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By Mark Boyle
October 27, 2008
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Plans to move the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival from Clinton Lake to a rural Jefferson County ranch are still up in the air.
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Sorry guys, Jefferson County is not the place for this festival. Lets look at some other big draws in the county. Fourth of July at Perry Lake, almost every Deputy is on duty, but they have serious problems with the crowd. From traffic and alcohol/drug and fireworks violations. The fire depts. of Sarcoxie, McLouth and Oskaloosa are not able to handle a crowd of this size. The roads are narrow and windy and offer little to no shoulder for vehicle breakdowns or emergencies. Sanitation -- what abou that? Will they really be able to handle getting enough pota-potties and trash removal? Will they ever pay KDWP and will they honestly pay JeffCo? Is the $30 grand or so the county worth it when the headaches arise and what does the counties liability insurance provider say? I live far north of that property and realistically the only direct impact on us would be if we went to Lawrence. But what I wonder what the reaction to this number of out of towners will be when they encounter a tractor in the middle of Wellman Road, particularly at or near sunset when visibility is at its worst. This is not a good fit for our county. County Road and Bridge definitely isn't ready, it took them 3 months to put a simple white strip on each side of Wellman Road. Just think how long it will take them to replace culverts and bridge rail after they are damaged. I hope Donnie Edmonds votes no.
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