Commissioners set Waconda fireworks date


BELOIT – Heather Johnson, representing the Waconda Lake Fireworks Association, asked and received approval for the 2018 Fourth of July show to be held at Waconda Lake during the Mitchell County Commissioners meeting held on Monday, June 4. 

The five-member Johnson family has served as the association members for several years and announced this will be their last year of doing so. The fireworks require about $9,000 per year in funding. They seek those funds out through about 200 solicitation letters which are submitted annually. The commissioners determined to hold the event June 30 at Waconda Lake beginning around dusk.

Mitchell County HEAL (Health Eating Active Living) Committee members including Jeff Zimmer, Stephanie Simmons, and Chad Lorenz were present asking about bicycle signage first discussed two summers ago. Beloit City Manager Jason Rabe presented options for bicycle, pedestrian and trail improvements in the county.

Lorenz said they are planning a race event in September. Therefore, they are hoping to have the routes set and marked by that time. Needs include about a dozen signs as well as “sharrows” which are marking on the roadways indicating bicycle paths. The group also wants to conduct an education event in Beloit for adults along with three kid’s bicycling safety clinics planned throughout the summer.

The commissioners approved the extended route in the county with the exclusion of about a three-mile section of Highway 14 which will have to be taken up with and approved by the Kansas Department of Transportation. The HEAL Committee will seek out grant funding for the signage project. The commissioners gave a guarantee to provide funds for the signage if grant money was not sufficient to cover the expense.

The extended route, which will also be the September race route, runs west from Beloit along Main St./Harry Trail to 250 Road. The route then travels south to the Tipton Blacktop. It then turns back east to K-14 Hwy. then north into Beloit. The route totals about 15.5 miles.

Following discussion of the new time clock system, the commissioners moved to put all courthouse employees on an hour by hour basis starting June 1. The previous system of averaging out hours over the course of the year is being replaced. Salaried employees, such as department heads, will not be affected.

The commissioners also welcomed and recognized Julia Rabe as the new Director of the Beloit Area Chamber of Commerce.

They also approved a request by Director of Public Works Dale Housh for a $22,000 allotment to purchase a sand spreader and snow plow for the county from a KDOT surplus sale.

The commissioners are next scheduled to meet on Monday, June 11. After which they will host the quarterly multi-county meeting with the commissioners and clerks of Jewell, Smith and Osborne Counties. The group will have a working lunch at Plum Creek Restaurant in Beloit.


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