The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 22, 1996 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, October 22, 1996
Page 6
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A6 TUESDAY. OCTOBER 22, 1996 NEWS THE SALINA JOURNAL T SALINE COUNTY COMMISSION Closing of dirt roads delayed Halting maintenance on little-used dirt roads would save money By GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. The Salina Journal Kenneth Berndt farms in north-central Saline County and uses a half-mile of Shilo, an earth road, as a convenient way to get to his fields. It's not the only way to get to his cattle and crops, so he wasn't overly concerned that a Saline County study of earth roads put Shilo near the top of the list of lesser-used roads that could be closed to save maintenance costs. He was more troubled with the fate of a bridge on Elm Creek Road, a crucial road for Berndt that intersects with Shilo. If Shilo is abandoned, Berndt reasoned that less attention would be paid to Elm Creek Road and its bridge. "If that bridge goes out, they won't put it back," he said. "My problem is we have to get to the fields somehow." Knowing the issue of road closures is as sticky as wet gumbo, Saline County commissioners on Monday tabled action on the topic. The study, conducted after Commissioner Gary Hindman inspected the condition of some of the seldom-used roads that tax dollars are maintaining, found 30 miles of the county's 217 miles of earth roads that could be vacated. A vacated road is closed and the land taken over by adjoining property owners. Reopening vacated roads would require landowners to sell or donate the property back to the county, or the county could acquire the property through condemnation. Saline County Public Works Jerry Fowler director highlighted five of the more likely candidates for closure for commission- ers Monday morning. On the list were sections of Humbarger, Ottawa, Shilo, Woodward and Cunningham roads. "This is just a summary of roads and what's available," Fowler said. "There are another 25 that have potential (for vacation.)" Earth roads cost an average of $200 a mile a year to maintain (they are scheduled to be graded four times annually). At $200 a mile, closing 30 miles of earth roads would save the county about $6,000 in annual maintenance. However, two of the five roads on the priority list, a mile stretch of Ottawa Road and a half mile of Shilo Road, suffered flooding damage in 1993 and 1995 and would cost a combined $7,000 to repair. Ottawa Road, between Woodward and Cunningham roads, has been closed since 1993. That portion of Ottawa Road is lower than adjoining pasture and acts as a drainage channel in heavy rains. "We've not seen fit to go in and make it passable," Fowler said. Another storm could wash out any improvements, he told commissioners. Of the county's nearly 1,100 miles of roads, 217 are classified as earth. The others are either gravel or hard-surface. Dirt roads aren't designed for heavy, daily traffic, especially during inclement weather. Fowler said they serve primarily farmers. The theory is if the roads are too wet, it's too wet to farm so there's no reason to be there," he said. "As soon as they dry out, they're very smooth roads. In some cases dirt roads are safer to drive on than gravel," he said. Bridge construction OK'd In related business, commissioners accepted the low bid of Possible road closings i S OTTAWA S W?-X#&lKMKf&! In an effort to save maintenance money, Saline County Commissioners are deciding whether or not to close these county dirt roads mmmmxw County roads that may close $346,767 from King Construction Co., Hesston, to replace Knowles Bridge on Girard Road over the Saline River. The deck of the 88-year-old, 3- ton bridge cracked in December 1995 under the wheels of what authorities suspect was an 80,000-pound grain truck. The new bridge will be made of concrete and be able to carry vehicles weighing up to 85,500 pounds. Construction is expected to start this fall and last five months. T DOWNTOWN SALINA T FLU SHOTS Health groups pushing shots for seniors In Kansas, 53 percent of senior citizens will not get shots this winter By GORDON D. FIEDLER JR. The Salina Journal If Medicare data is an accurate indication, 53 percent of Kansas senior citizens will go unvaccinated against tlie flu this winter. "Statewide, only about 47 percent of the Medicare recipients received influenza vaccinations that were reimbursed by Medicare," said Ruth Smerchek, communications specialist for the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care in Topeka. The foundation monitors the quality of care provided to the state's Medicare beneficiaries. T SALINA CITY COMMISSION "We do have some people who forget their (Medicare) cards and pay for it" Yvonne Gibbons county health department official Nationwide, Kansas ranks in the middle of Medicare-reimbursed vaccination rates. Elsewhere the percentage ranges from 25 to 65 percent, Smerchek said. As a result of its findings, the foundation is leading a statewide coalition of more than 20 health related organizations to improve the rate of vaccinations against flu and pneumonia for people 65 years old and older. According to the foundation, some elderly mistakenly believe the vaccinations aren't effective or are not beneficial. Smerchek said the foundation has no way of knowing how many Medicare recipients pay for the shots out of pocket, which wouldn't be reflected in reimbursement data. That has happened locally where the Salina/Saline County Health Department annually launches a vigorous flu vaccination campaign. "We do have some people who Commission OKs zoning change for used car lot 4 businesses win Main Street grants Money must be used to improve exterior of downtown businesses By ALF ABUHAJLEH The Salina Journal Four Salina businesses have received a total of $10,000 in grants from the Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing to renovate their downtown buildings, a department spokesman said Monday. The department's Kansas Main Street program awarded applications by Harold's Clothing at 110 S. Santa Fe, Computer Connection at 118 S. Santa Fe, American Heartland Investments at 110 E . Iron and Townsite Development, the company that owns the former Montgomery Ward building at 131 N. Santa Fe. Jan Hamman, office manager of American Heartland Investments, said the announcement came as a surprise and the money would be used to install two new glass front doors. "It's really great that there are financial incentives for our community to keep the rejuvenation of our downtown alive," Hamman said. "We would have done this renovation without the funds, but it feels good to know that it is being appreciated," he said. Matt Birsch, a Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing spokesman, said the grants are to be distributed to the businesses by Salina Downtown Inc., which operates the local Main Street program. The funds may be used for acquisitions and renovations of downtown buildings. The money can also be used for projects that lead to the creation of jobs, new businesses or private investments. Companies have to match the money they received. Becky Chaffin, SDI executive assistant, didn't disclose how the forget their (Medicare) cards and pay for it," said Yvonne Gibbons, personal health supervisor for the department, which offers vaccinations for $5. "We target people 60 and over," Gibbons said. "We go to the Senior Center, all the apartment centers, and we have two large community (clinics) at the 4-H Building, plus we do home visits and we go to a number of churches in the area," she said. "We have good participation in those places. Every year we see an increase in the numbers." Gibbons said the department sees repeat customers who recognize the importance of the vaccinations. Influenza is a "major killer" of people 65 and older, according to Kansas Foundation principal clinical coordinator Dr. Gary Spivey. Commissioners also approve street name changes, fire contract By CHRIS KOGER The Salina Journal There was no dissension among Salina City Commissioners Monday afternoon, approving a number of measures unanimously. Among other things, the commission approved the first reading of a zoning change ordinance for Tim Sankey, who wants to put a used car lot at 1617-1621 S. Ninth. The lot, which now has the former Crumpton Carpet Cleaning building and a rental house, is between Cloud and Claflin streets. Sankey, 2651 Highland, has told city planners he will either remove the house or turn it into an office for the business in one year. Until then, he will fence it and build another driveway for its current occupants. The city has placed restrictions on the zoning change, allowing him to only display cars or use the lot for purposes currently allowed under shopping center zoning. Car lots must be paved where the cars are displayed, but at least one resident in the area has expressed concern about stormwa- ter runoff in an area that has drainage problems. Sankey is limited to how much he can pave the lot, but since current zoning doesn't totally restrict paving, the city can't forbid it. In other business, the commissioners: • Changed the name of Allison Terrace and Pieschl Court to Eastgate Terrace and Eastgate Court, Jobless rate drops as expected By The Associated Press TOPEKA — The state experienced its normal, seasonal decrease when the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in September, down from 4.1 percent in September 1995, the state Department of Human Resources reported. The department noted in Sep- tember students leave the work force to return to classes, and employment by the government increases because teachers return to the classroom. Salina and Saline County had an unemployment rate of 3.0 percent in September. The state unemployment rate in August was 4.0 percent. New Arrivals 25% -75% OFF, ara Downtown Salina Harold's Clothing, Computer Connection, American Heartland Investments and the former Montgomery Ward building will split $10,000 for exterior improvements. funds are divided among the recipients. The grants, however, will give the ongoing renovation of Salina's downtown a boost, Chaffin said. "It's grants like these, that keep our downtown alive," she said. "If one business renovates or updates their building, then others might follow." Norman Yenkey, owner of Salina Building Systems, 200 E. Pacific ,and co-owner of Townsite Development, said the grants will partially foot the bill to install windows on the second and third floors at the former Montgomery Ward building, which is currently under renovation. Kansas Main Street awarded $147,000 to 15 communities, including Clay Center, Herington, McPherson, Russell and Minneapolis. Businesses that didn't get a chance to apply for grants this time may do so in February when the Housing and Commerce Department takes application for the remaining $53,000. "We encourage businesses and communities to apply over and over for the grants," Birsch said, adding that this year's recipients should get their money by early next week. "The people that come back for more funds are usually those who do the best job for their downtowns." THEATRES" For MOVIE Selections and SHOWTIMES Call: 825-91O5 We've gone world wide web!' RALPH WEIGEL Bonds - Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron Visit our new location! 833 E. Crawford, Salina 913-827-1100 Real People. Real Deals. SalinaApptiance Showroom 740 N. Ninth, Salina • (913) 827-1420 Flying Onto Video October 30! respectively. • Approved an agreement for city fire protection for Crestwood Inc. at its new plant at 601 E. Water Well, which is outside city limits. • Approved a $76,000 contract for Geisler Roofing, Concordia, to repair the roof of the Salina-Saline County Health Department building, 125 W. Elm. Frank Weinhold, general services director for the city, said the roof leaks, causing some damage. The contract will pay for skylight repair, new flashing, attic ventilation and a single- layer rubberized roof. STORY Downtown News & Books ] 204 S. Santa Fe Carroll's Video Sunset Plaza sCarroH's Mid-State Mall Available [For A United) JimeOnlyl/ / OUR PRICE: © The Wall Disney Company. HOME VIDEO _._ | P I X A_.K O flu Wnll Dlntf Coupon/ $ 17.99 Hough Piano & Organ }/<>/<? .S'I>/<VLY fji^t fane NO STRINGS ATTACHED See our new Roland Digital Piano Layaway for Christmas 128 S. Santa Fe • Salina • 67401 913-825-4541 • 1-800-828-4541 mm™? "For The Love J$^ °fQ uilts " 16th Annual Quilt Quilters Guild Show Saturday, October 26,10 am - 5 pm Luncheon & Fashion Show at Noon (Luncheon Registration due by October 2 1 st) * Mini Quilt Auction 2 pm * Sunday, October 27, Noon - 5 pm | H » * Merchants Mall Both Days * $3.00 General Admission (quilt show only) $12.00 Luncheon, Fashion Show, Auction &C Gen. Adm. Additional Information: 825-5963 or 827-4289 All event* will be held at the Bicentennial Center in Ssilina, KS

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