The Pottawatomie County Commission on Monday opened bids for the Limerick Lane extension, one of three major road projects pending along U.S. Highway 24 east of Manhattan.

Nowak Construction, Goddard, was apparent low bidder for the project, which will extend a frontage road along the south side of Highway 24 from near its intersection with Military Trail Road west to Excel Road.

Nowak’s bid of $545,389 for the street and sewer improvements was less than the engineer’s estimate of $604,540. Middle Creek Corp., Peabody, also submitted a bid for the project.

If Nowak’s bid is ultimately accepted, construction is expected to begin this winter and completed by July, according to Peter Clark, public works director.

Funding for the project is from a corridor management grant through the Kansas Department of Transportation and a benefit district for the Gwaltney Addition at the southeast corner of Highway 24 and Excel Road, Clark said.

The Limerick Lane Extension project is likely to coincide, but will not interfere with, two other projects directly west on Highway 24, according to Clark. Those projects, still pending, are improvements to the intersections at Green Valley Road and Crown C Circle, near the Manhattan Commission Company.

In other business Monday:

• The commission, following an executive session, approved an employment contract with Chad Kinsley as county administrator.

The partial-year contract is effective Jan. 8 through Dec. 31, 2020, at a bi-weekly base salary of $4,700.

• The commission accepted the low bid of $778,447 from Josh Connet Excavation for sewer, water and street improvements in Unit 1 of the Willow Glen Subdivision.

Connet’s bid, one of four submitted, was below the engineer’s estimate of $893,376.

• Lori Feldkamp, director of Big Lakes Developmental Center, Manhattan, announced a Dec. 2 open house for the center’s new group home. Big Lakes hopes to move into the new facility prior to Christmas, Feldkamp said.

The commission also approved an annual agreement with Big Lakes and endorsed a letter of support for the agency’s annual $5,000 transportation grant through KDOT.

• The commission approved a request by Sanitarian Scott Schwinn to place a 4:15 p.m. time limit on all loads — commercial and individual — brought to the county landfill.

An increasing number of loads brought in right at the landfill’s 4:30 p.m. closing time is forcing employees to work overtime, Schwinn said.

• Appraiser Lois Schlegel reported 622 property sales in the county through October of this year. The number is slightly lower than the previous three years, but still stable, Schlegel said.

• Betty Abitz, register of deeds, said 103 mortgages with an indebtedness of $21.5 million were filed with her office in October.

Abitz also said she has learned of a plan by a Harvey County representative to introduce legislation to eliminate all recording fees for documents filed with county registrars.

Such a move would cost her office between $30,000 and $40,000 in monthly revenue, she said.

“That’s just more taxes on the taxpayer if we lose this revenue,” Abitz told commissioners.

• Gregg Webster, zoning administrator, reported 23 building permits issued in October at a cost of more than $3.7 million.

Year-to-date, 181 building permits have been issued in the county, 24 fewer than the 205 issued during the same period last year.

• Steve Minton, Westmoreland, expressed a concern about the low pitch of the roof of the new Blue Township EMS building and its ability to sustain substantial snow weight.

Minton also criticized the structure’s appearance. “I’ll have to say it’s ugly, just plain ugly,” he said.

• The commission, acting as the Board of Canvassers, certified results of the Nov. 5 city and school board elections.

By random drawing, Commission Chairman Travis Altenhofen decided a race for a seat on the Louisville City Council.

Both Darren Prockish and Eliane Robles received two votes as write-in candidates for the council seat. Prockish was declared winner by virtue of the drawing.