Commissioner crushes gravel payback bid
330th Rd. gets final touches
A commissioner and constituent locked horns Monday over a reimbursement request for rock laid on a county road, with the individual told he should pay for it as a cost of doing business.
Mike Beneke, who operates a feedlot and has complained about the condition 280th Rd. in the area, came to the meeting with receipts in his hand and asked to be repaid for his expenses in putting down rock along that section.
Commissioner Dianne Novak was quick to say she opposed paying Beneke for the rock, since she saw the work as related to Beneke’s business.
“It is not the taxpayer’s responsibility to support the business,” Novak said.
“It’s a public road,” Beneke answered.
“I don’t care,” Novak said. “It’s your business that tore up the road. If you want a better quality of rock, feel free.”
Beneke’s feedlot is at 2876 280th Rd. He said he rocks about a third of that mile.
“I’ve put over $10,000 worth of rock on it,” Beneke said. “We put hard rock on it, it stands up better.”
Most of the heavy traffic along that stretch comes from other people, Beneke said.
Beneke said he has been compensated for expenses in the past.
“We had some compensation before and during the campaign,” Beneke said.
The road, if not properly maintained, can cause serious damage to his trucks.
“I don‘t mind doing what I can do to minimize the damage to my equipment, and my neighbors appreciate it,” Beneke said.
Beneke said Novak has criticized him a lot in the past two or three months, and he didn’t like Novak’s quick reaction to his request for compensation.
“I was so caught up in the moment, I thought, ‘Geez, I got her blood pressure up,’” Beneke said. “I couldn’t believe she was putting me down.”
Darin Neufeld of EBH Engineering reported that work on 330th Rd. is nearing completion.
He said asphalt laying was completed last week along the eight-mile stretch of road between K-15 and the McPherson County line.
“We have a very, very hard, stabilized base up there,” Neufeld said.
Rock has been put on the shoulders and rock work should be finished soon, he said.
Commissioner Randy Dallke said some areas had only about six inches of rock alongside the road when he went to look. He said he would like to see more like 12 inches.
Neufeld said he would check on the amount of rock and see if more needs to be purchased.
Road and Bridge superintendent Jesse Hamm said asked Neufeld about using biologs to slow water flowing in ditches to prevent erosion.
Neufeld said that would work, but would be temporary.
“They’re generally meant to dissolve and be there,” Neufeld said.
Seeding of ditches should happen this week and striping the road will begin next week, he said.
In another road matter, commissioners declined to close a portion of 360th Rd. between Bison and Chisholm Trail Rds.
Hamm said he’d been in contact with Dale Koop, who has property on both sides of the road.
“He’d like me to close the east half of the road,” Hamm said. “I think he just wants to keep unwanted traffic off the road.”
Novak said she believes it’s the wrong way to go.
“I think so, too, now that your mention it,” Hamm said. “It’s posted ‘travel at your own risk.’”
Last modified Dec. 7, 2017