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County may not finish Nighthawk project in 2011

Staff writer

The county may be forced to delay at least one road project scheduled for 2011, interim Road and Bridge Superintendent John Summerville told Marion County Commission on Monday.

Supplies of material needed to chip seal roads are trickling in, and he doesn’t expect to have enough to chip seal both Nighthawk Road between U.S. 50 and U.S. 56 and 120th Road from Goessel to the McPherson County line before weather gets too cold for the projects.

Additionally, 120th Road requires some patching before chip sealing, and the mix used requires two to four weeks to cure, he said. Chip sealing should be done during warm temperatures, or it won’t be as durable.

“If you’re going to do it, do it right,” Summerville said. “Any time in September gets real iffy.”

The county could patch 120th Road and see if conditions are warm enough to chip seal it after it has cured. Even if it is too cold by then, the patches should be fine to chip seal over in the spring, Summerville said.

The necessary patching on Nighthawk Road has already been completed, he said.

Summerville did offer some good news. The project to pave 330th Road from K-15 to Tampa can be delayed until 2012. At a previous meeting, he told the commission the project was behind schedule to use a $2 million loan from Kansas Department of Transportation. The schedule was just a guideline, he said.

The commission met in closed session for 10 minutes to discuss applicants for the road and bridge superintendent position.

Lake renters want more dialogue with county

After meeting separately with Commission Chairman Roger Fleming and commissioner Dan Holub on Sunday, a group of people who rent lots in the mobile home park at Marion County Park and Lake decided they want more communication with the commission, renter Donald Michael Crane said.

Crane said the renters would like to have a person or committee as a point of contact for issues between the county and tenants. If the Sunday meetings hadn’t occurred, there probably would have been dozens of unhappy renters at the meeting Monday after Holub suggested increasing rent on the mobile home park.

Electrical service is another major issue among the tenants, Crane said. The electrical system isn’t sufficient for parts of the park. If it was upgraded, he said he thought people would be willing to have the lots metered individually.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said it is important to remember the park and lake, including the mobile home court, have grown beyond the original intent it was built with.

Crane said there is a large group of tenants that take a serious interest in the health of the park.

“It’s our home away from home,” he said.

In other business:

  • Holub said he wants to meet with Dan Hall of BG Consultants to get an estimate of the cost to restore the second floor of the health department building.
  • Laura Allen will prosecute cases against Jackie Hageberg, Dillon Wildin, Dustin Shiplet, and Joseph Friaz, because County Attorney Susan Robson has a conflict of interest.
  • There was some wind damage in Goessel, and a lightning strike caused an oil spill south of Florence on Friday, Emergency Management Director Dan D’Albini said. The oil spill has been cleaned up.
  • Fleming will be the commission’s voting delegate at Kansas Association of Counties conference in November. Holub and Dallke will be the first and second alternates, respectively.
  • A resolution granting a conditional use permit for recreational rental cabins at the lake was rescinded to allow correction of the legal description of the area. The commission delayed a resolution with the corrected legal description to update some other language.
  • Firefighters and other emergency workers will meet with representatives of TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline project Sept. 8.
  • Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin requested that construction equipment for the jail project be limited to Fourth Street to prevent damage to other streets.
  • Renee Lippincott of Kansas Department of Commerce answered commissioners’ questions about a program which would pay up to $15,000 of student loans over five years for people who move to the county. The program would be funded jointly by the state and county. The commission has budgeted money for the program, but not approved a resolution to initiate it.
  • Tom Brown of Savant Services met with commissioners to discuss updating the county’s strategic plan. Finding a good road and bridge superintendent will be crucial, because roads are important both to residents and prospective businesses, he said.
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment awarded a public health emergency preparedness grant of $13,859 to the county health department. The grant can be used to pay for a portion of department salaries, technology, and mileage to a regional conference.
  • Lisa Engler received a raise from $12.72 to $13.78 per hour for working one year as a 911 operator.
  • Wilma Mueller received a raise from $16.58 to $17.19 per hour for working six months as a detective in the sheriff’s department.
  • James Druse received a raise from $2,669 to $2,946 for extra duties as interim road foreman.
  • Summerville received a raise from $3,423 to $3,718 for extra duties as interim road superintendent.
  • Susan Berg was hired as a clerk in the treasurer’s department with a pay rate of $1,603 per month.

Last modified Aug. 18, 2011

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