WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation – today announced a $7,178,799 Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for critical infrastructure improvements at the Newton City-County Airport.

“This grant from the FAA to the Newton City-County Airport will allow for much-needed infrastructure improvements, enabling the airport to support the area’s aviation needs for years to come,” said Sen. Moran. “Local airports are vital to the regional economies across Kansas, and I’m pleased to see this award go to Newton and Harvey County, allowing for continued development in the area.”

“This grant is great news for our airport,” said City of Newton City Manager Bob Myers. “This is a project we have needed for some time now, and we greatly appreciate our partners at the federal level for securing this valuable funding assistance.”

“The benefit to the community is the airfield has over 400 employees in 21 different businesses,” said Chairman of the Harvey County Commission George “Chip” Westfall. “It supplies employment for local counties, which impacts our economy, period. We have several aircraft mechanical companies out there that bring in maintenance work not just for Newton, but for all over the region, which boosts our economy.”

The $7.2 million grant will be used to reconstruct the taxiway that runs adjacent to the primary runway, allowing for the continued and expanded use of the runway by larger, heavier aircraft. According to the Kansas Department of Commerce, the airport generates $157 million in economic impact to the local economy each year. More information on this and other AIP grants can be found here.
The Harvey County Commission voted Nov. 26 to amend its recycling resolution. The resolution will no longer prohibit recyclable material in the municipal solid waste stream at the Harvey County Transfer Station, effective Jan. 1.

The decision does not end recycling programs in Harvey County. Rather, it no longer makes recycling mandatory. It also provides the opportunity for cities to decide how to implement recycling services in their communities. 

The amendment comes after several months of discussion in commission and intergovernmental meetings between the County, municipalities and Waste Connections. The County pays Waste Connections to receive and haul recyclables from the Harvey County Transfer Station.

Citing a decreasing economic market for recyclable material and excessive non-recyclable material in the recycling stream, Waste Connections requested to review its contract with the County, which runs through April 2022.

Waste Connections recently performed an audit of material brought in through the recycle stream at the Transfer Station. The audit found 36 percent of items by weight in the recycle stream were contaminated - or, not able to be recycled. Waste Connections requires less than 10 percent contamination.

While Waste Connections agreed to honor its current contract rate, it will now have the ability to reject future loads of recyclables from specific recycling trucks for 30 days if the hauler delivers a load with more than 10 percent contamination. Haulers will have the option of taking largely contaminated recyclable loads to municipal solid waste.

Commissioners expressed appreciation to county residents that continue to be good stewards of the local recycling program, and encouraged residents to continue to recycle.

Harvey County implemented its original resolution on recycling in 2000.
Harvey County completed its canvass for the 2019 general election Thursday, Nov. 14, certifying results from the Nov. 5 election.

The election board canvassed 95 provisional ballots.

There were 81 provisional ballots that were counted. Descriptions of the provisional ballots included 41 voters that requested a ballot mailed in advance but instead voted at a poll site, 29 voters that moved within the county but had not re-registered, 8 voters that had a name change since registering and 2 ballots that were election office/pollworker error.

There were 14 ballots not counted. Eleven of those ballots were cast by voters not registered in Harvey County, and three voters failed to provide a valid photo identification card.

Harvey County had a 29 percent voter turnout in this election, with 6,866 ballots cast out of 23,615 registered voters. 

This election featured several city and school board races, as well as a constitutional question regarding an adjustment to census bureau counts for nonresident military and students. City of Newton voters approved the sale of alcohol on Sundays. The City of Sedgwick had ballot measures for potential one-half percent sales taxes for street and park improvements - both measures passed.

The election board is comprised of county commissioners Randy Hague, Ron Krehbiel and George "Chip" Westfall.

Complete results can be found here.
The Harvey County Commission set its public holidays for 2020 at its Nov. 19 meeting.

The Commission provided 10-1/2 days of holiday for the upcoming year. County facilities will be closed beyond their normal hours of operation during those days.

The holidays include:

New Year's Day, Jan. 1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Jan. 20
Presidents Day, Feb. 17
Memorial Day, May 25
Independence Day, observed July 3
Labor Day, Sept. 7
Veterans Day, Nov. 11
Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 26-27
Christmas Eve, afternoon of Dec. 24
Christmas, Dec. 25

Additionally, the County will continue to use Columbus Day, Oct. 12, as an employee in-service day.
Harvey County will hold a tax foreclosure sale for specified properties Dec. 13.

The sale will start at 9 a.m. in the community room of the Harvey County Courthouse. The sale is open to the public. The county sheriff administers the sale.

Tax foreclosure sales are done when tax liabilities have not been paid by a property owner. Current property owners can redeem the property up to one day before the sale.

There are four real estate properties scheduled to be included in the sale. Those properties can be viewed here.

Registration for the sale begins at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the sale. Bidders must register before the sale begins. The highest bidder for cash in hand receives the property. Bidders cannot have outstanding taxes due on their own properties.

For more on the sale process, click here. An example of a bidder affidavit of non-interest can be found here.

*Since this article was published, Causes 11, 13, 17 and 26 have been redeemed and will not be available at the foreclosure sale.*