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Site Purchased for New Emergency Communications Tower in Southwest McPherson County


McPherson County Commission Meeting Highlights

By Lucky Kidd


McPHERSON COUNTY, Kan. — McPherson County finally has a site for a new emergency communications tower in the southwest part of the County. County Commissioners Monday signed a sales purchase agreement for a 5.7-acre site at the southwest corner of 5th and Frontier Road. Purchase price for the site is $42,750, and as part of the agreement, power service Evergy is extending to the site and will also extend to a building the seller has near the site.

Emergency Management and Communications Director Julie McClure said construction of the tower, which will resolve communication issues in the Inman and Windom areas, should take between six and eight months including the time required to obtain the required permits and other clearances.

A letter in support of a Transportation Alternatives Grant being sought by Central Kansas Conservancy was approved. This grant through the Kansas Department of transportation is for development on a portion of the Sunflower Santa Fe Trail, which follows a former BNSF Railroad line across Eastern McPherson County into Marion County, and if awarded would fund improvements to the trail through the city of Canton and west about two miles, with eventual plans to extend it to near Galva where about a mile of trail is in place now.

A second letter of support from the Transportation Alternatives Program was also approved on behalf of the city of McPherson to further expand their existing sidewalk/trail system.

Commissioners accepted bids from Ergon for asphalt and chip sealing oil for 2024 roadway maintenance projects. Public Works Director Tom Kramer noted there was a lot of variation in the bids it received, including hauling costs and additive charges, and once all of those were taken into account Ergon ships those products from facilities at Halstead and Salina. This oil purchase based on quoted quantities comes to just over $2.37 million, which is a little less than last year.

The Commission approved purchase of various chemicals for use by the Noxious Weed Department for 2024. Spring chemicals are being purchased from two firms for a total cost of just over $31,000. Bids were received from six of eight firms that were solicited.

Director Dan Schrag noted he’s already having a run on materials by aerial sprayers treating for musk thistle and such. Schrag also gave an update of changes in some of the chemicals that are being used and some wide variation on pricing for materials, and reported a pickup ordered some time ago.

Commissioners signed a statement being sent to the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office for reimbursement of expenses incurred for last month’s Presidential Preference Primary Election. County Clerk Hollie Melroy said she was submitting a request for the direct costs related to that election, which came to just over $21,000.

What that reimbursement does not include is “indirect” costs, including overtime for staff in the County Clerk’s office, which Melroy said amounted to about $400 on Election Day. Commissioners did ask Melroy to include that figure in what she sends in, even though it won’t be funded.

Commissioners appointed a new Township Trustee for King City Township, to take office later this year. Philip C. Darrah will assume the trustee position September 30th upon the effective date of the resignation of Frances Stucky who held that position for some ten years. Darrah’s appointment had been recommended by the other two township board members, Clerk Rodger Swanson and Treasurer Arlene Sawatzky. 

During the meeting, the Commission also adopted resolutions for National County Government Month and National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week this week.