Work toward a new Riley County Comprehensive Plan is moving along.
During Monday’s commission meeting, Planning Director Amanda Webb noted she had planned on having a committee together to work through a plan by late May or early June. However, she says delays, such as not having a readily-available consultant just yet to not having a survey completed, have caused that deadline to be pushed back.
“So looking at probably July at this point. I have reached out to the folks who have expressed interest. I want to keep them aware and to have them please let me know if that will work for (them),” she said.
Webb has been seeking about two dozen members to serve on a committee to help shape the next comprehensive plan, which Riley County will use as a road map for planning through 2040.
She and Public Information Officer Vivienne Leyva have been working together on a survey, that will be available online, to gather feedback from the public. Leyva noted they are looking at ways to reach those in rural parts of the county more directly.
“Rich (Vargo) and I have talked about the best way to reach rural county residents, probably through direct mail. We thought about taking a random sampling, because doing a mailing to every resident in the county is going to get pretty pricy,” she said.
The survey will likely be available sometime this summer.
In other business Monday, commissioners gave approval for the Riley County Health Department to seek a $200,000 Kansas Fights Addiction grant.
Health Department Director Julie Gibbs says the purpose of the program is to prevent, reduce, treat or mitigate the effects of substance abuse and addiction.
“Our goals would be to increase awareness and expand prevention education beyond schools in our region,” she said.
If approved, the grant would be distributed to Riley County over the course of 12 months, starting in October.
Gibbs says the grant also would allow health officials to enhance proper disposal of medications, engage youth to lead prevention programs in schools and work toward community level strategic planning through a new task force, to be established this summer.
“I’m requesting funding to hire a community health navigator. This is kind of a cross between community health educator and a navigator, which will do some case management to link individuals to services,” she said.
The Sunflower Foundation is serving as the grant administrator for the program, with the grant program funded by Kansas opioid settlements obtained by the Kansas Office of the Attorney General.