Commission to fund Living History Day

By The Mercury

Pottawatomie County commissioners indicated Monday they would find some financial assistance for Living History Day, a longstanding event sponsored by Havensville Community Center.

“We’re asking for help if we can possibly get it,” said Jim Armstrong. “We don’t charge anyone anything except for concessions.”

Living History Day began in the mid-1980s as a project of Havensville Grade School. When the school closed in 2002, the building became a community center and local residents continued the event, which annually attracts hundreds of young students from throughout the county and beyond.

“We had as many as 700 students there in one day,” said Paulette Armstrong. “I think it’s something good for the kids and it’s a real inexpensive field trip.”

Living History Day — scheduled for April 5 this year — includes a variety of presentations reflecting life in the pioneer days––rope making, butter churning and firing an actual Civil War cannon, to name a few.

Jim Armstrong said the event receives some private donations, but not enough to cover the meals the community center provides that day to its presenters.

Commissioners asked Robert Reece, county administrator, to come up with a possible source of matching funds for the event. Two commissioners also made personal donations following the Armstrongs’ presentation.

In other business Monday, the commission:

• Approved a grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to expand the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) program at the county landfill.

The grant will partially fund a 20-by-30-foot addition to the HHW building to include a containment area and bulk storage area, an emergency shower and restroom, according to Tim Eisenbarth, noxious weed director.

• Approved $400 donations to the Onaga High School after-prom part and to the Onaga City ball program. The donations come from the county’s Special Alcohol Fund.

• Approved three change orders totaling about $7,600 for the new Pottawatomie County Justice Center. Commissioner Pat Weixelman opposed a change order to install secure access panels above the false ceiling in the jail area for plumbing and electrical fixtures.

“I can understand not knowing where they (access panels) were going to go, but surely somebody knew we were going to have to put these in,” Weixelman said.

A fourth change order finalizes a sump pump for the basement of the building––an issue the commission has been debating for several months.

“I’ll make a motion we approve this and hopefully we never have to hear the words ‘sump pump’ again,” said Commissioner Stan Hartwich.

• Heard a monthly update on the county’s mini-bus transportation system from Dustin Trego, management assistant of operations.

During February, there were 225 riders, 783 trips and 3,514 miles driven, Trego reported.

“Our numbers were down a little due to the weather and since February was a short month,” he said.

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