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County Manager's Office

Phone: 913-715-0725

111 S. Cherry St., Suite 3300, Olathe, KS 66061

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county manager's office

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.

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JoCo on the Go: Know your radon level
January 13, 2020

JoCo on the Go podcast episode #24 addresses radon awareness. Radon is a prevalent issue in Johnson County, with high levels being found in homes throughout our community. K-State Research and Extension agent Denise Dias shares how you can easily find out your home’s radon level. She also explains what’s safe and what needs attention. Also on the episode is Wes Hodgden, a Johnson County radon expert who helps property owners remediate radon. Dan Gathje also joins the conversation as a homeowner who had high levels of radon in his home and now has the peace of mind that the air he’s breathing is safe.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. You can purchase a radon kit for $10 at the Johnson County Extension Office, 11811 S. Sunset DR., Suite 1500, Olathe. Learn more about radon.

JoCo on the Go is available where you regularly listen to podcasts. Just search for the podcast by name and subscribe. Learn more about this podcast and get a complete transcript of each episode.

Have you had your home tested for radon?
January 14, 2020

Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can have serious health consequences, including lung cancer, when excess levels are present in your home. On Tuesday, Dec. 18, Johnson County K-State Extension Agent Denise Dias was at the statehouse, in Topeka, to bring attention to this important issue. She, and others with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, joined Lt. Governor Tracey Mann for a proclamation signing ceremony to designate January as Radon Awareness Month.

Dias says radon is prevalent in Johnson County, so it’s important that residents test their homes.

“The average radon test is coming back at 5.3, which is over the action level for radon; because of that, it’s really important to encourage people to test,” Dias said. “And we have a lot of older homes in our county, and even new homes being built should be tested for radon.”

Residents can purchase radon test kits through the K-State Extension office for $10. The kit is left in the house for a couple of days, and then returned for testing. If results show high levels of radon, Dias says addressing the issue is relatively inexpensive and should be done sooner rather than later. 

“The only way to know if you have radon gas in your home is to test,” Dias said. “Even if your neighbor has high levels or low levels, it doesn’t matter. Each home is individual and unique, so that’s why you have to test.”

Tune into the latest JoCo on the Go podcast on Monday, Jan. 13, to hear from Dias, along with a radon specialist and homeowner who learned of high levels of radon in his home.

Contact the K-State Extension Office for a radon kit.

Johnson County makes progress on major building projects
January 13, 2020

Two of the county’s largest building projects are coming along on time and on budget.

This month, county leaders, including Fifth District Commissioner Michael Ashcraft and County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson, toured the construction site of the new Johnson County Courthouse. Project leaders from J.E. Dunn Construction showed the group the latest progress on the facility’s construction.

On the seventh floor, the group saw construction progress on the family courtrooms. They also visited fourth-floor criminal courtrooms where construction crews were installing judges’ benches, jury boxes and witness stands. On the second level, the group witnessed the installation of the skylight above the public corridor. The new courthouse is expected to be completed by the end of this year and expected to open in early 2021.

The Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility expansion project is also coming along. Overall, the project is about 45% complete and the team is planning for two buildings to be finished this summer. This year, all three tower cranes will come down, signaling that we are getting close to finishing all structural concrete. The first of the tower cranes will be disassembled around March. The electrical substation will be complete and energized at the end of spring. The western portion of Lee Boulevard will be raised above the 100-year flood elevation to provide crews access to the site during extreme wet weather. The current plan is to begin this work in early-to-mid July.  

Moving toward the end of the year, there will be more work inside as crews continue to install equipment, piping and work on the programming and startup of the computerized control system.

“The goal this year is to finish the structures, buildings and most of the equipment and accessories so that we can begin startup and commissioning activities in 2021,” said Susan Pekarek, Johnson County Wastewater’s general manager.

Keep up with the progress of both projects.

Watch for January election ballots in mail
January 9, 2020

The Johnson County Election Office will mail ballots for the Blue Valley School District (bond election) and City of Merriam (sales tax election) mail ballot elections today, Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Voters have until noon on Tuesday, January 28, to return the ballots.

Visit the election office website for more information about the elections. There you’ll also find a guide for filling out a mail ballot envelope.

JoCo on the Go: Preparing for winter weather
January 6, 2020

JoCo on the Go podcast episode #23 is filled with great information about how Johnson County’s Emergency Operations Center works closely with the National Weather Service to stay ahead of winter storms. Meteorologist Ray Christensen talks about the accuracy of forecasting and what northeast Kansas can expect this winter. Johnson County Emergency Management Deputy Director Dan Robeson shares tips on how to stay safe when the snow and ice hit. Brian Pietig and Wes Root, from Johnson County Public Works, offer advice to homeowners on snow removal. They also share details on how the county treats the roads in the unincorporated areas of the county and how and when county roads are cleared.

JoCo on the Go is available where you regularly listen to podcasts. Just search for the podcast by name and subscribe. Learn more about this podcast and get a complete transcript of each episode.

Want to learn more about Johnson County? Apply for JoCo Academy!
January 2, 2020

Learn about the inner workings of Johnson County Government and how you can get more involved in our community through JoCo Academy (formerly called Citizens Academy)! The Spring 2020 program will meet every Tuesday for 10 weeks, February 11th through April 14th, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Dinner will be provided at no cost at the beginning of each session. The application deadline for the Spring program is January 17th. Apply here.

The goal of JoCo Academy is three-fold: 
• Enhance citizen knowledge of county operations and services 
• Encourage a unified community identity 
• Increase volunteerism in Johnson County boards and commissions 

JoCo Academy participants hear presentations from staff, perform hands-on activities, and take tours of various county departments and agencies, including Wastewater, Corrections, Libraries, Parks and Recreation, the Sheriff’s Office and more.

The Kansas City Star recently featured our academy and that article is available here.

If you have questions about JoCo Academy, please call Kiley Heine at 913-715-0729.Visit jocogov.org/jocoacademy for more information and to apply.