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Tampa road project awarded

Staff writer

The final agenda item was the top priority Monday as bids from five contractors for the Tampa road project were opened at the Marion County Commission meeting.

Lafarge Construction of Wichita submitted the low bid of $1,935,239 for asphalt overlay of 330th Road between Tampa and K-15.

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to come up and work with the county. It’s an exceptional job, and jobs like this don’t get any cleaner,” Lafarge estimator Craig Dietz said.

“We have our own crews, but any time we can utilize any local businesses we definitely try to do that. Once we get into the project, if we see an opportunity for that, we definitely look at doing that, try to keep the community involved.”

The projected start date included in the bid is on or around April 12.

Design work for an additional 25.5 miles of asphalt overlays will commence following commission approval of a $25,500 proposal by John Riggins of engineering firm Kirkham Michael.

Four locations are targets for the overlay work, and include:

  • 8 miles of 330th Road, from K-15 west to the McPherson County line, often referred to as the Tampa-Roxbury road.
  • 7 miles of 120th Road, from the intersection with K-15 at Goessel east to Indigo Road.
  • 5 miles of 60th Road, from the intersection with Old Mill Road at the southeast corner of Peabody east to Timber Road.
  • 5.5 miles of 40th Road, from the intersection with Timber Road east to U.S. 77.

Commissioners agreed asphalt overlays are preferred to chip-and-seal coverage of the roads, noting the extended life and higher quality of asphalt will offset the extra cost.

“We might as well do it right,” Commissioner Roger Fleming said. “You’re getting a lot more life for a little bit more. There’s certain roads I’d like to forget about for awhile.”

Riggins provided rough cost estimates for both 1.5-inch and 2-inch overlays, with the thicker layer projected to cost $2.4 million.

“How are we going to determine where we want to do 2-inch and where we have 1-1/2 inch?” Fleming asked.

“We’ll get started on the design,” Riggins said. “My initial impression is the two most southern roads were the two worst. We’ll try to get 2 inches on those, and 1-1/2 inch on the northern roads.”

Riggins suggested bids for the project could be taken around April 1.

“I would like to do it while Lafarge is in town, so if there’s an advantage to be gained there we can get it,” Commission Chairman Dan Holub said.

“I’d definitely like to stay in March,” Commissioner Randy Dalke said.

Commissioners were pleased to be moving ahead with the project.

“These roads will last, finally,” Holub said. “I’m so sick and tired of going back three years later and having to do it all again.”

Rescue equipment purchased

Hillsboro Fire Chief Ben Steketee and Marion Fire Chief Mike Regnier met with commissioners for a second time to lobby for the purchase of emergency rescue equipment for Hillsboro and Florence.

Two sets of Hurst eDRAULICS cutters, spreaders, and adapters would bring the equipment at Hillsboro and Florence up to par with the departments in Marion and Peabody, Stecketee said. But the $37,531 purchase price exceeded the $26,000 available in the emergency medical services fund.

“I’m hearing reports we’ve had problems with some of them,” Dallke said.

“We had a problem with the on/off switch,” Regnier said. “We sent it in and it’s fixed. We did use them, and they work well.”

Dallke was concerned spending the entire $26,000 on the eDRAULICS purchase could compromise purchases of smaller tools departments might need.

“I’m looking down the road. We cannot only take care of some, we need to take care of all,” Dallke said. “If we can accomplish this, then if something does come up, we should take it out of sales tax.”

The commission approved the purchase of the equipment, supplementing the $26,000 with $10,000 received from the Keystone pipeline, and the balance from sales tax receipts.

7 employees reclassified

Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford requested seven department employees be reclassified to equipment operator II, in order to reflect the actual scope of their regular responsibilities.

Reclassification at the $12.57 hourly base pay for equipment operator II would provide raises ranging from 4 cents to 71 cents per hour for six employees, Crawford said. The pay rate for the seventh employee already exceeds the base.

Crawford said there was value beyond compensation for reclassification.

“I think it’s the title that gives them the room to progressively do better,” Crawford said.

Dallke expressed reservations about the proposed move.

“Nothing against what you’re doing here, but we don’t have any dates, any set time that we do something like this, and it’s not fair,” Dallke said.

“If they’re doing that work, they should get that classification,” Fleming said. “If we’re asking them to do that position, we should compensate them for that position.”

Commissioners approved reclassification for Roy Davis, Kenneth Hein, Mike Klose, Tom Masella, David Silhan, Jesse Smith, and William Nickel.

In other business:

  • Commissioners passed a resolution authorizing George K. Baum & Co. to offer for sale $3,510,000 of general obligation bonds to finance jail construction. Baum representative David Arteberry said the order period for the bonds will begin next Thursday, giving priority to local purchasers. The commission will lock in the interest rates and authorize the bonds to be issued Feb. 6.
  • A final payment of $76,872 to retire the bonds issued in 2002 for the transfer station was approved.
  • Bids for repairing damage in the Register of Deeds office caused by a water leak were approved. Supreme Flooring will replace carpet for $2,250 and Marjory Boese submitted the only bid for $680 for painting.

The next commission meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at the Marion County Courthouse.

Last modified Jan. 25, 2012

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