Newspaper Archive of
The Western Star
Coldwater, Kansas
July 14, 2016     The Western Star
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July 14, 2016

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_ , ................... ~40 -- ---.w. S#=eiton ?da ........ !! hl|hiddlldu d ii.ih !l!i.,dli,h iil.m , .... - "" ======* ======= =-= = - = -~ ~-- =- =---===='-===~=~=I ..... .===~ : :=:=== == : :== $1.00 (USPS No. 679-660) Vol. 131 No. 50, Thursday, July 14, 2016 Official Newspaper for City of Coldwater and Comanche County Box 518 Coldwater, Kansas 67029-0518 (620) 582-2101 Commissioners GiveTentativeApproval To 18 Per Cent Increase in 2017 Budget The Comanche County Com- missioners met in special session this Tuesday morning, with the development of the 2017 county budget amounting to the bulk of their business for the day. They met with the county's auditor Randy Hofmeier who was at the meeting specifically to help the commissioners de- velop their 2017 budget. He had been given the list of requests by the various county depart- ments, and compiled them as a "starting point" prior to meeting with the commissioners. Most of the department heads were also present for the meeting with the auditor. That made the "starting point" for the discussion a bud- get requiring 109.61 mils -- up almost 18.5 mils from its current level of 91.175 mils. That, they agreed, was too much of an increase. The main problem facing the commissioners in trying to make it all fit was that the valuation in the county has dropped from al- most $40 million a year ago to about $32.25 million now. That means that it would take a higher mil levy to fund a department's budget request -- even though most of the department heads had asked for the same, or slightly less money, than in the current budget. Department by department, the commissioners and the au- ditor went through the budget, seeing where they could trim out additional dollars. After going through the bud- Weather as recorded by John Lehman Date High Low Precip. 7-6 95 70 0.00 7-7 97 79 0.00 7-8 97 68 0.62 7-9 93 70 0.04 7-10 96 77 0.00 7-11 94 78 0.00 7-12 94 72 0.00 get item by item -- and making reductions where they felt they could -- they had lowered the proposed levy by a little more than two mils to 107.282. That still represents an in- crease of almost 18 per cent or 16.107 mils. The commissioners and au- ditor talked for some time about the fact that a Kansas law comes into effect next year which would force them to call a special elec- tion to approve a raise in the amount of funds raised. An in- crease this year might help to avoid that situation next year. After considerable discus- sion, the commissioners voted to approve the budget for publi- cation as they had changed it, and set the public hearing for 9 a.m. Aug. 8. That will be just prior to sit- ting as the board of canvassers and canvassing the ballots from the Aug. 2 primary election the week before the meeting. At the recommendation of the auditor, the commissioners also passed a resolution to move $1.7 million from the oil and gas depletion trust fund into the 2016 general fund. The commissioners also dis- cussed the fact that they will hold their regular "first-Tuesday-of- the-month" meeting to pay bills and handle regular business on Friday, Aug. 5, since the elec- tion will be on their regular meet- ing day, Tuesday, Aug. 2. The only other person on their agenda for the special meet- ing this week was Comanche County Road and Bridge Super- visor Dennis Hernandez. He reported that former county employee Jody Alley had agreed to contract with the county to patch and overlay several sections of the county blacktops, preparing it for the contractor who will be putting a chip-n-seal coating on the roads the last part of August. The commissioners agreed to let Her- nandez contract with Alley to do that job. Hemandez and the commis- sioners also discussed a bridge three miles south of Protection near the Clark County line. After some discussion, they in- structed Hernandez to have his crew remove the trees around the bridge and clean the silt out from under it to allow more water to flow beneath the bridge. uncil Meeting this Monday Broussard's attorney, Josh evening, members of the Cold- Nocolay from Pratt, further ex- water City Council wereoffered plaining the situation which a new water well -- at no cost -- boils down to the fact that to help supplement the city's Broussard's irrigation well was water supply, drilled to close to the city well, But there was a condition infringing on the city's water along with the offer, rights. The two offered to give Steve Broussard who owns the well to the city so it could be land near the northwest corner tied into the city water system of Coldwater (the old Thompson -- in exchange for permission to place) told the council that, be- allow Broussard to use the well ing from Louisiana, he was un- for irrigation. familiar with some ofthe laws and Broussard's well would regulations in Kansas. prove to be a 115 gallon per As a result, he had hired Pratt minute "boost" to the city's sup- Well Service to drill an irrigation ply. They noted that the city wa- well -- and it was drilled too ter well there was drilled in the close to the city water well just 1940s. northwest of Coldwater. The council agreed to con- When he found out there wassider the matter later in the meet- a problem with his new well, it ing, and let Broussard know the was already completed, and he decision. can only operate the well if given Council members discussed permission by the city council. Broussard's request at length, as He said he wants to plant seven well as discussing and looking acres of alfalfa at that location, at a photo of a dam across Cav- and irrigate from the well, ifpos- airy Creek near that location. sible. They expressed concerns about His other option is to plugthe dam across the main source the well (which he said had al- of water for Lake Coldwater. ready cost him nearly $90,000) After some discussion, the and drill a new one farther away council agreed to talk to the rela from the city well. (continued on page 3) All business was the look on the face of six-year-old Colt Yoder as he took his turn competing in Monday night's Kids Pedal Tractor Pull at the Comanche County Fair. See the results of the contest on page 3. photo by Donnies D. Anderson