Resident given OK to finance road extension

In a contentious discussion Wednesday, the Douglas County Commission gave tentative approval for residents in the Lecompton township to expand a rural road.

Resident Bob Treanor offered to pay the estimated $48,000 price tag for the half-mile extension of East 400 Road about 15 miles northwest of Lawrence. Treanor said area residents would allow him to build the road, which would provide access to landlocked property.

Matthew Gough, an attorney who spoke for Treanor, said Treanor would like to market his land for residential development. Although the county would eventually have to maintain the extension – an estimated $1,515 a month – Gough said it would take three to four homes for the county to break even.

Commissioners Jere McElhaney and Bob Johnson both gave their verbal support, saying it would offer further development in rural Douglas County.

Commissioner Charles Jones was the lone dissenter, saying he felt growth should be limited to existing infrastructure and not wantonly expanded.

The item will appear on the consent agenda in a future meeting on the condition county engineers work to preserve old growth trees and an 1850s rock wall near the proposed expansion.