By TIM HORAN
Good news was on the table at the Dickinson County Commission’s regular meeting Thursday at the courthouse.
The county had been informed in March that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment was going to take soil samples at a former Abilene grain bins site.
Commission Chairman LaVerne Myers said that the grain bins were owned by the government back when it stored grain.
“Some of the chemical they used to treat grain at that time is no longer approved,” Myers said. “That’s why they wanted to make sure that none of those chemicals were there.”
Commissioners were concerned about the expense if certain chemicals were found.
There was a sigh of relief when the report was read.
“The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has received the analytical results from the soil and groundwater samples collected from your property at 408 E. 2nd Street in Abilene on March 26 and 27, 2013,” Commissioner Lynn Peterson read from the letter. “Our contaminant of concern tetrachloromethane (also called carbon tetrachloride) was not detected in any sample.
“The only detections were several petroleum-related volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the groundwater samples. The concentrations of those VOCs were below the Environmental Protection Agency’s Maximum Contaminant Level for each compound,” he raid.
“That is about as good of a report that we could get,” Myers said.
In his report, County Administrator Brad Homman said the county was hosting 20 plus 911 dispatchers from the Midwest participating in an active shooter class at the Abilene Community Center.
“That has gone over very well and it was discussed doing a second class here in a few months,” he said. “Very positive response and look forward to doing it again. Obviously, we can’t close the center down and send everybody.
“Plus, all of those people are bringing money into the community while they are here,” he said of the out-of-town attendees. “That is always an added plus.”
He said the highway crews have been working to get the roads repaired before the asphalt overlay gets started, which officially started when the commission signed the document Thursday.
“Some spots need to be repaired before the asphalt company comes in which we heard yesterday they are planning to start June 10,” he said. “We are assuming that will be a six to seven week project. Under good conditions and if Mother Nature plays it well, it could be shorter than that, but Mother Nature hasn’t been playing well lately.”
There will be no county commission meeting next Thursday, May 9 as all three commissioners will be attending a state-wide county commission meeting. All three commissioners will also be attending the 1st Infantry Division Change of Command Ceremony at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22 at the Cavalry Parade Field, Fort Riley. Major General Paul E. Funk II will take command held by Major General William C. Mayville, Jr.
Also at the meeting were four students from the Abilene Virtual School attending as part of the government class.
The commissioners also:
* approved the consent agenda which included the minutes of the April 25 work session and regular meeting, equipment expenditures of $64,810 and wire transfers of $6,178.41’
* signed a proclamation making May 10-19, Hillbilly HotSpot week for the family style comedy musical which will be playing at the Great Plains Theatre those days;
* tabled a fence viewing until May 30 because the recent moisture made it impossible for the commissioners to get into the field on Thursday;
* approved a request by the Abilene Police Department for $2,197.29 from the diversion fund to be used for increased security measures at the Abilene police station and municipal court;
* set 11:15 a.m. June 13 as the date for public hearings on two road vacate petitions in Holland township where no roads exist, yet are platted. Residents and property owners within a five-mile radius will be notified;
* approved the advertisement for a position open in the 911 center;
* approved a letter to the Department of Commerce endorsing the Herington Hospital which was applying for tax credits.