White | Managing Editor
LYNDON—The Osage County Commission agreed Monday with the
findings of Osage County Clerk Rhonda Beets about the sufficiency
of a petition calling for a vote on county road maintenance.
A group, formed to carry a petition to allow voters to decide whether
Osage County will convert to the county unit road maintenance system,
delivered a petition to Beets on May 12. Last week, the county clerk’s
office completed verification of signatures of registered voters
on the petition, tallying 1,726 valid signatures and rejecting 264.
Approximately 1,080 signatures, or 10 percent of the county’s
registered voters, were needed to force the election.
Beets said after election laws were reviewed, it was determined
the election on the question could be held during a primary or general
election, whichever was sooner, or at a special election.
Commissioners decided the election would be held during the Aug.
3 primary election instead of calling a special election.
Beets said she hoped to have the ballot question drafted prior to
the June 10 filing deadline for the primary election.
“I want to make sure it’s out there in time for people
to understand it,” Beets said Monday.
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. Ken Dubois, Burlingame, with members
of Voters’ Rights Patrol, the name adopted by the group, presented
the second petition, beating a deadline of May 25.
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.
In other business, the commission:
• met with Osage County Treasurer Jo Ann Hamilton and Osage
County Sheriff Laurie Dunn to discuss ongoing tax collections conducted
by an outside firm. The commission and county officers are to schedule
a meeting with the company so all parties understand the collection
• met with representatives of T. L. Enterprises, Inc., Garnett,
the company that will be constructing a pedestrian bridge along
a former rail bed, now the Flint Hills Nature Trail that crosses
U.S. Highway 75 north of Lyndon. The commissioners and the representatives
agreed to an arrangement in which demolition debris will be dumped
at the county’s waste transfer station in exchange for fill
dirt. The company’s representatives said a large quantity
of dirt will be removed during the bridge project.
• met with Carbondale Police Chief Jon Reed and Stephanie
Watson, county economic development director, to discuss a four-way
stop sign proposed to be erected at Main Street and Topeka Avenue
in Carbondale. Commissioners advised that a traffic study would
be required before a four-way stop sign can be placed. Reed said
he believed a recent traffic study had been conducted and is to
find out and report back to the county commission.
• approved purchase orders for the county health department
in the amount of $3,280 for medical supplies and $2,048 for office
supplies. The supplies will be paid for with H1N1 flu funds accrued
by the county.
• approved a plan developed by the county’s engineers
for regrading the approach to a railroad crossing at Carbondale.
The crossing has caused difficulties for some low-clearance vehicles
since it had been reconstructed by the railroad.