Vet Wall extension OK’d



June 22, 2011 - 12:00 AM

Plans to extend the Veterans Wall on the courthouse lawn were altered a bit by Allen County commissioners at their meeting Tuesday morning.
Alfred Link, a driving force on the Veterans Committee, said plans were to add panels to either side of the existing wall to make room for about 400 names on each. The names consist of veterans who have served in the armed forces.
Hold on a bit, said Commissioner Dick Works, who thought the extensions were to be two feet shorter than the current panels. Commissioners said they favored the shorter versions so the view of the courthouse from Madison Avenue remains visible.
Link didn’t remember it that way, but allowed the shorter wings should be fine and also agreed to have them built so names could be added to the backs, if more space were needed.
Commissioners agreed to make available a county backhoe to help with construction, which won’t start until more money is raised.
Link expects the committee will need about $15,000 for the two panels. It has raised $5,000 so far toward that effort.
The wall today has about 6,000 names. Inscriptions cost $15 apiece. All veterans listed, from the Civil War on, are Allen Countians, except anyone who served with the 891st Headquarters Company when it was deployed to Iraq in 2004. They were deemed eligible because of the unit being stationed in Iola, Link said.

SEVERAL AGENCIES made requests for support when the county puts together its 2012 budget.
Tri-Valley Developmental Services, which has a workshop in Iola and housing in the county, wants $65,000 next year, an increase of $5,000, or about 8 percent more.
Director Tim Cunningham noted 70 Allen Countians receive Tri-Valley services and 12 other county residents were involved in programs elsewhere. He said 26 paid staff work in Allen County and 12 live in the county. Forty-four people take advantage of TVDS transportation.
Tri-Valley expects to spend about $5.5 million next year in Allen, Bourbon, Neosho and Woodson counties.
The Southeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging asked for support of $2,000.
The agency provides services to the elderly in nine southeast Kansas counties. According to Director John Green services to Allen County elderly included congregate meals, served to 96 people, and another 92 meals delivered five days a week to homes.
District Judge Dan Creitz handed commissioners a judicial operating budget that projected expenditures of just under $308,000 for 2012, or $30,000 more than this year’s budget.
The lion’s share of the increase was for indigent services, put at $225,000 in 2011, or $25,000 more than this year. Creitz pointed out that indigent defendants were accorded by law the right of having an attorney appointed to represent them.
Creitz also said information-gathering for a drug court in Allen County was continuing, with visits to programs in Lafayette County, Mo., and Wichita upcoming. Drug court is an intensely supervised program for users, which includes a court appearance every week or two. The program is an alternative to incarceration.
The outcome elsewhere has been less recidivism. Creitz thinks a similar result could be expected here, but wants to install the program only if it is budget neutral.

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