FORT SCOTT, Kan. -- Bourbon County Commissioners addressed a full agenda as they attempted to wrap up a number of year-end items during their regular Friday meeting.
Ron Snyder, of Atmos Energy, informed commissioners his company is planning to bury above the ground gas pipelines in a four-mile stretch from Osage Road to Soldier Road on 205th Street. The 50-to 60-year-old pipes were grandfathered in before ordinances were passed mandating the pipes be buried. Snyder said they are burying the pipes as an upgrade to save on company maintenance costs.
Snyder said he will work closely with Public Works Director Marty Pearson to ensure all permits are in order and all work is approved by the county. He added he will oversee his contractors to make sure any damage to county roads is properly taken care of.
Snyder said his company hopes to begin work in early February, completing the project by the end of June. He said they typically bury the pipes about 42 inches deep, unless they are under water, in ditches or there are other obstructions. If that's the case, they plan to bury the pipes five feet deep.
Commissioners approved the purchase of a Gehl RT 210 track loader for $47,000 (after a $3,500 trade-in) from R&R Equipment Inc. The track loader will be used at the county landfill by the road and bridge department and for snow removal around the Bourbon County Courthouse.
Commissioner Allen Warren said there is room in the 2013 budget to pull $10,000 for the purchase and that he will be speaking to UMB Bank about financing the rest.
The panel also approved permanent closure of a bridge over the Osage River on 35th Street due to the span's age and the cost of keeping it open. State inspection of the bridge would cost about $40,000 and repair would likely be around $1 million. Commissioners said counters placed on the bridge showed a maximum of about 20 vehicles a day crossing, but that it averaged about seven.
"It would be very expensive for us to keep that bridge open," Warren said after the vote.
In other business:
*Commissioners approved a budget amendment to this year's county budget. Full details will be available in the Jan. 2 Fort Scott Tribune.
* Commissioner Allen Warren, Harold Campbell and Pearson said they will attend a Kansas One Call (the underground utility notification center for the state) seminar on Jan. 7 at the Crooner's Lounge.
* Pearson reported that his department was in the process of installing guard rails near 175th Street and Overbrook Road near a 14-foot drop-off. Work began on Thursday and was expected to be completed Friday, he said.
* Commissioners went into a five-minute executive session to discuss personnel matters related to a non-elected employee.
* Pearson told commissioners his crew hopes to begin crushing rock at the Beth Quarry on Wednesday.
* Commissioners conducted a public hearing on the 2012 budget amendment, attended by Deborah Hall.
* Pearson reported he is having trouble contacting the necessary people from Heartland Electric for reimbursement commissioners say the company owes the county for damage their subcontractor, Chain Electric, did to roads after last September's storm. Pearson said he was told the bill for $16,500 had been forwarded to Chain Electric by Heartland. Commissioners said Chain Electric took county gravel from windrows while replacing utility poles after the storm hit.
* Commissioners opted to retain the services of Doug Miller, who has been doing salvage and clean-up work for the county on a six-month trial basis.