Bridgework on Kansas Highway 43 could be just a couple weeks away from being complete, but that is of little comfort to county residents who regularly traverse the road.
In his report to the Dickinson County Commission, Administrator Brad Homman said the work that closed the highway to traffic is not complete.
“We are getting numerous calls on that,” he said. “We stopped out there yesterday (County Engineer John Gough and Road and Bridge Supervisor Martin Tannahill) and it looks like the culvert is done and it looks like the approach needs to be finished and the guards need to be put on.
“I would guess they are a couple weeks away from being done. I know I told you that a couple weeks ago. They are progressing well. It is just a matter of how fast the contractor can get it finished. They’re well within their timeframe of getting it complete,” he said.
Permit approved, permit denied
Two conditional use hearings were heard concerning the zoning of rural property. Planning and Zoning Administrator Justin Parks was on hand to answer questions about both.
The city gave the thumbs up to a mechanic shop to work on semi-tractors and some agriculture equipment at Chase Farms, 569 2700 Ave.
A second request by Marvin Mills to operate a salvage yard at 3030 Daisy Road was rejected.
The Planning Commission unanimously approved the Chase application.
Parks said that currently repair and maintenance work has to be done in Salina, Junction City or Manhattan.
One condition is that bridge weight requirements on county bridges be followed.
Kody Chase said that one of the bridges on 2700 Road had the weight load reduced but vehicles can access the farm off Solomon Road. He was also concerned about dust bothering the residents in the area.
“It sounds like a very good venture,” Myers said.
Peterson said it was good “economic development and job creation.”
The Planning Commission unanimously rejected Mills’ application for a salvage yard.
“They gave overwhelmingly support for denial,” Parks said.
Parks said the conditional use was initiated by the Kansas Department of Transportation because it was located with 1,000 feet of a highway and violated the beautification laws.
Parks said the location has about 17 operational vehicles that are registered and insured and about 40 or more that are not.
Susan Watt testified against allowing the salvage yard.
“We have a feed lot north of where the salvage yard is currently at and a couple of the board members thought the chemicals out of the cars could possibly cause danger to our cows. It is a very big concern,” she said.
After the conditional use was denied, Parks said the matter would be turned over to KDOT.
“We would notify KDOT it was denied. From there KDOT takes over,” Parks said. “Since the property is within 1,000 feet of K-18 and they are the ones that initiated the violation, they will take over. They are going to in be charge of the clean up. It will not be a county matter as far as cleanup.”
Homman presented the commission with a list of damage estimates from 17 counties due to rain and flooding. The total was $513,411 and the county should received funds from FEMA to help pay those costs.
The county threshold is $68,000. Federal officials want to survey 20 percent of the damage.
Both Myers and Chamberlin attended a meeting with residents in and around Navarre to bring a community center to that area through a Kansas Department of Commerce Grant.
Myers said there was some discussion that it might be better to build a new facility instead of trying to renovate the old Navarre Elementary School.
“There will be some ongoing meetings,” he said.
Myers said the grant is matching funds from the KDC and local labor.
There was some discussion sparked by a letter from a Lyons Township resident who complained about paying taxes for the Herington Hospital.
Myers said he was concerned about the reports that many rural hospitals could lose critical access status and receive fewer funds for Medicare patients.
Homman said that his office has received several callers concerned about losing EMS services in Herington.
“I assured them that is absolutely not true,” Homman said. “It is obviously separate. Certainly it may have some effect on where we take people. We’ll adjust to that if the time comes.”