After decades without easy access, Merriam Drainage District gets own website, cell phone

The Merriam Drainage District officially launched a website and approved the name of it — merriamdrainagedistrict.info — last week. File photo.

The Merriam Drainage District, a special district charged with maintenance of Turkey Creek in northeast Johnson County, ended decades of relative inaccessibility by recently setting up its own website and buying its own dedicated cell phone.

Why it matters: The district was established in 1946 to manage Turkey Creek and its course through Merriam and Shawnee. Although the district shows up on some Johnson County property owners’ annual taxes, many residents aren’t aware of it or its responsibilities — or that its completely separate from the city of Merriam.

While the district has been discussing a website at its monthly Monday meetings for the last several months, this will be the first time that the district has any online presence.

The website, www.merriamdrainagedistrict.info, has information about the district itself, links to agendas and minutes and a spot to message the district’s staff and board members directly.

What’s next: In addition to the new website, the district voted unanimously this month to also purchase a phone and a minute card from Walmart. This will allow the public to call the district and leave messages if necessary.