Pilgrimages to the Father Emil Kapaun memorial and home church in Pilsen are prompting a Marion County road-building project.
The Marion County Commission at its Feb. 21 meeting approved an initial $65,840 for rebuilding 10 miles of Remington Road—known to many as the Pilsen Road—from Marion to Pilsen.
Commissioner Dan Holub said the hard-surface road was heavily worn with potholes and crumbling edges anyway, but the increased traffic has accelerated its deterioration.
Holub and the other commissioners agreed the traffic will only increase as the process continues for naming Kapaun a Catholic saint for his shepherding of prisoners during the Korean War and his martyrdom.
Randy Crawford, road and bridge director, said the project will begin with tearing up and compressing the old surface, broadening to a 24-foot roadway with one-foot shoulders.
The commissioners and Crawford noted that tearing up old surfaces for greater compaction before resurfacing is showing quality payback at other locations in the county.
The commissioners also approved $19,752 for AB3 rock reconstruction on 30th Street west of Old Mill Road near Peabody.
Mike Benjamin of the Union Pacific Railroad was granted permission by the commissioners to construct a railroad siding and “hammer-head” turn-around between 140th and 160th by Aulne that will impact “three to four landowners.”
Benjamin said the location was selected by the railroad because of its relatively level topography with good visibility.
He said the biggest impact will be the closure on 150th, but Union Pacific hopes this will be done with minimum disruption to traffic and emergency services.
Benjamin said Union Pacific expects to pay Marion County $150,000 for the closure.
The project also has Kansas Department of Transportation approval, he said.
Funds for fair repairs
The commissioners also agreed to allow the Marion County Fair Board $1,555 from sales taxes requested by Kelli Savage to replace and repair water-damaged paneling and windows in the 4-H Building.
Savage said the board also is seeking donations of a 26,000-BTU air conditioner and a stove for the concessions area.
The commissioners gave county attorney Susan Robson and treasurer Jeannine Bateman permission to proceed with disallowing property-tax payment plans for patrons who don’t keep up monthly payments as agreed.
Robson said the program has created hours of extra work for Bateman in contacting property owners who may fail to make a payment more than once or twice in six months.
Bateman will begin sending letters advising patrons of their final opportunity to become current or be discontinued from the program.
Commissioner Randy Dallke said he thinks the state is being unfair to small communities like Florence in imposing back taxes on normally untaxed property such as the city’s park.
He and the other commissioners agreed that smaller cities without their own city attorneys rely on the county for help.
Dan D. Albini, emergency management director, said 60 persons attended the February storm-spotters meeting, which he feels shows a high degree of interest.
Rollin Schmidt, transfer station and noxious weed director, said $1 a ton increase in tipping fees, plus higher fuel costs, have resulted in a $41.41 per-ton cost for Marion County garbage at the landfill.
He said 495.21 tons of solid waste were disposed through the transfer station in January.
The commissioners awarded noxious-weed chemical bids of $9,856.20 to Markley Service of Marion for 40 pounds of Sahara DG, 48 pounds of Krovar I DF, 128 ounces of Metsul furon, 16 quarts of Milestone, 20 gallons of Milestone and 20 gallons of Element 4 over competitive bids of $10,334.36 from Ag Service of Hillsboro and $10,300.88 from Agri-Producers Cooperative at Tampa.
They awarded a bid of $6,387.60 to Markley Service for 60 gallons of Tordon, 48 gallons of Ticlopyr Remedy, three gallons of Dicamba and 30 gallons of Glyphosate Generic over competitive bids of $6,665.40 from Ag Service and $7,102.20 from Agri-Producers.
They awarded a bid of $38,994 to Markley Service for eight 120-gallon shuttles of 2,4-D Amine, 1,440 gallons of 2,4-D Amine and 360 gallons of 2,4-D Lo Vol over competitive bids of $42,814.80 from Ag Service and $42,487.20 from Agri-Producers.