Advance turnout at 180 in USD 378 vote

By Maura Wery

About 180 persons had voted in advance as of Monday morning in the USD 378 bond election.

County clerk Rich Vargo reported the turnout Monday, noting as well that polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in four locations Tuesday: Keats, Riley Centre, Leonardville and Sedalia Church. Advance voting closed today at noon. The school district is seeking voter approval to construct additions to several school buildings.

Vargo characterized that initial turnout as low, but noted that the final numbers will be largely influenced by election-day activity.

Fireworks sales

Those wishing to sell fireworks in unincorporated areas of Riley County have until June 27 to apply for a permit. Doug Schmitt, the county’s assistant fire chief, briefed commissioners on the process Monday, saying the $25 permit has to be completed by 5 p.m. on that date. There are separate procedures in place for vendors selling fireworks within municipalities. In Manhattan, for example, permit applications have to be received by June 25

Along with the permit, those selling fireworks must provide the name and license of the Kansas licensed distributor where they purchased the fireworks. They must also have two portable fire extinguishers with a minimum rating of 2A, at least one being a pressurized water type, they must have signs that read “Fireworks-no smoking” at each entrance or within 10 feet of every aisle and they must have an inspection completed by Riley County Fire District No. 1 on the first day of sales. Schmitt said permits can be picked up at the Riley County Fire District No. 1 at 115 N. 4th Street.


Local transportation improvements

The Flint Hills Regional Council is asking that its members involved with the Flint Hills Metropolitan Planning Organization put their projects into the MPO’s first transportation improvement list, which is slated for 2014.

Flint Hills Regional Council interim director Gary Stith said that, so far, the MPO has only forwarded to the Kansas Department of Transportation an initial set of projects that were in existence when the MPO was created, but no new local projects. He said those involved in the MPO can submit their improvement projects, and the transportation policy board will approve them at a later date.

Stith also informed the commission that the second half of their contribution to the MPO could be less than previously envisioned.

Stith said the county has already paid $13,000, but suspects there would be some circumstances reducing a scheduled second payment, due in September. He said if that is the case, the council would come to the commission in January to tell them of their new contribution amount.

Stith also confirmed that a new director for the council should be in place by October.


McDowell Creek public meeting

A public meeting will be held on a road and bridge project that will be completed on McDowell Creek Road. Gary Rosewicz, assistant public works director, said the project will extend from K-177 to the McDowell Creek spur. The meeting will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ashland Community Center at 2901 W. 32nd Avenue.

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