County commissioners split vote on road grader purchase
by Dennis Sharkey
Jefferson County Commissioners were split on Monday whether or not to make a purchase of two new road graders.
First District Commissioner Lynn Luck was a no vote to accept a bid by Murphy Tractor. The base price of the tractors is $222,500 each with a buyback of at least $120,000 after five years. The machines are John Deere.
Luck voted no because she is against the purchase of two road graders. She more likely would have voted if the county was purchasing only one grader.
Luck’s motive is based on a desire to reduce a road-grader routes down from nine to eight.
The discussion started last month when Hubbard informed the commission that one grader operator was close to retirement.
The package includes a satellite software system that can track the graders. The system can alert officials if the machine is stolen or leaves a certain area.
• Hubbard reported that crews were out working to clear roads from the snow storm. He said the typical 80-100 tons of salt sand mix were used for treatment of roads. He said crews would be back out tomorrow if roads refreeze.
He said road grader crews would not work overtime in clearing roads because only two to three inches of snow fell and warm temperatures the next couple of days factor in.
• Commissioners approved changes to a conditional use permit for Hamm Quarries. Hamm is required to make road improvements to the intersection of U.S. 24 Highway and Clark Road. The improvements were supposed to be completed before the quarry opens.
The quarry will open late May or early June but a Kansas Department of Transportation project on U.S. 24 Highway is scheduled for this year. KDOT requested a variance in the CUP to allow for the two construction projects to occur at the same time. All work on U.S. 24 Highway is expected to be completed no later than November.
• Commissioners approved what Chairman Richard Malm described as “housekeeping” revisions to the employee handbook.
• Commissioners approved a project not to exceed $2,000 in cost for a chain-link fence to be installed on the east side of the courthouse. Malm said the fence is being installed as a safety measure to keep children from falling. The problem of children playing on the railing usually occurs during Old Settlers’ Reunion.
• Commissioners met in closed session for 20 minutes for attorney-client privilege with Hubbard and Planning and Zoning Director Bill Noll.
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