Commission moves forward with condemnation for bridge

By The Mercury

The Pottawatomie County Commission Monday adopted a resolution authorizing the condemnation of property for construction of a new bridge on Flint Rock Road.

The county has been in negotiations with property owners for purchase of right-of-way for a number of months.

The resolution allows the county move forward with eminent domain proceedings to acquire the property if those negotiations continue to stall, according to John Watt, county counselor.

“This is just the first step in the process,” Watt told commissioners Monday.

If the petitions for condemnation are filed, the district court would set a hearing to review the petitions and could appoint a three-member panel of disinterested appraisers to establish a value for the property.

The Flint Rock Bridge was damaged by floodwaters several years ago and the county received funds from the Federal Emergency Management Administration to either repair or replace the bridge. The county opted to add matching funds and have the bridge replaced.

In other business Monday, the commission:

• Approved a contract and cereal malt beverage licenses for the annual Country Stampede June 26-29, below Tuttle Creek reservoir.

• Approved applications for transferring insurance policies for five retiring firefighters from the former District 8 Fire Department.

• Received for review from Watt a draft resolution outlining new regulations for the Blue Township Sewer District.

The resolution, to be discussed at length at the June 16 meeting, proposes revisions requested by the city of Manhattan to an original interlocal agreement between the city and county when the city began providing wastewater treatment for the sewer district.

• Received a monthly update from Scott Schwinn, county sanitarian.

Schwinn said new sewer permits issued through his department are down considerably from last year, but the number of permits for new construction have far exceeded the same period last year.

“There are quite a few properties that seem to be moving right now,” Schwinn told commissioners.

The county landfill shipped 687 tons of solid waste and received 103 tons of construction debris in the month of May, both down from last year’s figures, Schwinn said.

• Received a funding request of $20,000 for fiscal year 2015 from Audrey Schremmer, director of Three Rivers, Inc., Wamego.

“I hope our funding holds steady, but as you guys know the prediction for the state doesn’t look good,” Schremmer said. “And our referrals keep creeping up.”

The county approved $12,000 for Three Rivers for the current fiscal year.

The commission took the 2015 request under advisement.

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