Suicide awareness

Tim Horan • Reflector-Chronicle

The Dickinson County Commission proclaimed September as Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month at its meeting last week. Pictured, back row from left, are Vicki Giebar, executive director of the Quality of Life Coalition; Jandi Wells, coordinator for Senior Life Solutions, Memorial Health System; and Pat Brehm, community project coordinator for Quality of Life Coalition. Commissioner, from left, Chairman Lynn Peterson, Ron Roller and Craig Chamberlin.

Voters will decide in November whether or not to continue a 1/2 percent sales tax in Dickinson County for the next 10 years.

The Dickinson County Commission approved placing the question on the ballot at its regular meeting last week.

In 2014, Dickinson County voters approved a 1/2 percent sales tax to be implemented for five years for the purpose of raising funds to pay for road and bridge repairs and expenses.

The Kansas Legislature approved extending the amount of time for the special tax to 10 years this session.

This special sales tax has raised about $1 million per year for county roads and bridges.

Currently, the sales tax in the county is 8 percent, 6.5 percent for the state of Kansas and 1.5 percent for the county.

Commission Chairman Lynn Peterson said there is a committee working to provide information to the public regarding road and bridge improvements.

He said a sales-tax fact sheet will be available soon.

“We have had discussions that we would have a map that would show the projects that we have had,” he said.

He mentioned the Solomon-to-Chapman shoulder widening of Old Highway 40, for example. The tax money has gone to repair several bridges.

Peterson said the special sales tax has been used specifically for roads and bridges.

“People that would be contributing to this would not only be residents that make purchases in Dickinson County, but we have all the people who are traveling through. It helps us tremendously with highways and bridges,” he said.

Truck repaired

County Administrator Brad Homman reported the dump truck that was damaged by APAC Shears has been repaired. Cost was $39,000.

The county-owned dump truck was damaged during an accident at the APAC Shears asphalt batch plant.

The accident occurred earlier this summer when an APAC employee backed a loader at a high rate of speed into the front of the dump truck while it was being loaded with asphalt. The impact damaged the engine and the special equipment — hydraulics and electronics — used to operate the snowplow and salt spreader.

APAC Shears paid for the repairs.

EMS Station 2

Homann reported the EMS Station 2 building has been repaired and staff has moved back in.

“Everything has been taken care of. Not only did we have to do repairs to the foundation, we had to take out the carpet and put it back. When we went to fire up the air conditioner late last week, the compressor blew out. We had to put in a new compressor,” he said,

“We do have them back in now and it looks really nice and good to go for many years,” he said.

Jail progress

Progress continues on the jail, he said.

He said digging will start Tuesday on the north side of the property for the electrical access.

The power lines will have to be bored under Buckeye Avenue.

“We have been waiting on a permit from KDOT. We do have the permit now,” he said.

A new utility pole was installed west of Buckeye to service the jail. The east parking lot will also be closed.

“Things are starting to move. We will be seeing things happen pretty quick,” he said.

In other action the commission, approved a conditional use permit for James Simmons to operate a commercial salvage yard at 456 Highway 77 in Herington.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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