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Peabody seeks road rehab

Staff writer

The City of Peabody is pursuing road improvements to help with drainage and conditions.

“This is the part of the job I love,” said Jim Ralston, branch manager with construction and asphalt company APAC Shears. “I’ve measured this whole city. There’s nobody in the world who knows more about your streets than I do.”

The best option would be to resurface everything, and increase the grade at Peabody-Burns Elementary and High School parking lots to improve drainage.

“I don’t want to see us go halfway at the high school and five years from now we have to spend another $35,000 to fix it again,” councilman Travis Wilson said. “I understand the school is helping out, but they have to budget, and we have to budget.”

The goal is to have the project ready to go next summer, but there will be no effort to keep any brick still present on streets, Ralston said.

“At one time, the wish of the council was to never remove any bricks,” he said. “That really handcuffs us. Bricks are cool, but there’s a reason we don’t do it. It’s expensive.”

Since the city and school district will both have work done, the first thing to decide is how to divide the bill, Wilson said.

“That’s why I want to make sure of what they’re willing to do,” Wilson said. “Forty percent is different from paying for your stuff.”

Ralston said he would be willing to teach city workers how to patch roads properly for no extra charge.

Residents near the 500 block of N. Poplar St. are complaining about spray used at a rental home owned by Kenny Rogers.

Rogers twice used a large sprayer on his lawn, and the chemical has killed many other plants, resident Janie Hampton said.

“I don’t know what he sprayed it with, but it killed everything,” she said. “It looks horrible, and I feel like it’s detrimental to the environment.”

One neighbor found a dead owl in his yard, Hampton said, and the chemicals killed a walnut tree in her yard valued between $4,000 and $8,000.

“I want to find out if there’s some way we can make him stop doing this,” Janie Hampton said.

Council members said the best action would be a civil suit, which Hampton said she was already pursuing.

“The civil suit and money out of his pocket is going to be more detrimental than anything else,” Wilson said.

Mayor Tom Spencer requested $2,500 be sent to South Central Kansas Economic Development to pay a grant writer to prepare a proposal that will benefit Peabody City Park’s playground.

The primary concern was that specific terms weren’t detailed in the packet sent by SCKED, and there was no contract written up, councilman Lindsay Hutchison said.

“I’m not going to make the motion to pay anything without a contract,” she said. “We need to know what we’re getting for what we’re spending.”

The council decided to set a special meeting for discussion once a contract is received for review.

The grant being sought would match any funds Peabody invests in the project, up to $180,000 total. There would be other project expenses not covered by the grant but no estimate has been made yet.

Beth Peter resigned as councilman for personal reasons, leaving the council one member short.

Last modified Aug. 15, 2019

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