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Ellis County bans open carry





The Ellis County Commission voted Monday to ban the open carry of firearms in its buildings.

Commissioners did not debate the measure before approving a resolution to install signs stating the policy for 15 facilities. With the decision, the county joins Salina, Emporia, Junction City and Manhattan.

The Hays City Commission will consider the same proposal at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in city hall at its meeting.

In other business:

* Commissioners voted to reduce service hours in 2015 for the administrative building at 718 Main to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The change is projected to save at least $5,000.

* Commissioners discussed adjusting a rule to give them flexibility to allow the sale and discharge of fireworks. Commissioner Swede Holmgren said he wants to include a complete ban on sky lanterns. The resolution was tabled.

* Michelle Thacker, Ellis County 4-H volunteer, and Susan Schlichting, county Extension agent, shared plans for a new 4-H food stand.

Discussions with Mike Graf, Ellis County public works director, have suggested it will not be a problem to demolish the existing food stand and move dirt in September. The group has raised approximately $43,000 of its $50,000 goal to pay for the construction and some setup of the new building.

* Representatives from Northwest Kansas Juvenile services updated commissioners on its various initiatives and programs.

* An agreement was reached to lease space at 718 Main to AFLAC.

* Commissioners agreed to write a letter in support of the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act. The law would allow the county to collect sales tax on Internet sales, but it would prohibit the county from collecting franchise fees from Internet providers for 10 years. The county currently does not collect the fee.

* The primary election canvass results were approved.

* A 15-minute executive session took place to discuss non-elected personnel. No action was taken.