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County Commissioners Proceed with $6.1 Million Rural Water Project Serving Southeast Reno County


By Lucky Kidd


RENO COUNTY, Kan. — The Reno County Commission agreed on Wednesday to move forward with a project to build a new joint lagoon system to serve two rural water districts in southeast Reno County.

Commissioners reviewed with representatives of Schwab-Eaton applications that will be filed to seek funding for what is an estimated $6.1 million project that would serve Sewer Districts 201 and 202, which serve the Yoder Community and the HABIT area southwest of Yoder which includes the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center.

Funding for the project is projected to come from a low interest loan through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment which may partly be forgivable and through USDA Rural Development. The county is needing to move forward with the concept in order to meet application deadlines for the loan which are due October 15th.

After several weeks of discussion, Commissioners approved designation of the Ninnescah Valley News as the official county newspaper. The Pretty Prairie-based publication had submitted the low bid of three to be the official newspaper, however at the time this was initially considered there was some support for designating the Rural Messenger as the official county paper. However, their request for a periodical publication designation is still pending.

The Ninnescah Valley News has been used for county publications in the past and in those cases that paper made copies available at the Courthouse and was asked to do so again. The County also will be putting a lot of these notices on their website.

Commissioners approved appointments to the Health Department Advisory Board. The vote came after Commissioner John Whitesel asked if each of the proposed nominees could be brought before the Commission to be interviewed in person, although Commissioner Ron Hirst questioned if this was solely for political reasons.

The vote to approve the appointments was 4-1 with Whitsel opposed. Chair Dan Friesen abstained from voting on one appointee, TJ Hoskinson, two a two year term due to it being a relative of his.

Other appointees include Carol Moore, Olivia Kite, Misty Cavanaugh and Mark Mains to three year terms; Rosie Clark and Aubrey Nuss for two year terms, and one year terms for Quinton Moore, Marsha McConnell, and Ron Vincent. Kite, Nuss, Moore, and Mains are re-appointments for new terms

Commissioners authorized issuance of a request for proposals to allocate funds it and the city of Hutchinson are receiving from an opioid settlement. A committee organized by the Reno County Health Department has met and is now at a point where they are asking for proposals for funding the Reno County/Hutchinson Fights Addiction Fund, which is getting its funding from a state pool overseen by the Attorney General’s office.

There are specific criteria that have to be followed in spending those funds, and sustainability will also figure into allocations. Proposals have to be submitted by September 25th.

Commissioners also adopted the resolution putting into place an earlier approved request to rezone a nearly five acre tract at Longview and Woodberry Road from rural residential to agricultural in order to combine two properties into one larger one that would allow a home to be built on the combined site and meet zoning regulations.