Neighbors Share Strong Opposition For Rezoning Request

Riley County Commission 2013When plat and rezoning requests are made in Riley County, the requests are taken through an extensive process to ensure that the projected site will follow specific regulations.  Once the sites are approved by the County Planning and Development Department, the requests then go before the Riley County Commission.  Considering the fact that the zoning board has already approved the site and recommended it to the commission, the requests are often approved in a short time.  During Thursday’s commission meeting, this was not the case.

John Curtis filed a request to plat and rezone his area of land on Tuttle Creek Boulevard, in the hopes to develop the land.  He mentioned to the board, he has two businesses and his residence currently on the site.  “Our true intention is to live on the west end, and develop the rest”, said Curtis.

After Curtis finished speaking, concerned neighbors began to take the stand.

Norman Palmer lives near the site up for rezoning, and he commented on the flooding issues on that side of town.  Palmer provided pictures of previous flooding in a nearby retention pond.

Other neighbors were quick to agree with Palmer’s statements, but were more concerned about the traffic in that area.  Three individuals residing on Tuttle Creek Boulevard, near the county shop site, said they must utilize the passing lane to turn into their driveways.  This often leads to dangerous circumstances and “near death experiences”.  One neighbor was even quick to bring up a recent fatal crash that occurred on the road earlier in the month.

The commission thanked the public for their comments and input on the matter, and agreed that many issues on the road need to be addressed, including the speed limit.  However, the commission did not want to deny a rezoning request due to traffic problems.

For that reason, the commission approved the request, and will continue to keep in contact with the surrounding neighbors on how to address their concerns to KDOT (Kansas Department of Transportation).

Two other rezoning requests were discussed during the meeting.

The first was to plat section 18 on Jorgenson Addition, which involved rezoning two areas within the property.  The commission unanimously approved the request.

Wallace Pope, who resides on Silver Creek Road, also requested a plat and rezoning, which was approved.

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Budget and Finance Officer, Johnette Shepek gave severeal presentations, starting with updates on the various funds.  Shepek reviewed the CIP, county building, economic development, and 1/2 cent sales tax funds, all of which look to be doing well.

The worker’s compensation program has been a recently discussed item on county agendas.  Shepek brought the topic up again to discuss the way the premiums are paid.  Currently, the premiums come out of the general fund, in the insurance portion of the fund.  County Corrections, the county health department, solid waste and rural fire, are the four premiums that are under that part of the fund.

Shepek recommended moving the premiums out of the fund, and having each department pay for their own premium.

Public Works Director, Leon Hobson told the commission that would not be an ideal situation, saying “I would be charging myself for work”.  Individuals from the corrections department agreed, saying they have not budgeted for this item this year, so they would not have adequate funding to pay for it.

The commission decided to keep it the same for 2013, but have departments pay their own during 2014.

Shepek’s final item involved a CIP work session.  She began her presentation with two spreadsheets-“2013 Non Funded Projects” and “2013 Imperative CIP Project”.  Department heads were in attendance to give input on which projects are of the most importance, and their estimated costs.