• Last modified 1137 days ago (May 6, 2021)


Police called during commission meeting

Staff writer

Monday’s county commission meeting was interrupted by the appearance of a man who came to hear planning and zoning director Sharon Omstead despite a court order to stay 100 feet away from her.

Omstead got a restraining order against Tom Britain after he angrily confronted her at a Florence convenience store in November.

Speaking about her role in ongoing development of a wind farm, Britain told her he “would take care of her,” that his words were “not a threat,” and “it’s going to happen.”

Commissioners followed up with a December letter telling Britain they were opposed to “any type of accosting interaction when the employee is off duty and on personal time engaged in private activity.”

Omstead was scheduled Monday to speak about feedlot regulations and violations.

Britain walked into the meeting shortly behind Omstead and looked back and forth between Omstead and commissioners.

Omstead asked to be excused for five minutes, went to another room, and called police

Commissioner David Crofoot called for a recess. During the recess, commissioners asked Britain to leave.

Britain left and reportedly sat in a pickup outside the courthouse.

Meanwhile, commissioners also called police.

“A few more calls got made,” commissioner Jonah Gehring said. “I guess we lit up the police.”

Assistant police chief Steve Janzen said Britain left the scene before officers arrived, but a report would be written up about the violation of a protection order.

When the meeting resumed, Omstead told commissioners she had gotten a number of complaints about feedlots in the county. Some complaints are about road damage and others about odor.

County zoning regulations regarding feedlots have discrepancies, she said.

Feedlot permits are issued by Kansas Department of Health and Environment and by the federal government.

“The number of operations in our county has grown in the last years,” commission chairman Randy Dallke said the county has see

County counsel Brad Jantz said some the county has jurisdiction over some things about feedlots, but not other things. It cannot make harsher regulations than state or federal regulations.

He told commissioners they have to decide whether they will regulate nuisances and roads, or if they will not.

Last modified May 6, 2021