Wayne White/Herald-Chronicle

Wayne 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 process.

• 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.