For the second year in a row, a number of individuals seemed happy to submit themselves to the grueling trials Harvey County East Park had to offer as the Conquer the Gauntlet obstacle course race returned to the site on Saturday.
Parks Director Kass Miller said the event was a rousing success once again, with 1,225 runners participating in 2017, with numbers for both the kids' obstacles course (111 competitors versus 90 in 2016) and attendance (486 spectators versus 357 in 2016) up this year. There was even some star power added to this year's event — with Zac Hanson, member of 90s boy band Hanson, tackling the course in Harvey County.
The event was run smoothly, with 13 river crossings and two to three water stops to help keep competitors cool. Miller noted there was one first aid station, but there were multiple personnel at each obstacle to check on participants. There was one ambulance call on the day, but Miller said the service was refused and all runners left on their own accord at the end of the day.
With the course being even tougher than last year, according to feedback Miller received, both parties were happy once again and Miller said he even broached the possibility of a multiyear contract with Mainprize Industries at the conclusion of the event. The commission saw no issues with that and gave Miller the green light to start working ahead on that for next year.
In other business, the county commission:
Heard an update on work assisting Sedgwick resident Fred Bright regarding erosion of part of his property, noting Planning and Zoning Director Gina Bell is working to get him in contact with the Department of Water Resources (so he has the proper permits to do work in the floodplain) and funding to help cover the costs of the work — though those funds may be depleted for the current year.
Learned of action the City of Halstead took extending its agreement to provide EMS service to Sedgwick through the end of the year. The agreement will now go to the Sedgwick City Council to be approved as the two governing bodies continue to work on a long-term agreement past 2018. Allotments for EMS services in Sedgwick, it was stated, are now going to Halstead. As Newton continues to cover a portion of the area previously covered by Sedgwick, a potential review of the EMS boundaries was also brought up as a potential topic of discussion in the near future.
Approved a donation of a time clock (no longer used by the county with its new time-keeping software) upon the request of the City of Sedgwick.
Was notified that the Solid Waste Department finally received the skid steer vehicle that was approved for purchase a number of months ago.
Authorized Road and Bridge Superintendent Jim Meier to send out an invitation for bidders for a rotary boom mower for the department.
Learned of much discussion that went on at the last meeting of the Groundwater Management District No. 2, and much debate, though Byron Warta noted he is meeting with the manager Tuesday to get information on the Equus Bed level in Harvey County.
Gave the go ahead for Meier to pursue contracting with Midwest Striping out of Grand Island, Nebraska, for pavement striping needs in the county. He noted they were the only company that bid the last the time the invitation went out and there has been no interest from other companies recently.
Was notified by county counselor Greg Nye that the recent tax foreclosure sales have been approved by a judge, prepared and signed by Sheriff Chad Gay and officially filed.
Heard a report on a meeting with a KCAMP risk manager last week, as she was taking on a tour of the county parks to get a better understanding of insurance needs regarding special events, etc.
Received an update on discussion of facility improvements at the law enforcement center, with county administrator Anthony Swartzendruber stating that the city's facility task force would be getting together on Monday to discuss its plan to rehabilitate Newton's portion of the building as well as a building to the south. While a majority of the expenses are expected to be born by the City of Newton, Swartzendruber pointed out that there will come a time when improvements could come before both the city and county for approval giving the co-ownership of the law enforcement center.
Was invited to a "Congress in Your Community" presentation at the Newton Public Library by Dalton Glasscock, field and constituent services representative for U.S. Representative Ron Estes, who noted it would be a forum to discuss issues and concerns of constituents as well as a platform to let them know about all the services offered by Estes' office.