Peabody group asks for more sand, less gravel on road

Terry Eberhard was the main spokesman for a group of Peabody-area men asking Marion County commissioners Monday for more sand and less gravel on their roads.

Even though more “wash boarding”—ridges of surfacing—can be created with sand, Eberhard said traffic is moving slower with rough gravel anyway.

The group led by Eber­hard lives from Indigo to Nighthawk along 90th. They also included Gordon Wiebe, Evan Yoder and George Wait. Yoder said sand holds up better than gravel over the long run.

Road and Bridge Super­intendent Jesse Hamm said the request comes at an opportune time when he has confirmed prices to haul sand by county truck from Wichita sand companies at rates competitive with gravel.

Commissioners Randy Dallke and Dan Holub voted 2-0 to move forward with closing Limestone at U.S. High­way 50 at the request of the Peabody men.

Commissioner Lori Lalouette was not present at the meeting.

Dallke said the closing takes a legal process, but that barricades could be placed at the end of the roads to prevent motorists from trying to come through, and continually getting stuck.

The men said they would like to sew grass on the roadway, which they will still use to access fields and to help slow erosion, and perhaps to apply dirt where the roadway has eroded below the ditches.

Eco-devo committee

After reviewing applications for membership on a new county economic development committee, the commissioners decided they will probably find a professional mediator to name the members.

They agreed that the committee is a unique opportunity not likely to be repeated again in doing something beneficial for the county.

Both commissioners said they are concerned with the number of city professionals who have offered to serve when they wanted merchants, and by the number of applicants who dwelled on past problems when they want new ideas.

Courthouse windows

Vance Kelley of Treanor Architects advised the commissioners to open a bid process to upgrade historical courthouse windows for other contractors even though they are attracted to accepting a proposal from a local merchant.

Kelley said windows should be repaired before replaced, replaced only in part where necessary, and replaced only when they are totally beyond repair to meet courthouse state historical guidelines.

“We don’t want mistakes,” he said.

State guidelines will have to be followed, he said.

Kelley estimated the bidding will take four to six weeks.

EMS issues

The commissioners approved a volunteer taking a short and intensive Emer­gency Medical Technician class to enable testing for qualification at Newton for $1,463, with the state supplying $1,150 and the county $315.

The commissioners asked EMS Director Ed Debesis to watch for future EMT classes at Newton to enable more Marion County volunteers to participate in them.

Debesis proposed the county consider contracting with OMNI EMS Billing to bill and collect ambulance revenue at a 7.75 percent collection revenue.

The commissioners said the most they would do at this time is to invite OMNI to make a presentation at a commission meeting.

The commissioners agreed to raise a series of rates within the ambulance fee schedule.

Debesis reported 79 ambulance runs for April, including 16 from Peabody, four from Florence, 13 from Marion, 40 from Hillsboro and six from Tampa.

They included 17 transfers, two cardiac, 26 medical emergency, three motor vehicle accidents, six falls, 22 no transport and two other.

Debesis said this compared to 87 runs a year ago and 93 runs in March.

Bid approvals

The commissioners approved a noxious weed chemical pesticide bid of $7,189 from Van Diest of Anthony over a bid of $7,361 from CPS of Goddard for 70 gallons of Banvel, 180 gallons of 2,4-Ester LoVol, and 24 quarts of Milestone.

Commissioners also approved a road and bridge transport fuel bid of $14,107 from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro for 6,000 gallons of diesel and 2,000 gallons of gasoline over a competitive bid of $14,279 from Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa.