State identifies 10 bridges needing structural attention

Ten Marion County bridges may need rebuilding or replacing, according to a state report presented Monday to the Marion County Commission.

The 10 bridges, varying in length from 22 to 60 feet, are rated ?fracture critical? in a required report to the State of Kansas prepared for Marion County by the engineering firm Cooke, Flatt & Strobel.

Ken Blair said in some cases part of the bridges may continue to meet state specifications if their load limits are lowered.

He and Randy Crawford, county road and bridge director, agreed that some projects could be funded through 80 percent grants through the Kansas Department of Transportation, provided the county is able to provide the remaining 20 percent.

Commissioner Dan Holub said the county has some bridges less than 20 feet long that don?t require state inspection.

He and Crawford said they will look at one of these?an old stone bridge by Marion County Lake?to check how the stone underneath the structure is holding up.

Crawford said road and bridge workers performed ?very well? in the recent back-to-back blizzards. Crews worked up to 14- and 15-hour shifts under badly fatiguing conditions, with four machines breaking down in the process to limit coverage.

The commissioners authorized Crawford to add two more temporary employees to maximize road upkeep during the expected 16-week warm season, when road work is most able to be done.

The commissioners approved location of a 12x33x40 factory pre-fabricated home that will remain raised on one of the lots traditionally allowed only for trailers at Marion County Lake.

The commissioners agreed to an injunction introduced by Commission Chairman Randy Dallke that any future such homes must be approved one by one to avoid locating home-built stick homes that might not be attractive or durable.

The commissioners told Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson that the home must be compatible with a single electrical hookup, as used by mobile home trailers in the development.

In discussion with Marion Mayor Mary Olson and Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt, Commissioner Roger Fleming said that with the support he is seeing for single-stream waste recycling in communities like Hillsboro, Peabody and Marion, he foresees a time in the future when three-fourths of county wastes may be recycled.

Schmidt reported 332.27 tons of municipal solid waste, 41.93 tons of commercial and demolition waste and 0.39 ton of tires collected for February at the transfer station.

The commissioners approved signing up with Kansas Work?force One located in Salina as one of 62 counties supported in an area encompassing the western two-thirds of the state under State of Kansas development programs.

Deb Scheibler of KWFO said of particular interest may be financial support for wind and solar energy.

Scheibler said the program may be of special importance in upgrading students in vocational programs such as the welding school in Hillsboro through Hutchinson Commun?ity College.

County Clerk Tina Spencer said she has mailed notices to all Marion County school superintendents inviting them to submit student candidates studying government to participate half days working at county polling sites.

The commissioners agreed that in County Attorney Susan Robson?s creation of an agreement with the railroad for road closing for rail siding at 180th, they would also ask that access to a gas line remain open for future access for road and bridge.

Holub said he planned to go to Topeka Tuesday for the final Kansas Supreme Court hearing on tax deferment for the Key?stone Canadian pipeline.

The commissioners approved Health Administrator Diedre Serene?s grant applications for an annual state grant of more than $12,000, and for a federal grant for $75,000 for building construction for such departments as health, emergency and aging.





















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