The County Manager's Office is responsible to the Board of County Commissioners and the residents of Johnson County for the effective and efficient delivery of programs and services, using sound management and financial principles while emphasizing high ethical values, innovation, and continuous improvement.
As we approach the 4th of July holiday, it's good to keep safety — and local firework ordinances in mind.
Recently, social media specialist Keith Davenport sat down with Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Claire Canaan to discuss firework safety. Deputy Canaan, who serves as public information officer for the agency, provided some simple tips for enjoying fireworks safely.
Residents should start planning their fireworks events by checking their local laws and ordinances, Canaan shared. Cities have guidelines regarding if, when and what types of fireworks may be allowed. Fireworks are illegal in the unincorporated parts of the county, unless a permit application was submitted at least 10 days in advance.
Deputy Canaan provided several other safety guidelines as well:
Make sure there is a responsible adult present.
If you get a dud firework, wait 20 minutes and then douse it in water. Don’t try to relight it.
Mixing alcoholic beverages with fireworks is unsafe.
Buy fireworks from reputable vendors and don’t try to make or light homemade fireworks.
Since it’s hot out, make sure to drink plenty of water and eat regularly.
Other safety tips include using fireworks as intended, don’t throw fireworks, and have water on hand in case of fire.
Residents who have concerns about fireworks being shot off illegally should contact local law enforcement at their non-emergency number. The Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number is 913-782-0720. Check your city police departments website for non-emergency numbers. If there is an emergency, please call 911.
New license plate production and delivery process
June 29, 2018
The Kansas Department of Revenue has announced that a new production and delivery process for Kansas license plates will be implemented in August. The new plates will carry the same designs currently offered, but will be flat instead of embossed. They will be mailed directly to customers.
Beginning Aug. 1, 2018, a customer receiving a new plate as part of his or her transaction will leave the office with a 30-day temporary license plate and a registration sticker. The permanent plate will be mailed directly to the customer. Customers can expect to receive plates within 10–14 business days.
It is very important that customers remember to put the registration sticker received at the county Motor Vehicle Office on the new plate and attach the plate to the correct vehicle.
Please note customers with current embossed plates do not need to order a new plate because of the system change.
Johnson County libraries available as cooling centers
June 27, 2018
Record-setting temperatures are once again in the forecast. Here's a reminder that citizens who need a place to cool down during hot days are encouraged to visit one of the Johnson County Library’s 13 branches. All of these facilities will be available during normal business hours.
Libraries offer many services in addition to a cool place to rest and restore. You can read books, magazines and newspapers, or access the Internet. Library hours vary by location. Call 913-826-4600 to check hours of operation for your nearest library branch, or visit the library web site.
The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment recommends the following to stay safe in the heat:
Drink more fluids (non-alcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Check with your doctor if you have restrictions related to fluid intake.
Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go somewhere cool - even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
Electric fans may provide comfort, but when temperatures are in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness.
If you must be out in the heat, limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
Exercise in an air-conditioned place and drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
If you have to be outside, try to rest often in shady areas.
Protect yourself from the sun by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher and wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some are at greater risk than others. Be sure to check regularly on:
People aged 65 or older
People taking certain medications, including narcotics, sedatives and diuretics
Athletes who are not used to working out in warm environments
People who work outside
People who have a mental illness or are physically ill, especially with heart disease, high blood pressure or diabete
An Ozone Alert has also been issued for today. During Ozone Alert season, through September 30, one-way bus fare will be only 75¢ for all customers on designated Ozone Alert days. The special Ozone Alert fare includes a transfer upon request and is also available on all RideKC bus service. The fare is not valid on the 510 K-10 Connector, but is valid for travel on other express routes.
New Compressed Natural Gas station opens
June 26, 2018
The city of Olathe and Johnson County Government celebrated the opening of a new Compressed National Gas (CNG) fueling station today, located at 1385 S. Robinson Dr. in Olathe. Adding this station, the third for Johnson County, allows more departments to consider moving to CNG vehicles, even for critical response units such as snow plows and buses.
Compressed Natural Gas provides cost savings and reduced emissions. In 2017 alone, the county saved more than $40,000 by using CNG over diesel fuel in portions of its fleet. With 20 to 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions and 95 percent less tailpipe emissions than petroleum products, CNG is beneficial for the environment as well.
In addition to CNG, the county incorporates flex fuels and hybrid vehicles as other alternative fuel vehicles within its fleet. Currently, 33 percent of the county’s light vehicles, 23 percent of medium vehicles and 7 percent of heavy vehicles are classified as alternative fuel vehicles. The county continues to add more CNG vehicles to its fleet with buses as the primary area of growth.
In 2015, a city/county agreement was approved for the construction of a shared CNG facility with capability of “time-filling” up to 50 city CNG trucks and “fast-filling” county transit buses. In 2015, Clean Energy was hired for the design/build of the CNG Fueling Facility.
Volunteers needed for community survey
June 21, 2018
Every three years the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) joins with the nonprofit hospitals and other community partners to conduct a Community Health Assessment (CHA).
The purpose is to identify factors that affect the health of our residents. At least 150 volunteers are needed on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, to go to preselected neighborhoods and survey citizens about their health and the health of the community.
Volunteers will start the day at 8 a.m. with training and then go in pairs to neighborhoods to conduct the surveys until approximately 4 or 5 p.m. Each survey takes about 10 minutes.
This help is very much needed. Not only is this a great way to help the community and enjoy a nice walk, but volunteers will also receive a t-shirt, meet new people and are eligible to win a gift card for their participation.
Fourth class of Project SEARCH interns has graduated
June 19, 2018
The interns from the 2017-2018 class of Project SEARCH have graduated! Project SEARCH is an education and employment program managed by Johnson County Developmental Supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are 18 years of age or older and interested in community employment.
Earlier this month, 15 interns received their certification from Johnson County Community College in front of a roomful of friends, family members, JCDS staff, JCDS governing board members and representatives from the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners.
JCDS governing board Vice Chair Dale Chaffin shared with the interns ways to be successful on the job.
The keynote speaker was Olga Deckman, a Project SEARCH intern last year who is now working as a Telephone Administrator for Johnson County Court Services. She talked about her journey to employment and overcoming tough times to gain a full time competitive job. She encouraged future interns not to give up with the process and to work hard.
The first class of Project SEARCH, in 2014-2015, consisted of seven interns, all of whom are currently employed in the community. The 2016-2017 class had an 80 percent job placement rate. In the current year, two interns secured employment prior to graduating.