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AID SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 1997 GREAT PLAINS THE SALINA JOURNAL f SALINE COUNTY COMMISSION Paving road in dispute County officials at odds over paving of Water Well Road By SHARON MONTAGUE Tlie Salina Journal t Jerry Fowler, the county's public works director, believes county commissioners should approve a request from a group of landowners to improve a section of Water Well Road just south of Salina. But David Criswell, county administrator, believes the benefit district formed to pay for the improvements is flawed and that the petition should be rejected and the district redrawn. Criswell and Fowler will present their conflicting views to Saline County commissioners and listen to the views of the public at a public hearing set for 10 a.m. Monday in Room 107 of the City-County Building. And at 1:30 p.m. Monday, city officials will get their chance to talk to county commissioners about the road petition. That meeting will be in Room 209 of the City-County Building. The petition to upgrade about a .mile of Water Well Road between Burma and Lightville Roads is the first of its kind to be presented to county commissioners. And it's not simple or straightforward. A group of citizens, led by Jer- 'ry McKee, 3546 S. Crest, has submitted a petition asking that the ; county pave the road. The petition outlines a benefit district, or group of landowners who would '[benefit from the improvement. 0 The benefit district includes 'about 300 feet of the Salina landfill. County staff said that ac- 1 cording to state statute, because !'the benefit district borders city /property, the city would be re' 'quired to pay 50 percent of the $500,000 cost of paving the road. The county would pay about 12.5 percent, and the property owners would pay the remaining 37.5 percent. The portion "each property owner in the ben- £fit district would pay would be Petitioners hope to get Water Well Road paved. PAI based on square footage. City commissioners last week voted to oppose the petition. Salina City Manager Dennis Kissinger said he didn't think the benefit district was properly drawn. It encompasses several properties at the northwest corner of Water Well Road and Lightville Road, nearly all of Crest Lane and Knoll Lane, and some property that fronts on Schilling Road. In a meeting last week, Mike Montoya, county counselor, said he didn't think the state statute was meant to obligate cities to pay for county road improvements. Montoya told commissioners he believed the statute was meant for those situations in which a benefit district line adjoined not city-owned property, but property within the city limits. If the city were obligated to pay half the cost in that situation, Montoya said, those costs could be passed on to the city landowners, and not to the city itself. Criswell, in a memo to county commissioners, said he believed that the benefit district map was flawed and should be rejected. "The boundaries are drawn in a manner that is inequitable," Criswell wrote. "The petitioners should be encouraged to work ( with county staff to develop a benefit district boundary that allows for greater equity for all land owners." Criswell also recommended that county staff develop guidelines to assist future petitioners in drawing boundaries for special benefit districts. Fowler, on the other hand, will recommend that the petition be accepted. About 380 vehicles a day travel that portion of Water Well Road, according to the last traffic count taken in 1996. The road now is gravel. Because of the amount of traffic, Fowler said the road is prime for upgrading to paved. "There probably are other roads that would be a higher priority to be upgraded," Fowler said, "but this is right up there with them." The commissioners' week Commissioners also meet from 9 a.m. until business is concluded Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Room 209 of the City-County Building. Other scheduled appointments include: • 2:30-3:30 p.m. Monday, meeting with Fowler to discuss allowing his department to provide engineering services for a bridge on Burma Road over West Dry Creek about 0.8 of a mile south of Smolan and hiring Bucher, Willis and Ratliff, 609 W. North, to inspect four county bridges for $2,800. • 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tuesday, quarterly budget reviews with Sheriff Glen Kochanowski and County Attorney Julie McKenna. « 11 a.m., Room 107 of the City- County Building, commissioners will have their weekly formal meeting and receive public comments on declaring a portion of Stimmel Road a minimum-maintenance road. • 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, quarterly budget reviews with the register of deeds, county clerk and county treasurer. • 3 p.m. Tuesday, discuss building a pole barn at the county farm to house the county's recently purchased no-till drill. Construction costs of about $6,000 will be paid from the farm account, which has a balance of about $98,700. • 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, monthly update with Rod Broberg, county appraiser. • 10 a.m. Wednesday, tour the Cloud County asphalt plant. T PRISON ESCAPE Lansing escapee captured in Kansas City, Mo. By The As$oclated Press KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas prison escapee caught by police and FBI agents after a chase will begin serving time at a Missouri prison for a previous shooting conviction. Damon Thomas, 32, of Kansas City, Kan., had eluded authorities since he fled the Lansing Correctional Facility in July. He was cap- tured about 10:45 a.m. Friday following a chase with Kansas City, Mo., police and the FBI, said FBI spokesman Jeff Lanza. Thomas was at Lansing for criminal possession of firearms. He was convicted in 1995 in Wyandotte County and was serving a 13-month sentence that was to end this month. After that sentence, he was to serve a life term in Potosi, Mo., on first-degree assault and armed criminal action for his role in the' shooting of a Columbia-area woman in the neck, leaving her a, quadriplegic, Lanza said. ; Lanza was unable to say what , circumstances would allow Missouri to assume custody of, Thomas, who now faces charges of,, escape from jail and unlawful, flight to avoid confinement. It also wasn't known when Thomas- would be taken to Potosi, he said; > fiiver / Clay County endorses lawsuit FROM PAGE A1 Nelson testified this month be- fope the Kansas Legislature's interim Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. His message was similar to the one Clay County commissioners delivered to Gov. Bill Graves with a resolution approved April 14. In the resolution, the commissioners noted, among other things, that at certain times, the flow of water into Kansas from Nebraska had been "substantially reduced" below Kansas' legal entitlement. Commissioners urged state officials to "take all possible steps, through the courts if necessary," to protect Kansas' water rights. Nelson was accompanied to Topeka by Mark Taddiken, a Clay County irrigator and vice president of the Lower Republican Water Users Association, which was organized in the early 1990s to represent the interests of valley irrigators. .Taddiken said the Republican River issue strikes at the heart and soul of many small towns. "The amount of water coming aqross the state line is very criti- cajto us not only for economic growth but for sustaining what T DOMESTIC VIOLENCE we have," Taddiken said. State Rep. Steve Lloyd, another Clay County farmer, said the river influence even extends to city services such as wastewater treatment plants. "Municipal sewage plants discharge back into the river," Lloyd said. "The reality is that the more streamflow you have, the more allowable limits you have for discharge." Stovall said the best Nebraska has done to comply with the Republican River Compact was to initiate a study that could lead to restrictions on new wells or the amount of water wells could pump from the river basin. The study is expected to take years. Many in Kansas are tired of waiting. They fear the problems with Nebraska will only become worse. "I hope we can avoid a lawsuit, but it looks like the state of Nebraska is giving us no alternative," said Lloyd, chairman of the House environment committee and a member of the interim natural resources committee, "We just don't seem to be going anywhere. And the more years we wait, the more wells that are being drilled in Nebraska." DM:»n.tot tt MlHi Urtu 11:11-7:11 The wait is over we're NOW OPEM •French Dip sandwiches »BBQBeef •Salads • Soup & Chill T ^ "^im Wt\\mT T~l LoansFpr Eveiything Let NakwrttBank Design The Perfect LoanFbrYour Needs. 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