County Road Concerns Voiced

Saline County Commissioners Tuesday heard concerns about conditions on a couple of rural roads.

During Open Forum, Alan Lindholm spoke for a second time about on-going concerns regarding the condition of West Water Well Road and Burma Road.  Lindholm said he’d received an e-mail from Road and Bridge Director Gary Nash that Lindholm characterized as implying that the County could not proceed with making permanent repairs to the roads, until annexation of these roads was decided.  At the time, Commissioners didn’t seem to recognize how Lindholm’s described pending legal action between the city and county.  It is the County’s responsibility to maintain these roads.

Lindholm said that when paving West Water Well Road was first proposed three or four years ago, multiple land owners had declined to deed an expanded right-of-way to the county.  Gile later voiced surprise, saying he had believed only one land owner had refused to expanded the right-of-way.

Tom Rickstrew, who frequently drives Water Well Road, advocated for paving the road, as it is–now.  He disagreed with plans to increase the size of shoulders, straighten the road, and make other engineered improvements at some future date.  He urged prompt action.

Commissioners have been reviewing the County’s policies on building roads.  Smith has also brought forward property owner concerns involving Link Road.

Price said the County “has to have money to do” the intended work.  Price said addressing issues at the Road and Bridge shop building were the highest priority.  For the past two years, the County has set aside a total of $1.7 million to build a new shop.  Recently, the Commission has leaned toward repairing the existing facility, and that these repairs are anticipated to use only a portion of the set-aside amount.  This may make it possible for the County to address other road concerns.

In Other Matters


  • Approved acceptance of a grant for Rural Fire Department #5 from Archer Daniels Midland. Chief David Turner located and applied for the $2,500 grant that will be used to purchase booster line nozzles for the fire hoses.
  • Approved purchase of 40 Dell desktop personal computers.
  • Heard a report that the County’s sales tax for April 2016 were $355,736 (a 2.17% increase from April 2015’s $348,177). Year-to-date 2016 sales tax collections are $1,562,133 or 0.15% less than 2015’s y-t-d collections of $1,564,425.
  • Learned the State Legislature will proceed with implementing a “tax lid” that will go into effect in 2018; several Commissioners will attend a meeting tomorrow in Manhattan at the Kansas Association of Counties on this topic.
  • Heard an update on enhancements made to the airport terminal, by Commissioner Luci Larson.
  • Reviewed and made preliminary 2017 budget decisions made for appeals, appropriations, and improvements to capital, technology and equipment.

Commissioners met in executive session a total of four times, from 8:30 until 12:10.  Monte Shadwick was absent.