County Commission approved request for $5,000 to Symphony in the Flint Hills

Members of the Butler County Commission, following the announcement of the plans for the upcoming program of the Symphony in the Flinthills to in Butler County next year, heard a presentation and a request for $5,000 to help fund the project from Director Christy Davis on Tuesday morning.

"We're truly excited about this program," began David Alfaro, director of economic development. "This event is going to be held just outside of Rosalia. The thing we're really excited about is the number of visitors that are expected to come for the program itself because it typically draws 5-8,000 people. This is a huge opportunity for Butler County to showcase itself. We’ll have visitors from all across the United States as well as some internataional visitors."

"The mission of the symphony is to heighten appreciation for the Kansas Flint Hills. We are trying to take the opportunity to introduce areas of the Flint Hills that these folks might not have experienced these other than on the side of a highway. There are a number of opportunities that come with being a host community. We offer an opportunity to showcase your community to visitors. in 2013, we attracted people from 60 counties throughout the state and also western Europe. Thorough our field journals and the Flinthills Media Project, which are just a couple of publications that we do, we highlight the community. whenever we go to a community, we talk about the host area as well as the Flint hills. We use topics that relate specifically to you. Among those topics are the oil industry, and other historical topics as well as what is going on in your community today. Each year, we sell approximately $7-800,000 in sales. All of those sales go through the host community. From what I figure, that is about $2,000 in sales tax in addition to that a 3 million dollar economic impact. One of the advantages to living in a host community is that there are a few hundred tickets reserved for the host community. Last year, the tickets sold out in 30 minutes.

We’ve presented a proposal for $5,000. This is an opportunity to fund the event and it shows support. Flint Hills, Inc. is not for profit. This is not anything that a business can do. It takes money to get and 80 piece orchestra into a cow pasture. If we charge general admission to cover the the cost of all the expenses, the cost would be $240. The current price of a general admission ticket is $90. We expect to fill all the beds in El Dorado. It will be our host city. If with this contribution, Butler County would be a sponsor it would give you tickets to represent the community. In addition, we will also have heads in beds and we will also be offering $5,000 worth of free advertising in our direct mail information that is sent to all of our ticket holders. That will promote Butler County and any activities that you choose to have a the same time."

The thoughts of the commission were the program will be a positive project for the community.

"I’m excited that this is coming I’ve heard a lot about it," commented Commissioner Dan Woydziak.

"This really is a great program," agreed Commissioner Peggy Palmer.

With the overall program welcomed, the issue of the funding of the program became of some concern for Commissioner Ed Myers.

"I’m very happy that they’ve chosen Butler County for next year’s concert," began Myers. "As I’ve looked over your wesite. You do bring a very amazing presentation and occasion. I want to commend you on a very successful business model. You have a blue ribbon class of sponsors including several foundations ancd companies here in Kansas. However, I generally believe in keeping the public sector public and the private sector private. No doubt there’s going to be some traffic control there and advanced preparation of township roads that the county is participating in. I think that all those contributions to your event are worth far more than $5,000. I really believe that the best way that Butler County is going to help is from your patrons remembering what a great job Butler County did to help everything go smoothly. I’m supportive in the general philosophy, but I don’t feel I can support the request."

With that final statement, Commissioner Woydziak moved to approve the request for $5,000 to Symphony in the Flint Hills. The motion was carried 4-1 with Myers opposing.

• heard a discussion from Aaron Wells, Willis to discuss changes to federal health requirements.

•approved the request by Palette Vance for a Homestead Lot Split with APO in order to separate a homestead and 10 acres from a parcel containing approximately 39.9 acres.

•approved a request b Matthew Thiessen for a Homestead Lot Split with APO in order to separate a homestead and 11.4 acres from a parcel containing approximately 78.4 acres.

•approved a request by John Banks aka Banks of El Dorado to vacate a platted subdivision known as Burns First Subdivision.

•discussed the purchase of five user licenses for the clinic management software. Nighingale Notes by Champ Software, Inc. for in the amount of $47,462. A stipulation clause was added to the contract and county staff was instructed to address the company about the contract change.

Kari Adams can be reached at