Riley County commissioners voted to drop out of the Flint Hills Regional Council at this time.

The vote stemmed from discussions on the increase in member fees, which are due by the end of the month. The board originally tabled the discussion last week for review.

Commission Chair John Ford says he struggled with the decision partly due to the increase being used to pay off a loan.

      John Ford 1

Ford also cited the reason for his decision was not due to the actual amount of the increase in costs, but because the ask came after the 2022 budget was finalized.

      John Ford 2

Regional Planner Janna Williams says the increase is a priority for 2022, but would also cover additional benefits starting next year.

When it came time to vote, Commissioner Karthryn Focke abstained from the vote saying she was torn between the decisions.

      Kathryn Focke

The council is increasing dues from 60 cents per capita to 90 cents per capita, based on 2020 census numbers in each municipality.

Under the new fee structure, Riley County would pay more than $13,000 annually for it’s membership, up from $9,100 which it paid in past years.

Graph showing the proposed increase in membership fees for local area municipalities

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