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County Manager's Office

Phone: 913-715-0725

111 S Cherry, Suite 3300, Olathe, KS 66061

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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.

County News

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Pick up summer JoCo Mag today
July 20, 2017

Hot off the presses, JoCo Magazine's summer issue is being mailed this week to county residents. The summer edition includes features on selecting licensed child care for your family, a history lesson as Johnson County celebrates its 160th birthday and a spread about the shared services that keep county government up and running.

You can also check out a online version of the summer edition.

Risks increase in working outdoors as temperatures rise
July 19, 2017

It’s hot, but the summer temperatures to date are not sizzling to record heights. At least, not yet. Hopefully, not ever.

The National Weather Service reports that the all-time hottest temperature in Kansas City was 113 degrees on Aug. 14, 1936. Every single date in the months of July and August have had at least one 100-degree weather temperature day, dating back to 1889. Daily records were set on July 13 (112 degrees) and on July 14 and 18 (111 degrees), all in 1954.

 The risks of heat stress for working/playing/being outdoors increase as temperatures rise.

  According to OSHA, working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions. Some risk factors for working outside are:

• High temperature and humidity
• Radiant heat sources
• Contact with hot objects
• Direct sun exposure (with no shade)
• Limited air movement (no breeze, wind or ventilation)

 Some tips to prevent heat-related illness while working outdoors include:

• Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
• Rest in the shade to cool down.
• Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
• Learn the signs of heat illness (heat stroke and heat exhaustion) and what to do in an emergency.
• Keep an eye on fellow workers, or let someone know you’ll be working outside.
• Acclimate – “easy does it” on your first days of work; be sure to get used to the heat and allow yourself to build up a tolerance – OSHA says it takes a week. Not being used to the heat is a big problem. Many of the people who died from heat stress were either new to working in the heat or returning from a break. If you have not worked in hot weather for a week or more, your body needs time to adjust.

OSHA has developed a Heat Safety app to calculate the heat index. Based on the heat index, this app displays a risk level to outdoor workers. Then, with a simple “click,” you can get reminders about the protective measures. 

 

 

Grant will help region prepare for coordinated terrorist attacks
July 17, 2017

On July 13, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced $35 million in grant awards for its program to prepare communities for complex, coordinated terrorist attacks (CCTAs). The Mid-America Regional Council, which applied for funding on behalf of the Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Committee (RHSCC) and local governments in the Kansas City region, will receive $2,251,502 over three years.

“The Kansas City region has developed an outstanding regional system to respond to all types of emergencies, including terrorism,” said Hannes Zacharias, Johnson County manager and Kansas RHSCC co-chair. “As federal funds became more scarce over the past few years, local governments across the region have contributed resources to help sustain the system, but it has been a struggle. This new grant allows us to take a big step forward in our preparedness and response capabilities.”

The grant funds will be used to increase the region’s ability to prevent, prepare for and respond to CCTAs. Specific activities will include an assessment of current capabilities, refining local and regional plans, enhancing communications systems, community outreach, training and exercises. The project will be a collaborative effort involving local governments across the region and a wide range of disciplines, including law enforcement, emergency management, hospitals, emergency medical services, public safety communications, public information, social services and more.

“Preparing for potential acts of terrorism is something that we must accept as a shared community responsibility. In recent days we have seen that terrorist attacks can happen anywhere and are becoming increasingly complex,” said Steve Arbo, city manager for Lee’s Summit and Missouri co-chair of the RHSCC. “The CCTA program focuses on helping the whole community — not just first responders, but also residents, businesses and other organizations — prepare for attacks that occur with little or no warning in large crowds or multiple locations.”

FEMA set up a peer review panel of subject matter experts to score applications for this competitive grant before making the awards. A full list of awards is online at https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2017/07/13/fema-announces-funding-awards-prepare-communities-complex-coordinated.

DHE urges precautions during extreme heat
July 10, 2017

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, in cooperation with the Johnson County Library, encourages residents to take precautions during this week’s extreme heat. Those who need a place to cool down may visit one of Johnson County’s 13 library branches during normal business hours.

JCDHE 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.
  • Avoid leaving children and/or pets alone inside vehicles even for a few minutes since the temperature inside vehicles can rise rapidly once the air conditioning is off.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when temperatures are in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • 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 diabetes.

For residents needing a cool location, check library hours which vary by location. Call 913-826-4600 for hours of operation for your nearest library branch, or visit the website at jocolibrary.org/locations.

Johnson County to celebrate opening of new park
July 5, 2017

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 8, will celebrate the official public opening of Lexington Lake Park, 8850 Sunflower Road, in De Soto and north of K-10 Highway.

The new park is owned and operated by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District (JCPRD). Previously known as Rieke Lake, the 465-acre inverted L-shaped property features a 27-acre lake, which was previously a private fishing lake originally constructed in the 1950s.

“The lake will provide a new outstanding fishing opportunity,” Matt Garrett, field biologist for JCPRD, said. “We surveyed it and it’s a high-quality fishery. It’ll be a great crappie fishing lake, and also has largemouth bass.”

Phase I development of the park got under way in August 2016 and includes a boat ramp and courtesy dock to provide access to the lake. Other Phase I amenities include a 1.5-mile paved trail around the lake, a playground, restroom and picnic shelter.

One of the park’s unique natural features is a virgin prairie officials believe has never been plowed on the lake’s west side. The area, which encompasses about nine acres, has been surveyed and 120 prairie species, including the federally-threatened Mead’s milkweed, were found at the site. 

In addition to the native prairie, JCPRD has converted an additional 60 acres to tallgrass prairie with plans to expand that acreage in the future.

While visitors will enter the park through a grassy area, more than 300 acres are covered in oak and hickory forest towards the northern side of the property. This area slopes downward toward the Kansas River, which is about a half mile northeast of the park.

“There are remnants of old structures in there and there’s a fairly lengthy section of an old stone wall that was built probably at least 100 years ago,” JCPRD Project Manager Bill Leek said. “There are some remnants of other stone structures back in there.”

To get to Lexington Lake Park, take K-10 west from I-435 towards Lawrence. Exit at Lexington Avenue in De Soto and turn right going south under K-10 to 95th Street. Turn right (west) onto 95th and go approximately one mile to the Sunflower Road intersection. Turn right (north) onto Sunflower Road and go approximately half a mile, passing back under K-10 to the park entrance.

County offices will be closed July 4
July 2, 2017

Johnson County Government offices will be closed on Tuesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. All Johnson County Library locations will close early at 5 p.m. on Monday, July 3 and remain closed through Tuesday, July 4, but remember the eLibrary is always open. See the Johnson County Park and Recreation District website for a listing of Independence Day closures and special hours.