-113 Corridor Study proposal by Alfred Benesh and Co.  The study looks at potential growth and increasing traffic volumes and offers possible modifications needed.

Register of Deeds Debbie Regester said Legislative changes to the Mortgage Registration tax have resulted in Riley County’s income from fees reduced from $529,549 in 2016 to $379,561 in 2017.

County Treasurer Shilo Heger presented a report noting Riley County’s Sales Tax collected in 2017 is down from the amount collected in 2016.

Tax collected 2016 $3,579,528.22                 Tax collected in 2017 $3,514,265.98

Posted in News and Updates, Riley County Commission | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Riley County Law Board, January 15, 2018

Riley County Law Board, January 15, 2018

Observer: Greg Wurst

The Riley County Law Board met at noon on Tuesday, January 15.

Regarding the Consent Agenda Commissioner Reddi mentioned that DUIs continue to decrease.

Officer Johnson spoke on behalf of the Fraternal Order of Police and stated that things in general, communications in particular, went well in the recent shooting incident.

County Attorney was reappointed Hearing Officer for the Law Board.

The ’18 budget timeline was reviewed.  It will be similar to 2017 and there are no big unusual expenses foreseen.  Commissioner Wilson requested a parallel budget tracking actual expenses.  This would be an added workload.  RCPD said they would try to keep track of expenses.

Regarding the new agreement with KSU Police, it was explained that KSU police has jurisdiction on all KSU property and adjacent roads such as portions of North Manhattan and Anderson.  The agreement was approved after some questions about definitions of words.

The Radio Communications Agreement was approved after the funding was explained.

The meeting was adjourned after an executive session.

Posted in News and Updates, Riley County Law Board | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

USD 383 Board of Education, Jan. 17, 2018

Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer

Work session:

The work session focused on facility planning and a potential bond issue.  Eric Reid, Asst. Superintendent, discussed the timeline with the board and the scenarios developed by BG Consultants.  Mr. Reid recommended having the general scope of the bond completed by May 2018 that would outline the components of the bond issue.  The proposed bond would be sent to the Kansas Board of Education in July with the expectation that the state board would approve it by August.  Then, the local board would have August through November to educate the public, and the bond would be on the November ballot.

Mr. Reid reviewed the scenarios developed by BG Consultants.  One option involved creating early learning centers at College Hill and Eugene Field, and other existing preschool centers would close.  Elementary schools would house grades K-5 instead of the current K-6.  A new elementary school would be built.  Sixth grade would move to the middle school level, and the middle schools would be added onto.  Grades 9-12 would be in one building, and MHS East Campus would become an innovative school.  A second scenario would keep grades K-6 at the elementary level, two new elementary schools would be built, and the middle school and high school levels would remain the same.  A third option would repurpose the middle schools as elementary schools that would also house early learning, MHS West Campus would become the middle school and would house grades 6-8, MHS East Campus would be mothballed, and a new 9-12 high school would be built.  There were also “sub options” that would allow for additional flexibility.

Dave Colburn commented that he felt it was highly unrealistic to consider doing another bond in five years because he’s already heard concerns from the public that it’s only been 10 years since the last bond.  His recommendation was that anything that needs to happen in five years should be in the priority one level of the bond planning, and he also recommended that the board determine the educational vision of what board members want to do.  Karla Hagemeister agreed that the board should think about needs, and a new elementary school is a clear need and a second one would be needed in a few years.  However, she didn’t want to build a second elementary school just because of the notion that in order to gain support for building a school on the east side, one would have to be built on the west side as well.  Mr. Colburn was willing to entertain the idea of two new elementary schools because they would address the problems with overcrowding.

Regular meeting:

New board members Jurdene Coleman, Karla Hagemeister, and Katrina Lewison were sworn into office.

Lew Faust, Dir. of Business Services, reported that the governor mentioned a $600 million funding plan for 5 years, and fact-finding and information gathering is taking place in regards to the plan.

The board discussed a land transfer arrangement with the City of Manhattan.  The school district owns property along Amherst Ave., which could be a future school site.  The city recently acquired property adjacent to the district’s property.  The district inquired about the possibility of acquiring the city’s land because the land would help to provide access to Wreath Ave.  The city agreed to transfer ownership of the land at no cost with a reversion agreement that if the district sells or transfers ownership without constructing a school, then the land would revert to the city.  The board approved 7-0 the land transfer.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Riley County Commissioners, December 4, 2017

Riley County Commissioners Meeting for Monday, December 4, 2017

Observer: Bill Schenck-Hamlin

Business Meeting

  1. Commissioners signed a tax roll correction for a sewer line that is located on Ron Wells’ property.
  2. Commissioners approved 2018 contract for grant funding through the Special Alcohol fund.
  3. Commissioners signed a Riley County Personnel Action form.
  4. Commissioners approved the minutes from the last meeting.
  5. Commissioners reviewed the agendas for meetings on 12/07/2017 and 12/11/2017.
  6. Riley County counselor and director of administrative services, Clancy Holeman, reviewed pending county projects.

Press Conference

  1. Captain Rich Fink of RCPD noted that one fatal accident (i.e., one vehicle, one person) occurred in Riley County but, otherwise, the month had been fairly quiet.
  2. Gina Scroggs from Downtown Manhattan noted that last week’s Holiday season parade was a success as the parade had a record number of float entries at 62; the parade route was busy with many observers; restaurants were full; and donations were provided to Wonder Workshop.
  3. Tami Robison, the Budget and Finance Officer, presented amendments to the 2017 County budget. Amendments affected the general fund, bond & interest fund, county building fund, adult services fund, fire district fund, rural fire capital outlay fund, fire station projects fund, solid waste fund, and the Fairmont Heights Capital Project fund.
  4. Rebecca Bishop, Local Government/Public Finance Specialist, presented a report that answered three key questions: (1) What are the primary categories of revenues and expenditures for county government in Kansas? (2) How have county government revenues and expenditure in Kansas changed over time? (3) How do revenues and expenditures by county governments compare to each other? The report provides citizens who have an interest in tax and public finance issues with accurate, up-to-date information.

Meeting Adjourned

Posted in News and Updates, Riley County Commission | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Riley County Law Board: Monday, November 20, 2017.

Observer: Greg Wurst

The Riley County Law Board met at noon on Monday, November 20, 2017.  From the consent agenda City Commissioner Reddi questioned the increase in the number of rapes reported.  Police Commissioner Schoen said he hoped it was because more rapes were being reported, not necessarily more occurring.  He said RCPD was using a new program, YOU HAVE OPTIONS, which encourages rapes to be reported and can be used to identify serial rapists.

City Commissioner questioned the use of Sexual Assault Nurses.  Via Christi currently does not have one, consequently if a sexual assault victim wants to be examined by a Sexual Assault Nurse they have to go to Junction City, Topeka or Salina.  Sexual Assault Nurses can gather more evidence that a regular examination.  County Prosecutor Wilkerson said a Sexual Assault Nurse examination would hold up better in court.

During the General Agenda it was noted that a new audit contract for RCPD was probably going to be awarded to James Gordon, a maintenance agreement with KComm for radio maintenance was accepted and the lease for the Aggieville substation was renewed.

The Board went into executive session for 15 minutes then adjourned at 12:50.

Posted in Manhattan City Commission, News and Updates, Riley County Health Department, Riley County Law Board | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Riley County Commission: November 27, 2017

Riley County Commission November 27, 2017

Joan Strickler, observer

Commissioners Ron Wells and Ben Wilson present, Wells as chair.

Cheryl Collins, Director of the Riley County Museum and several staff members described the types of work they have been involved in over recent months.  The Museum hosted the Kansas Museum Directors association and the directors were very impressed with the active involvement of Riley County’s board members.

On Tuesday Command Sergeant Major (retired) John White Jr. will talk about his role serving in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1979.  White currently serves on the board of the Riley County Historical Society.

Lori Feldkamp, Big Lakes Developmental Center Director, said Kansas is now in the process of soliciting bids from companies interested in serving Medicaid recipients in Kansas.  She said she has received inquiries from Aetna and other similar insurance companies.  There remain lots of questions to be answered regarding the Medicaid program at the Federal level as well as with KANCARE in Kansas.

Jennifer Green, Director of the Riley County Health Department, asked for approval to submit a request to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for a $5000 grant to assist hospitals and healthcare providers develop injury prevention plans and procedures.  Permission granted.

The Commissioners voted to approve the installation of a Street Light at the intersection of College and Marlatt Avenues.



Posted in News and Updates, Riley County Commission, Riley County Health Department | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Riley County Commissioners Meeting, November 6, 2017

Riley County Commissioners Meeting for Monday, November 6, 2017

Observer: William Schenck-Hamlin

Business Meeting

  1. Commissioners approved promotions for two people in the Riley County office.
  2. Commissioners approved an advertisement to replace a culvert on West 543th Avenue.
  3. Commissioners approved an amendment to increase the funding for a renovation project in the clerk’s office. Six thousand dollars was added to the project.
  4. Commissioners approved a .80% cost of living pay increase for appointed and elected officials.
  5. Commissioners approved the minutes from the last meeting.
  6. Commissioners reviewed the agendas for meetings on 11/9/2017 and 11/13/2017.
  7. Riley County counselor and director of administrative services, Clancy Holeman, reviewed pending county projects.
  8. Riley County treasurer, Shilo Heger, reviewed the balance sheets for Riley County. To date, sales tax collections are down by 1.57% compared to October 2016.

Press Conference

  1. Gina Scroggs from Downtown Manhattan reviewed the plans for the upcoming events during the Holiday season.
  2. Captain Rich Fink of RCPD noted that preventable accidents were up by 1% but injury accidents were down. He also discussed shift changes that would place more officers on duty when and where they are needed.
  3. Leon Hobson briefly discussed a public notice on the project that will be underway soon.
  4. Rich Vargo noted that a general election will be held on Tuesday, 11/07/2017 for the City Commission and School Board. Everything is ready.

Meeting Adjourned

Posted in News and Updates, Riley County Commission | Leave a comment

Riley County Commission: October 23, 2017

Riley County Commission October 23, 2017
Observer:  Joan Strickler

Commissioners Wells, Rodriguez and Wilson present, Wells presiding.
Robbin Cole, Director of Pawnee Mental Health Services, said Ossawatomie State Hospital is continuing to lose the State $1 million a month due to loss of federal certification. Currently Larned State Hospital is now in the news due to similar problems in being in non-compliance. Larned has been given one month to come up to the standards. The State is looking into privatizing the hospitals but must have Legislative approval to do so.
A legislative forum involving local State Legislators to discuss mental health issues will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 Tuesday at Manhattan City Hall.
Register of Deeds Debbie Regester reported the County is well ahead of projected income for this year amounting to $751,000. However, she has been tracking daily revenue loss due to changes in filing fees and the mortgage registration tax approved by the Legislature. Total revenue loss from January l, 2005 (when the new fee/registration tax went into effect) through October 17, 2017 now totals $538,510.
County Clerk Rich Vargo encouraged people to vote in the coming election on November 7. This year is the first time for school and City elections to be held in the fall.

Posted in News and Updates, Riley County Commission, Riley County Health Department, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Riley County Law Board, October 16, 2017

Observer: Greg Wurst

The Riley County Law Board met at noon on Monday, October 16, 2017. The consent agenda and officers not having to shave during December to raise money for Shop with a Cop were approved.

The local Unitarian Universalist minister and Dr. John Exdell showed statistics that they said showed a bias by RCPD for arresting more blacks than whites for using marijuana, usually through pretextual stops. A book by Dr. Epp of KU which purported to show this in the Lawrence/KC area was cited. Dr. Exdell said his statistics had been adjusted to take the populations of Manhattan and the class of the vehicle in the stop into consideration. Several in attendance gave anecdotal evidence of treatment they thought was discriminatory by the RCPD, one of whom attended our Lunch with the League the next day. Chief Schoen said often guns or drugs from other jurisdictions were involved or RCPD wants to know that address of who is driving the car. Detective Johnson, representing the police officer’s union thanked Dr. Exdell for his concerns then mentioned that this was the fourth time he had been before the Law Board. He said some of the statistics had been taken from Facebook which was not a reliable source and that with the transient student and military populations in Manhattan it could not be comparable to Lawrence or KC, due in part to age and socioeconomic factors.

In an effort to solve this question a committee was formed to look at all police reports and garner certain statistics to prove or disprove the issue. Committee members would come from MAPJ, RCPD and the Law Board. Chief Schoen said this had been tried at the state level unsuccessfully and it would take quite a while. Three to four months was mentioned as a timeframe to decide what information to collect, but Chief Schoen said he would be out of town for a week in October and November so it would take longer.

The Board went into executive session for 15 minutes then adjourned at 2:30

Posted in News and Updates, Riley County Law Board, Uncategorized | Leave a comment