Though action had to be deferred given that a cost on the retention of architects was unable to be secured, there was a lot of progress made on Monday as the Harvey County Commission reviewed an agreement with the city of Newton for remodeling of the joint law enforcement center.

While much of the discussion has focused on changes for the Harvey County Sheriff's Office and Newton Police Department, County Administrator Anthony Swartzendruber noted the agreement was amended to include two other major tenants — Harvey County Communications and Emergency Management — as recipients of some of the upgrades being discussed (i.e. new carpet in the basement, restroom renovations, etc.).

Swartzendruber also noted that throughout the design process, costs will be shared by the city and county. For the initial design phase, the county will cover one-third of the cost while the city will be in charge of two-thirds, with no commitment to proceed with the remodel if the plans are not agreed upon. If both parties do agree on the final design, costs would then be shared in a manner proportionate to the parties' shares of the total cost of the remodeling project as thereby agreed.

"This is no commitment to any major overhaul with it, so I have no problem with it," said commission chair Ron Krehbiel. "This is overdue."

Part of the agreement that is in effect and scheduled to take place this week, with which the commission was on board, is the lead assessment to make sure there is no contamination in the building — with those costs ($4,000) to be split evenly between the city and county. It is an important step in proceeding with the remodel because of what it would mean if there are any issues with the lead levels.

"Once that happens, we have to lock that and keep everyone out until it's fixed," said assistant county administrator Dan Bronson.

Giving Swartzendruber the green light for the lead testing, the commissioners were informed that the final agreement should come before them in a week or two with the final numbers.

"The information we had before, the design was going to be around $130,000 to $150,000," Swartzendruber said, "but we've also added a few additional things on the list, so that price could be a little higher."

In other business, the county commission:


Was informed of plans for Oct. 9, when the county courthouse will be closed to facilitate training on the county's active shooter policy and a refresher on ALICE procedures.
Received an update on work being done by Wray Roofing at the courthouse, which Swartzendruber noted should be complete on Monday.
Heard about the upcoming Chamber banquet on Sept. 21, with commissioners asked to confirm attendance for the event.
Learned of some changes being made to the Kansas Department of Transportation's Federal Fund Exchange Program. Previously, local governments received 90 percent of that funding if they wanted to exchange the federal money for state funds, but that rate is now being reduced to 75 percent by KDOT. For Harvey County, it was noted that would equate to a difference of $34,000 in funding and force some restructuring as to how those funds are handled.
Received a request from the city of Moundridge seeking permission to contact KDOT about establishing a road sign off the intersection of Highway 50 and Halstead Road that would list the distance to Moundridge. The commission had no issues with the establishment of such a sign and Swartzendruber noted he would draft an official letter of request to KDOT.
Following review by the wellness committee, approved the incentives for the 2017-2018 Healthy Harvey Rewards, including the amended points (five each) to be allotted for vaccinations recommended by a provider on an annual basis.
Gave a consensus agreement to pursue renewal of the county's membership in the South Central Kansas Economic Development District.
Approved Health Department Director Lynnette Redington's request to pursue the Central Kansas Community Foundation's women's community fund grant (a projected $3,000) aimed at providing access to parks in Newton.
Learned that the planning commission is holding off on a decision regarding the reclassification of roads in Sedgwick Township as minimum maintenance until it hears from the adjoining land owners, while it was also noted the commission is considering some changes to zoning regulations for agricultural land.
Received an update on the agreement between the Sheriff's Office and U.S. Marshals for fees to house federal inmates, with undersheriff Shawn Chapman noting the department's proposal was submitted this week (an increase from previous fees) and negotiations will begin when it hears back from the Marshals.
Was informed by county clerk Rick Piepho that a required notice of election regarding the Camp Hawk question will publish this week.
Approved Resolution 2017-16 accepting the transfer of authority regarding the management of the county's Section 8 Housing from Sedgwick County Housing Authority to the Wichita Housing Authority.
Following a hearing on the vacation of roads at the Patterson Town Site, with no public comment received, the commission moved that those roads be vacated as presented.