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State to clean up former grain storage at Canada

Staff writer

A former government grain storage facility at Canada is targeted for cleanup by Kansas Department of Health and Environment after it was found to have caused nitrate and carbon tetrachloride contamination in soil and groundwater.

County commissioners Monday approved KDHE access to the site, which was a U.S. Department of Agriculture Commodity Credit Corp. grain storage operation from 1954 to 1974.

Well sampling and soil sampling between 1998 and 2019 identified contamination above acceptable levels. The state has done long-term monitoring since 2007.

USDA did a study in 1999 and suggested that a private grain storage facility previously located nearby could have contributed to or caused the carbon tetrachloride contamination.

According to county clerk Tina Spencer, the program KDHE wants to use, “orphan sites,” has been used in the county before.

“They want to utilize a program similar to what was utilized for the Peabody gas station to clean up the area where there was a tetracycline plant,” Spencer told commissioners.

According the KDHE, the site will be secured while work takes place. Soil will be sampled and analyzed at the county hazardous household waste facility, which will be reimbursed by KDHE.

Commissioners continued Monday to shore up policies about residents working on roads and ditches.

County counsel Brad Jantz gave commissioners a proposed policy about residents working on ditches and field entrances along county roads.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said several people had called to ask whether they were able to mow a ditch by their property or remove saplings along a road.

Jantz said the county couldn’t prevent people from working on field entrances on their own property.

He gave commissioners applications residents could fill out before doing such work.

“We’re OK with them doing legal work,” Jantz said. “All we want them to do is look at those policies.”

In other business, lake resident Dennis Smith expressed concern about washouts along Lakeshore Dr.

Smith provided photos.

“That’s about two feet from the edge of the pavement there, and almost vertical,” Smith said of one photo.

He said he was concerned about additional road damage in the event of a heavy storm.

“If we have another event like we had a year ago, what happens if someone has a heart attack or there’s a fire?”

Smith also said the county needed to develop a strategic plan.

“I’ve seen it work, I’ve seen it work for non-profits and for-profits, I’ve seen it work for cities and counties,” he said.

Commissioners also:

  • Signed a grant application so Hillsboro can apply for a grant to screen trash out of compost materials. The county would have no expense.
  • Heard from emergency manager Randy Frank, who talked about several grass fires around the county over the weekend.
  • Approved a conditional use permit for Colby J. Hett to operate a small firearms, sporting goods, and ammunition store at 1790 Upland Rd.
  • Heard a presentation from South Central Kansas Economic Development District about programs available to help with weatherization and other housing projects.
  • Approved purchase of three recliners for a newly completed Hillsboro ambulance station that the department will move into next week. The recliners will cost $1,469.85.
  • Voted to accept a $555,106 lease purchase proposal from Vintage Bank for purchase of road and bridge department.
  • Approved payment of $100,000 to settle a dispute with a concrete crushing company that performed work the county considered not up to quality.

Last modified April 14, 2022

 

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