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Northwind Subdivision road on county commissioners agenda

by Dennis Sharkey

Residents of the Northwind Drive subdivision came to Monday’s meeting with county commissioners seeking a binding vote for a takeover of their road after construction.

However, they didn’t leave with a vote, but got a promise from two commissioners that they would support the county taking over their road after conditions are met.

First District Commissioner Lynn Luck said commissioners cannot vote until a revised petition is submitted to the county. Originally commissioners accepted and approved the issuance of bonds for the private road to be upgraded to an asphalt road from the current dirt road.

When residents of the area came back to the county with a plan, Road and Bridge Director Francis Hubbard put the brakes on the project. Hubbard said the bid received by the group did not meet county standards for an asphalt road. In order for the county to take over the road the project must meet the standards.

However, the residents did not have enough money in the bonds to meet the standards of an asphalt road, so residents changed the plans to a gravel road.

Luck said it will be stipulated that the project must be inspected during the construction process. A preliminary cost estimate adds about $5,600 to the project. Residents will also have to sign over the right-of-way to the road since it is on private property.

However, project spokeswoman Sarah Kaufman said that some residents may be hesitant to sign a new petition without assurance that the county would take over the maintenance of the road after construction is completed.

Many residents are also concerned that they will be assessed taxes for the project Jan. 1, without any construction taking place.

“Some people may hesitate to sign,” Kaufman said. “Then we may be back at square one where we owe you taxes and have nothing.”

County Counselor Jan Hays said commissioners could come to a consensus on an agreement, but a binding vote could not take place without a revised petition.

Chairman Richard Malm, who unlike Luck and Commissioner Roy Dunnaway, is still undecided about supporting the county taking over the road. He told Kaufman to point out to residents that they will still pay taxes on a road whether it is built or not.

“That’s an option you need to point out to people who are hesitant to sign,” he said. “The fact is you’ve got a bond out here that (has not) been sold and you’re on the hook to pay for it and you need to get a road out of it.”

In other actions:

  • County 911 Director Susan Newell was presented with a certificate from the Kansas Association of Counties for 24 years of service to Jefferson County.
  • Hubbard reported there are 15 working days left on the Big Slough Bridge project on Ferguson Road. If the project continues without interruption the bridge should reopen in mid December.
  • Hubbard said his staff is down one full-time person after a worker recently left for another job. He said he will fill in with a part-time worker that was laid off recently, until January when he will seek a full-time replacement.

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Posted by on Nov 28 2010. Filed under County, County Commission, Government. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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