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Help identify which roads to repair

Two weeks ago, we asked dozens of Marion County residents to list what they thought the county’s New Year resolutions should be. As revealed by the 21 comments selected for publication, two issues dominated: roads and economic development.

We applaud recent actions by the County Commission and especially the county’s new roads and bridges superintendent to change the culture of county road crews, prioritize road projects, and begin addressing the most urgent needs.

Clearly, 330th Road near Tampa is a source of grave concern. The county seems to be moving as quickly as possible to address that concern. However, it is hardly the only road in need of repair.

To help identify and prioritize other projects, we plan to launch a series of stories in coming weeks.

Each week, residents will be able to nominate a mile or two of a county road as being among the most urgently in need of repair. We then will attempt to document the condition of the road for everyone in the county to see and ask county officials what they have done — and what can be done — about it.

The goal is not to second-guess elected or appointed officials but rather to help them identify which roads residents are most concerned about, and in turn let residents have a better understanding of the overall picture of roads in the county, how much the county can or cannot do to alleviate specific problems, and how quickly a solution might come.

It may seem painful to remind ourselves about such problems each week, but the only thing worse than talking about problems is ignoring them. Without discussion, without a consensus of public opinion about how to address them, problems do not go away. They get worse.

In that positive spirit, if you know a section of road that you think needs urgent repair, let us know. We will attempt to enlist the cooperation of officials and experts in exploring the situation and seeing what can be done to improve it.

Send your suggestions by e-mail to news@marionrecord.com, by postal mail to Box 278, Marion KS 66861, post them on our Facebook wall at http://facebook.com/MarionCoRecord, call us at (888) 382-2165, or drop by our offices.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified Jan. 12, 2012

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