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Halstead, KS 67056
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February 15, 2018
Harvey County IndependentFebruary 15, 2018 Harvey County Independent

40-Acre Rule Loosening For Rural Home Builds

Posted 2/15/2018

THE Harvey County Planning and Zoning Commission has approved changes to the 40-acre rule for home sites.THE Harvey County Planning and Zoning Commission has approved changes to the 40-acre rule for home sites.NEWTON – The Harvey County Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a change to the 40-acre rule for home building in Harvey County, easing restrictions and  the issue goes to the county commission next for final approval.

The 40-acre rule, which dictates a person must have a minimum of 40 acres before building a new home, has been in effect since 1987.  Some forces in the county wanted the acreage requirement dropped to 10 acres but the governing body rejected that.

“We are going to take out all of the accessory ways to split off a piece of land. It shouldn’t be in the ag zoning, it should be in subdivision regulations,” said Planning and Zoning Director Gina Bell.

The Planning and Zoning Commission has been working on the changes for almost a year.

Planning Commission member Patrick Wendling said, “We were approached by the county commission and from Realtors. The county wanted to generate tax dollars and the Commission was wanting to change something, something needed to change. A 10-acre plot anywhere was originally proposed and doing away with the 40 acres completely. That was definitely a no.”

Bell added, “When the planning commission started discussing this we all had different reasons. We had discussions amongst ourselves to begin with and one of the reasons for the change is we’re under a tax lid right now.  We don’t have any additional taxation to supplement the services that you currently have. Harvey County is in really good shape right now, but if we stay under the tax lid for very long and we don’t get any more taxes coming in, then we have to provided service under what we’ve got right now that’s fine, but I can’t guarantee that it’s going to be fine for a long time.”

Halstead Realtor Beth Ann Kingsley said “The 40 acre rule is a hindrance for people who want to move to the county and live in the country. Not only that but taxes are much higher here than surrounding counties. There is much more rural land availability in Sedgwick County.”

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Carpentry Class Transforms Bus Barn

Posted 2/15/2018

By Jared JanzenTHE open house showing off the residential carpentry class’s work at the bus barn was well attended. The class’s work on the space included removing an old wall, putting up sheet rock, some plumbing and adding new carpet and trim.THE open house showing off the residential carpentry class’s work at the bus barn was well attended. The class’s work on the space included removing an old wall, putting up sheet rock, some plumbing and adding new carpet and trim.

HALSTEAD—Thanks to a group of high school students, bus drivers for the Halstead-Bentley School District have a newly renovated space at the bus barn to use in between their routes.

Students in the Chris Wilson’s residential carpentry class have been working on renovating this area of the bus barn since this time a year ago.

About 10 or 11 students have been in the class each semester. Wilson said a lot of the students who worked on space last spring were seniors who graduated, and then a new group enrolled in the fall.

The scope of the project included a little bit of everything except electrical work.

Students removed a low wall near the front entrance left over from the building’s days as a skating rink and put in sheet rock to extend a wall 10 feet past where the old one ended. A second bathroom was added to give men and women separate facilities. They also created a separate room for the water heater and made a nice kitchen area with a sink, fridge and microwave.

The space will give bus drivers a clean, comfortable place to hold their meetings as well as providing a space for them to use before or after their routes.

“The only thing I regret is not taking a before picture,” Wilson said. “I don’t have something to compare it to, but it’s 100 times better.”

An open house at the bus barn was held Monday night to show off the new area. Those in attendance included some of the students and their families, bus drivers, district administrators, school board members, maintenance staff and others involved in the project.

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Kanza Co-Op Donates Rescue Equipment

Posted 2/15/2018

By Jared JanzenKANZA Co-Op donated a rescue auger to Newton Fire/EMS last Wednesday. Pictured are Chris Anderson, Andy Harder, Bryce Roth, Cory Lehman, Cory Enterkin, Lucas McNally, Dylan Anderson, Jared Bergner and Ryan Mahlandt. KANZA Co-Op donated a rescue auger to Newton Fire/EMS last Wednesday. Pictured are Chris Anderson, Andy Harder, Bryce Roth, Cory Lehman, Cory Enterkin, Lucas McNally, Dylan Anderson, Jared Bergner and Ryan Mahlandt.

NEWTON—Kanza Co-Op donated a piece of equipment to Newton Fire/EMS last week that could one day save someone’s life. The new tool is a rescue auger, used for situations where a person is engulfed in grain.

Cory Enterkin, safety and compliance manager for Kanza Co-Op, presented the rescue auger to the fire/EMS department last Wednesday. It has a value of about $900 and will be available to use in a grain engulfment rescue anywhere in the county.

Kanza Co-Op has a location in the city of Sedgwick as well as locations in Sedgwick, Pratt and Stafford counties. They also donated grain engulfment rescue equipment to Sedgwick County two years ago, Enterkin said.

Newton Firefighter/Paramedic Lucas McNally explained the new auger will be used for if a farmer becomes entrapped in grain when walking on top of it inside a silo.

“Sometimes that will crust over, and where they’ll get in trouble is if it crusts over and they walk on top of it and it collapses,” McNally said. “And when they do that, it just swallows them and buries them just like quicksand.”

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