Trees in Butler County have taken a hard hit from the dry summers Kansas has experienced over the past couple of years.
During Tuesday’s Butler County Commission meeting, Butler County Extension Horticultural Agent Larry Crouse discussed the drought and other programs.
“I wanted to give you guys an update on what’s going on in the Extension office,” said Crouse.
He spoke about herb management classes, a new Master Gardener program and El Dorado’s community garden, from which 10,000 pounds of food went to needy Butler County families.
Crouse also developed two programs over the winter: “Dealing with Heat and Drought” and “Frustrated with Fescue.”
“I’ve given one or both of those to eight other communities in and outside the county,” he said.
He said the biggest threat facing trees right now is the drought. Although the area has been receiving moisture lately, the trees could still be damaged.
“We’re going to see losses of big trees,” he said. “A lot of them aren’t going to emerge from dormancy this year. Big trees can’t catch up if they get behind on water.”
Crouse said his office is trying to help citizens manage as best they can. The Butler County Extension Office can be reached at 321-9660.
In other business, the commissioners:
• approved a request by Charles and Sally Roach for the acceptance of road dedication.
• tabled a request by Daniel and Nancy Bacon for a homestead lot split with agricultural preservation overlay in order to separate an existing homestead and 10 acres from a parcel containing approximately 161.2 acres. The request was tabled because Daniel Bacon was at the meeting to express his concern about the amount of easement the county would receive. The commissioners plan to review easement policies and address Bacon’s request at a later meeting.
• approved a request by Donald Harder for a homestead lot split with agricultural preservation overlay in order to separate an existing homestead and 6.5 acres from a parcel containing approximately 131.6 acres.
• denied a request by the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) for a change in zoning classification from AG-40 to an RE residential estate classification on property located between SW Hopkins Switch and SW Purity Springs on the north side of SW 135th.
The property’s previous owner had a mortgage on a house and 20 acres, then entered foreclosure, then sold an additional 20 acres without changing the zoning.
The other 20 acres cannot be built upon, and the parcel with the house isn’t recognized as a legal parcel because of its size, so the home couldn’t be rebuilt if anything should happen to it. The commissioners felt Fannie Mae should take different steps to try to resolve the issue.
Page 2 of 2 - • denied a request by Fannie Mae for acceptance of road dedication on the aforementioned property.
• approved a request by David Dautel for a conditional use permit to be able to offer gunsmith services and retail sales of firearms and ammunition on his property in the rural residential zoning district.
• made a recommendation to the City of Augusta that an application by Marilyn Harrison for a conditional use permit to allow the temporary storage of a construction trailer, construction equipment and pipe storage on property located on the SW corner of SW Hwy 54 and SW Tawakoni.
• approved the FY2014 Kansas Department of Corrections comprehensive plan for the 13th District Community Corrections Agency.
• authorized the Department of Public Works to obtain bids for large pipe culverts for a bridge removal project and for the Augusta levee drainage outlet under Dike Road.
• approved the purchase of pre-cast concrete box culvert sections for two culvert replacement projects in Butler County.
• reviewed a proposed final draft of a road maintenance agreement related to the Tallgrass Pony Express Pipeline project through Butler County.
• held a work session to discuss planned capital improvement projects.