County considers closing stretch of Limestone Road

The Marion County Commission spent almost an hour Monday deciding whe­ther to close a small stretch of road on Limestone at 80th to U.S. Highway 50.

After hearing from all three landowners, Commissioners Dan Holub and Randy Dallke agreed to 60 days from Oct. 17 to allow one of the landowners to come back with a plan.

Commissioner Lori Lalouette was absent.

The road situation was first discussed with commissioners by two ag producers, Terrel Eberhardt and Gordon Wiebe, who requested the commission close it.

But Chairman Randy Dallke said a third landowner, Shane Rives, was unable to attend the first discussion.

“I wasn’t here for the last conversation so I really don’t know if it is a tax reason (to close the road),” Rives said.

“How will this affect my property (in taxes)?”

For Rives, he said, it is the most direct access to his home.

“I have probably put $20,000 worth of gravel down just to keep it maintained where 80th meets Limestone,” he said.

The road needs a lot of work, Dallke said, but Rives said he questions how many roads the county shut down like this.

“I haven’t ever heard of anybody closing a road down that is existing with a house right next to the freeway,” he said.

Each year, he said, he pays almost $8,000 a year in property taxes, and both the Marion County sheriff’s office and EMS are both about 20 minutes away.

“I realize the road needs a lot of work—a couple culverts need to be taken out elevation of road is wrong to make the drainage ditches,” he said. “It would take a lot of work.”

Jesse Hamm, Road and Bridge superintendent, said it would take about 400 ton of base rock and 300 ton of top rock.

The concern Dallke had is with rains.

“You protect your property value, but then it will go away at the first rain,” he said.

“I am not going to fight city hall,” Rives said, “but I am willing to spend my own money to fix the road.”

Scanner world

Ed Debesis, director of the county’s emergency medical services, was questioned by Dallke about why Eagle Med and LifeFlight are called out no matter what the injuries.

“I understand a car roll­over, but I am talking about a call yesterday and putting LifeFlight on alert,” he said.

What classifies and it seems like it’s the person making the runs, Dallke said.

I actually was questioning yesterday’s call and what they were going to, Debesis said.

“(Crew) explained, and I said I would be en route, and then I get a phone call,” he said.

“What came out by phone was: No longer trapped below ground six foot.”

Dallke said that is a good enough reason for LifeFlight on standby.

“That’s also why I was going en route. Anymore with cardiac and strokes, it is better to get the bird in the air,” he said.

Debesis said around here there is nothing we can do. The patient needs a higher level of care.

Data, documentation

“We had 127 calls, and 43 calls from Hillsboro, 37 from Marion and 25 from Peabody,” Debesis said.

“From last year, we were had 104 in September or 23 more this year. as the months go on, one month low, and one month high.

Report were not completed and crews having to figure out from three to four months ago what the reports were about.

With this coming through and all the crew meetings every month and pushing documentation, we are seeing a lot more documentation from what we have in the past.

Dallke asked if it would be beneficial to make a motion to have the next chairman report to some of the EMS meetings and let people know how important they are.

As for billing and getting payments in, Debesis said they are receiving $5,000 to $6,000 each week. We are bringing money in.”

“Good enough,” Holub said.

Debesis said volunteers are needed to monitor the Hillsboro office.

“We are short there,” he said.

Pictometry update

Jonathan Ballard, district manager for Kansas, said the county is at the next flight of Pictometry, which is a system enabling users to see all sides of a structure because photos are taken from four directions.

Pictometry’s new approach allowed the former county appraiser to see sharper images of private structure.

Following the first flight, which began in 2013, Ballard said, the system has the ability to add layers of information.

The system is also beneficial beyond county government, he said, by providing additional detail .

When the county approved its purchase in 2013, he said, the cost was $119,000 over three years and a 15 percent discount.

“The good news,” Ballard said, “is on the second flight, the cost is $141,000 with a 5 percent discount.”

The difference, he explained is that Hillsboro, Peabody and Marion are contributing for the next three years, bringing the county’s cost to $105,000.

In other business, the commission:

• heard from Gayla Ratzlaff, coordinator for the Department on Aging. Ratzlaff brought the monthly revenue report for September for the commissioner’s review.

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