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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission debates dust control vs. road repair priorities

Updated: Jun 6

By Charlene Sims,

MOUND CITY – Two Linn County Commissioners turned an announcement about when dust control was going to be applied into another road discussion on Monday, May 13.

Public Works Director Shaun West told commissioners that it would be applied, weather permitting, on May 22 and 23. That sent Commissioners Jim Johnson and Danny McCullough into more complaints about the roads (see related story).

McCullough asked if they could push back the road prepping and dust control.

West said that last year there were a lot of complaints in that program because the control was put on later in the summer because the company pushed back the time.

Public Works Office Manager Joyce Hall told the commissioners that 46 people paid for dust control this year. She said she normally tries to get the road crew out two weeks ahead to prepare the roads.

McCullough said “So we’re going to take the graders off the road again.”

“Danny, I can tell you that they did not get dust control, a lot of them until August last year, and I had to field all of those complaints because summer was almost over and they were sick of the dust,” Hall said. “They paid for their product early in the year and they did not get it.

“I tried to schedule as early as I could this year to help alleviate all of the complaints I was getting. You’re not the only one that gets complaints.”

“I understand that but it’s my job to make sure we are doing things correctly, and the way we are doing it is not correct so I’m sorry if I’m hurting everyone’s feelings,” said McCullough.

“You’re not hurting my feelings. I’m just trying to voice my opinion because you’ve got people, some have paid well over $1,000 for dust control, and I’m not going to tell them we are going to back it up,” said Hall.

“We got guys driving $200,000 semis down the road right yesterday of their own that’s bouncing over stuff that they have to go fix the road themselves,” said Johnson. “So you know I don’t understand why we put one grader operator out on a Saturday and don’t recommend everybody else if it’s a necessity

“I drove that road from the Prescott Road to (Kansas Highway) 52 just this last week. I drove the whole thing and I can show you roads in Linn County just as bad or worse today,” said Johnson.

West said that the foreman identified Scott Road as needing work immediately so overtime was approved.

“That’s why I say we need one foreman,” Johnson said. “We need to quit doing what we’re doing and splitting this deal up. We need to go to one foreman and have one foreman in charge of what’s happening and put a lead man in each shop.”

“Linn County is one big work order right now,” he added.

“I just don’t see how we are going to get out of this work order hole if we’re working on work orders not maintaining the roads or trying to fix them to stop to alleviate the problem and then we are going to pull them off this week,” McCullough said.

“I don’t think we will pull them off, but they will go to those areas as they need to prep those sections of road way,” said West.

“We have an order for a state of emergency for repairs on our roads, correct?” asked McCullough.  “I would think that people would understand what’s going on. If you ask me that’s more of a luxury item than anything. 

“There’s people out there that pay taxes for the roads too. I mean look at their roads. So we should just stop repairing their roads to just go do the luxury part of it, of dust control.”

After additional debate on the issue, commissioners voted for a motion to approve overtime for the road crews during this emergency situation. 

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