County to pursue damages to 190th
The county intends to send the operator of a tractor, whom the county sheriff’s office is still declining to name, a letter seeking $7,000 in damages after a disc was dragged 125 feet on a county road.
The sheriff’s office has declined to release a report on the incident which shut 190th Rd. between Kanza and Limestone Rds. for two days.
County attorney Joel Ensey declined to file criminal charges, so county counselor Brad Jantz is preparing to seek civil damages, county engineer Brice Goebel said.
“Either the owner will take care of it or his insurance company will,” Goebel said, adding the $7,000 bill included labor by his department.
Ensey was unable to comment by press time, but Jantz confirmed that he would send a letter after he receiving a full report from the county in two or three days.
The disc, with cutting metal blades typically used to break up soil, was attached to a tractor and scored 125 feet of the road’s surface. Two inches of asphalt were torn off, Goebel said.
Jantz surmised authorities were treating the incident as an accident.
“If you accidentally lose control of your car and blow down an Evergy power pole, you have done significant damage, but there are other kinds of restitution,” he said. “You might be charged with a traffic violation, but not charged with criminal damage.”
Goebel said county crews cleaned off the roadway, put on a cold mix, and compacted it.
Farm equipment damage to county roads is nothing new, he said.
“Honestly, this happens more than what you think on the roads,” he said, “but not to this extent.”