The Riley County Commission on Monday approved a child care licensing contract for one year with Pottawatomie County.

The Kansas Department of Health asked Riley County to provide child care licensing program services in Pottawatomie County for a year, starting Jan. 2, because a few employees recently quit in Pottawatomie County.

KDHE is funding the work in Pottawatomie County, said Julie Gibbs, director of the Riley County Health Department, with no financial impact on Riley County.

The commission approved funding for the contract in the amount of $70,513, which helps provide a full-time surveyor and extra equipment in Pottawatomie County.

Although commissioners approved the measure, they raised concerns about taking on the services in Pottawatomie County. The commission expressed they didn’t want the state or KDHE to take advantage of Riley County and put Riley County tax dollars into Pottawatomie County services. The commission will re-evaluate after a year.

“I just want to be cautious,” said chair Ron Wells.

In other action Monday, commissioners:

  • Approved changing Lakeside Drive in the Bridge View Heights subdivision near Randolph to Lake Ridge Road.

There are two Lakeside Drive roads in Riley County, so officials said changing the name of this road will help emergency medical services reach the correct destination and alleviate confusion, said Monty Wedel, county planning and special projects director.

The public works department will install new street signs.

  • Discussed Toys for Manhattan. Commissioner Marvin Rodriguez said the organization is still looking for a building to distribute donated gifts during this holiday season. However, there are still locations throughout Manhattan where people can drop off toys and gifts to donate to the organization, said Gina Scroggs, executive director of Downtown Manhattan, Inc.
  • Listened to an update from Scroggs. She said recent events like Small Business Saturday were successful.

“Our store owners are just grateful,” she said.

Scroggs said Downtown Manhattan is preparing for the Mayor’s Spirit of the Holidays Lighted parade on Friday, which starts at 5:30 p.m. The parade starts in the downtown district and ends at Triangle Park, where Mayor Mike Dodson will light the tree.

Downtown Manhattan is also offering free horse carriage rides from Dec. 7-Dec. 22 (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only) from 5-8 p.m. this holiday season.

  • Approved Cox Communication circuit contracts for county departments, such as the noxious weed and public works departments. The county will have faster speeds and spend $1,056 less per month, said Kevin Howser, county IT/GIS director. The county must pay a one-time $500 upgrade fee.
  • Held two executive sessions, one for 15 minutes and the other for about three minutes, both on pending litigation for purpose of consultation with Clancy Holeman, county counselor and director of administrative services.

The commission did not take any formal, binding action after either of the executive sessions.