By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — With the State of Kansas extending its disaster declaration on Wednesday, it's time for an extension to the local order in Reno County to come up before the Board of County Commissioners again. Reno County Emergency Management Director Adam Weishaar plans to have that on the agenda for the commission's March 30 meeting.
"The disaster declaration, what that does is it opens up assistance from the state and federal governments as well as some reimbursement in the future for us," Weishaar said.
This would be the fifth extension of the declaration, which originally went into place on March 19, 2020.
"The idea would be to extend it out for about three months, push it out to the end of June," Weishaar said. "I truly believe that we'll be in a better place. We'll have a bunch of vaccination out there. I would like to think that everyone who wants a vaccine will have been able to receive that vaccine by then."
The hope is to get to the point where they won't need supplies or reimbursement and that they can let the emergency end there.
"Every single time I've ever gone to the Board of Reno County Commissioners and requested a disaster declaration, they have not really given any pushback," Weishaar said. "They understand there's a need for it and understand that really the only thing it's doing for us is benefiting us, benefiting the residents of the county and making supplies available, as well as some sort of federal reimbursement if it comes available to us. It never hurts us to have a disaster declaration in place, but it can hurt us if we choose not to have one."
The intent of Tuesday's agenda item is to extend the date to June 30, 2021.