Usage of land — both privately owned and controlled by the county — came up in multiple instances at the Harvey County Commission meeting on Monday, starting with a topic that had previously been brought before commissioners.
A lease proposal — approved by the commission last month — for the Remote Control park at Harvey County East Park was readdressed after the agreement was reviewed by the potential lessee, the Harvey County Radio Control Club.
The club presented a few minor changes in the agreement (i.e. a name change and slight tweak to membership-related usage) it submitted to the county, which were reviewed at Monday's meeting. Most notably, an item relating to use and purpose sparked the most conversation, suggesting that the tenant farmer (using a portion of the land on which the remote control park will be established) and Harvey County Radio Control Club would coordinate baling of hay on the shared grounds — when it does not interfere with the radio control club's use.
It was the wording at the end of the item that commissioner Ron Krehbiel took some issue with, not seeing any need to give one entity authority over the other, though Parks Director Kass Miller noted he would be involved in the scheduling process as well.
"Any event that the club has is going to be coordinated through the park anyway, so I'll be involved in that aspect and I'll be in communication with the farmer," Miller said. "It won't be an issue in order to get that hay out of there; I'll make sure it's not."
While Krehbiel's main concern was with the radio control club turning the farmer away from a chance to bale hay, club representative Joe Owen noted such a situation would likely not present itself.
Since it was noted baling normally occurs in the late summer months (July, August), the potential conflict is a non-factor as conditions at that time are not ideal for the club to be hosting any activity at the park.
"Normally, our bigger events would be planned either in the spring or later in the fall, say September (or) maybe even as late as end of October, so there shouldn't be any type of conflict there with bailing at all with any events that we would host," Owen said.
Moving forward, the commission approved entering into a lease agreement with the Harvey County Radio Control Club.
Private property use just east of Halstead was the other land issue that came up Monday — as a permit was discussed for an established event venue (barn) on John and Judith Eddy's property.
"They've been using this as an event place for a long time; we just happened to catch it when they advertised it and said, 'hey, you probably need to get a conditional use for that,'" said Planning and Zoning Director Gina Bell.
Regarding the site, Bell noted there were two concerns mainly stemming from the water source to the venue. It was noted a well near the property had been regularly tested by Legg Company for safety reasons, but that is no longer required.— though the Eddys volunteered to continue that testing if needed.
"Just for public safety purposes, I'd like to see that done," said commission chair Randy Hague.
Due to that proximity to a contaminated well, a sign will need to be posted on the property designating the water as non-potable, though Bell admitted that is a policy she would like to see changed (to increase the number of public places with drinkable water).
Given the heavy traffic on nearby roads, an exemption was agreed to by the planning and zoning commission regarding cooperation with the township/county/city on roads, with the county commission approving the conditional use permit based on its ability to meet the conditions as presented: having a beer/liquor license in place before alcohol is served, inspection of the onsite waste water systems by the county to be in compliance with the county sanitation code, permitting for on and off site signage and the enforcement of an appropriate insurance policy for the venue.
In other business, the county commission:
Was asked to RSVP if interested in attending the Regional Economic Area Partnership of South Central Kansas' economic development summit happening Nov. 1.
Received notice that a bid has been awarded to Goering Enterprises for the demolition of the house at Camp Hawk for an estimated cost of $5,342.
Learned that North Newton has received the county's proposal on the extension of the biking/walking pathway and administration is wanting to make a minor modification to the land the city would acquire.
Heard an update on the law enforcement center remodel's progression, with final plans and numbers expected in the first couple weeks of November.
Was informed that efforts to utilize additional space at the county landfill are still in the works, as well as to replace the floor of the transfer station.
Learned that Harvey County met its threshold for FEMA assistance following recent flooding, with the state of Kansas currently in the process of submitting a public assistance application.
Heard about the Drug Take Back Day coming up Saturday at the law enforcement center, as well as continued efforts in pursuit of drug prevention grants through the health department.
Noted the start of advanced voting on Tuesday.
Received notice that Camp Hawk would be closed through 8 p.m. Tuesday for Harvey County Emergency Response Team training, with commissioners attending a special demonstration highlighting the capabilities, limitations and needs of the local team.