County, newspaper to collaborate
on visitor's guide

Wayne White
| Managing Editor

LYNDON—Osage County will soon have a new information guide for tourists and residents, and the Osage County Commission has agreed to help pay printing costs.

Commissioners met Monday with Jan Ogleby and Barb Prost, of The Osage County Herald-Chronicle, and Stephanie Watson, county economic development director, to discuss the publication proposed by the newspaper.

Watson explained that Osage County Economic Development Corporation used to print a visitors’ guide, but the cost was prohibitive. Ogleby said the newspaper will print the publication, but is requesting assistance from government entities in the county with the printing costs so that more of the guides can be printed; 9,000 copies is the goal. Ogleby said the guide will have a two-year shelf life, after which it can be updated and reprinted.

Watson said she has wanted to produce an updated guide, but budget constraints have prevented it.

Osage County Commissioner Carl Meyer said such a guide would benefit businesses and cities in the county.

“It’s going to help sell the county, too,” Watson said.

She said working with the newspaper would allow her to avoid “all of the legwork” required for such a project.

“I truly think this is a good idea to partner with the newspaper,” she said.

She recommended the commission approve investing $1,000 in the publication.

“Pitching in $1,000 of the county’s money is a lot less than I could do it myself,” Watson said.

She noted the county would receive extra copies for distribution at visitors’ centers and events such as the Kansas Sampler Festival held last weekend.

“This looks like better advertising for the county than television,” Meyer said.

Osage County Commissioner Ken Kuykendall questioned whether the county would also place an ad in the publication, but Watson said the guide could serve as promotion for the county.

“I think we’re getting enough exposure, I don’t think we need an ad,” Watson said.

Osage County Commissioner Mike Pruitt offered a motion to approve the $1,000 expenditure to be paid from the county’s general fund. Commissioners unanimously approved the motion.

In other business, the commission:

• met with health department director Anne Gray, who spoke about the county’s involvement with SafeKids Kansas’ child car seat program. The health department is to assist in distributing information.

• met with Byron Jordan, Osage County Senior Center director, about staffing issues. Jordan said an employee had resigned earlier that day. He met with the commissioners in executive session for 10 minutes for personnel reasons, but no action was taken afterwards.

• discussed two bridges in disrepair on 221st and 229th streets near the eastern edge of the county. The bridges are on former railroad right-of-way, but are now owned by the Rails to Trails Conservancy. Commissioners indicated they could not order the repair of the bridges because they are not on county property.

“We can’t even close the bridges because we don’t own them,” Kuykendall said.

He suggested posting “Travel at your own risk” signs.

• heard from Glen Tyson, county road and bridge supervisor, that roads in a housing subdivision in Junction Township were in need of maintenance, especially after a school bus slid into a ditch recently and became stuck. Tyson said in researching the roads, no documentation could be found to indicate the roads were ever put under the authority of the township or county.