Marion County Commissioner Roger Fleming told the other two commissioners at Friday’s payday meeting that he wanted to push ahead with county road projects.
Fellow commissioners Randy Dallke and Dan Holub agreed and voted accordingly.
The commissioners then voted unanimously to give Randy Crawford, road and bridge director, discretionary power to decide how much crushed rock to add to the Tampa Road hard-surfacing construction from Kansas Highway 15.
Crawford had said the road subsurface was good enough that over-covering with rock might be unneeded or even harmful.
Fleming said if the commissioners waited on projects until fall to see if oil prices come down, they might get a better deal, but the prices might rise even more.
“I have a hard time gambling on it,” he said. “I’d like to move along while we are on a roll.”
Fleming said he would move toward road building in an expeditious manner even if it meant pulling money from next year’s budget to get the job done.
Dallke said he agreed because after working for three to four years to build projects to this level, it is time to move ahead on four projects and three alternatives.
Holub said, “It’s time to put money to use.”
He said it is imperative for the county to move ahead with plans to rebuild the road from Marion to Pilsen. The road averages 300 to 400 cars daily, plus buses traveling to visit the Father Kapaun Memorial.
Holub predicted this traffic will increase with Kapaun being considered for a medal of honor for his service during the Korean War and for his canonization by the Catholic church.
Crawford supported the move, saying that with asphalt at $70 a ton, he didn’t foresee the likelihood that prices would move anywhere but higher.
As if to support the commissioners’ viewpoints, Sondra Clark of the Kansas Department of Transportation told them later in the meeting that Marion County has $661,519 in 2011 federal funds allocated through the state available, and, to date about $354,000 that will be available for 2012 with a likelihood of more congressional approvals later.
She said the funds are pro-rated at 90 percent available to counties through KDOT to enable counties to move ahead without waiting for total federal dispersal.
Tina Spencer of the county clerk’s office gave commissioners a payday figure of $1,010,258.
Spencer said the regular sales tax received from the state in March from sales by merchants in January was $56,020.
An additional $49,677 in sales tax was received, she said, for bond payment on the new county jail.
The commissioners awarded area road and bridge fuel bids for 2,950 gallons of diesel in areas 1 and 2 to Cardie Oil of Tampa for $9,779.25 over a competitive bid from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro of $9,882.
They awarded area bids for 3,600 gallons of diesel in areas 3 and 4 to CG&S for $12,042 over a bid from Cardie also of $12,042.