At the Butler County Commission meeting on Tuesday, August 29, the board of county commissioners approved an amended Rose Hill neighborhood revitalization plan (NRP).

Since the Kansas Office of the Attorney General refused to approve the original interlocal agreement for the NRP that the county commission approved in February, another interlocal agreement was drafted to establish the Rose Hill NRP among public agencies in Butler County.

There were two changes made to the agreement in order to meet the attorney general's specifications. First, it states that Butler County will be the administrator of the plan – rather than Butler County and the City of Rose Hill, as in the prior version.

Second, it says that the county will create a neighborhood revitalization fund in accordance with K.S.A. 12-17,118 for the purpose of financing the redevelopment and to provide rebates. Any increment in property taxes received by Butler County, USD 394, the City of Rose Hill and Butler Community College resulting from qualified improvements to property pursuant to the neighborhood revitalization plan will be credited to the neighborhood revitalization fund. The prior version of the agreement did not have this provision.

The three-year plan will terminate Dec. 31, 2019.

Then, 13th District Community Corrections Director Chuck McGuire presented two briefing items related to the 13th District Community Corrections. The first was a FY2018 carryover reimbursed budget summary and narrative plan. The total FY2018 carryover reimbursed budget is $5,427.88.

"That is adult funding that is reimbursed fees from offenders that are assigned to community corrections .... We use these funds just like we have every other year – to backfill in on what might be short on the regular grant that we get annually .... We spread it everywhere from salaries and benefits down through services to offenders throughout the budget narrative," McGuire said.

The second item McGuire brought to the board of commissioners was a modified FY2018 behavioral health services plan and budget, based on grant money from the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC).

"That's one of the rare ones, still, that they [KDOC] don't tell us how much we're getting; we request an amount. We requested 10,000 dollars. What they came back this year with is 6,000 dollars. So what we had to do was just modify our budget narrative to fit 6,000 dollars instead of 10,000. And we reduced it down to serving 19 offenders this year. It'll be the same services through South Central Mental Health – we just had to shrink it down to where it fit 19 offenders this year," McGuire said.

The board of commissioners approved both the FY2018 carryover reimbursed budget and modified behavioral health services plan and budget.

During the other items of business segment of the meeting, Public Works Director and County Engineer Darryl Lutz informed the board that a mowing tractor as been down for a couple weeks. The problems with the tractor are extensive enough that the transmission will need to be rebuilt. Lutz said the repair estimate is about $8,265 with Wichita Tractor Company. The board of commissioners approved the repair work at the estimated cost.

Next, Lutz updated the board on the status of the bridge projects on KS-196, west of Potwin. He received a fresh report from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) on Tuesday morning regarding the bridge projects and relayed the information to the board of commissioners.

"It appears that the east bridge is completely poured out. The concrete is done, and all the ... falsework underneath has been removed .... One third of the bridge over the Whitewater River has been poured, and the piers are complete .... On the west bridge, they have the piers completed and part of the abutment piling driven. They have still have abutment piling left to drive on one side, and then they have to form up the deck .... They do believe right now that they can still meet the schedule of having the road opened to unrestricted traffic by November 17, but they are saying it will be close," Lutz said.

Lutz added that the contractor for the Haverhill bridge deck replacement project is forming up the new bridge deck. He speculates the project may be finished sometime between late October and mid-November.

Lutz then told the board of commissioners about activity concerning Jason Artz, a property owner west of Potwin, and the fence Artz had been building right up against a public road. Plum Grove Township, assisted by the county's road superintendent, contacted Artz and removed several of the fence posts that were in the right of way.

In the public comments part of the meeting, Steve Wilkinson, executive director of South Central Kansas Economic Development District, Inc. (SCKEDD), explained services that the company has provided and can provide for Butler County.

Also in public comments, El Dorado resident Scott Gill returned to the county commission to speak about a claim he has against Butler County in relation to the jail. The board of commissioners again advised Gill to settle the matter in court.