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The Ledger
107 S. Christian Ave.
Moundridge, Kansas 67107
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This Week's Issue:

June 28, 2018 The LedgerJune 28, 2018 The Ledger

Made In America

Posted 7/27/2017

By Randy FoggTRENT Guyer (left), vice president of marketing, and Sean Mudgett, regional factory representative, were The Grasshopper Company representatives at the Made In America Product Showcase Monday, July 17, at the White House.TRENT Guyer (left), vice president of marketing, and Sean Mudgett, regional factory representative, were The Grasshopper Company representatives at the Made In America Product Showcase Monday, July 17, at the White House.

The Ledger Staff

MOUNDRIDGE – The Grasshopper mower, manufactured in Moundridge, was the first product President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence reviewed during the Made In America Showcase Monday, July 17.

A Grasshopper 727K EFI (electronic fuel injection) mower was set up just outside the Rose Garden at the White House.

The mower was one of seven products set up outside the White House, along with a yacht, fire truck and Caterpillar equipment.

“We were the first product viewed,” Trent Guyer, vice president of marketing at Grasshopper, said. “It was an honor Grasshopper kicked off this national event.”

"President Trump and Vice President Pence were excited to hear Grasshopper has been in use by the White House and National Park Service since 2003." Grasshopper was the Kansas representative at the event. Guyer said it was an honor to be chosen.

“This is great for Grasshopper, the community, the state and U.S. manufacturing,” Guyer said. “Made in America is more than a product – it’s a stamp of excellent and a tribute to the excellent skill of the people who make up the Grasshopper team.”

Guyer and Sean Mudgett, regional factory representative for the New England states, were the Grasshopper employees at the event.

Guyer noted they were set up 30 yards away from the Oval Office. They were able to watch Trump at work leading up to the mid-afternoon start of the event.

“As I was preparing to meet the President, I thought of the people who have come before us at this company to help get it going in the 1950s and I thought of all the people back at the factory who all contribute to the culture that comes with being made in America,” Guyer said.

He noted, since the National Park Service has been using Grasshopper products to take care of the White House lawn for almost 15 years, might have helped the company to being selected.

“Three presidents … two parties … one goal: Keep the White House grounds in pristine condition for its residents, visitors and the people for whom it exists,” Guyer said.

In addition, the White House talked with the congressional representatives from each state on selecting companies. U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Roger Marshall have toured the Moundridge plant. U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran visited when he was in the House.

Guyer and Mudgett arrived at the White House, with the mower in the back of a pickup truck Sunday, July 16.

They had to go through three security gates to reach the White House grounds. Guyer said everything was thoroughly examined. An area was marked for them to place the mower.

They were allowed to park the truck in a parking area at the White House.

Guyer noted they had 90 minutes during the morning of July 17 to get the mower ready for the event.

During that time, Guyer said they were able to meet with the National Park Service employee who recommended to the White House groundskeeper to use Grasshopper products.

“He told him he has been using Grasshopper mowers in his own landscaping business,” Guyer said.

Pilots of presidential helicopter Marine One approached Guyer and Mudgett to borrow their tire cleaning spray to spruce up their aircraft.

“We were honored to help the military pilots add a little shine to their famous ride,” Guyer said.

They had a chance to visit with some of the companies at the event. He said many of the representatives were “very optimistic” about the future of U.S. manufacturing.

“We’ve noticed that sense of optimism during the trade shows we attended in the months since the election,” Guyer said.

He noted the President has been talking about rolling back federal regulations to help U.S. manufacturers.

Guyer said he visited briefly with the company representing Washington state. It produces drinking containers that companies can decorate with their logos.

“It was a good networking opportunity with the other companies,” he added.

Grasshopper has been involved with another national program. Four years ago, Guyer appeared on "Fox and Friends" in New York City to promote the Military Warriors Support Foundation.

 “It felt great to be involved with a national program,” Guyer said. “It’s another thing to be asked to come to the White House. There was an excitement because we had a chance to represent Kansas.”

He noted there was plenty of buzz around Kansas about Grasshopper the day of the event. Moundridge Economic Development Director Murray McGee told Guyer people were talking about Grasshopper during his meetings in Wichita.

“He commented to me that it made his meetings run smooth because people were excited to talk about Moundridge,” Guyer said.

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Engineer Suggests Inman Use KDWP Grant For Sidewalks

Posted 7/27/2017

By Randy FoggTHIS is the proposed sidewalk plan Darin Neufeld, with EBH Engineering, presented to the Inman City Council at its Monday, July 10, meeting. Neufeld is helping the city to apply for a Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Recreational Trails grant to fund the project.THIS is the proposed sidewalk plan Darin Neufeld, with EBH Engineering, presented to the Inman City Council at its Monday, July 10, meeting. Neufeld is helping the city to apply for a Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Recreational Trails grant to fund the project.

The Ledger Staff

INMAN – Darin Neufeld, with EBH Engineering in Marion and Hillsboro, found a grant to help the City of Inman to construct a sidewalk through Lambert Park.

Neufeld talked to the Inman City Council about using a Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Recreational Trails grant. He presented a plan to put one-half mile (2,600 feet) of sidewalk in the park during the council meeting Monday, July 10, at the city office.

Neufeld told council members the cost to contract the work is $125,800. The council asked Neufeld to complete the grant application for the city, which is due to KDWP on Tuesday, Aug. 1. It is a matching grant. KDWP will pay 80 percent of the cost, while the city will handle 20 percent.

With a paid contractor, the grant will be for $100,640, while the city must pay $25,160. The city must also pay for survey and design work at $9,000. Inman’s total will be $34,160.

However, Neufeld said the city could have volunteers complete the work at a total cost of $40,450. Members of the Inman Park Committee have indicated an interest in helping with a park improvement project, City Clerk Barb Tuxhorn said.

The KDWP grant would be $32,360 and the city providing $8,090. Inman would pay $3,000 for design work, along with $10,112.50 for volunteer labor and equipment.

Neufeld noted his company has been involved with two to three of these recreational trails grants each year.

KDWP has not indicated when cities will find out if they will receive a grant. Normally, cities are notified within seven months, Neufeld said.

The park sidewalks could be up to 8-feet wide.

“They (KDWP) want it to be a multi-use trail,” Neufeld said. “They consider everything to be a trail.”

Neufeld added the Inman sidewalk could be 6-feet wide. He added that would be wide enough for two wheelchairs to pass each other.

Councilman Darin Pote said council members were excited to find out a grant could be used to finance a sidewalk project.

To read more, see this week's print edition

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Moundridge Council Receives City’s Annual Audit

Posted 7/27/2017

By Randy Fogg

The Ledger Staff

MOUNDRIDGE – Vonda Brecheisen, with Knudsen, Monroe and Company, gave members of the Moundridge City Council a review of the city’s 2016 annual audit during the council’s special meeting Monday, July 10, at the city office.

The council was scheduled to meet Monday, July 3. However, the meeting was postponed when it appeared not enough council members would be present for business to be conducted. At least three council members must be at a meeting in order for business to be conducted.

Mayor Gary Fisher scheduled the special meeting.

Brecheisen told council members the auditors determined city staff had posted some items from the end of 2015 onto 2016 accounts.

City Administrator Randy Frazer explained the mistakes happened when the city was in the process of transitioning some staff members and changing software.

“There were no issues,” Frazer said. “It was a matter of getting things in the right spot.”

During the audit, Frazer said city staff was able to make the necessary corrections.

There were no other concerns with the annual audit.

In addition, Knudsen-Monroe had been asked to provide a quote to handle payroll services for the city.

The city pays it 30 to 40 employees on a bi-weekly basis. The company will charge the city $75 per payroll every other week.

Frazer said the change would free up Office Manager Sheri Parker several hours a week.

“This will free her up to take care of her oversight duties,” Frazer said.

Council members handled several other matters during the meeting:

• Richard Golden was appointed to the Moundridge Library Board. Golden will fill the term of Blaine Stucky, which will end in 2020.

• Council members approved Ordinance No. 955, which amended the fines for seatbelt violations. Frazer said the change would put the city’s fine at the same level as the state.

The fine for adults will increase to $30 and juveniles to $60. Court costs will not be added to the fines.

• Council members had two executive sessions to discuss non-elected personnel. No action was taken after either session.

• The council will next meet at 5:45 p.m., Monday, Aug. 7, at the city office.

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