Commission Recognizes Local Volunteers, Discusses Legislature

boyd and butlerA formal proclamation was presented during Monday’s Riley County Commission meeting, commemorating National Volunteer Week.  Commission Chair, Robert Boyd presented the proclamation to Manhattan Chamber of Commerce President, Lyle Butler.

Butler mentioned there are hundreds of volunteers in the community that contribute to the functionality of several non profits and other organizations.

“We have a wonderful community of volunteers that serve on public boards, public charities, and make our community wonderful”, Boyd commented.

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County Counselor, Clancy Holeman took the time to brief the commission on the legislative concerns they have been keeping apprised of.  The major concern for the commission is Senate Bill 298, which proposes the elimination of the mortgage registration fee.

Holeman, and the commission, seemed to agree that it may be best to research into contracting a lobbyist to keep an eye out for legislative bills that could impact the county.

Holeman said he has no problem keeping up to date on the concerning bills and returning to the commission for reports, but he stated “someone that’s there all the time has a tremendous advantage”.

Commissioner, Dave Lewis commented, “this year-it’s almost painfully obvious we need it”.

As far as Senate Bill 298 in particular, the commission seemed very frustrated that some of the legislators in office don’t seem to grasp what it could do to county government.

The proposed bill would eliminate the fee, but it would also hike up property taxes and raise the mill levy.  The mortgage registration fee was introduced decades ago and Holeman said “ironically, one reason it was created was to keep property taxes low”.

Commission Chair, Robert Boyd was also keen to point out that people who have already paid the fee on their mortgages would potentially have to pay it again if the bill is passed.

“It’s like they are looking for a solution in search of a problem-fixing something that isn’t broken”, Holeman added.

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The Armed Forces Memorial bricks are few and far between right now as more and more people are purchasing bricks for engraving.  President of the Flint Hills Veteran’s Coalition, Dave Eckert mentioned there are around 20-25 bricks currently available for purchase.  He expects this amount won’t last past Memorial Day.

The commission approved the puchase of 576 black granite bricks, and county public work’s crews will install them.  The funding for these bricks will be taken out of the Veteran’s Memorial Fund.