The Douglas County Commission Wednesday just said no to nudity on public property.
Commissioners unanimously approved a home rule resolution that bans nudity at all public parks and recreation areas, as well as on or along public roads and bridges, in the unincorporated area of the county.
The resolution was originally intended to ban nude swimming or sunbathing at Clinton Lake, but commissioners later decided to expand it to cover all public property in the county. Although not specified in the resolution, the public areas would include Clinton Lake, Douglas County State Lake, Wells Overlook Park, Black Jack Park, Ivan F. Boyd Prairie and the county's portion of Broken Arrow Park. The county already had a nude ban in place for Lone Star Lake.
On Wednesday night, commissioners amended the resolution again, to raise the maximum penalty for violating the ban from $25 to $50.
COMMISSIONER Louie McElhaney said he wanted the higher fine because he didn't think $25 would cover the county's costs.
The resolution banning public nudity came up after commissioners learned there are no regulations on the books for any public area besides Lone Star Lake.
Dave Higgins, rural Linwood, asked commissioners to consider implementing some exceptions to the nudity ban. For example, he said the resolution as written forbids women from breast-feeding their babies, entertainers from including nudity in their performances or models from posing nude for art classes.
County Administrator Chris McKenzie said he knows of no cases involving nude models or performers on county property. Sheriff Loren Anderson said breast-feeding hasn't been a problem at Lone Star Lake. Deputies would use discretion if such an issue arises, he said.
HIGGINS, WHO represents Kansans for a Natural Society, a group that sunbathes nude at a private lake outside Douglas County, said the group would continue to seek permission from state or federal officials to establish a "clothing optional" area in a secluded spot at Clinton Lake or Clinton State Park.
Also Wednesday, commissioners voted unanimously to pay an $816 bill for community college out-district tuition from last year. Commissioners, who were angered when they received the '89 bill in March, had been putting off paying the bill.
"As much as I hate to admit it, we do have to pay this bill," said Mike Amyx, commission chairman.
However, Amyx reiterated the commission's intention not to pay 1990 community college bills until the end of the year.
In other business, commissioners unanimously:
Deferred until Monday approval of a contract for engineering design services with Landplan Engineering, Lawrence, for Yankee Tank Sewer District No. 3.
Deferred until Monday approval of the the 1990 Kansas Department of Transportation five-year plan, which includes a priority list of road and bridge projects in the county. The document serves as a planning tool for the county and KDOT in developing project plans, reviewing projects and spending federal road and bridge replacement funds.
Deferred for one week approval of an agreement with Williams Pipeline for extending casing at two locations on Douglas County Road 1023, which is scheduled for a major grading project this year. Commissioners asked staff to get more information from Williams. Under the proposed agreement, the county would pay the total cost of the casing extension, estimated by the pipeline company at $19,602.
Approved a letter that will be sent to agencies requesting county funding in fiscal year 1991. The letter urges the agencies to be conservative in their funding requests because of an expected tight county budget.
Accepted a gift of 30 pine trees from Douglas County 4-H, which will plant the trees at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Approved a request by local Earth Day organizers to hang a banner from the balcony on the west side of the Douglas County Courthouse through Sunday.