• Last modified 421 days ago (Feb. 22, 2023)


County approves plans for ranch event venue

Staff writer

A rural Burns couple’s plan to open a wedding and event venue on a historic ranch got a blessing from county commissioners Tuesday.

Mary and Darryl Sledd, who own the historic Keystone Ranch, told commissioners they were renovating the ranch’s home and two story sheep barn to provide a place for events.

Keystone Ranch was listed on the both the state and national registers of historic places in 2017.

Mary Sledd showed commissioners photos , and planning and zoning director Sharon Omstead said the Sledds would do their own catering.

“Clients could provide their own alcoholic beverages, but they don’t plan to get a liquor license at this time,” Omstead said.

Renovation of a sheep barn on the property is planned as a second phase of the project, Mary Sledd told commissioners.

Omstead told commissioners the planning and zoning commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the plan.

The vote to approve a conditional use permit for the property was unanimous.

Omstead also told commissioners that Orsted, which is building Sunflower Wind farm in the southern portion of the county, had made several donations to towns and schools.

All towers are completed and the company will begin packing gravel roads this week. The wind farm is expected to start operation in May or June.

Commissioners approved paying $300 registration fees for health department employees to attend a governor’s public health conference March 29 and 30.

Commissioners also signed a contract for an employee wellness program called WorkWellKS. It is a grant-funded program with no cost to the county.

Commission Kent Becker, who last week voiced surprise at the 5,300 square-foot size of the building Schneider wants for the department, said Harvey County has a 4,573 square-foot building that housed five more employees but does not allow drive-through immunizations,

Noting a Feb. 3 hazardous waste spill from a train derailment in Ohio, Becker said he thought the county should seek to get hazard mitigation plans from railroads that run through the county.

“I can tell you the other side of the story,” commissioner Randy Dallke said. “They don’t care.”

Commissioners approved purchase of a $30,000 side-by-side all-terrain vehicle and a $67,847.60 skid steer for the transfer station.

Last modified Feb. 22, 2023