A partnership between Harvey County, the city of Newton and Initiatives Inc. consultant Troy Carlson for the Kansas Logistics Park project will continue for a few more months.

At Monday’s county commission meeting, commissioners unanimously agreed to extend a contract with Carlson six months from the first of this year.

Carlson’s monthly consulting fee is $10,500, which has been split between Harvey County and the city of Newton, with each paying $5,250 per month.

Carlson has been working closely with Harvey County Economic Development Council director Mickey Fornaro-Dean on the Kansas Logistics Park for a full year.

With Carlson’s help, the EDC was able to cement the deal for the logistics park by landing the first tenants, Tindall Corp. out of Spartanburg, S.C.

Harvey County Administrator John Waltner reminded the commissioners of a logistics park “to-do list” Fornaro-Dean presented to the commission at the Jan. 11 meeting.

The list, which is essentially a road map for work with the logistics park for 2010, was put together by the EDC and Carlson.

Waltner said the request for the contract extension asks to continue working with Carlson through the Kansas Legislative session, considering the complexity of the project.

Several items on the logistics park “to-do list,” involve working with legislators.

While the commission acknowledged the benefit of Carlson’s help, they felt like an extension for a full year wasn’t necessary.

The six-month time frame was recommended by commissioner Ron Krehbiel.

“It makes sense to me,” commissioner Marge Roberson said. “I think we have to have a timeline. It kind of keeps everybody on their toes. I think that Troy has been an important part of this whole process, and we’d like to see him continue with that. But, having said that, we also need to keep that (timeline) in perspective of how long this relationship will be advantagous to all of us.”

While the biggest expansion in Harvey County is with the logistics park, the county also expanded at the site of the new Harvey County fairgrounds.

On Monday, the commission agreed to annex and rezone 12 1/4 acres of commercial property on the grounds.

Commission chairman Chip Westfall said the annexed land will be discussed further at the next planning and zoning commission meeting, scheduled for Feb. 1.

The commission also:

• Heard from Harvey County resident Cindy Chavez who voiced concern about flooding on her property near Sedgwick. Chavez requested a ditch be dug on the north side of her property. Chavez presented photos of her flooded property to the commission. The work on the ditch will likely be handled by the Darlington township.

• Signed a final contract from the Kansas Department of Transportation for bridgework at 12th Street and at Centennial Park.

• Discussed a letter from Barton County, mentioning a lawsuit against the state from several Kansas counties. Legislation proposed by the counties aims to keep the state from “sweeping,” or witholding severance tax funds from them. Waltner said the letter was sent to a lot of counties in South Central Kansas.

• Heard from Waltner, who made the commission aware of the county’s involvement with the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and a recommendation to build a home through Habitat for Humanity and another through Menonite Housing. Waltner also discussed a partnership with Newton and North Newton and comprehensive planning for growth of the communities.

• Heard Newton was chosen for domestic violence training by the Governor’s Advisory Council on Domestic Violence.

• Approved a lease agreement with Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. to locate an emergency communication antenna on an existing tower owned by Southern Star.

• Approved the purchase of a vehicle for Harvey County’s West Park. West Park ranger Lloyd Stoddard gave a report on his search for a much-needed new truck. The 1996 Chevrolet 3/4 ton pick-up used by Stoddard is near the end of its service life and is slated to be replaced this year.

Stoddard found a $13,251 Dodge Dakota half-ton pick-up he thinks will be a good replacement.

The county approved the purchase of the truck and thanked Stoddard for staying under his budget of $14,000 to buy the new vehicle.

• Heard from East Park ranger Cass Miller, who reported he’s received about 100 applications for a maintenance/ranger position at the park.

• Held a 20-minute executive session to discuss personnel matters.