Pottawatomie approves broader scope for Flush Road/US-24 work

By The Mercury

Improvements to the intersection of Flush Road and U.S. Highway 24 have been expanded.

The Pottawatomie County Commission Monday approved an amendment to its engineering contract to include added safety features to the project, as proposed by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The amended design will add right turn lanes onto Flush Rd. from both the east and west off of U.S. 24.

Those additions will complement the original design for a third lane on Flush Rd. north of U.S. 24, an acceleration lane for motorists turning west onto U.S. 24, and lengthening the turning lane for eastbound motorists turning north onto Flush Rd.

KDOT proposed the additions after reviewing the original design by Bartlett & West.

The county is responsible for design and right-of-way acquisition for the project. Actual construction will be paid by a grant from KDOT.

Public Works director Leu Lowrey anticipates bids for the project to be let in February of 2014, with construction to begin that spring.

In other business Monday, the commission:

• Authorized Sheriff Greg Riat to have a fuel tank installed at the former Wamego Township Fire Station near KanEquip just east of Wamego.

Riat, who estimated the cost at less than $5,000, said he had pre-paid for 25,000 gallons of fuel — about half of his department’s annual needs — at $3.16 per gallon early this year.

• Renewed a contract with Vic Redding for mowing the 10 county-owned cemeteries for 2013. The contract, the same as 2012, is for 13 mowings at $804.60 each, or a total of $10,459.

• Heard department updates from Tim Eisenbarth, noxious weed director; Gregg Webster, zoning administrator, and Lisa Wright, treasurer.

Eisenbarth reviewed recycling figures for February and said he was preparing chemicals bids for 2013.

Webster reported 28 building permits issued for February at a total value of $2,693,900.

“It seems like the activity has been busy for the most part. There appears to be quite a bit of interest in new construction,” Webster told commissioners.

The February figures were well above last February, when 10 building permits were issued at a total value of $904,500.

Wright said her office is about three weeks behind due to out-of-town meetings, employee illness, a death in her family, and more problems with the new state vehicle registration software system.

Wright said there have been long lines and waits of up to 1 1/2 hours by county customers.

“I just thought I should give you guys an update on why we’re so far behind in the office,” she said.

The treasurer also said a county employee became perturbed last week when he wasn’t allowed to go ahead of other waiting county residents.

“It did not go well. It made him very upset,” Wright said. “But I even made my mom wait in line and she’s 83 years old.”

• Agreed to settle a delinquent sewer penalty owed by the former owners of Dara’s Fast Lane for $500.

The penalty accrued from a single late payment in December of 2008, and grew to $2,067.20, according to John Watt, county counselor.

According to a representative of the former owners, the penalty was apparently overlooked because the sewer bill was paid by automatic bank withdrawal.

With the settlement, the county will release a lien on the property in Blue Township, according to Watt.

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