The Watershed Board is an independent governmental unit established in response to the devastating flooding in Atchison in 1958. As a solution to prevent flooding, twenty-six dams were constructed. It is these dams that provide protection for the community (and make for idyllic fishing holes) that the Watershed Board oversees.

Although the City of Atchison legally owns the dam property, the Board has statutory oversight of the mill levy that funds their upkeep. The Board contracts with the City to manage operations, maintenance, and administration (finances) of the dam system and ad valorem funds.


Meets annually in July or August to address operations and performance issues and adopt an annual budget. For more information on upcoming meetings, contact staff at 913-367-5500.


Mike Keith
Ethan Hausmann
Mark Vowels
Lee Supple
Tom Marlatt

*Members are elected or reconfirmed each year at the annual board meeting by a majority of voting watershed residents in attendance at the meeting.

Public Meeting Policy

All meetings of the Watershed Board are open, public meetings. In accordance with the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA), all meetings will be announced publicly and an agenda available in a lawful timeframe prior to the meeting. Members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend.

For more information on KOMA and KORA, visit the Kansas Attorney General’s website.

Get Involved

The success of local government ultimately depends on the willingness of well-informed, engaged individuals to step into leadership roles to help advise or guide policy on city goals, operations, and resources.

Serving on an advisory committee is an excellent way to serve your community, become more involved and informed about your local government, and see if you’re interested in the commitment to serve as a Governing Body member.

To find out about opportunities to serve on city advisory boards, contact City Clerk Deb Clem at 913-367-5506.