By TIM HORAN
Dickinson County’s application to FEMA for funds to repair flood damage has been going “smoothly.”
That might not be the case with surrounding counties, the commissioners indicated at their regular county meeting Thursday.
Tuesday, Dickinson County staff met with Kansas Department of Emergency Management and FEMA regarding the flooding damages and a request for funds to fix the damage.
“We had 19 townships that came in and were represented, as well as county personnel,” County Administrator Brad Homman told the commission in his report. “I know we heard some horror stories last night from some of the other counties. I have to say that ours went very smoothly.”
The three Dickinson County commissioners met in Council Grove on Wednesday night at a meeting of county commissions in Marion and surrounding counties. It was a meeting similar to the one Dickinson County hosted in the spring.
“I also have to say that unfortunately, we have a lot of experience in this area,” Homman said of applying for federal funds.
FEMA personnel will be inspecting the damage before the county can receive up to $64,000 in federal funds.
Rains flooded roads and damaged some bridges in the county starting with rain on July 29.
“I have had no reports that they have been hard to get along with,” he said of federal personnel. “At the same time, I know our personnel have done a good job of putting together the information that they need so that it is ready for them when they come in. This is not our first rodeo. We have been through it a number of times. ”
“Some of the other counties just acted like it was going to be more trouble than it was worth,” said County Chairman LaVerne Myers of the application process.
Homman said he thinks the chances of Dickinson County receiving federal funds to repair flood damage was “very good.”
“The fact that FEMA was here and they were going out and looking at it (damage) is a very good sign,” he said.
Homman said that one of the reasons for the inspections by FEMA personnel is that on culverts and bridges FEMA will not replace the whole structure but only that which is damaged.
“Water going across gravel roads took a lot of gravel off roads and into the ditch,” Myers said of the flood.
Homman did not have a dollar estimate on the damage.
“The threshold that we have to meet is $60,000 and obviously we are going to meet that,” he said.
That Wednesday meeting of commissioners in Marion and surrounding counties included every county but McPherson. A total of 27 people were at the meeting.
“It seems like that has taken off since we had our spring meeting,” said Myers referring to the meeting Dickinson County hosted with its surrounding county commissions. At that first meeting, Saline County became aware of the Juvenile Detention Facility in Junction City and has been housing its juveniles at the facility, of which Dickinson County is a partner.
At the meeting Wednesday, aerial photography was one of the issues discussed and that if counties combine services there is a cost savings.
“It seems like everyone comes with a lot of ideas and sharing within the counties,” Myers said. “I think one or two good things came out of that meeting last night. A few thousand dollars were saved just by communicating.”
Also in his report County Administrator Brad Homman said the overlay project is 65 to 70 percent complete.
Homman said the crews should finish up Mink Road before the end of the day Thursday. Next on the list are Jeep, 1900 Avenue and Eden Road.
“That will conclude the overlay project. I would say we are 65 to 70 percent done at this point.
“It’s going very well. It looks nice. The one thing that I will add is that our crews will go back and do the driveway entrances and we will shoulder all of it this fall with our shoulder machine. It takes time but the shouldering will get done to bring the shoulder up to match the surface of the asphalt.”
Homman said that Doug McKinney, executive director of the North Central Kansas Planning Commission, reported that the Kansas Department of Commerce will meet in Navarre on 6 p.m. Sept. 19.
The Lions Club through the county commission applied for a Block Grant to renovate the former Navarre Grade School into a community center. KDC wants to inspect the site and visit with community members, it was reported at a previous meeting.
Commissioner Craig Chamberlin and Myers plan to attend that event.
The commission approved fish passage materials. All of the materials are paid for by grant through the Fish and Wildlife to protect the Topeka Shiner. The commission accepted a bid of $67,248.73 from Welborn Sales in Salina, and $29,889 from Husker Steel.
The commission tabled changes to Article 3, AG-40 and AG-80 Agriculture District Regulations and AG-88
The articles are regulations for people buying plots of ground and adding buildings.
A change that the county wants public input on for AG-40 reads, “If a parcel of land is located within 3 (three) miles of a city limit that contains an active school: The minimum lot width of a lot shall be 360 feet and the minimum depth of the lot shall be 360 feet.