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McPherson County Commission Approves Changes to Floodplain Rules and Revisions to Zoning Regulations


Highlights from McPherson County Commission Meeting Dec. 4

By Lucky Kidd


MCPHERSON, Kan. — The McPherson County Commission Monday approved new model codes for subdivision regulation and floodplain management, and revisions to zoning regulations and the official zoning map. Planning and Zoning Administrator Jon Kinsey said the Planning Commission recommended the changes last month.

Changes to the floodplain rules include removal of a variance requirement for construction of non-residential structures in flood plains, reflecting changes adopted earlier by the Kansas Division of Water Resources. The subdivision regulations add requirements related to water availability whether through private wells or service from a rural water district, and a requirement for soil surveys to determine on-site wastewater disposal options.

The zoning regulations incorporate all amendments made since 2009, along with revisions to sign regulations to comply with Supreme Court findings. Also revised were requirements connected with conditional use cases, which will not be processed as special use cases and zoning amendments, and revisions to notification areas for applicants, which will, depending on the situation be either a half-mile (as it is now) or would be reduced to 1,000 feet.

On recommendation from the Planning Commission, a special use permit to allow construction of a second residential unit on a property at 1720 West Kansas was also approved. The owners of the property plan to move into the second house with their son to move into the main residence. Among special conditions tied to the permit, approval of which was recommended by the Planning Commission last month, is that the two properties must remain under common ownership, and it cannot be used as a short- or long-term rental use.

A ceiling replacement project at the McPherson County Law Enforcement Center was approved by County Commissioners Monday. This is to address damage caused by a water leak issue. The approved project, which carries a cost of $5,060, will involve removal of around 150 square feet of two layers of ceiling drywall in the kitchen area and installation of a new ceiling of similar type. The bid assumes that the ceiling framing remains in good condition.

Jail Captain Arlo Blevins said he’s also pursuing a sliding door repair, which will require a welder to come in. PLI also submitted proposals for removal of a tower foundation and replacement of the west drive entrance, which are not being pursued at this point.

Public Works Director Tom Kramer presented an update to Commissioners on what crews did during the Thanksgiving weekend snowstorm. Prior to the storm about 15,000 gallons of brine was applied to county roads, with another 4,800 gallons of brine and 105 tons of a salt-sand mixture applied during the storm. Additional brine was applied after the storm.

Crews did knock down one sign and a couple of mailboxes which they are getting fixed. There was one issue they came across during operations that weekend, along east-west roads where tree rows exist along the south sides of those roads. Kramer said going forward they plan to apply heavier amounts of brine in those areas to make removal easier.

He added they are looking at an additive for the brine mix that would allow it to be more effective at lower temperatures, along with the potential for using beet juice as part of their mix. To do this would require some additional storage tanks because of the volumes involved, but Kramer added it may be better in the long run for a number of reasons.

The Commission agreed to proceed with seeking of quotes to upgrade electric and water services to the five barns on the McPherson County 4-H Fairgrounds. This project would make water available at all barns plus improvements to electrical service along with water improvements that could be made to a community garden and a wash-out facility. It’s anticipated this project could be done in time for a number of events that will begin the latter part of May.

The Commission also accepted a $8,331 quote from The Fence Company in Newton for replacement of fencing along the 27th Avenue project north of Canton.

Approval was given for the hiring of a new deputy for the Sheriff’s Office. This deputy has prior experience working in the Saline County Jail, and Sheriff Jerry Montagne said the deputy will be sent to the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center at the earliest opportunity. Commissioners also approved end of introductory period raises for a corrections office, an employee in Public Works, and for an employee in the County Appraiser’s Office.

A notice was sent to Canton Township related to a cereal malt beverage license renewal application for Canton Grocery’s Convenience store along US 56 just south of Canton.