County to replace road signs eventually

Staff reporter

"Sign. Sign. Everywhere a sign."

Not everywhere. Particularly on those roads named "Mustang."

There are more than 150 locations where signs are gone — some stolen, others gone because of the weather.

New state requirements for larger rural road signs has the county thinking about ordering new signs. Plus there is a need to replace signs that are popular for thieves to take such as "Mustang."

At Thursday's Marion County Commission meeting, county road and bridge employee Dennis Maggard gave the commission an idea of the number of signs that needed to be replaced and the different types.

At previous meetings, the commission had talked about adding address numbers on the road signs for those not familiar with the area, particularly to assist emergency personnel in finding specific residences and locations.

Maggard showed an example of a road sign with the road name and then smaller numbers on the right hand side of the sign for the numbered "block."

The plates would be nine inches wide. Some of the signs, because of the length of name, could be 42-48 inches long.

Engineering grade, the least expensive, is acceptable, Maggard said, but recommended going with a better quality for durability.

Maggard estimates there are 900 to 1,000 locations for signs and wants to begin by ordering 75 signs. As the county replaces road signs, signs will be ordered to meet the new state compliance.

Commissioners Bob Hein and Dan Holub decided to table the discussion and decision until the Feb. 11 meeting when commission Randy Dallke was in attendance.

In other business:

— Cardie Oil Company of Tampa was the low bid for area fuel for the road and bridge department with a total bid of $18,202 for 6,550 gallons of diesel fuel at an average cost of $2.778 per gallon.

Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro also presented a bid of $18,411 for the same amount at an average cost of $2.811 per gallon.

— A budgeted transfer of $101,732 from the transfer station account to the bond and interest fund was approved.

— An auditing contract with Scot Loyd of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd of McPherson was approved for $11,500. The commission also approved a single audit contract for government grant funds the county received in 2007.

— Baker Brothers Printing of Hillsboro was not the lowest bidder but the commission decided to stay in-county regarding the purchasing of copy paper.

Baker Brothers presented a bid of $2,815 for 100 cases of 20-pound bond paper. Office Plus of Newton had a bid of $2,735, Dick's Business Machines, $2,950, and Navrat's Office Supply of Emporia, $3,910.

— The county received a letter from Kansas Department of Health and Environment regarding the illegal salvage operation at 1175 190th, Hillsboro.

— Sales tax collected in November was $46,782, a $3,500 increase from the same time the previous year but $3,000 less than November 2006.

— Consultant Tom Sevant of McPherson will be on the agenda for the next commission meeting to discuss the county's strategic plan. The state requires counties to review/update the plans every three years with this year being the year.

The contract with Sevant will remain the same as it was in 2005 with the county paying $3,250 up-front and $2,000 when the plan is completed.

— County department for elderly secretary Lanell Hett requested and received a 20-minute executive session for personnel. Two additional 10-minute executive sessions were called. There were no decisions when the meeting reconvened.

— Commissioner Randy Dallke requested and received a 10-minute executive session for personnel with the commission. There were no decisions when the meeting reconvened.

— County department for elderly director Jayne Gottschalk requested and received a 15-minute executive session for personnel. The meeting reconvened with no decisions.

— Hein asked for a five-minute executive session with interim public works director John Summerville. There were no decisions when the meeting reconvened.

The commission will meet at 9 a.m. Monday at the courthouse.