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County gives nod to coop road fix

News editor

Burns streets will be relieved of increased truck traffic through an agreement Monday by the county commission to make improvements to 10th Ave. to accommodate Mid Kansas Coop traffic.

Erik Lange of Mid Kansas Coop told commissioners business has picked up at the Burns facility since new storage bins were installed four years ago.

“We’re looking to do an upgrade to the scales,” Lange said. “When we originally designed the news bins and the new system, we designed it so we could eventually bring traffic in off of 10th Ave., avoiding Broadway and the other streets in town.”

Future growth, if business continues to grow, would include a second scale and three more large storage bins.

The concern for both the coop and Burns city council is that the increased truck traffic, particularly during harvest, would damage upgrades to Broadway, Washington, and Main Sts.

Lange said 10th Ave. is a “minorly improved” dirt road that receives little maintenance, making access to the facility from that direction difficult, particularly when the road is damp.

“We’re asking just for a good rock base, slightly wider throughout the whole stretch from Washington Ave. to US-77, so that it can be accessed both from the east and west,” Lange said. “Probably it needs to be four or five feet wider to allow two trucks to pass each other.”

Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford estimated the cost to the county of upgrading the three-quarter mile stretch of road would be $15,000. The improvements would involve grading, laying a base layer of rock and a second layer of cover rock, and installation of a culvert.

“It’s probably the best deal for Burns in the long run, and it’s probably a good deal for the truckers coming in and out, where they’re not fighting the car traffic,” Commissioner Randy Dallke said. “It’s a main entry point to Burns, and there’s quite a bit of traffic on it.”

In other business:

  • The county will make an offer to buy a section of property at 24 Rock Rd. at the county lake, owned by Cody and Amber Hancock, that has been used as a road for access to neighboring houses. The commission denied a request from the Hancocks to vacate a section of road, and determined the disputed section is necessary to ensure access for emergency vehicles.
  • Primary and secondary rescue units will get nine new battery-operated emergency lights for use on scene at emergencies, as commissioners approved the $4,725 purchase.
  • Commissioners acknowledged county dispatchers by signing a proclamation for National Public Safety Telecommunications Week April 12-18.
  • Citing both attorney-client privilege and personnel matters, commissioners met in executive session for 20 minutes with Durham Fire Chief Roy Davis and County Attorney Susan Robson. No action was taken following the session.

Last modified April 16, 2015

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