The Riley County Commission on Thursday approved a contract with a lobbyist to advocate for the county government in the state legislature.

Commissioners unanimously approved a $28,000 contract with The Carter Group of Topeka to continue its work for the county. The company also represents the Manhattan city government.

The lobbyist will look at legislative bill packets, identify legislative initiatives and bill introductions that impact the county, and attend meetings requiring county representation.

“It really helps to have this firm on the ground in Topeka,” Riley County Counselor Clancy Holeman said. “I think the county’s really benefited from it over the past few years.”

The commission also approved allowing Russel Stuckey, Riley County emergency management director, to advertise bids for two “jaws of life” extrication sets. Stuckey estimates it will cost $60,000 for both sets.