Reinstatement of Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program

Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz visited El Dorado and the Historic Butler County Courthouse to announce the reinstatement of the Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program.  This is a state-funded program that provides funds to local public authorities to replace or rehabilitate locally-owned, deficient bridges in order to improve overall system throughout the State of Kansas.  

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Stone Arch Bridge was built in 1933 in the Northeast Area of the “Old” El Dorado Lake.

Many bridges in the state of Kansas were built between 75-100 years ago with the average age being 50 years old.  There are 19,000 bridges across the state that could potentially qualify for this program. It is estimated between 9-10,000 bridges will be closed in the next 50 years, if they are not improved.  

In order to receive funding a bridge must be classified as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete based on the latest inspection performed under the procedures of the National Bridge Inspection Program (NBI). According to Secretary Lorenz, applications will be accepted beginning Wednesday, August 7th, through mid-September.

 

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City Commission Proclamations and Awards

The City Commission meeting held on Monday, May 6, 2019 began with proclamations and awards.

Citing the fact that Americans are served every single day by public servants at the federal, state, county and city levels. These unsung heroes do the work that keeps our nation working. Public employees take not only jobs, but oaths.  Many public servants, including military personnel, police officers, firefighters, border patrol officers, embassy employees, health care professionals and others, risk their lives each day in service to the people of the United States and around the world.

Public servants include local, state and federal government employees, teachers, health professionals and countless other occupations. Day in and day out they provide the diverse services demanded by the American people of their government with efficiency and integrity; and without these public servants at every level, continuity would be impossible in a democracy that regularly changes its leaders and elected officials.  

Therefore, Mayor Vince Haines recognized May 5-11 as Public Service Week.  

A representative from AAA appeared to present a Platinum Traffic Safety Award to El Dorado Police Department Superior Community Traffic Safety in 2018. The AAA Community Traffic Safety Awards honor police and sheriff departments around the state for their commitment to traffic safety practices and programs.

Barbara Trent, American Legion Auxiliary Unit #81 member and Poppy Chairman presented information to the Commission on the work of the local Auxiliary Unit.  Mayor Vince Haines shared that he recently had the opportunity to visit flanders field then announced a proclamation naming May Poppy Month. Joining Barbara were other unit members including President Carol Smith, Chaplain Lois Cool and Poppy Prince Tatum.

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El Dorado City Band members at the City Commission, from left to right, Marlene Avery, Barbara Templin, John Templin, Anita Seivley, and Keith West. 

A personal appearance was made by Barbara Templin with the El Dorado City Band.  She was joined by band members Marlene Avery, John Templin, Anita Seivley, and Keith West.  This year marks the 97th season of the El Dorado Band with the first of 10 concerts to be held at the bandshell on May 30th at 7:30pm.  The band will be joined by 35th Infantry Division Army Band for the first concert of the season. The concerts are free and open to the public.

 

 

 

 

County Jail Employees to Receive Incentives

In response to County Detention Facility financial difficulties, the Board of Butler County Commission adopted the “Detention Facility Revenue Incentive Policy” in 2017 to: “…align the Detention Facility operations with county tax payers by incentivizing the Detention Facility and its staff to focus of housing revenue generating inmates in a safe and efficient way.”  The policy goes on to state: “all Detention Facilit(ies) employees will be offered a bonus payment based on the total actual non-tax, fee related Detention Facility revenue that was received in the prior year (budget year) compared to the budgeted amount for the prior year…” Additionally, the policy calls for a calculation each February after the audit is completed. The first year of this policy was applicable to is 2018.

The County Jail fell short of meeting the budgeted revenue by $177,497. This calculation, however, does not tell the full story. The first quarter of 2018 looked to be a repeat of 2017, where the county was required to transfer over $500,000 from the General Fund into the Jail Fund because of fee revenue shortages. However, the Detention Facility and its staff shifted their focus to housing revenue generating inmates in a safe and efficient way and revenue generating inmates began increasing around April or May of 2018.  The jail fee revenue trended upward until in July it matched the budgeted revenue amount.

The willingness of jail management to increase revenue inmates was at least partially due to turnover in a few key management positions. No doubt reversing the low revenue numbers of the first quarter took much planning and effort by all jail staff, especially considering the effects of low, although better than before, staffing levels, which resulted in mandatory overtime.  Because of these unique circumstances, it was recommended to remunerate the County Jail, in the amount of $20,000, to be distributed per the Detention Facility Revenue Incentive Policy.

Due to the fact that excessive amounts of overtime are required throughout the Kansas Department of Corrections, Captain Floyd Hunt stated “It’s hard to keep people on.”

“We appreciate you and your staff and what you do out there,” shared Commissioner Woydziak.  Payment of $20,000 to the Jail staff to be distributed per the Detention Facility Revenue Incentive Policy was approved.

Read the full Commission Report

 

 

Hemp Farming Education Seminar

The Hemp Development Group, LLC is presenting to the public an educational seminar featuring Veronica Carpio of Grow Hemp Colorado, LLC. The seminar will take place on February 28, 2019, from 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm at the Best Western Wichita North 915 E 53rd St North Wichita KS 67219. $10 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting Rick@HempDevelopmentGroup.com as seating is limited.

Ms. Veronica Carpio, founder of Grow Hemp Colorado an open source hemp organization focused on hemp education, farming and manufacturing solutions will present the seminar. Ms. Carpio is one of the first 3 U.S. hemp farmers, first registered female hemp farmer, first licensed seed seller in the US, and is the first female hemp seed breeder to get seed certified in 2 states in 2018 and recently one in Kansas for 2019. Ms. Carpio is the Author of the “Colorado Hemp Foods Bill” which now regulates all hemp products as food, food additive and herbs including CBD in Colorado. Her mission is to work with farmers across the USA to educate and ensure successful harvest both under contract and within 3rd party opportunities, which provide turnkey solutions. She is well versed in all things hemp from genetics, planting, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, state, and federal laws and is driven to help Kansas’s farmers be successful.

This meeting is timely as the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Research Program applications for the growing year 2019, are due March 1st. Assistance in proposal completion and a compliance review will be provided at the end of the event for those that are interested. 

Attendees will learn how to build a solid foundation, finding success in the first year and setting up for long term success and profitability for many years to come.  Understanding the key essentials that will give confidence in making the right decision for your 2019 hemp farming plan and or hemp business plan.  Come out and learn how Kansans are going to impact positively our future generations to come with Industrial Hemp.

 

El Dorado Police and Fire Departments Give Annual Reports

During the biweekly City Commission meeting, Police Chief Curt Zieman addressed the Commission with a summary of the past year’s accomplishments, projects, and initiatives planned for the upcoming year, and major trends and challenges affecting the department’s operations.

The El Dorado Police Department motto is “Community Safety, Partners in Service.”  The motto states the essential purpose of the El Dorado Police Department, which is to protect the rights of all persons within its jurisdiction to be free from criminal attack, to be secure in their possessions and to live in peace.

Chief Zieman shared a quote that he keeps in his office as a reminder to himself and his officers, “Your job gives you authority but your behavior gives you respect.”

Citing 2018 crime statistics, he noted that the numbers were down on average, but there were a few categories which increased from 2017.  Arson was up 1300% with a total of 13 incidents. Many of them were attributed to a single individual who has since been prosecuted. Burglary was up 55%, kidnapping was up 100% with one incident. Other areas of increase included sex offense, non-force; weapon law violations; DUI; family offense, non-violence; runaways; and trespassing.  He mentioned the trespassing increase was due in part to the issue of homelessness and individuals seeking shelter.

He reported that El Dorado was listed as the 14th safest city (out of 30) in Kansas as rated by Alarms.com.  Leawood, Kansas ranked as number 1 and Wichita rounding out the list at number 30.

Zieman listed several successful projects from the previous year that the Police Department plans to continue as well as bringing back a former one.  Citizens Police Academy is an educational program that meets once a week for 8 weeks. Classes will include Introduction and orientation, Patrol Operations, Traffic Stops and Traffic Laws, Criminal Investigations, Self Defense, Drug investigations, DUI investigations, Use of Force and firearms, Report writing and other topics.

Commissioner Badwey extended his appreciation to Sgt Thompson for his quick response and attention to a child safety seat check.  Sgt Thompson is licensed to perform child safety seat checks and this is a free service provided to the community.  To schedule 

Zieman

Read Chief Zieman’s full El Dorado PD Annual Report

Giving the Fire Department Annual Report was Fire Chief Joe Haag.  He reported the Fire Department responded to 1,667 incidents in 2018 and that number is trending up since 2016.

Additionally, he noted the response times are down overall. The highest number of calls were for “EMS/Rescue” at 878, followed by “Good Intent” calls at 265 and actual “Fire” calls at 173.  

Provides 350 hours of public education through initiatives such as Project 20/ 20 at the High School, Middle School and Blackmore Elementary School; the Junior Firefighter Program; Fire Extinguisher Training; Safety Talk with First Baptist Preschool & Daycare and at EduCare; Fire Prevention Week assemblies at Grandview, Skelly, Jefferson, and Oil Hill; and Station Tours.  

Haag

Read Chief Haag’s El Dorado Fire Department Report

Also on the agenda was a Sanitary Sewer Extension Project.  Wilkinson Construction presented a petition for sanitary sewer extension of Lots 1-14 in Block 7 of the CL Stone Addition.  Resolution No. 2876, “to determine the advisability of the making of certain internal improvements in the City of El Dorado, Kansas; making certain findings with respect thereto; and authorizing and providing for the making of the improvements in accordance with such findings (Sanitary Sewer Improvements/Sanitary Sewer Extension- Project No. 553)” was approved by the Commission.  

Commissioner Guthrie is stepping down from the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Commissioner Kendra Wilkinson was selected to replace him.  Additionally, Commissioner Wilkinson was selected as Vice-Mayor for the year 2019 and EFABC member. Commissioner Lewis was selected as alternate to EFABC.

The Commission adjourned for a 10 minute Executive Session and returned with no action.  

The next City Commission meeting will be Monday, February 18th at 6:30 P.M.  The meetings are held in the Commission Room at City Hall and are open to the public.

Operation: North Pole | Fort Riley

Members from the American Legion Auxiliary Edgar Dale Post 81 in El Dorado, joined others from the Department of Kansas American Legion, Sons of the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and American Legion Riders to host “Operation: North Pole” at Fort Riley this weekend.

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Department of Kansas American Legion “Family” at Fort Riley for Operation: North Pole

The event benefits children of soldiers belonging to the Warrior Transition Battalion located at Fort Riley as well as families of currently deployed soldiers.

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