Empty warehouse sparks interest



August 27, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Jeff Richards’ business has outgrown its quarters —  his garage at 301 S. Elm St.
Richards owns Rebel Works metal manufacturing, a business that makes signs out of metal.
Richards approached Allen County commissioners several weeks ago about a county property, a vacant implement warehouse at 410 N. State, to use as new quarters.
On Tuesday, commissioners said the building, built in 1950, had been appraised for $32,000 and would be advertised for sale with Richards in mind.
“It’s an economic development opportunity for the county,” said Commissioner Dick Works, but allowed it must be put out on the open market.
“One other person has expressed some interest,” said Alan Weber, county counselor.
Richards said he would be willing to pay the appraised value.
Richards said he had been working from his garage for 10 years and had reached the point that sales dictated larger quarters. He makes signs, such as those that were placed on downtown buildings recently to illuminate their commercial histories, and “anything else to do with metal.”
“I’ve been a one-man band but want to expand,” Richards added.
Richards said he like to have a part of the 8,000-square-feet building be a showroom for what he manufactures.

WORK IS progressing on a new bridge over Owl Creek 2 1/2 miles west of Humboldt, and commissioners learned Tuesday morning next on the list is an old iron bridge over Indian Creek about six miles northwest of Iola, or just west of Geneva.
“We’re looking at late 2015” for its replacement, said Bill King, director of Public Works.
King estimated project cost at about $1 million. Allen County will be responsible for 20 percent of construction cost, plus acquisition of right of way and some engineering.
“We’re probably looking at $300,000 to $400,000 for the county’s share,” he said. The remainder will come from the Kansas Department of Transportation.
King also said heavy truck traffic was taking a toll on hard-surfaced roads throughout the county, with West Virginia, old U.S. 169 and the roads south of Lone Elm sustaining the most damage.
King said the asphalt and oil in chip-seal surfaces softens considerably during hot weather. That leads to heavy trucks cutting into the surface, particularly with starting, stopping and turning.
“We can live with 80,000-pound (legal) trucks, but the overloaded ones are giving us problems,” King said.
Also, he said an ongoing problem was trucks using county-maintained roads that weren’t designed for heavy traffic.
Commissioners suggested King huddle with Sheriff Bryan Murphy to increase enforcement of heavy trucks violating weight limits on roads.

COMMISSIONERS agreed to have the Register publish delinquent tax rolls, in addition to having them in the Humboldt Union, this year’s official county newspaper.
In January, commissioners agreed news pertinent to all county citizens should be published in the Register as well as the Union.
“The more residents who see the news, the better the value,” said Commissioner Tom Williams.
Decision to put the delinquent tax notice as well as the county’s budget in the Register came after Susan Lynn, Register editor and publisher, reminded commissioners of their agreement in January to do so.

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