Commissioners favor plan for roads

The Marion County Board of Commissioners Monday gave tentative approval to a plan developed by Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford to widen dirt and gravels roads up to two miles at a time to originally planned widths.

Crawford often has spoken about how county dirt and gravel roads over a century of use have gradually narrowed from Kansas legally designated widths as farm cultivation and other uses have narrowed them.

Commissioners Dan Holub, Randy Dallke and Lori Lalouette agreed that time and care will need to be taken to make landowners and other members of the public aware of how road boundaries might be widened.

The commissioners said the effort will be part of an ongoing move to upgrade roads to what they were intended to do by design.

Holub said the department likely will be working with landowners to make sure no pasture fences have to be moved.

The commissioners agreed that all landowners will have to be treated the same, with no special allow?ances made to anybody because of perceived size or importance.

Holub said the commissioners might choose to be flexible on some road widths, particularly along dirt roads bordering pastures, to put up ?narrow road? warning signs rather than widening the surface.

Crawford gave commissioners a 12-page report with illustrations of plans and dimensions for standard roads according to Kansas requirements, illustrations of crowns and construction of roads, and standards for safety design and uses.

According to standards, earth ?dirt? roads are required to be 22 feet wide, minor aggregate surfaced roads are required to be 22 feet wide, major aggregate surface roads are required to be 26 feet wide and bituminous surfaced roads are required to be 28 feet wide.

The commissioners and Crawford agreed that some roads have been narrowed to as little as 15 feet.

Crawford gave the commissioners information that illustrates how road widths and culvert widths should be constructed to give drivers sufficient guidance and visibility for safe travel.

Other business

Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa was awarded a road and bridge transport fuel bid of $16,106 for 5,000 gallons of number two diesel and 3,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline over a competitive bid of $16,251 from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro.

The commissioners reviewed items for budget consideration.

In looking at funds to be set aside for future ambulance purchases, Dallke said he would like to allow for a smaller ambulance immediately that could be used as a back-up.

County Chairmen Mike Regnier, Marion Fire Chief, and Ben Steketee, Hillsboro Ambulance Chief, reviewed how improved county funding is helping them purchase or plan to purchase equipment such as eDRAULIC (correct spelling) extendable ram that is already allowing them to help extricate motor vehicle wreck victims, and high angle extrication rope already ordered.

The commissioners approved funding their acquisitions pending funding in November.

Discussion of the neighborhood revitalization with county appraisal officials was delayed to a future meeting to allow for more information that might help decide whether to continue the program.

The commissioners said any decision to end the program would not affect persons who are already in it.

Emergency Medical Services Director Brandy McCarty reported 109 ambulance runs for July including 29 from Peabody, six from Florence, 33 from Marin, 37 from Hillsboro and four from Tampa.

They included 30 transfers, three cardiac, 40 medical emergency, five standby, three motor vehicle accidents, 10 falls, 12 no transport, and 6 10-22.

There were two first response runs from Burns and six from Goessel.