For their support of the annual Flatlanders Bicycle Ride, specifically through the presence of the Harvey County Sheriff's Office being made available, the county commission heard some words of gratitude shared by Mennonite Central Committee representative Ken Janzen at Monday's meeting.

"We felt a very watchful eye was a very important part for the safety of our 188 riders throughout Harvey County," Janzen said. "We had riders commenting that they appreciated knowing that they were being cared for."

Riders ranging in age from 7 to 92 came from all over the state, including Newton, Hutchinson, Salina, Topeka and Wichita, while some came all the way from Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and even Wisconsin — all to help raise funds for the MCC water development project.

This year, funds raised went towards a project to help villages in east India. The project helps lay pipes to provide a reliable water source, enabling villagers to grow crops that provide food and income — not to mention making water immediately available (rather than villagers having to haul water) for drinking, cooking, washing, etc.

Janzen noted that this year's ride raised an all-time high of $11,500 for the project and incidents during the ride (with eight, 35, 45 and 65-mile options) were limited to two flat tires through the entirety of the event. He stated the Flatlander committee was grateful for that participation and the county's representation through the Sheriff's Office helping all riders feel safe and secure throughout the event held on Sept. 16.

In other business, the county commission:

Was made aware of the city of Hesston's intent to issue industrial revenue bonds up to $10 million to Excel Industries, with commissioners voicing no objections.
Heard of ongoing efforts for the Harvey County Fair Board to reorganize as a new legal entity, though it would still receive funding from the county. The board is requesting assistance from county counselor Greg Nye in this process and received the commission's blessing to utilize his services.
Noted that County Administrator Anthony Swartzendruber and Assistant County Administrator Dan Bronson will be attending the Kansas Government Finance Officers Association conference on Thursday.
Learned of a ditch on personal property at 6601 E. First that the county's Road and Bridge Department may need to assist in clearing out.
Was informed that all commissioners are expected to complete training on ALICE and the new active killer response policy, like all county employees, which was being offered as part of the county inservice on Monday.