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Property sales back to ‘normal’

By The Mercury

Property sales in Pottawatomie County returned to “normal” last month after skyrocketing to a 3 1/2 year high in August.

There were 56 property sales in the county in September––well below the 75 sales in August, but still considerably higher than the same month for the previous two years.

“It was much better this month in comparison to the same month the past three years,” Appraiser Lois Schlegel told Pott County Commissioners Monday in her monthly report. “It seems things are moving at a faster pace. It’s very encouraging.”

September’s 56 property sales included 32 residential, two commercial, 10 vacant lots, and 10 farmsteads or ag land, and two listed as “other.”

Year-to-date, there have been 471 property sales in the county, on track to top last year’s total by 100 sales, according to Schlegel.

In other business Monday:

• The commission accepted a low bid of $121,568 from Manhattan Trenching for street improvements for Unit II of the Elbo Creek Subdivision.

Two other firms — Larson Construction and Kohlde Construction — submitted bids for the project, which had an engineer’s cost estimate of $135,729.

• Approved a $12,737 change order for installation of a concrete base, structural steel and conduit for an 80-foot radio tower as part of the new Pottawatomie County Justice Center under construction at Westmoreland.

The commission also discussed the options of installing a commercial or residential grade sump pump in the justice center at an additional cost of $9,613 or $6,925, respectively.

After reviewing the options with Buck Driggs of SMH Consultants, commissioners decided to personally inspect the construction site before making a decision.

• Approved a recommendation by Bruce Brazzle, county fire supervisor, to split evenly among the county’s senior centers potato salad purchased for Saturday’s Volunteer Fireman Appreciation Picnic.

The picnic was cancelled due to the threat of severe weather and the possibility of firefighters being called for storm spotting duty.

• Dustin Trego, operations assistant, reviewed county and regional transportation issues for the past month.

September was a slow month for county mini-buses, with 229 riders and 878 trips, Trego said.

The county has been receiving more requests for regional transportation through Manhattan’s ATA bus system, but Marshall County has been experiencing difficulty with software and dispatching for regional trips, he said.

• The commission agreed to reimburse $11,200 to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as part of the cost of the Timber Creek bank stabilization project, which was scrapped several months ago when bid were considered excessive.

Leu Lowrey, public works director, said he would send a letter to Timber Creek property owners telling them the county still intends to address the issue.

“One way or another we’ll get the project done,” Lowrey said.

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