County, FD agree to split repair cost

Saturday, October 19, 2013
Tammy Helm/Tribune photo The east entrance to the Bourbon County Courthouse is detoured while Ray Roofing of Wichita is making repairs to the roof. Patrons are asked to use the Southeast Kansas Regional Correctional Center entrance, located on the northeast side of the courthouse.

The county will bear part of the expense of making repairs to the entrance of the Garland Fire Department, but only up to $1,000.

The decision was made Friday when Connie May and Kevin Howard of the Garland Fire Department Board reported to the Bourbon County Commission that the board is willing to pay for half of the work, up to $1,000.

The debate over which entity is responsible for repairing a hole in the road near the entrance of the drive began in September. At that time, Road and Bridge Coordinator Jim Harris said he wasn't sure how extensive the repair would be, as the hole is near a storm water drain. The drain pipe and hole are separated by an old rock wall.

Commissioners agreed to allow an engineer, Frank Young, to spend not more than 30 minutes assessing the hole. After that, it was determined the problem could be an "easy fix," with simply filling the hole with rock and concrete - but that was Young's opinion, Harris told commissioners on Oct. 4.

On Friday, May asked commissioners what specifically the county will repair.

"We'd like to get on the same page," May said. "When you're looking at it, are you looking at the slope portion or the entire piece that is broken out. If we're peeling at the drain, we need to approach the slab portion attached to it."

She said the area east of the hole is hollow.

Harris told commissioners the county will repair to the edge of the road, as part of the slope connecting the drive to the road needs to be replaced.

"When we find a cavity, we'll decide what we're going to fill it with it,"Harris said.

He estimated concrete costs about $125 per yard, but did not say how many yards of concrete will be needed.

Warren said the project will have to be paid for from the Road and Bridge fund. Howard said the Fire Department Board has agreed it can go to the $1,000-range. When discussing whether the county has $1,000 for the project, Third District Commissioner Harold Coleman said he hopes it will cost less.

"If it goes over, we're out," Warren said.

Harris recommended the fire department move their equipment out when the repair is being made in case workers discover the hole "goes for half a mile."

"It may stop right there, but we have to be prepared in case we see something," Harris said.

When May asked when the repair could begin, Harris said if the Garland repair is to be done immediately, he would have to take crews off of other county projects. Commission Chairman Allen Warren said other work already scheduled in the county needs to be completed. Harris said he could have a crew there within 30 days.

May said the department needs to take its tanker truck out of service for repairs and she said the board is hoping that can be done at the same time the hole is being repaired.

Warren reminded May and Howard the concrete has to cure for 27 days before the truck can be driven across it. Harris again reminded May and Howard the department needs to have a plan in place in case the repair is not as simple as it appears.

Second District Commissioner Barbara Albright suggested that if further repairs need to be made to the department's drive, the board should investigate applying for a grant.

Other county business:

* Maintenance Supervisor David Neville reported on the roof repair underway. Ray Roofing of Wichita began the work on Wednesday and on Friday, commissioners agreed to close entrances to the courthouse for safety reasons.

* County Treasurer Rhonda Dunn met briefly with the commissioners to discuss the change in requirements for commercial vehicle registrations. Beginning Jan. 1, commercial vehicle owners can purchase a permanent tag. However, former treasurer Susan Quick opted out of the requirement, which means commercial operators will have to travel to other counties to pay their license fees.

Dunn said she learned from those working in the vehicle office that at the time, it was believed Bourbon County does not have enough commercial vehicles to justify the change.

Dunn said she is checking to see if the county can opt back into the new requirement and she would release more information in the future.

* Warren said he hopes commissioners can meet with accountant Terry Sercer for a budget work session at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22. He said that time will be confirmed when the commissioners meet on Monday.