Butler County Commissioners met, discussed and approved a new wave of requests during their meeting Monday.

Butler County Commissioners met, discussed and approved a new wave of requests during their meeting Monday.

One was a request made by Rocky Arasmith to rezone a section of his country property to sell as a separate, residential lot. Arasmith's request was to divide the western 20 acres of his 60-acre lot for that purpose, an action approved by the Planning Commission and subsequently by the commissioners after several aspects of the property had been analyzed.

A request for a Conditional Use Permit saw another local resident intending to use his property in a rather different way. The applicant was Kevin Estes, who sought and received commission approval to utilize his home to store up to 75 pounds of black powder as part of his online mail order business, Brass N Bullets. A safety check and lack of objection to the gesture allowed the permit receive commission approval.

Applications to benefit public service were also received during the meeting. One was made by the local EMS department to apply for a Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program Grant toward obtaining a Rapid Deployment Kit-Surveillance System. The surveillance system is being sought for the Command RV acquired by the county. The particular system chosen was favored due to its portability, which would allow it to be utilized in a greater variety of emergency situations.

Kathy Guy, assistant director Butler County Emergency Management, was received for a brief discussion concerning the creation of a database of emergency services equipment and someone to fulfill the role of doing the resource typing toward that task.
Homeland Security directed Kansas to begin the initiative and FEMA has offered its assistance by providing funding through the Emergency Management Performance Grant toward hiring the contractor to do the needed resource typing for each county.

A full-time firefighter familiar with the systems involved toward completion of that goal had been hired and will simultaneously manage completion of that task for Butler and Cowley counties, which will be among the first counties in the state to meet the state request.

A final request struck close to home for the commission meeting, as a request to allow the Technology Committee to research and draft a request for proposal for the replacement of the courthouse phone system. The request came as concerns have arrised about the current system, which is now going on 12 years in use in spite of an initially projected seven-year expected usefulness. While the system is still functional, production of that type of system has been discontinued for some time and all available replacement parts can only be obtained in the used market and refurbished equipment, a liability that increases worry because of the extra length of time that would be need for repairs in the event of a significant failure.

Given the age of the system, it hasn't been ruled out that the current system might completely shut down if exposed to a particularly harsh failure, which would in turn severely impede courthouse activities and communication.

The request was approved and the Technology Committee will begin assessing options for potential replacement systems.

The commissioners engaged in a work session Tuesday for budget planning, an endeavor they'll be continuing throughout the week.