Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2001

Township tells of road woes

April 26, 2001

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— Township officials and rural residents had no problem airing concerns about roads and road safety to Douglas County commissioners and staff.

Commissioners Wednesday held their first of four meetings in the county to talk with township board members and others about mutual concerns.

Lecompton Township Trustee Chuck Wright suggested going to a unit road system where the county would maintain all the roads instead of its present 189 miles. The nine townships repair the remaining 585 miles.

"We don't have the funds to maintain our roads," he said.

Roy Paslay, a Lecompton City Council member, asked whether the county could help subsidize the townships.

To collect more money, Commission Chairman Bob Johnson said the county would have to raise the mill levy, but probably would want to avoid that resolution, if possible.

Commissioners said they wanted to schedule a meeting sometime to discuss the unit road system, which is used in Leavenworth and Franklin counties.

Also, at the meeting, Nancy Howard, a Lecompton City Council member, said she was upset that the county wasn't moving faster on repairing County Road 1029 from U.S. Highway 40 to Lecompton.

Keith Browning, the county's director of Public Works, said his department is behind schedule because of other projects, so the solicitation of bids has been pushed back to 2003. The road is expected to receive various structural and safety improvements such as shoulders. Federal funds have been earmarked for 80 percent of the project, and the county will pay the rest.

Commissioner Charles Jones said the county was aware of the problems and was trying to address them.

"We're all going to have go drive more safely until we can make the improvements," he said.

The next meeting on roads is scheduled for May 23 in Baldwin.

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