Given the recent weather, it isn't surprising that many Harvey County departments reported the rain had thrown off their work schedules last week — but the Harvey County Commission heard about some unexpected issues the heavy precipitation created during a citizen's forum at its meeting Monday.
Darlington Township Clerk Leo Stahly came before the commission to discuss an issue that has come up at the corner of S.W. 96th Street and South Meridian Road. Namely, Stahly was there to point out that Meridian Road has become a spillway — under threat of flooding — for a pond on private property at the northeast corner of that intersection.
"When his (the landowner's) pond gets full, it's overflow, and right now all the ponds are full," Stahly said. "I don't know what we can do, but we've got a serious problem."
Stahly came before the commission for input on avenues to seek out in an effort to address the issue, bringing a couple of state statutes he was alerted to for county counselor Greg Nye to review, as Darlington Township has no attorney on retainer.
Questions were raised about any regulations that would have needed to be followed in installing the pond, but road and bridge superintendent Jim Meier noted the threshold before the Department of Water Resources is concerned is 214 acres.
Culvert placement and installation was also discussed, with Stahly stating that Sedgwick Township, just across the road, has two culverts at that intersection while Darlington Township has one. While considering an additional culvert, Stahly said, it would also be beneficial if the landowner's spillway was migrated from its position farther north on Meridian Road closer to the intersection, where the culvert is located.
"He needs his spillway down there by the culvert," Stahly said.
While County Administrator Anthony Swartzendruber said there are rules on adverse water flow onto another property, it is not something that is regulated by the county, but the county isn't opposed to advising on and monitoring it. It was noted that an intersection had already been requested for S.W. 96th Street and South Meridian Road because of other visibility issues tied to the property in question.
In other business, the county commission:
• Reported on an informative presentation commissioner and staff attended at the Kansas County Commissioners Association conference last week, covering ag law — with a great deal of it pertaining to fence viewings.
• Was informed that first review of applications has been completed for Solid Waste Superintendent (to replace the retiring Rollin Schmidt).
• Learned that the Department of Aging has hired a coordinator for its Find A Way driving program.
• Heard a report from Harvey County Sheriff Chad Gay on April statistics, with the sheriff's office pulling 112 cases, making 504 traffic stops, issuing 93 tickets and making 43 arrests. It was also noted 248 inmates were picked over the course of the month and 39 of the 114 current inmates are federal prisoners.
• Approved a proclamation designating May 12 through 18 as National Police Week and May 15 as Peace Officers' Memorial Day.
• Approved a bid from Hillsboro Ford for two pickups for the Road and Bridge Department, totaling $55,476. It was the lowest of three bids received.
• Reviewed expansion plans for the county's C&D landfill.
• Approved an Emergency Solutions Grant for Safehope for $363,224.73. The amount requested is intended to help in the shelter's plans to consolidate all services under one roof.
• Approved commissioner Randy Hague to serve on the board of the Harvey County Economic Development Council, while also thanking former board member Byron Warta for his years of service.
• Approved Resolution 2019-1, a charter resolution on the redemption of real estate taxes that stipulates any delinquent taxes paid first be applied to the most recent year of delinquency.