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Commission approves Excel Road upgrades

By The Mercury

WESTMORELAND — Pottawatomie County commissioners gave their unanimous approval Monday to a revised agreement with developers for improvements to Excel Road north of U.S. Highway 24 in Blue Township.

The agreement, which still awaits approval of the developers — MCM Properties and REES Development — spells out cost responsibilities of the county and developers for the project, which will include improvements to the roadway, installation of sanitary sewer, right-of-way acquisition, and construction of Excel Lane, connecting Excel Road to the Green Valley Business Park to the west.

The amended agreement makes changes “which are bearable, I think, to the county and bearable to the developers,” county counselor John Watt told commissioners.

Watt, along with county administrator Robert Reece and public works director Leu Lowrey, met with developers last week to renegotiate the agreement.

A recent disagreement over who was to pay for inspection costs briefly sidetracked the project, which commissioners hope to complete in conjunction with improvements to the Excel Road and U.S. 24 intersection — a project to be funded primarily by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The proposed amended agreement says the county and developers will share the inspection cost.

In other business Monday, the commission:

• Approved an agreement with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for storm water management in parts of Blue Township in the southwest portion of the county.

The most recent U.S. Census determined that portions of the area are now part of the Manhattan Urbanized Area.

With a population of more than 50,000, the area falls under federal regulations regarding storm water management, according to Jim Jenkins, assistant public works director.

“I can’t see right now there’s going to be a lot of financial burden on the county, just best management practices –– doing what we do now and doing it better,” Jenkins said.

The county is required to develop a storm water management plan within the next year that addresses things such as sediment runoff from construction sites, chemical runoff from lawn fertilizers, and public education on storm water contamination.

• Approved the low bid of $112,198 from Larry Wilson Construction, Wamego, for the remodel and construction of an Emergency Medical Services Training Center at 406 Miller Drive, in the Wamego Industrial Park.

The bids from Wilson and two other contractors were opened during last week’s commission meeting.

• Learned that Pott County moved from fourth to third in the Kansas County Health Rankings for 2014.

Only Johnson and Riley Counties ranked higher than Pott County, according to Leslie Campebell, county health director.

“There are a lot of good things and there are a lot of things that we can surely improve on,” Campbell said of the 2014 ranking.

The Kansas Health Institute compiles the annual rankings using criteria such as length of life, quality of life, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment.

• Approved $800 from the special parks and recreation fund to assist with the cost of constructing of a pavilion in the city park at Olsburg.

Olsburg city officials made the request, saying materials for the project would cost approximately $4,600.

• Entered executive session for 30 minutes to discuss threatened litigation. There was no action following the session.

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