Archive for Monday, November 5, 2012

Douglas County Commission to discuss 2013 road and bridge priorities

November 5, 2012

Douglas County commissioners will conduct a work session on Wednesday to discuss their priorities for divvying up a little more than $4 million next year for road and bridge projects and other big-ticket items in 2013.

The commission meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Douglas County Courthouse.

The Capital Improvements Program is a regular part of the county’s annual budget and is funded entirely with current-year property taxes. None of the projects under discussion involves issuing new bonds, according to Sarah Plinsky, assistant county administrator. Some, however, are multiyear projects that would be paid off over time.

Some of the items up for discussion include a new roof and chiller for the Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, two projects delayed from this year; a master plan for an estimated $3.7 million of upgrades and repairs at the Douglas County Fairgrounds; and an estimated $3 million project to repair stonework on the courthouse building.

Commissioners will also discuss a list of road and bridge repairs that are planned or already scheduled throughout the county.

Plinsky said the purpose of the work session is for commissioners to express their priorities for the upcoming year. Staff will then develop a final capital improvements list for commissioners to vote on at their Nov. 28 meeting.

In other business, the commission will:

• Consider approving revised agreements with the Kansas Department of Transportation regarding a section of U.S. Highway 56 near Baldwin City, between North 1600 Road and Bullpup Drive. KDOT has asked to change the scope of the project by cutting through a hilltop to lower the profile of the road. Under the revised agreement, KDOT would pay all of the construction and engineering costs while the county and Baldwin City would share the cost of acquiring additional right-of-way and relocating utilities. That would raise the county’s share of the cost to $109,200 and Baldwin City’s share to $87,000.

• Meet in executive session for preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property and/or easements.

• Consider appointments to various boards and commissions.

• Vote on a proposed cooperation agreement between the county, the city of Lawrence and Douglas County Senior Services Inc. involving marketing the community as a residential destination for retirees.

• And consider a resolution establishing a 45 mph speed limit on a portion of Route 6 near Clinton.

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