Residents ask county for sand on road

Residents along the road to Roxbury from Kansas High?way 15 asked Marion County commissioners Monday to consider sanding the road rather than making them wait longer for its return to blacktop surfacing.

Commissioners said they had been unaware of one resident?s suggestion?that sand is available at a quarry located north on the road from Lehigh to near Salina.

The commissioners said that would make sand more economical for road and bridge personnel to haul to the north end of the county rather than from sources much further south.

The seven residents from along the road and just off it said county road graders have worked their roads too much during hot, dry weather, turning up rock that has cost them many flat tires.

They said two miles of road that were covered with sand have been much better and smoother to travel.

One woman said she had waited 11 years for the Commission to return the road to blacktop, and she just wants something done now to upgrade the road.

Road and Bridge Director Randy Crawford said, ?It?s a money deal? for the county that not all roads are hard surfaced when county residents and commissioners might wish them to be.

He said Marion County is too small to afford more than the $2 million-plus it spends each year on upgrading roads.

The residents said they wished their road?s original hard surfacing had been patched rather than torn up for rebuilding.

Crawford said he agreed and suggested the county may have done too much tearing up of roads to improve surfacing rather than just patching them.

Commissioner Dan Holub said the commissioners have tried to improve roads as best they can with funds available.

Crawford said the average cost for one mile of one-layer chip and seal treatment of roadway now is between $19,000 and $20,000.

The commissioners approved paying $11,126 to paint side stripes and median strips on South Nighthawk.

On request of Holub, Commissioners Randy Dallke and Roger Fleming joined him in directing County Attorney Susan Robson to draft a letter to the Kansas attorney general regarding possible damages in counties from the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline.

Holub said the county may have to take legal standing in the future for county landowners ?who got ripped off on easements? that were signed for one-time compensation from Keystone, under possibly misleading pressure that landowners were required to sign.

Fleming said he could agree to limited efforts of the county to encourage the state to look into Keystone?s practices, but he thinks the commissioners need to concentrate their time on pressing needs of the county that they have the power to do something about.

The commissioners said they would accept Robson?s recommendation that Parcell Forensics in Topeka be designated to do legally required autopsies for the county.

Robson said the company has been reliable for other counties in the same district as Marion County, and would be lower mileage for the county to transport bodies than to Kansas City.

Commissioners approved paying $46,800 to Loyd Builders for payment to subcontractors for soil compaction on the new jail site.

They approved paying up to $50,000 for the county?s share to add to State Heritage Trust funds up to a total of $134,640 for replacing 20 windows on the north end of the courthouse.

Holub said the old windows are so leaky that some courthouse offices have snow sifting in at times.

?We have to make it happen,? Dallke said.

County Clerk Carol Maggard said the county now has paid out $151,034 for several departments from the appraiser?s office to the ambulance service for aerial mapping from R&S Digital.

Carl and Juanita Stovall asked the commissioners to look into county appraisal of their metal building home that raised its value from $59,850 in 2010 to $83,310 in 2011, and then to $98,190 just three months later.

Carl Stovall said the couple also feels that follow-up valuations of portable metal hog sheds at $3,350 and a 10-foot by 17-foot milk house at $2,781 are also excessive.

The commissioners agreed to adopting a ?clear text? system for 911 operators to communicate more clearly with emergency medical services personnel.

EMS Director Steve Smith said five new EMT students have been certified for ambulance calls with two others in stages of completion.

The five are Tammy Miller for Marion, Jeremy Sears and Lacy Spaulding for Peabody, Penny Coffman for Tampa, and Jolynn Jackson for Marion and Peabody.

Smith reported 107 ambulance calls in September including 21 from Peabody, 10 from Florence, three back-up, 30 from Marion, 36 from Hillsboro, and seven from Tampa.

They included 20 transfers, 10 cardiac, 26 medical emergencies, 14 standby, five motor vehicle accidents, 10 falls, 19 no transport, and three 10-22.

There were five response runs from Goessel, two from Lincolnville and one from Florence.

The commissioners approved Sondra Mayfield of the county health department attending a Safe Kids Worldwide conference in North Carolina with expenses paid by SKW.

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