Archives for February 2014

Humboldt Lions Club Glasses Effort

Humboldt Lions Club members are looking for a way to help Iola students who have vision problems. Cole Herder, who is vice president of the Humboldt club, tells the Register the Lions annually aid in the purchase of eye glasses for Humboldt kids who have vision concerns that could impede their learning.  The club has provided up to seven pairs of glasses, and there was an exceptional year, Herder recalls, when it gave 12. Most years it’s one or two.

Winter Weather COming

A WINTER STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM TOMORROW EVENING THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON… IN ADDITION TO ICE ACCUMULATIONS…WHICH MAY REACH AROUND ONE QUARTER INCH ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST KANSAS BY SUNDAY MORNING…SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ACROSS CENTRAL KANSAS MAY REACH 5 TO 6 INCHES BY LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON. THE COMBINATION OF SLEET…FREEZING RAIN AND SNOW WILL MAKE FOR HAZARDOUS TRAVEL.

THe forecasts still haven’t come into good agreement on this system, and it still could impact the region more strongly. Behind the system will be bitter cold air, so be prepared for dangerous wind chills Sunday night and Monday morning.

Thompson: Support For 2456 Surprising

A bill that would impact the tax income of Allen and Neosho counties, and therefore your eventual tax bill, is receiving more support in the Statehouse than one local Legislator figured it would. Rep. Kent Thompson, tells the Neosho County Commission he was surprised by the support House Bill 2456 received. That’s the bill which would make the definitions of commercial and industrial machinery and equipment for property tax purposes more specific than they currently are. It’s primarily meant ot help Monarch and Ash Grove. Thompson says he voted for the bill because he felt Ash Grove, which has been enmeshed in a tiff with Neosho COunty officials on the subject for a couple of years, is paying more than its fair share of county property taxes.  Three weeks ago he expected the bill to fail; but he’s not sure what swung the pendulum in favor of its passage.

Thayer Christian School Donation

A program sponsored annually by the Monsanto Corporation will benefit an area private school. Clint Moore of Neosho County has been selected as a winner in America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. Moore selected Thayer Christian Preschool to receive the $2,500 donation. A check presentation is planned 10:15 a.m. Sunday at Thayer Christian Church during a Parents Appreciation Dinner. America’s Farmers Grow Communities works directly with farmers to support nonprofit organizations doing important work in rural communities. The program encourages farmers to enter to win $2,500, which is then directed to the farmer’s nonprofit of choice. Launched nationally in 2011, the program has grown to include 1,289 eligible counties in 39 states.

Safe Haven Law Tweaked For Privacy

The Kansas House unanimously passed a bill yesterday that would protect your identity if you felt you needed to give-up your newborn under the state’s “Safe Haven Law.” Safe Haven locations, like fire departments and hospitals, can’t be forced to give up the name or identity of someone giving up a baby, according to the measure passed yesterday. It also says the parent can’t be forced to give any information when leaving the child. The changes stem from a Wichita case last month when a mother left the hospital after giving birth and didn’t take her baby. Doctors were worried about the mother’s health and notified police who ended-up releasing the woman’s picture in an attempt to find her.

Good Tax Revenue News For City, County

Both the City of Iola and Allen County received some apparently unexpected property tax money recently, at the hands of major construction projects. For the month of February, Iola garnered $76,274 from its compensating use tax, and Allen County received $140,397.23. The compensation tax is sent from the state in regard to purchases made outside of the county that are meant to be used in the county. For example, construction supplies for major projects like the U.S. 54 construction and the Enbridge Pipeline have a sales tax placed on them. If the tax from the county of purchase is lower than that of Allen County, the difference is compensated by the buyer.

Highway Hay Harvest Permits Available

Harvesting hay from along the highway. The Kansas Department of Transportation announced yesterday that permits will be issued to landowners wanting to harvest hay on Kansas highway right of way. Those with land adjacent to the right of way will be given permit priority from Jan. 1 until March 31. After March 31, permits to harvest will be issued in the order in which they are received. The permits will expire Sept. 30. Hay harvesting on right-of-way along state and federal highways without a permit is illegal and is trespassing, You can call the local KDOT office for more information.

Iola Schools Look At Bond Issue

Iola schools need about 5-million dollars in maintenance over the next five years, just to keep them up to snuff. The ongoigng maintenance and much higher-than-average utility costs of the district’s old buildings is weighing heavily on the school board, which is considering a bond issue to be put before voters in June.  USD 257 board members learned this week that more than half the five-million dollar number is needed to replace heating and cooling units throughout the district. Roofing work is anticipated to cost $854-thousand. A new drainage system around the track and stadium at Riverside Park weighs in at nearly $600-thousand.

The board spoke with one of the people considered a school bond expert in Kansas, Steve Shogren of George K. Baum & Co., a finance group from Kansas City. Shogren has been part of the process in 165 bond issues — mostly in the K-12 schools area — in his time at the company. Shogren is frequently the person who organizes and is out front on getting bond issue information to voters, so we can understand just what it is we’re being asked to pay for. With the state considering cutting back on the amount of bond interest it helps fund, board members feel they need to get a bond issue in progress soon before the costs increase.

Progress On Plan To Restore Library Roof

The next step is underway in getting the roof at the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum and Chanute Public Library restored.  The city commission this week approved hiring Wilson and Company to complete engineering drawings for the plan. A KDOT grant will pay 80-percent of the cost of the project. That grant is worth $298-thousand. The  money is actually a pass-through from federal transportation funds, and requires a local match of 20%. You wouldn’t think a re-roofing job would require much int he way of engineering work, but it turns out  engineering drawings are required as a condition to get the money. The cost of having Wilson and Company complete the drawing is $25,000. After the drawings are complete, the city has until Oct. 15 to receive bids for the project.

Chanute Doubles Golf Course Offerings

In the stroke of a pen, the City of Chanute has doubled the number of golf courses in town. The City Commission has accepted the donation of Quarry Stone Country Club, giving the community two golf courses.  The donation from Quarry Stone stockholders includes 116 acres valued at an estimated $1,500 per acre. That’s in addition to cash pledges and equipment worth an estimated $265-thousand. There’s about $84-thousand in debt that has to be taken care of.  

However, Chanute won’t have two public golf courses for very long. The Tribune reports the acquisition of Quarry Stone, the old Chanute Country Club,  means that Safari Golf Course will eventually be closed and Quarry Stone will eventually become the municipal course, but under a new name.