By: Bonnie Davis Guy
The October 15th Johnson County commission meeting came into session to a nearly full audience. Chairman Mike Taylor thanked everyone for coming and supporting the commission. Following the agenda, approval of the September minutes was the first order of business.
Committee reports were received with Commissioner Jerry Grindstaff being the first to speak. He asked the commission to vote on a resolution stating that prior to a removal from any road from county responsibility, the petitioner will at his own expense employ either the county attorney or an approved attorney who will research the property including any adjoining properties. Further, any property owners who also access the road must be willing to provide a written affidavit stating they are aware of the request before the county to abandon the road and are in full agreement. This will provide a legal record if questions or concerns arise in the future.
Commissioners were provided quarterly reports by each county department for review. In addition, a representative from the Johnson County Airport spoke about the progress being made on the airport improvement project. Currently, drainage work is moving forward as scheduled. The next step is approval of the purchase of asphalt.
Concluding the reports, Commissioner Grindstaff made a request that a study regarding congestion in the area of Hwy 167 and Forge Creek Road be made with a possible solution being reduction of speed limit and a caution light.
In other business, four notaries were approved. Also, the county was approved to participate in a state purchasing cooperative that may provide lower prices on certain items.
Road Superintendent Darrell Reece then came to the podium to talk to the commissioners about the county quarry. Reece said the quarry currently is at a standstill. All usable materials have been depleted. To further utilize the quarry it would need to be drilled and blasted. It is currently unclear if the cost of blasting would be worthwhile. The decision facing the commission is whether to revamp the quarry or sell it. Further, if they bring it back on line, they must decide whether to produce gravel size rocks or simply produce boulders and large rocks used to firm up the banks of local creeks and culverts. Regardless of the outcome, even if unused, the quarry comes with some yearly costs. After hearing what Reece reported, the commission asked for volunteers to form an exploratory committee to look into the situation. The committee consists of Darrell Reece, George Lowe, Jimmy Lowe, Bill Roark, and Rick Snyder.
Approval was also given to sell surplus items at the Highway Department that are either in poor repair or no longer used. These items included a 2002 Chevy pickup which is in inoperable condition, 2007 tanker no longer used due to cost effectiveness, a two-axle GMC dump truck that has been scavenged for parts, a small tar pot and a trailer. All were approved and will be sold off.
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