Private contractor will help with cell

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Allen County will spend $314,000 to complete dirt work for a new landfill cell.
Commissioners accepted the lowest of nine bids to move and sculpt about 100,000 cubic yards of dirt to accommodate installation of the cell’s impervious liner. LaForge & Budd, of Parsons, won the contract.
Bill King, director of Public Works, had anticipated his crew being able to do the dirt work, but wet weather intervened. He told commissioners last week county workers were up to their necks trying to rebuild roads badly washed by recent rains.
A July 1 deadline is in place for completion of dirt work to meet provisions of another contract won by LaForge & Budd for the liner installation. LaForge & Budd officials said they could complete the earthwork by July 1.
When plans for the new cell, with an expected life of a decade, were laid out two years ago, anticipated cost was $2.3 million.
The county’s in-kind participation reduced costs to $1.3 million. The contract approved Tuesday pushes total costs to just above $1.6 million. King said sufficient money was in landfill reserves to cover the expense.

WET WEATHER has hampered county efforts to crush rock to meet road needs.
“Usually we can crush 250 tons an hour,” King said. “We’re at 100 tons right now. There have been times we’ve had four feet of water on the floor of the quarry.”
“Essentially, we’re out of rock right now,” King said, but production should increase when weather patterns change to a dry cycle.
Mowing of county road rights of way will start next week with four mowers on the job rather than the normal seven, a cutback necessitated by economics. King said at least one wide pass would be made along all roads, but mowing in cemeteries would have to wait a while.

COMMISSIONERS approved a resolution putting restrictions on all-terrain vehicles driven on public roads. Mainly, ATVs will be treated as other vehicles. Young riders will be required to wear helmets, all riders will be required to have eye protection and riding two or more abreast will be prohibited. Regulations for farm use will be more relaxed. Off-road use will not be affected.
Specifics were reported in the Register May 13.
Sheriff Tom Williams asked commissioners to consider restrictions after a woman was killed in an ATV accident west of Iola.
Commissioners also voted unanimously to upgrade signs noting the courthouse is off limits to concealed weapons.
The new signs will meet attorney general’s recommendations with wording as well as graphics. Having signs in place will permit prosecution of an offender under concealed carry and previous statute laws, said County Counselor Alan Weber.