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Christmas in the Park Dec. 7: Family Fun For Free

The big rock shelter house at Gunn Park is lit by Christmas as part of Christmas in the Park in 2017.

Christmas in the Park 2019  organizers hope to provide the community with a great holiday experience, according to Tom Robertson, one of the event coordinators. Robertson is the director of the Fort Scott Recreation Center. He and Diana Mitchell are spearheading the annual event.

Food, entertainment, crafts, and photo opportunities are provided with help from the City of Fort Scott many community volunteers who donate time and materials.

“If you haven’t been before, come,” Mitchell said. “It’s a wonderful evening. Where else can you go and spend three hours and it cost nothing.”

 

The event will take place on December 7th from 5 – 8 p.m. at Gunn Park.

 

The activities include chili for the family, a live band by Danny Brown Christmas music,  real reindeer for viewing, a live nativity by Bethel Community Church,  Christmas crafts for children to make, and a visit with Santa, portrayed by James Wood.

 

New this year is a coffee/hot chocolate bar with all the fixings and a selfie bar for fun family photos.

 

“The selfie bar will be provided by the Terrell Vann family,” Mitchell said. “You can hold crazy things up with a backdrop.”

 

Bring the camera for many other photo opportunities with Santa and real reindeer, Mitchell said.

 

All participants will be bussed into Gunn Park from parking lots at the Fort Scott Community College Nursing Department at 8th and Burke Street and the Fort Scott Professional Building at  8th and Osbun Street. Fort Scott Community College, USD 234, and some nursing homes are providing busses.

 

“We bus for the safety of participants,” Mitchell said. “Traditionally, there are about 1,600 people there.”

 

Some adventurous people walk into the park, she said.

 

“And that is acceptable, it is three-fourths of a mile to the center of the park,” Mitchell noted.

 

There will be long lines to some of the activities and patience is asked of participants.

 

The event is coordinated by members of the community in conjunction with the City of Fort Scott, according to Robertson.

 

The Fort Scott Police Department, the Fort Scott Fire Department, Fort Scott Community College, individual families, Winfield Scott Elementary School first-grade teachers and the Eye Center all are a part of the annual event.

 

“We want to provide a great holiday experience in a beautiful park in Fort Scott,” Robertson said. “It will allow our patrons to eat, listen to Christmas music, make crafts, decorate a sugar cookie, pet a live reindeer and of course… see Santa.”

 

Gunn Park will be closed to the public from Wednesday,  Dec. 4 until the event to prepare for the event, Mitchell said.

The following is where the activities are scheduled:

Park at parking lots and buses will pick up attendees at those sites.

Shelter 1-chili will be served.

Outside of a tent near this shelter will be the live band, provided by Danny Brown playing Christmas music. Inside the tent will be the hot chocolate/coffee bar and kids can decorate a cookie.

Shelter 2- the selfie bar is provided for photo opportunities, bring your camera.

Outside of the selfie bar will be live reindeer from Towanda, KS.

Shelter 6-Santa will be available for listening to Christmas requests.

Shelter 7-Christmas crafts for children sponsored by Buck Run Community Center.

Buses will transport attendees back to the parking lot to their cars.

Lake Fort Scott Advisory Board Formed

A board has been formed to help the local government entities keep informed of safety and other issues at Lake Fort Scott.
The chairman of the board will be determined at the first meeting, according to Robert Uhler, Fort Scott Community Development Director.
“The chairman will be determined at the first meeting. I am sending out a Doodle Poll this week to plan for the first meeting.”
“We thought it would be a good idea to start an advisory to help guide the city in all things happening at the lake,” he said. “Just like we have the design review board for the downtown historic district and the airport advisory board for the airport.”
Robert Uhler

The Fort Scott Lake Advisory Board had its organizing meeting at the Sleep Inn Hotel Meeting Room on Oct. 17, 2019.

Fort Scott City Manager David Martin called the meeting to order and explained that he is getting the group started, but would have Uhler facilitate the lake advisory board meetings, according to a press release from the city.

 Uhler then had the attendees introduce themselves and give a brief explanation of their interest in serving on the advisory board, according to the press release.

He explained the system of voting for the candidates for the board.

After a brief discussion, the attendees then voted to complete the board as per city ordinances.

After counting the votes, the following names were submitted to the Fort Scott City Commission on Nov. 5 for approval to serve on the board:

The east side lake representatives are Nancy Van Etten and Shane Wood; west side representative’s are Tom Brink and Dean Striler.

The at-large representative is Nancy Maze.

Other representatives are Jolynne Mitchell, Fort Scott City Commissioner; Jeff Fisher, Bourbon County Commissioner; Don Banwart and Marcy Myer, both city/county residents.

Others who attended the meeting:  Becky Howard, Richard Clark, Valerie Graham, Tom Graham, Harold Martin, Jon Eden, Bob Talbot,  Debbie Talbot, Dana Davis, Kerry Van Etten, Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin, Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office Major Bobbie Reed and Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Director Lindsay Madison.

 

Lake Fort Scott is located on Indian Road, southwest of Fort Scott.

Website Being Developed to Aid Renting Houses/Apts. in Fort Scott

Frank Adamson. Submitted photo.
Over the last year, local businessman Frank Adamson has been developing a rental property website called GrowFortScott.
He is currently accepting landlords and local businesses to the website and joining is free.
“The platform was designed to gather the local rental market and renters, to one place, to fulfill their combined needs,” Adamson said.
“We understood that endless calls between landlords and potential renters seemed a bit outdated.”
Click below to view the site:

“Inspiration for the site came from Ryan Sparks in Iola,” he said. “He has www.growiola.com. However, there have been many people involved with the development of the (GrowFortScott) project. Local landlords and business owners have contributed. And most importantly Isaac Robinson, formally from Uniontown,  facilitated the website construction. YouAreNowOnline.com.”

“I am the main developer of the site functionality and concept. I have spent many hours making sure that all of the functions were “User-Friendly” before launching the platform to the community,” he said.

There are three core components to the service: rentals and renters, local businesses and local job openings.

 

“We have been developing relationships with local landlords and businesses to find out what some of their needs and wants would be,” he said. “We identified the biggest needs and have developed around them.”
When fully functional, the website  www.GrowFortScott.com will consolidate rental properties, from multiple landlords, that are available now.
“You can search for rent, bedrooms, bathrooms and if it is pet-friendly,” he said. “View multiple photos and read the description of the rental. All from the comfort of wherever you may be. Then once you have determined what rental you would like to inquire about, you fill out an on-line application to the landlord. They will receive it, review it and respond to you. You will then be able to schedule a time to meet at the rental and finalize the renting of the property.”
“Access to local businesses and local jobs just fit as an intricate part of the community,” Adamson said. “We have made it simple for the local businesses to join and provide simple access to their business location, basic information, and potential job openings they may have.”
Frank and his wife, Cheryl Adamson are the owners of the Courtland Hotel and Spa.

New Tree Removal Business: Jason Lewis

Jason Lewis, owner of Timber! Trees A to Z. Submitted photos.
Jason Lewis, 46, started a new business in May 2019 that provides tree removal services and more in Fort Scott.
The Fort Scott native, who graduated in 1991, spent the following 26 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 2017.
“I started this business so I could have a more flexible schedule,” Lewis said.
The name of Lewis’s business is Timber! Trees A to Z and also includes stump grinding, pasture clearing, debris removal, and residential dump truck services.
A part of Jason Lewis’s line of equipment. Submitted photos.
Timber! Trees A to Z address is 1082 205th St., Fort Scott.
Lewis can be reached at 620-215-6784 or
His community involvement includes serving as senior vice president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Club.

Lewis is married to Lori Lewis and has a daughter, Ainslee Lewis and three stepsons, Jacob, Hunter,  and Peyton Zubieta.

Jason Lewis works on a tree with some of his equipment. Submitted photos.

 

Fort Scott’s Holiday Open House Tonight Nov. 14 from 5-8 p.m.

The annual Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce holiday shopping event is this evening.

From 5-8 p.m. Nov. 14,  stores in the downtown area will welcome shoppers with new displays and perhaps a snack.

Also Bartlesmeyer Jewelry, 1519 S. National; Sekan Occasion Shops, 2210 S. Main and the Lavender Patch, 2376 Locust, will be open late for shopping convenience.

New this year, Kenny Felt Photography will be offering $10 professional photos to make Christmas cards, with 10 percent of the sales going to local organization Care to Share. He will be a part of the Sekan Occasion Shops happenings.

Dolley the Trolley will be going store to store for those whose feet get tired going from store to store.

In addition to snacks to enjoy while shopping, many stores will be offering special drawings, including $50 in Chamber Bucks.

Santa sits on a bench in front of The Ironstar and gets a second look from Ernestine Eden at a past Holiday Open House.

Stores participating in the holiday event are Bids and Dibs, Books and Crannies, Country Cupboard, Courtland Hotel and Spa, Empress Event Center-Marketplace Vendors, Front Door Christmas Store,  Hedgehog.INK Book Store, Here We Go Again Upholstery and More,  Iron Star Antiques and Such, J&W Sports Shop, Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, Main Street Gallery and Gifts, Mayco Ace Hardware, Ruddick’s Furniture, Sekan Occasion Shop, Sunshine Boutique, the Lavender Patch, Trader Dave’s, Treasure Hunt Flea Market.

 

Lora Holdridge shows off a Christmas treasure she found at the Holiday Open House.

Ring A Bell to Assist Local Families

Allen Schellack

It’s that time of year when shoppers notice the red kettles at stores, with smiling bell ringers waiting for donations.

The Salvation Army annual fundraiser starts the day after Thanksgiving in Bourbon County and bell ringers are needed.

There are flexible hours and days for volunteers to schedule a time of bell ringing.

“It’s great for individuals, families, churches and community service organizations,” Allen Schellack, who is the local contact for the Salvation Army, said.

“The Salvation Army has someone in each county to represent them,” he said. “Called a service extension unit and disaster relief.”

“Your donation will stay local, helping your Bourbon County neighbors in need,” he said. “With such help as utility assistance, some  temporary lodging, dental, prescription and glasses, it’s a wide range of things.”

“The last big flood we had, I gave someone a room until the water receded,” Schellack said. “I work case-by-case.”

“This year, $7,789 in assistance was provided 213 times to local families,” Schellack said.

For more information or to set up an appointment, contact Schellack at 620.223.2212.

Compassion Ministries, of which Schellack is the director, is located on the second floor at 26 N. Main. The ministry serves the underprivileged in Bourbon County.

Schellack is also the coordinator for Care Portal, which works with foster families.

To volunteer online go to https://registertoring.com

 

BBQ Is Coming to Old Buffalo Grill Restaurant

The Buffalo Grill restaurant, at 3 W. Oak, is being repurposed.

After closing almost a decade ago, it has been used for special events.

But if all the plans fall into place, Dave Lipe said the restaurant will change to an upscale barbeque place in December.

Lipe and Luther Salisberry will be the restaurant owners and have just signed a five-year lease from building owner Al Niece which includes the River Room Event Center on the second floor.

Luther’s BBQ is the name of the new restaurant.

“We are shooting for Dec. 1 (opening date),” Lipe said. “I’ve got to have a lot of things put in place (before then). There is not much to do in the restaurant. We need to get a liquor license and some equipment and we will be ready to go.”

The new restaurant will seat about 150 people, while the River Room Event Center about 500, Lipe said.

“Our specialty will be burnt ends with specials during the week,” he said. “Pretty much everything will be made from scratch with price ranging from average to up.”

Also available will be pork chops, ribs, steaks, smoked brisket, and pulled pork, he said.

“It will be a gourmet, upper-end-style barbeque, mirrored after Q39 and Stack Jack Restaurants in the Kansas City area,” Lipe said.

From left is Alex Hudson/general manager, Luther Saulsberry/owner, David Lipe/owner. Submitted photo.

The business will be hiring approximately 20-40 people.

“Some part-time,” Lipe said.  “During busier times of the year, we’ll have a bigger staff. We’ll start interviewing in late November.”

Things are looking good for the business.

“I’ve already booked four weddings for next year,” he said. “The cost will vary, there are several packages available  and full-service catering.”

For the River Room Event Center outside catering will be allowed, he said.

 

 

Dave Lipe on the lift arm takes down the Buffalo Grill sign on the building at Oat St. and National Avenue on November 4. The lift equipment was loaned by Jason Lewis, lower left in photo, who owns a tree cutting business. The new restaurant will be Luther’s BBQ.

New Chiropractor In Fort Scott: Kaylee Clifton

Dr. Kaylee Clifton

 Clifton Chiropractic,  LLC opened a new practice at 203 E 3rd St., Fort Scott on September 3, 2019.

Clifton Chiropractic, 203 E. Third. Submitted photo.

The owner, Dr. Kaylee Clifton D.C, 30, graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College, Kansas City in 2014. She was a graduate of Jayhawk Linn High School, and her hometown is Centerville.

She has five years of experience and, also maintains a practice in Pleasanton, KS.

“I opened my first practice location in Pleasanton,  in 2015 and decided to grow my business this year. I currently split my time between the two locations.”

“My passion for chiropractic care started at age 15, I’ve always known this was my career choice,” Clifton said. “I saw firsthand the positive changes it can have on someone’s life. My favorite part of being a chiropractor is helping, educating and inspiring patients to lead healthier lifestyles and teaching them how the body has the power to heal itself. I love getting the opportunity to help better someone’s quality of life every day!”

“I love to work with school kids to teach them the importance of form and technique to better protect their bodies for the future.”

 

Services Clifton provides are adjustments for all ages (pediatrics to geriatrics), decompression therapy, pregnancy, sports injuries, acupuncture, activator, Graston, and school physicals.

 Karen Stewart is the office manager.

Karen Stewart. Submitted photo.

 In 2020 Clifton will add Department Of Transportation Physicals to her list of services available.

“I am currently in the process of completing my training and certification to be able to perform DOT Physicals,” she said.

Clifton is a provider for Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Health Care. She also accepts other major insurances.

Clifton lives outside of Prescott on a cattle ranch with husband, Tim, along with three dogs and a pet calf.

They have been married for five years and enjoy going on new adventures when time allows, she said.  Their favorite hiking area is in Sedona, AZ.

“I grew up around Centerville and have family around that area as well as the rest of my family living around the Fort Scott area,” Clifton said. “I went to Fort Scott Community College and then to K-State, before getting my degrees at Cleveland Chiropractic College.

Contact info: 620 644-5000, email – cliftonchiropracticllc@gmail.com

https://patientportal.advancedmd.com/143380/onlinescheduling/appointment – To schedule online

 

The Beacon: Accepting Applications for Adopt-A-Child, Elks Christmas Basket

Gary Murrell, director of The Beacon speaks to the Bourbon County Coalition on Nov. 6 about the agency.

On the first Wednesday of each month, local helping agencies meet to share what their agencies have to offer Bourbon County families who are in need. This networking has the  goal of  bringing local agencies together to foster self-reliance on the part of families in need.

On Nov. 6, Gary Murrell, director of the Beacon, an inter-faith, not-for-profit organization, gave a little history of the agency and told what services they provide to the community.

Currently, the agency is signing up people for the Adopt-A-Child program, which helps with Christmas presents and also the Elks Christmas Basket Distribution. The sign-up continues on Nov.12 from 5-6 p.m. at The Beacon, 525 E. 6th.

The organization was established in 1985 to serve Bourbon County residents in need. It is funded by donations from churches, civic organizations, schools, businesses and individuals. Also, each year the Beacon applies for various grants to help with food and monetary assistance.

“Each month, we serve approximately 960 individuals,” Murrell said. “If a person is on food stamps, they are automatically eligible.”

“They are trying to make it….” Murrell said, “but life comes.”

The Beacon can also assist with rent, electricity and water utilities.

In addition, the Beacon provides food packages, along with non-food items like blankets, toiletries, laundry powder, and diapers.

“We are starting to collect coats for our individuals,” Murrell said.

“No one is ever charged,” he said.

To receive assistance, individuals must be willing to share information about their current income levels and proof of Bourbon County residency. Families in crisis are considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

Gary Murrell, director of the Beacon.

For more information: 620-223-6869.

 

 

FSACF Benefits 22 Local Organizations

Recipients of the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation 2019 grants. Submitted photo.

Bourbon County residents have given money to a local foundation that distributes to causes for all segments of the community.

Last week,  Fort Scott Area Community Foundation presented a total of $33,375.40 to 22 area organizations for 2019-2020, according to a press release from the foundation.

The recipients were schools, businesses, churches and organizations.

Members of the FSACF are Sheryl Bloomfield, Otie Thomas, Barb Albright, Beth Nuss, Bob Marshall, Carla Farmer, Charles Gentry, Craig Campbell, Frank Halsey, Gary Palmer, Gregg Motley, Janet Braun, Melissa Wise, Michelle Bruner, Travis Shelton and
Steve Buerge.

The foundation received a total of thirty-three qualifying applications requesting over $108,000 in aid.

The following awardees were presented in the order the foundation received their applications, according to a press release:

  1. Carrie Southwell, a third-grade teacher at Eugene Ware Elementary School, is receiving $1.200 to introduce Ozobots in the classroom. Students will learn to use a computer application and creative coding to control robots and problem solve.
  1. About 150 kindergartners will experience real-world learning opportunities, thanks in part to a $750 grant administered by Cristin Stark, a teacher at Winfield Scott Elementary School. On the itinerary are Woods Pumpkin Patch and Deanna Rose Petting Zoo.
  1. Providing scholarships to help local adults get their GED is an aim of a $1,000 grant to Eastern Kansas Adult Education – Neosho County Community College’s FSCC location. This grant will be administered by Aubrey Duft.
  1. Jerry Witt, Chairman of the Fort Scott/Bourbon County Riverfront Authority, applied for a grant to provide pedestrians with durable park benches on which to rest at the new Riverfront Park. We are providing $2,317 toward that end.
  1. The KS-NE Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists will receive $1,000 to continue a program called “Bags of Love” that provides age-appropriate essentials to children in the community who have been removed from their homes for safety reasons. Janet Tucker is the chapter president.
  1. Responding to an urgent need in our community for a clothes pantry, Billie Jo Drake, under the auspices of Bourbon County Inter-agency Coalition, Inc., will use the grant award of $1,000 to seed this ministry. The goal of this organization is to bring local agencies together to foster self-reliance on the part of our families in need.
  1. Rekindling youth baseball in Fort Scott is the goal of the American Legion Post 25. Carl Jowers will use $1,440 to buy uniforms and equipment to host an American Legion team in Fort Scott.
  1. The Via Christi emergency room in Fort Scott needs a Vapotherm device to help stabilize patients with repertory issues to facilitate safe transfer to an in-patient facility. Johnna Norton is the administrator of our grant for $1,519 so this equipment can be domiciled here. Another local foundation is providing the balance of the cost of this equipment.
  1. Can you say “ukulele” without smiling? Fort Scott will have about 150 fifth grade students getting lessons with a grant for $2,074 which will provide 30 of these user- friendly instruments with all the trimmings. Music teacher Mary Jo Harper will use this program, along with the recorder program, to help prepare elementary students for high school band or orchestra programs.
  1. Ella Beth, a sophomore at FSHS, is energized about redesigning the school courtyard for educational and community use. A grant of $2,000 will help provide seating, handicapped accessible ramps, landscaping, art and shade, fostering community pride and encouraging student creativity.
  1. K-State Research & Extension, Southwind Extension District, is planning an Aging With Attitude Regional Expo, attracting about 170 people from 11 SEK Counties to the area. This $500 grant, administered by Barbara Stockebrand, will provide the keynote speaker for the event. The expo aims to educate families and promote positive attitudes about the challenges of our aging population.
  1. There is no greater need in our community than to protect the most vulnerable in our midst, which is the mission of Christa Horn and the volunteers that serve Bourbon County CASA. Horn will use the $500 grant to help facilitate training for new volunteers and ongoing education for staff.
  1. David Goodyear, under the umbrella of Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene and other cooperating churches, administers the Pathways program to provide work projects as a bridge to regular, gainful employment. This $1,800 grant will help provide a second chance for those whose backgrounds and lack of job skills make it difficult to be self-sufficient.
  1. $1,000 will go to cancer patients and their families to help facilitate their fight. Lavetta Simmons administers Care to Share, working with patients and caregivers to ease the financial burden of transportation, house cleaning, yard work, meals, and any personal needs that arise while they are focused on the battle.
  1. The historic Presbyterian Church has a tradition of bringing edifying culture to our community on many levels, including the Fort Scott Chamber Music Series that hundreds of audience members have enjoyed. Carson Felt will use the $2,500 grant to attract high-quality musicians to Fort Scott over the next year for listening pleasure.
  1. CarePortal is a new program in town administered by Shelly Bradley and the KS-NE Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The organization coordinates critical need responses to vulnerable children in our community and will use the $2,000 to provide beds for children who have none.
  1. First-grade teacher Robin Webb will use the $2,000 grant to familiarize r children with local resources by organizing trips to businesses, not-for-profits and government locations. In the process, students will begin to build a background in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and become much more community-oriented.
  1. Jan Hedges is the event coordinator of The Fort Scott Writing Festival, organized to promote creative writing in our community. The festival will provide workshops and a chance for dozens of aspiring writers to showcase their skills. The grant award is $1,800.
  1. In recent years, high school wrestling programs have embraced the entry of girls into the sport, and, thanks to Alvin Metcalf, Fort Scott High School is no exception. This $2,100 grant will help the athletic department accommodate women by adjusting facilities and buying appropriate uniforms and equipment.
  1. Studies consistently show that parental involvement is one of the most important factors in student outcomes. Toward this end, the Foundation will support Instructional coach Brenda Hill who is providing Family Math and Literacy Nights at Eugene Ware Elementary School with a $1,500 grant award.
  1. For years, Chamber Executive Lindsay Madison has given administrative support to the Career Exploration Mentor Program at Fort Scott High School, serving dozens of students. Working with Lewis Dunkeson, she will match local businessmen and women with high school students that need a mentor in their lives to give them a vision of what is possible while living and working in Fort Scott. This $1,500 grant will provide some of the logistical costs.
  1. Breann Martin is the event coordinator of the 2nd Floor Festival of Arts and Ideas, designed to cultivate a passion for the arts within our schools and community, and begin to identify Fort Scott as a regional hub for ideas and creativity. $1,875 will provide visiting artist fees, marketing, the venue and supplies for the event.

About the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation, taken from its website:

“We help our donors establish long-term charitable funds, using the most tax-advantaged methods, to benefit their causes and our community.

The Fort Scott Area Community Foundation was founded in 2007 by a group of citizens interested in encouraging philanthropy and strengthening communities. As a local center for philanthropy, the FSACF works with individuals, families, corporations, private foundations and not-for-profit organizations to carry out their charitable objectives and address emerging community issues. The FSACF is an affiliate of both the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.”

Unofficial Election Results For Bourbon County

Vote Here sign at the Bourbon County Courthouse.

The following are the unofficial results for the general election Nov. 5 for the Fort Scott City Commission, USD 234, and Fort Scott Community College Trustees,  USD 235, area town councils and the Southwind District.

Out of 11,526 registered voters in Bourbon County, 2, 345 voted in this election.

According to Bourbon County Clerk Kendell Mason, the results will not be official until after canvassing by the commissioners on November 14th

To see the complete Bourbon County Clerk’s election results click below:

doc10299820191105220902

 

City Commission

Pete Allen-714

Kevin Allen- 688

Lindsey Watts-661

 

USD 234

Lynnette Jackson for the at-large position- 1,030

Danny Brown for the #2 position- 1,193

Kellye Barrows for the # 3 position-1,294

 

Fort Scott Community College

David Elliott-1,632

Robert Nelson-1,275

Kirk Hart-1,144

 

The above information from Larry Gazaway on

http://KOMB-FM All-Hit 103.9 & KMDO-AM 1600 Fort Scott Broadcasting

 

Info from the Bourbon County Clerk’s office:

USD 235

Troy Goodridge, position one-217

Jason Sutterby, position two-227

Joshua Hartman, position three-137

Sally Johnson, at large position-195

Fulton mayor, no candidate filed, there were 14 write-ins

Bronson:

James Olson-26

Danielle Minor-26

Michael Stewart-30

Redfield:

Jimmie Jackson-16

L.D. Morrison-15

Angela Hixon-12

Uniontown:

Danae Esslinger-27

Dave Wehry-27

Wind Power Coming to Bourbon County?

Photo from the Jayhawk Wind website.

The Kansas wind could benefit Bourbon County financially.

Apex Clean Energy, headquartered in  Virginia, is exploring the feasibility of constructing Jayhawk Wind, a wind energy project expected to generate up to 195  megawatts of clean, homegrown energy, according to http://www.jayhawkwind.com/about_jayhawk

Local wind data confirms that the Bourbon County area under consideration is ideal for a project of this size, which will produce enough safe, pollution-free energy to power up to 48,750  Kansas homes every year, according to the website.

Apex is working with local landowners, community leaders, and various stakeholders on the project and welcomes input into the planning process.

The Jayhawk Wind project hosted two moderated public forums on Wednesday, Oct. 30,  one Hepler and one at Fort Scott Community College’s Ellis Center to answer residents’ questions about wind energy and Jayhawk Wind.

 

The is proposed area is in the southwest part of Bourbon County and the Hepler / Walnut areas of Crawford County.

“Over 100 residents attended both forums where industry experts discussed sound, property values, environment and wildlife impacts and protections, development, construction, and operation of a wind farm, what new revenues the two counties can expect, and short-term and long-term job creation,” according to the press release.

“Construction will initially create 318 full-time equivalent jobs,” said economist Dr. David Loomis, who conducted the economic impact study, according to the press release.  “These include jobs directly related to the project as well as jobs created by the additional economic activity including new demand for goods and services at area restaurants, merchants and local businesses.”

Dr. Loomis presented how Jayhawk Wind will create an entirely new source of long-term revenue for local schools, government services, and property owners, according to the press release. “The total direct financial impact to the region will be in the millions of dollars over the life of the project, with additional indirect economic benefits to the local economy.

A complete economic impact report will be released in the coming weeks, according to the press release.

“Many of the residents who attended are landowners who are already participating in the project as well as considering participating in the project,” according to the press release. “Landowners with wind facilities on their property will receive annual lease payments. These payments will continue over the projected 30-year lifespan of the wind farm, injecting millions of dollars into the economies of Bourbon and Crawford Counties, supporting local merchants, contractors, equipment suppliers, auto dealers, and others.”

Apex development director, Jade Scheele, said the power generated by Jayhawk Wind will be delivered into the Kansas electrical grid, reducing the need to import electricity from outside markets.

Videos of the forums will be posted by Nov. 22, to www.jayhawkwind.com, as will a written document providing all the questions asked at both forums with the answers.

Bourbon County Commissioners identified economic development as a priority in October 2018 and hired Jody Hoener to lead the county’s economic development efforts, according to a press release from Hoenor.
The commission gave Hoenor the task of identifying development opportunities which would result in new revenues and jobs for the county.

“One of the developments identified as a positive source of revenue is a wind energy project, so we were pleased to learn that a company has proposed to build a wind farm here in Bourbon and Crawford Counties,” Hoenor said.  “Throughout Kansas, wind farms create a substantial new source of tax revenue and add to the local economy.  We think the Jayhawk Wind project offers an opportunity for Bourbon County residents.”

 

Before a project can be built, agreements will be negotiated to ensure that Bourbon County residents benefit from the project as Kansans do in other counties throughout the state, Hoenor said.