Fair board inquires about additional county funds
The Jewell County commissioners met Monday with Steve Greene,
Mark Fleming and Dwight Frost present. Carla Waugh, county clerk,
was also present.
Lisa Boyles, David Graham and John Quackenbush members of the Jewell County Fair Board discussed repairs needed for all the buildings at the fairgrounds. They asked for suggestions in finding financial assistance, such as grants, to fund the repairs or upgrades. They also asked if more funds could be appropriated from the county budget.
Carol Miller, CASA, presented her 2014 budget request of $3,500, an increase of $500 from last year.
Sheila Nelson-Stout, president and CEO of OCCK; Patrick Wallerius, CFO of OCCK; and Lorene Harris, vice president of services, reviewed the 2014 budget request of $23,251 the same as last year. Wallerius discussed public transportation funding issues.
Melinda Latham, county appraiser, discussed the applicant she hired for the position of data collector.
Joel Elkins, general superintendent, discussed maintenance projects and heavy rainfall in the southern part of the county. He said they received the loader last Thursday. Steve said he had a request to get a road graded by the Jan Jones property. The commissioners reviewed and approved the agreement for the federal fund exchange program for $192,802.46.
Jonas McEntire, sheriff, discussed operations of his department.
Angela Murray, health nurse, discussed getting an additional vehicle for the health department. She mentioned the possibility of getting the appraiser's used Jeep or finding another used vehicle.
Darrell Miller, county attorney, reviewed the statute for tax levy limit for the fair board. He also discussed the new concealed carry law.
Chris Petet, custodian, discussed repair items.
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3-lane highway through Mankato
Members of the Mankato City Council met June 4 with Don Koester, mayor, presiding. Council members present were Jim Ross, Sam Becker, Dave Warne and Mac McCammon. Council member Lyle Dauner was absent. Darrell Miller, city attorney, was also present.
Visitors present were Leland Tice representing the Kansas Department of Transportation, Cheyenne Erichsen, representing Jewell County Economic Development, and Troy Kirkendall.
A public hearing on a dangerous and unfit structure at 404 S. North Street was held. Administrator Loomis reported he had received an application for demolition from the owners but it could not be considered a viable application at this point because there are delinquent taxes owed on the property. After discussion the council agreed with the report that the structure is dangerous and unfit and needs to be demolished. The city attorney is to proceed with the notifications required by the Code of the City of Mankato Chapter IV, Article 6, Section 4-607, and 4-609.
A public hearing on a dangerous and unfit structure at 214 W South Street was also held. Attorney Miller said the hearing must be continued until next council meeting as the certified mailing notices had not been received back from the owner of the property.
Leland Tice presented plans to replace surfacing on Highway 36 through Mankato. The project is scheduled to be done in 2015. Tice was asking for input from the council on making the highway through town three lanes rather than the existing four lane. This would involve two travel lanes and a 16 foot left turn lane. Pros and cons of the proposal were discussed. Tice said if the council decided to keep the existing four lanes, he would like to see a letter written explaining reasons for keeping the four lane so he could forward it on to his superiors. He said a decision is needed in the near future so plans could be moved ahead. The council did not reach a clear consensus and indicated the state should proceed with the most beneficial plan.
Cheyenne Erichsen introduced herself as the new Jewell County Economic Development director. Erickson gave an overview of what she has been doing since she has taken over the position and asked if there was anything she could do for the council, if members had concerns or questions. Business ideas were discussed. Erickson said she would check on what's involved in procuring some of the ideas presented.
A letter from Linda Hunsicker regarding changes in the City of Mankato's Housing Plan and Demolition Plan were reviewed. Administrator Loomis had prepared the plans with the recommended changes as per the letter for approval by the council. After review council approved the plan with the changes recommended.
The Highway 36 resurfacing project scheduled for 2015 presents some sewer manhole issues for the city. There is a manhole in the center of the highway that has been buried under the asphalt for years. This manhole is of brick and mortar construction and presents problems with the project and traffic control when it's started. Administrator Loomis suggested the city look at lining a section of sewer main from Main Street to Spencer Street and install a new manhole in the alley way just to the south for US 36. Loomis was asked to procure estimates for the costs to do the lining and manhole project.
Mail delivery in Webber now delayed until after dispatch
Customers depending upon the Webber Post Office for the delivery
of the mail, experienced more major changes this week, when the
lobby hours were reduced to two hours a day,
Until recently the window was open from 8 a.m. until 2:15 p.m. and the lobby open until mail dispatch about 4:30. In recent times the mail dispatch time and lobby closing kept advancing.
Effective Monday the window and lobby is open only from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Mail is no longer distributed to the office boxes. Instead it is being placed in outdoor cluster-type boxes often seen in large cities.
Mail now arrives in Webber in the morning and is dispatched before noon. Mail is no longer distributed to the patron's boxes until after that day's mail is dispatched.
But that may change
Currently, Elaine Watson, the officer-in-charge at Webber for approximately 10 years is dividing her time between the Courtland and Webber offices. She opens Courtland at 8 a.m., closes it at 12 and then drives to Webber and opens at 12:30 for two hours. But sometime in August Webber is slated to be linked with Republic.
The Republic office has not yet gone to a two hour schedule but when it does the officer-in-charge at Republic will also serve Webber. The hours of Webber operation will likely change at that time.
The Webber office is located in a former Santa Fe railroad station which also serves as the Webber city hall. The interior furnishings are among the oldest in Kansas and thought to be more than a century old. The boxes were moved to Webber from Bennington.
Since the postal service discontinued the direct star route service between southern Nebraska and northern Kansas, a number of Superior business firms have made regular trips to Webber, both mailing and receiving mail.
For more than 30 years The Superior Express newspaper's Kansas customers were served through the Webber office. With the latest operational changes to continue mailing the newspaper at Webber would have meant a 24-hour delivery delay. Effective this week The Express newspaper is being mailed in Mankato.
As temperature rises, so does swimming pool attendance
As the summer temperatures rise so does attendance at the Mankato
The pool opened Memorial weekend and, according to Hillary Callaway, assistant manager, "the temperatures have reached the upper 90s this past week so attendance has been good. Memorial weekend until this past week the temperatures were lower but surprisingly the pool attendance has been good."
The pool is open seven days a week from noon to 9 p.m. Adult swims are held from noon to 1 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. If the temperature is not warmer than 70 the pool remains closed. Also if the area is in a thunderstorm watch the pool is not opened.
Once the pool is opened if thunder is heard or lightning is seen the pool will be closed. Parents will be called to come get their children or most of the time the parents are already on their way to pick them up or employees of the pool will take them home. In the event of thunder or lightning, the pool remains closed until there have been 30 minutes in which all signs have been clear.
There will be private swimming lessons offered throughout the summer with Red Cross swimming lessons offered in July.
"The swimming pool is a metal pool constructed in 1957, holds approximately 350,000 gallons of water, and the city estimates it loses between $10,000 and $12,000 a year," said Marvin Loomis, city administrator.
Loomis said the steel pool is probably one of the last ones in the state of Kansas. As far as leaks, there are probably some minute ones.
Every year the pool is painted. When the pool has been closed for the season all plumbing is removed so it doesn't freeze. The pump and pit are drained. Last year the pool had a pump problem and the pump head was replaced.
Over the past few years there have been some changes at the pool. One change was all the lights were changed to LEDs that use an eye and are on all the time, which has helped control the midnight swimmers. When the City of Mankato received a block grant, there were some funds allowed for renovations to the bath house.
"Finding employees to run the pool to date has not been a problem. Requirements to be a manager are they must be 18 years of age. All lifeguards have to be certified. The first year lifeguards take the course the individuals have to pay their own fee and then if they complete the year at the pool they are reimbursed half of the cost," Loomis said. "If the same lifeguards return to work the second year they are reimbursed the other half of the certification fee."
Pool managers are Aundrea Gardner and Hillary Callaway. Returning lifeguards are Clay Cosand, Tyler Shadduck, Joel Broeckelman, Lizzie Cox and Jessica Hancock. First year lifeguards are Katie Muirhead, Adam Horn, Ashley Slick and Joe Bauman.
"If there are more than 20 children (18 and older is considered an adult), there will be two lifeguards on duty. One lifeguard is on the stand at all times," Callaway said.
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