The Douglas County Commission on Wednesday night declared nine roads in the southeastern part of the county as minimum maintenance roads, and commissioners will consider the future of another road in that area next month.
The designation allows Palmyra Township to reduce its routine maintenance of the roads, which includes grading and pothole repairs. Fewer than 25 vehicles travel on the roads each day.
The minimum maintenance declaration also makes it more difficult for someone to win a lawsuit from the township involving an accident on these roads, said County Administrator Chris McKenzie.
Approval of the nine roads as minimum maintenance was a formality, but making a decision about a 10th road wasn't easy.
MIKE AND Brett Howard are building a house off Township Road 642, a half-mile east of the intersection of County Roads 1057 and 460. They said the road would carry more than 25 vehicles daily once their house and several others are completed this year.
The crux of the argument centered on what should be done with a bridge on the road. The Howards contend that the bridge is in bad shape and could fail if traffic increases on the road. Because the bridge is in a low-traffic area, it is far down on the county's list of future repairs.
The commission deferred action for 30 days on declaring the road as minimum maintenance to give the Howards, Palmyra Township trustee A.J. Barrett and the county public works department time to agree on the bridge's status. The Howards said they would consider paying for part of the bridge's repairs.
IF NO agreement is reached, the county will consider closing the bridge.
The county pulled another road from the list because it received federal funds for a bridge, making it ineligible for minimum maintenance designation. The road is a -mile stretch of Township Road 311 on the Franklin County line between Kansas Highway 33 and County Road 1061.
THE FOLLOWING roads were approved as minimum maintenance:
Township Road 284, about 0.8 of a mile long, two miles north and a mile east of Vinland.
Township Road 566, about 0.6 of a mile long, a mile north and a mile east of Vinland.
Township Road 115, one mile long, a mile south and east of County Roads 460 and 1061 intersection.
Township Road 208 and 129, one mile long, two miles south of County Road 460 and two miles west of County Road 1061.
Township Road 360, a half-mile long, 1 miles north and 2 miles east of U.S. Highway 59 and U.S. Highway 56 intersection.
Township Road 590, about -mile long, two miles south of U.S. 56 and 1 miles west of County Road 1055.
Township Road 368, about -mile long, road of record but not traveled, a county line road with Franklin County; three miles south of U.S. 56 and County Road 1055 intersection on the west side of County Road 1055.
Township Road 254, one mile long, -mile is a road of record but not traveled, 1 miles west of County Road 1061 and U.S. 56 intersection on the north side of U.S. 56.
Township Road 7-A, one mile long, -mile south of U.S. 56 and east of the Ivan Boyd Memorial Prairie Preserve.
IN OTHER business, commissioners:
Approved a Conditional Use Permit allowing the repair of farm implements by Darrell K. Craig behind his residence west of County Road 1055, about a mile south of the Wakarusa River.
Approved a request to sponsor Kirsten Magnuson, Lawrence High School student representative in the Youth in Government program, at the Presidential Classroom seminar in Washington, D.C. The estimated cost is $250.
Approved a joint meeting from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday with the Lawrence City Commission and the Douglas County Advocacy Council on Aging to receive an update on the "Aging Plan." The meeting will be at the courthouse, 11th and Massachusetts.