Wayne White/Herald-Chronicle

Wayne White | Managing Editor

A group formed to carry a petition to allow voters to decide whether Osage County will convert to the county unit road maintenance sys tem delivered a petition to the county clerk May 12 as promised.

Ken Dubois, Burlingame, surrounded by members of Voters’ Rights Patrol, the name adopted by the group, presented a petition containing 2,011 names to Osage County Clerk Rhonda Beets, beating a deadline of May 25. If the county clerk’s office declares enough of the signatures as those of registered voters, the issue will go to a vote, likely during the November general election. Approximately 1,080 signatures of registered voters are needed to force the election.

Beets said Monday that her staff is making steady progress on the certification process, which she expected to be completed by the end of the week.

In February, the Osage County Commission approved a resolution that would convert the county to a road maintenance system in which the county is responsible for maintaining all roads in the county except for city streets and state and federal highways. The action followed the filing of a petition Feb. 5 by Perry Thompson, Osage City. That petition requested the Osage County Commission “adopt provisions of the county road unit system” by resolution. The resolution set a 90-day time limit for citizens to file a petition to bring the issue to a vote.

Osage County currently operates under the county-township system, in which the county maintains main traveled roads in the county road system, and townships maintain local roads not in cities and not maintained by the county.