County may ask oil companies to pay for roads

Staff writer

A Marion County Road and Bridge Department crew put a fresh layer of gravel over 230th Road this past week.

To Dina Vogel, who lives on 230th, it was about time something was done. She said she is tired of having to complain so forcefully to have the ruts driven in by oil trucks repaired on her road.

“There are problem spots all over the county,” she said. “The only way you get things done is you find cell phone numbers and keep asking for it. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford does agree with Vogel that oil trucks on gravel roads have been a problem. He said he will request the most frequent drivers of gravel roads to pay for road maintenance, possibly using their own motor grader for roads like 230th and 250th.

“Eventually it will happen,” Crawford said of oil companies paying for road maintenance.

Crawford brought the condition of 250th Road to the attention of Marion County Commission on Monday.

Crawford understands Vogel’s dilema, but he said 230th is far from the most traveled gravel road in the county. The county has 745 gravel roads it is charged to maintain. Crawford said it is impossible to rock every road every year.

Gravel costs between $9 and $10 per ton. Crawford said it takes 800 tons of gravel to do an inch overlay for a mile, nearly $10,000. He also said the rock budget for this year is nearly depleted. He said he is attempting to get a reimbursement in federal exchange money.

Crawford and Vogel also agreed that the road maintainer for 230th Gene Lanning has done a great job working on the road.

“Gene is doing a great job putting a crown on the road and getting water off,” Crawford said.

In other business:

  • Crawford informed the commission that he was intending to purchase a wood chipper to help trimming trees throughout the county. He said having the chipper would limit the amount of burning the county would have to do. He said the current price for the machine is $2,500, but the maximum bid the county would offer would be $5,000.
  • Crawford also told the commission about a Kansas Department of Transportation sale of equipment. He pointed out a backhoe but commissioners turned down that request because of a lack of funding.

 

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