County assures Goessel reps of hard-surfaced roads

The Marion County Commis?sion Monday assured representatives of the Goessel Unified School District 411 that it will bring back 90th and 120th roads to improved hard-surface condition over the next two years.

Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet joined commissioners in saying the pattern for ensuring that roads hold up is to tear them up one year to build up the base. Then, in a year to two years later, the road is resealed as blacktop.

Herzet said every effort will be made to hard surface 90th next year, given the situation for Goessel. It is dependent on having sufficient dry weather for rebuilding, and on country?s the financial situation, he said.

Commission Chairman Randy Dallke cited South Timber as an example of how current methods on rebuilding a road bed are helping. The road surface there held up even under the heavy traffic related to the Keystone pipeline project, he said..

Superintendent John Fast, principal Marc Grout and board member James Wiens asked for assurance the roads would be returned to blacktop for the safety of both students and area residents.

Fast said Herzet has been prompt in getting gravel on bus routes, although as residents on 120th, both he and Wiens have problems with heavy dust.

On a safety level, Fast said his bus drivers are complaining of rough gravel and shoulders when meeting other vehicles, and one student has had a car accident as a result of road conditions.

He said the student was told by her parents to take 90th instead of 120th, and ended up losing control of the car to roll on a sandy patch east of Tabor Mennonite Church.

Grout said although the girl was not badly injured, the accident illustrates the concern for children who are inexperienced drivers traveling perhaps at higher speeds than they should be.

Fast said the area also is populated by many residents who commute to work on the same roads at companies such as Bradbury and Moridge in Moundridge and to Agco or Excel in Hesston. The roads are corridors to state highways for the community, he said.

More road issues

James Rieves of 810 Lime?stone discussed rocking his road to U.S. Highway 50 for an improved route for his more than 100-foot long tractor truck and trailer.

Dallke said the responsibility of the county is to provide an access route out for every resident and for school bus routes. He noted that the route would give Rieves three access routes.

Herzet said that although Rieves has agreed to pay for the gravel to rock the mile, the road would also have to be rebuilt for water drainage, and then maintained?factors of which Rieves was not aware.

Dallke said Rieves? neighbors also will need to be given a chance to talk with commissioners about the road because they aren?t all in agreement about it being improved. He suggested the commissioners and Rieves may want to consider maintaining the road as an alternative to one of Rieves? other access routes.

County legal notices

County Clerk Carol Maggard gave copies of a letter from Hillsboro Free Press Publisher Joel Klaassen offering to publish the county?s legal notices free on the newspaper?s Web site as a public service.

She reviewed the history of legal publications in the county, including when it was shared from year to year by separately owned newspapers, to when the Free Press did the legals one year in a newspaper with small paid circulation called the Free Press Extra, to today?s system where the Marion County Record is the legal newspaper but charges the county extra to include the legals in its publications at Peabody and Hillsboro.

Maggard said the Free Press doesn?t qualify to publish the county?s paid legal notices because its circulation is unpaid, which disqualifies it as a legal publication under state law.

Dallke asked if the Record gives free access to its Web site. A Record representative replied that viewers on its Web site ?can look at a few articles free, but then it brings up a prompt to subscribe.?

Commissioner Dan Holub said he felt that putting legal notices on the Free Press Web site would be one more way to ensure that more people read them.

?I?d put them up on billboards if they gave more public coverage,? he said.

Dallke said, ?The more the public knows, the better off we are.?

He asked Maggard to call Klaassen to check the upload method for legals, and to ensure one more time that the service would really be free with free access for the public.

Butler County input

After a visit with Butler County Administrator Will Johnson, the commissioners granted financial authority to Butler Fire District No. 10 serving the City of Burns, two townships in Marion County, and two townships in Butler County.

Johnson said Butler County is still in negotiation with Keystone on payment for road damages done during oil slurry pipeline construction.

He said he has been following Marion County?s concerns about legislators being nonresponsive regarding a 10-year tax exemption for Keystone. Johnson said that in Butler County, ?we got absolutely no support from our legislators.?

Disaster response

The commissioners discussed emergency management require?ments in the county with Administrator Brad Homman and Emergency Management Director Chancy Smith from Dickinson County.

The two men said establishment of the Dickinson County Community Emergency Response Team with 64 volunteers certified in the basics of family and neighborhood care has proven to be a valuable asset.

They reviewed the Chapman tornado response pointing out that mutual aid from other counties had been outstanding. They said aid was available from the state too, but only at shockingly high prices.

Homman said, ?The state learned from Greensburg that emergency costs are high.?

He said Emergency Manage?ment needs to be aware, as in the case of Chapman, that among first requirements will be coffee, bottled water and toilet facilities for volunteers.

?We had 1,500 volunteers working for several hours before the first porta-potties arrived,? he said.

Other business

? The Kansas Development Financial Authority sent a letter asking the county commissioners for opinion on the work it does.

The commissioners approved a KDFA action granting bond money of $27,000 and up to $450,000 if needed for beginning farmers Myron D. and Ann Hie?bert on 30 acres north of Goessel.

? Dallke signed a commission document granting Santa Fe Trail tour signs through the county following an opinion by County Attorney Susan Robson that there would be no problem allowing the signs.

? Holub reminded the commissioners that they need to consider how to spend a $26,000 gift from TransCanada Keystone Pipeline designated for the public good.

? Emergency Medical Services director Steve Smith reported 100 ambulance runs in October, 14 from Peabody, seven from Florence, three back-up, 33 from Marion, 33 from Hillsboro, and 10 from Tampa.

They included nine transfers, one cardiac, 36 medical emergency, 11 standby, 14 motor vehicle accidents, nine falls, and 20 no-transports. There were four first-response runs: one from Hills?boro and Lincolnville and two from Goessel.

Smith said law enforcement policies are increasing the number of standby ambulance runs in incidents such as motor vehicle collisions with deer.

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