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Other counties cutting back

Larger counties with larger tax rolls are reducing number of asphalt roads

Marion County isn’t the only county considering cutting back on the number of roads being maintained.

“Butler County may have to drop half of their asphalt roads, same for Saline County because they can’t afford them,” said John Summerville, acting county public works director.

However a major difference between Marion County and the other counties is the appraised value, Summerville said. Butler County has an appraised value of $3.3 billion, Saline County $2.9 billion, and Marion $250,000.

“If larger counties are having problems, no wonder we are,” Summerville said.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said Chase County was “shutting down” graders for general daily maintenance.

Later in the meeting, Dallke asked Summerville if five motor-grader operators could be used for other projects. Summerville said they could.

“Do we need to make a gesture at this time with fuel costs what they are? Do we need to get roads shaped-up for winter?” Dallke asked. He then asked the other commissioners to think about the issue in the coming week and be prepared to discuss it at Monday’s meeting.

In other business:

  • Engineers Cook, Flatt, and Strobel of Wichita was awarded bridge inspections at a cost of $41 per bridge for a total of $12,341. Although the firm was not the lowest bidder, the commission took into consideration that it and Kirkham Michael were the primary engineers used by the county. Other bids were $44.60 per bridge for a total of $13,424 from Kirkham Michael and $38.75 per bridge plus an additional fee for other work for a total of $11,888 from Schwab-Eaton of Manhattan.
  • A proposal from Joe and Joann Nowak of rural Marion was reviewed. A row of trees was damaged by a county road crew when the supervisor thought he was on county property. The county agreed to replace the cedar trees or provide a fence. Total cost of the proposal from the Nowaks was $15,100 plus $2,600 for damages to their trees.
  • After county clerk Carol Maggard read the fine print, she asked where the county will secure 20 percent of the cost of a federal bridge inspection at the causeway at Marion Reservoir. The inspection will be next month with underwater divers.
  • The commission reviewed the 2009 budget in preparation for a public hearing at 9 a.m. Aug. 25.
  • Dallke asked for and received a 10-minute executive session to discuss personnel. The meeting reconvened with no decisions.
  • The next commission meeting is at 9 a.m. Monday at the courthouse.

Last modified Aug. 13, 2008

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