Marion Co. hears road frustrations


Road condition frustrations were once again the topic of the Marion County Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, Dec. 6. Marion resident Jerry Mendoza sent in a public comment to the board stating that when he and his family moved into their residence in October of 2019 “the road of 140th between Sunflower and Pawnee was asphalt that was in good condition.”

His letter said, “Just a little over two years later, we find that same road in a condition that is more gravel than actual good asphalt. There are several large potholes that have been present for quite some time now and others that have been worsened by the rains that we had earlier this year. We have two young drivers that have started driving within the last year and while we have taught them to be careful and observant drivers, their experience does not bode well for driving on 140th given the current condition of the road. I have been with them in the car at times when they have encountered some of the road issues and has alarmed me at the possible outcome that can be present in the future if the road conditions are not properly addressed. I say properly addressed because the road from time to time has seen some sort of repair attempt. However those attempts usually consist of filling the holes with more gravel and moving on. This causes another issue for not only our drivers but others that use this road. When that new gravel gets put down, cars tend to experience fish tailing when those patches are encountered. And after a short time, that hole reappears, sometimes larger than before.”

Mendoza stated that they bought the property because of the paved road in order to not have dust issues but they no longer have that perk as their cars and house have constant dust.

“I understand that our road is not the only one in the county and that others are in as much need of repair as well, but having to see other residents that are much older than myself drive this road at a top speed of 30 miles an hour because they have to zig-zag around the potholes because of the possibility of causing damage to the vehicles or even worse, resulting in a fatal accident, does not sit well with me as a taxpayer,” said Mendoza.

He closed his letter saying that he recently received his yearly tax bill which prompted him to write his concern to the board.

“Like I mentioned before, we have two young drivers in our household that are in the early stages of becoming experienced drivers; as a result I have had to have numerous alignment repairs done on not only the children’s vehicles but my car and my wife’s car as well. I am curious to know if instead of sending in my scheduled payment for the 1st tax payment, I sent an invoice that included all the repairs that have been incurred due to the road conditions, would that encourage the repairs to be done quickly? I say this because I am not the only resident in this area that is contemplating doing just that. Again, I know that this road is not the only road in need of repair, but I also know that the repairs that have been done do not provide adequate safety and comfort that any resident of this county deserves and has a right to have provided to them,” Mendoza said.

Chairman Randy Dallke thanked Mendoza for sending the concern in and stated that he did know that before Mendoza had bought the property the county had spent a substantial amount on that road due to a railroad crossing but it had not spent much money since then. No further comments were made.

Hillsboro Economic Development Director Anthony Roy presented a program proposal for the Marion County Leadership Program. He explained that the purpose of the program would be to identify, motivate, and continually develop new and emerging leaders from business, non-profit, and private sectors to affect change in the quality of civic, cultural, and economic life in Marion County.

Roy explained that there is a committee made up of various people from all over the county including himself, a vacant spot for whoever takes over for the Marion/Economic Development spot, Tina Spencer – Peabody/Marion County, Becky Nickel – Peabody/Community Foundation, Vacant – Business, Larry Geist – Centre School District/Education and Tristen Cope – K-State Extension.

The committee is looking at targeting a class size of 10-15 students for the first year with a curriculum of seven days with a variety of topics including an introduction/orientation, Leadership (through the Kansas Leadership Center), a county-wide tour, Community Application, and a celebration event and debrief.

Roy estimated that the expenses would be around $6,000 and would include: cost of Leadership Edge books, vehicle rental/fuel, and meals/snacks/refreshments. A facilitator has been found for no cost.

The adult fund and youth funds will be used proportionally based on the number of students that are over and under the age of 18 or in high school.

The next steps according to Roy would be approval from the Board of County Commissioners, selection of class dates – plan to start in Spring, Leadership Marion County logo and marketing of the program, secure transportation, secure facility for orientation and some of the and organize the county-wide tour.

The board voted unanimously to approve the program and get it started so the committee will move forward with planning.

In other business, the board:

n approved a new tax foreclosure policy.

n approved a resolution appointing Emergency Management Director Randy Frank to be the voting member of the South-Central Region Homeland Security Council for Marion County and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. Marcy Hostetler was appointed to be the alternate voting member for the council for Marion County.

More from Laura Fowler Paulus
Beer garden expanded for this year’s Marion County fair
The fair will have a beer garden again this year during the...
Read More