September 2021 Leavenworth County Newsletter

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Board of County Commissioners

The Board of County Commissioners serves as the Chief Legislative and Executive Branch of the County Government. Composed of five members, the Board is elected to staggered four year terms. Each Commissioner represents a district of the County.

The duties of the Board of County Commissioners include:

  • Approving the County budget and expenditures
  • Appointing the various department heads of the County
  • Exercising powers of local legislation

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The Board of County Commissioners regular meetings are held in the County Courthouse at 300 Walnut Street; Regular meetings are held each week on Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. Meetings are live streamed on the County's YouTube channel.

Sheriff's Office
Harvest Time Harvest time is approaching, more grain trucks and implements will be on the rural roadways.
Please, be patient and give them the space to do their work.

County Clerk's Office

ELECTION CALENDAR FOR 2021

CITY/SCHOOL GENERAL ELECTIONS

October 12 Last day to register to vote

October 13 Begin mailing advance voting ballots and advance voting begins in office

October 26 Last day to request advance ballot

November 1 Noon deadline to vote advance voting ballot in person in the County Election Office

November 2 GENERAL ELECTION

November 3 Voter registration books reopen

Transfer Station News and Updates

At Leavenworth County, we attribute our success and continued growth to the loyalty and professionalism our employees pour into their roles. With that said, we would like to take a moment to place the spotlight on one of our team members. Today's Employee Spotlight is on our Transfer Station Director, Tammy Saldivar. Tammy has been a valued employee with the County for almost 32 years!

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Tammy, at the County you have worked for the Council on Aging and providing residents information in the Courthouse. How long have you been at the Transfer Station?
I have been at the Transfer Station since 2009.

As the director of Solid Waste Management, what programs do you oversee?
Daily, I oversee the household hazardous waste, composting and recycling programs, and the many residential and commercial customers bringing waste to the station.n.

What programs have you initiated?
In 2014 I initiated a battery recycling program. In 2016 I added a sharps collection program to expand services for county residents.

Can you tell us a little about the Sharp's Collection Program?
Sure, I started the sharps collection program after noticing a problem of several syringes (sharps) being on the tipping floor coming from trash trucks. We are required to inspect loads several times a day.

To safely manage waste disposal in a compliant, environmentally responsible manner, we needed a single-source full-service option for storage, transportation, tracking, and disposal. I found that in Sharps Compliance, Inc. I purchase a 30-gallon takeaway recovery system for sharps. That gives us the container to accept the sharps without employees having to touch them, then the box to put the container back in with a mailing label and return. I can track manifest, get proof of destruction and generate reports for KDHE as needed. The sharps are auto-calved, shredded, and used for green energy, which is clean energy produced with little-to-no environmental impact. We accept sharps here at the transfer station from Leavenworth county residents only. No businesses are allowed to drop off sharps, but they are given the number to Sharps Compliance and encouraged to contact them.

What makes waste management an essential service?
Unsound waste management could cause unforeseen effects on human health and the environment. By reducing, reusing, and recycling, you can help to conserve resources and protect the environment.

What do you like to do in your time off?
I like to read, but there is not much downtime with two grand kids in football, two grand kids in cheer, and one grand kid in puppets.

What is your favorite quote?
Be curious, not judgmental. -Walt Whitman

Community Corrections
Mr. Alphaeus Williams

Meet the newest member of Community Corrections, Mr. Alphaeus Williams.

He accepted the dual position of Adult Intensive Supervision Officer/Juvenile Intake Officer and will begin his career with us on September 22nd. Alphaeus completed his graduate and undergraduate degrees at Baker University, where he also played and later coached football. He has previous corrections experience working at the Johnson County Adult Residential Center and youth experience working at Kids TLC hospital in Olathe.

If you see Mr. Williams around, please say hello and help us welcome him to Leavenworth County!

Health Department and Emergency Medical Services

Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program

KS-WIC

WHAT IS WIC?
WIC stands for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program fro Women, Infants and Children. It's a USDA federally-funded program that provides supplemental foods and nutrition education to income eligible pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to five years old.

WIC ELIGIBILITY

Residency: Must live in Kansas.
Categorical: Must be a pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum woman, infant, or child up to five years old.
Nutritional Risk: Must demonstrate nutritional risk as determined by a health professional.

* Income criteria changes in May of each year
Pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, and children one to five years of age may receive:

  • Milk
  • Natural cheese
  • Eggs
  • Iron-fortified cereal Vitamin C rich juice
  • Dry beans, peas, or peanut butter
  • Canned beans
  • Tuna (as applicable)
  • Pink Salmon (as applicable)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • 100% whole wheat bread
  • Tortillas
  • Brown Rice
  • Yogurt
  • Tofu
  • Whole wheat pasta

Infants may receive:

  • Special breastfeeding support or infant formula for the first year
  • Infant cereal, baby food fruits and baby food vegetables starting at 6 months
  • Some fresh fruits and vegetables at 9 months
  • Pureed meats at an appropriate age (as applicable)

Special food packages are available for the homeless, children or women with special health needs, and women who exclusively breastfeed.
For more W.I.C. information, call (913) 250-2040 or visit the W.I.C. office in Leavenworth.

Council on Aging

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    Please join us for our 15th Annual Meals on Wheels Benefit. As you know, the past eighteen months have been especially difficult for the senior population. Many have faced new issues such as isolation from their families and friends on top of other concerns such as food insecurity and financial challenges. During this time, the number of seniors in Leavenworth County qualifying for Meals on Wheels has nearly doubled, and the Council on Aging's staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to ensure seamless delivery despite the rapid growth. Approximately 375 meals are delivered each day to recipients in Leavenworth, Lansing, Tonganoxie, Basehor, Linwood, Jarbalo and Easton, and unfortunately 50% of the seniors who responded to our annual survey shared their Meals on Wheels lunches are the only meals they eat in a day. Equally concerning is approximately 40% of recipients are no longer able to afford the requested $2.00 donation per meal.

    Seating will be limited, so reserve your spot with the advance purchase of tickets to help support your Leavenworth County neighbors. Benefit dinner tickets will be available at the Council on Aging, 1830 S. Broadway: $20.00 per person and $10.00 (age 10 and under). A limited number of tickets will also be available at the door the night of the event. This year's menu features a choice of carved turkey or beef, cheesy potatoes, & green beans, dessert, coffee or tea. We will also host live and silent auctions. Wearing a mask will be highly recommended. We hope to see you there!

    Falls Prevention Week

    The coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot of things. One thing that's still the same, falling is NOT a normal part of aging. The Council on Aging is committed to empowering all older adults in Leavenworth County to age well, and that includes avoiding falls. On September 20-24, we are partnering with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to observe Falls Prevention Awareness Week.

    Falls remain a leading cause of injury for people aged 65 and older. Falls threaten older adults' safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. However, through practical lifestyle adjustments, evidence-based falls prevention programs, and clinical-community partnerships, the number of falls among older adults can be substantially reduced.

    6 steps to prevent a fall:


  • Find a good balance and exercise program. Look to build balance, strength, and flexibility. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for referrals. Find a program you like and take a friend.
  • Talk to your health care provider. Ask for an assessment of your risk of falling. Share your history of recent falls.
  • Regularly review your medications with your doctor of pharmacist. Make sure side effects are increasing your risk of falling. Take medications only as prescribed.
  • Get you vision and hearing checked annually and update your eyeglasses. You eyes and ears are key to keeping you on your feet.
  • Keep your home safe. Remove tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe, and install grab bars in key areas.
  • Talk to your family members. Enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe. Falls are not just a seniors' issue.
We encourage you to visit NCOA Falls Free Checkup complete a short, 12-question survey that screens for the most common falls risk factors.


County Treasurer's Office

  1. September vehicle renewals are for the letters P, Q, and R.

    Taxpayers may renew up to 60 days in advance of their renewal deadline.

  2. Drivers License has now reopened at the Annex for renewals only and by appointment only, Tuesday through Friday. Please call the Annex at 364-5730 for an appointment.

For more information about registering your vehicle, visit this section of our website: Renewing Your License Plate

Planning and Zoning

Amy Allison
Meet the newest member of the Planning and Zoning Office!!


Amy Allison is the new Deputy Director for the Planning & Zoning Department. She comes to Leavenworth from Hutchinson, KS where she has been a part of the Planning & Development Department for seven years. Amy is a certified planner and earned her bachelor and master's degrees from Kansas State University in the Regional and Community Planning Division of the College of Architecture, Planning and Design.

Amy is a native Kansan, born and raised in Topeka. She enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, watching football (Go Cats!) and traveling to visit her eight, soon to be nine, nieces and nephews.

Register of Deeds

NEWS AND UPDATES FROM THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OFFICE

Potential Scam

Some landowners are receiving fishy looking letters, from a company called Huddelston REI out of Bedford, Texas. Please be alert, then inform your friends and neighbors to be aware of this company that tries to coerce the landowner to sign a purchase agreement for their property for a very under priced offer.


Register of Deeds - Featured Program Speaker

The Fall Creek Home Owners Association held their annual meeting on August 26th in Tonganoxie. The program featured TerriLois Mashburn, Register of Deeds, on the benefits of the free Property Fraud Alert program for land owners in Leavenworth County, Transfer on Death Deeds, and other recorded documents.

TerriTyler Wehr of the Leavenworth Co. GIS Department and TerriLois gave a joint presentation at the Leavenworth County Public Library on September 8th on researching online as well as Property Fraud Alert. Cindy McGuire, Programming Coordinator for the Library, said it was the second largest attended meeting they'd had!

If you would like a program presentation for your club, contact the Register of Deeds, at tmashburn@leavenworthcounty.gov.




Property Fraud Alert: Upcoming Promotions

Lansing'sFall Festival is traditionally held the second Saturday of October. Since 2015, the event has been held along Angel Falls Trail located next to St. Francis de Sales Church, 900 Ida St, Lansing, KS 66043. Overflow parking will be available at Lansing Elementary School, along with a shuttle bus to the event. Stop by to visit my table!

Getting the word out!

Rural Leavenworth, Inc. hosted a Volunteer Festival at the Fire District 1's Station #2 on Saturday, September 11th. FD

I had a table at the event to educate attendees about the importance of Property Fraud Alert.Several participants took the opportunity to subscribe to the free service.

County Commissioners Vicki Kaaz and Mike Stieben were also at the event.

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We are so grateful for our firemen.  If you would like to join the Volunteers, please find the station closest to you in the link below and locate which district is yours. Call that Fire District for more information. The Fire Stations do need help! https://files.leavenworthcounty.gov/Department/GIS/Fire%20Districts%20&%20Stations.pdf


TerriLoisA public announcement was made regarding PFA at the Leavenworth City Commissioner's meeting on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021.

New PFA Partners

Lawyer's Title Company, Alliance Nationwide Title Company and the City of Leavenworth have partnered with the Register of Deed's office in promoting the Property Fraud Alert with their customers. My thanks for helping to share the information!


Employee Spotlight: Susan Draftz is Deputy and Records Account Specialist. She has her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University, extensive experience in researching Kansas Statutes, and was a Realtor. She came to the Register of Deeds from the Kansas State Capital where she worked for Representatives David French of KS District 41 and Tim Johnson of KS District 38. A fun fact to know about Susan is she types 100 words per minute.

What is a brief explanation of what the Register of Deeds office is responsible for?
Recording land records and keeping them organized so the public can locate them.

What is the best part about your job?
Dealing with people.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Dealing with people.

If there was on tip you could get everyone to do when dealing with the Register of Deeds office, what would it be?
Do not use the abbreviated legal from the Appraiser's or Treasurer's website.

What do you enjoy doing on your time off from work?
Visiting with my 8 children and 11 grandchildren

What are your future goals?
Retiring

County Attorney's Office

Child Safety when using Social Media

Safety For Teens

The County Attorney's office has seen a rising level of issues with children and social media. We have seen many cases of cyber-bullying, sexual solicitation, and sharing of inappropriate pictures. Although there are positives to social media, we find it essential for parents to talk with kids about using social media wisely. We ask them to ensure they have access to all of their technology. Also, parents should understand they can take this technology away from them.

Things to consider are that teens post photos of themselves online or use their real names on their profiles, reveal their birthdays and interests, and post their school name and the town where they live. This information can allow predators to harm them or attempt to groom them. An alarming fact is that most teens can say they have had contacted by someone they don't know, have been threatened, or receive inappropriate ads.

Photos, videos, and comments made online can't always be taken back once posted. Even when a teen thinks something has been deleted, it can be impossible to erase it from the Internet completely. In addition, posting an inappropriate photo can damage a reputation and cause problems years later & such as when a potential employer or college admissions officer does a background check.

Teens should know that sending a mean-spirited text, even as a joke, can be very hurtful to someone else and even taken as a threat.

What we have also seen in studies is the overuse of social media can lead to depression.

We ask parents to be aware of what their kids do online. The key is to stay involved in a way that makes your kids understand that you respect their privacy but want to make sure they're safe. Parents shouldn't snoop because that could erode the trust between the parent and child, but it is helpful that if anything happens, parents have access, and children know the parents have that access.

Mental health professions encourage parents to advise children to:

Be nice. Mean behavior is not OK. Make it clear that you expect your kids to treat others with respect and never post hurtful or embarrassing messages. And ask them always to tell you about any harassing or bullying messages that others post.

Think twice before hitting "enter." Remind teens that what they post can be used against them. For example, letting the world know that you're off on vacation or posting your home address gives would-be robbers a chance to strike. Teens also should avoid posting specific locations of parties or events, as well as phone numbers.

Follow the "WWGS?" (What Would Grandma Say?) rule. Teach kids not to share anything on social media that they wouldn't want their teachers, college admissions officers, future bosses & and yes, grandma to see.

Use privacy settings. Privacy settings are important. Go through them together to make sure your kids understand each one. Also, explain that passwords are there to protect them against things like identity theft. They should never share them with anyone, even a boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend.

Don't "friend" strangers. "If you don't know them, don't friend them." This is a plain, simple and safe rule of thumb.

Public Works

ST-100 Bridge Replacement Project
KDOT

On September 1, 2021, the application submitted by Leavenworth County for an Off-System Bridge Program project to replace ST-100 Bridge was selected by KDOT for funding. The Off-System Bridge Program is a KDOT funding source that assists with up to 80% of costs associated with the construction and construction inspection services. For the ST-100 Bridge replacement, Leavenworth County has requested the full 80% funding, approximately $563,500 dollars, for the anticipated 2023 construction.

Fairmount Road lies between the cities of Basehor and Lansing and is the only fully paved corridor, north of Basehor, between Kansas Highway 7 and County Route 5/Tonganoxie Road. As a result, the roadway and the bridge, just west of 170th Street, are very heavily traveled by many county residents in the center of the County and the communities surrounding Tonganoxie, Basehor, and Lansing. In the last 10 years, Basehor has experienced a 40% growth; both the Tonganoxie and the Lansing areas have had steady growth as well. Such rapidly expanding suburban development within the County causes additional strain on transportation infrastructure and creates an increased need for maintenance.

The ST-100 Bridge Replacement project has not yet been designed, but Public Works will be working quickly to get that completed and move forward with easement acquisition and utility relocation. Project status updates and information can be found on the public works department page of the Leavenworth County website at Project Status Updates.

Leavenworth County would like to communicate with as many residents as possible. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and neighbors. Click here to subscribe. Leavenworth County is also on Facebook, so residents can follow their local government and stay informed about the latest news and events.