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County road use a concern

The Iola Register

Bob Garrett, who lives north of LaHarpe adjacent to 2600 Street, maintained the county road has become a liability from heavy truck traffic associated with construction of EDP Renewables’ wind farm.

Garrett’s comments came after commissioners Tuesday morning approved making 2600 open to both empty and loaded concrete transports. Originally, the road was restricted to empty trucks.

Before work began on the wind farm, which will include about 60 towers held in place by base structures containing about 600 cubic yards of concrete, EDP agreed to specific roads its contractor would use during construction. That has not changed, other than making 2600 Street a haul road for trucks containing about 10 cubic yards of concrete, rather than just those returning from pours. A cubic yard of concrete weighs 4,000 pounds; a typical mix truck carries 10 cubic yards, or 40,000 pounds, putting the unit weight loaded at about 60,000 pounds — 30 tons.

Garrett reported noticing where two of the trucks had met on the road, with the result being gouges in shoulders and ditches.

A portion of the county’s approval for construction of the wind farm is that its roads will be maintained and, when the project is completed, they will be left in condition as good or better than before.

Mitch Garner, director of Public Works, said he would visit with the contractor to ensure they keep their commitment.

In another major construction consideration, commissioners told County Counselor Alan Weber to compile specifics about a 500-foot-tall communication tower proposed to better relay radio traffic to emergency responders throughout the county. The tower is planned for somewhere near the center of the county, perhaps south of the landfill.

Weber said precise information should be in hand before contacting contractors for requests for proposals.


IN OTHER NEWS, commissioners:

— Unanimously upheld a planning commission decision to deny a private 10-lane shooting range southeast of the highways 54 and 169 interchange. The board’s rejection was 4-3. Neighbors said they feared substantial use would create a noise problem. Commissioners said a revised plan might curry favor of planners.

— Approved a policy of not refunding overpayments to any department of $5 or less. Such a policy has been in force in the Register of Deeds office. They were told many refund checks of modest amounts long had gone uncashed.

— Asked Weber to determine whether an alley in Mildred was open to the public. The county was asked to provide rock for the alley to give access to a recreational vehicle park. If private, improving alley improvements would violate county policy.

— Met in executive session to consider appointments to the hospital board of trustees. Terms of two trustees, Patti Boyd and Sean McReynolds, expire at the end of the year.


The Iola Register

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Iola, KS 66749
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