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Wamego residents prepare for the Fourth

Residents of Wamego and the surrounding area had multiple options for purchasing fireworks last week.


Come Learn the Basics of Estate Planning from an Expert

The North Central-Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging (NC-FH AAA) is excited to announce that our next legal seminar, Estate Planning: Avoiding Unintended Consequences will be available by Zoom on Thursday, July 8 at 5:30 pm.

Paul Shipp, Managing Attorney at Kansas Legal Services explains the documents used in estate planning such as living wills, Durable Powers of Attorney (DPOAs), non-probate transfers and Transfer on Death Deeds (TODs). Estate planning documents can provide clear instruction and peace of mind later in life, but if you aren’t careful they can create family drama and other unintended consequences. A handout from Kansas Legal Services with expanded information on estate planning will be available to those who register.

Registrations must be made by noon on Thursday, July 8, 2021. Register at http://www.ncfhaaa.com/seminars or call 1-800-432-2703.

The seminar is without cost, however, donations that support and expand services for older Kansans, people living with disabilities and their caregivers are welcomed.

Details on how to participate in Zoom technology are available at www.ncfhaaa.com and login instructions will be sent to those who register.


Wind farm regulations top Pott Co topics

Pottawatomie County Commissioners heard proposed changes to the current solar farm regulations at Monday’s meeting.

According to County Planner Stephan Metzger, any interested solar farm company would have to do several studies, including drainage studies, before solar farms could be built.

Companies would also have to supply a site plan showing any existing structures, service roads, property lines and right of ways, along with topography and floodplain information.

Metzger explained any solar company would be required to evaluate any property lines that abut a residence. He added if there was interest in putting a solar farm on a tract of land planned for residential use, all property lines within that area would need to be evaluated.

“That is specifically to discourage them from building these solar farms in the areas that have been shown to have the most negative impacts, which are suburban areas,” Metzger explained.

Several of the proposed changes include having a setback of 100 feet from any habitable structures, burying power and communication lines and maintaining any existing shrubs or trees unless removal is necessary for a service road.

Metzger went on to say that after construction of the solar panels, the regulation allows the landowner to decide whether to plant ground cover or farm bromine or clover, if they so choose.

Commissioner Pat Weixelman asked how a location for a farm would be chosen and who would make the decision on where it would go, adding that he feels the current regulations give the solar farm companies the freedom to do whatever they want.

Metzger said that the county doesn’t currently stipulate where a farm must be located, but he explained that most solar farm companies would want it to be near a transmission line.

“We have some planning commissioners that don’t want to take up the [agricultural] ground … and some commissioners that don’t want to take up any of the native grassland,” Metzger said.

Weixelman compared potential land usage and taxes between Jeffrey Energy Center and proposed solar farms, stating that he feels if the solar farm companies are making a profit off of the energy produced by the panels, they shouldn’t be allowed to have a tax abatement.

Commission Chair Greg Riat added that he would like to know federal and state regulations as to how solar farms are subsidized.

Metzger replied how solar farms would be taxed is a question for County Appraiser Robin Knoblach.

Commissioner Dee McKee agreed with Weixelman, stating she feels that something regarding taxes needs to be added into the regulations.

Riat was not in favor of the county’s current regulations regarding solar farms, saying he felt “they were too loose”.

“What’s it going to do to our county?” Riat asked. “Now when they drive through St. Marys to Wamego the entire north side of the valley is covered in solar panels?”

He added that he isn’t opposed to solar farms but suggested the county speak with Jeffrey Energy Center to see how it could help keep them sustained.

There will be a joint meeting between commissioners and the planning commission on July 8 to further discuss the issue.

COVID-19 Report

There are 24 active COVID cases and two hospitalizations in the county, as of last Friday.

Health Department Director Leslie Campbell informed commissioners that the number of positive cases in the county is going up.

Since last December the health department has vaccinated a total of 8,007 people.

Public Works

Commissioners approved the purchase of a used motor grader for slightly less than $112,000 for the Public Works Department with the understanding that the county will dispose of the older motor graders.

Irvine Acres

A bid was awarded to Larson Construction for the construction of Irvine Acres Unit Two.

Out of four bids received, Larson’s was the lowest at $1,532,166.50 and came in below the engineers estimate of $1,639,800.


Essentials
Essentials

Commodities

Wamego

July 15, 2 p.m. — 4 p.m. and July 16, 10 a.m. — 12 p.m., Commodities Distribution, Wamego. There will not be a commodities distribution in August.

Alma

July 15, 10 a.m. — 4 p.m., Commodities Distribution, Alma. There will not be a commodities distribution in August.


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