In 2010, TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline came through Butler County. During construction of the pipeline, stretches of NW River Valley Road and NW Diamond Road were heavily used by work crews.
In April, Butler County accepted a $1.8 million settlement from TransCanada to pay for damage its trucks caused to the roads.
During Tuesday’s Butler County Commission meeting, Public Works Director Darryl Lutz gave an update on the status of the road repairs.
Shortly after receiving the settlement, county crews began working to repair 21 miles of damage.
“The north five miles was by far the worst,” said Lutz. “Full depth reclamation is in progress right now.”
These five miles are being completely torn up and redone. The other 16 miles required less extensive repairs.
Lutz expects all repairs to be done by the end of next week.
So far, costs for the repair project have been around $800,000. Remaining funds from the settlement are slated to be used for two bridge projects and another bridge deck project on the roads TransCanada’s trucks damaged.
In other business, the commission:
• held a work session to discuss the work comp report. After implementing a safety program in August 2011, there have been fewer claims than in prior years.
• held a work session to discuss the possibility of letting the Department on Aging become a Medicaid transportation provider.
The Department on Aging already offers general transportation to the public. Director Crystal Noles was approached by an insurance company about the possibility of also transporting Medicaid participants to doctor’s appointments. Medicaid would provide reimbursement of $30 a ride for those in a wheelchair and $12.50 for other riders. The commissioners gave Noles permission to work on securing a contract to provide the transportation service. Noles said the regular routes would not be affected by the additional riders.
• authorized Director of Strategic Communications Jeff Armantrout to purchase a mobile radio from Motorola through the Kansas state purchasing contract.
• set Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 9:30 a.m. as the public hearing time for the proposed vacation of two miles of road-right-of-way in Chelsea Township.
• approved an agreement for engineering services related to mandatory biennial bridge inspections in the county. All 436 bridges in the county must be inspected and rated.
• held a work session to discuss the third quarter financial report and year end projections.
• approved the 2013 budgeted out of state travel. There are 24 travel requests with eight of them to be paid for by grants. The remaining 16 trips are projected to cost around $30,000. The motion passed 4-1 with Commissioner Peggy Palmer opposed.
Page 2 of 2 - “I don’t support out of state travel,” she said.
• appointed Darryl Lutz as voting delegate and County Administrator Will Johnson as alternate voting delegate for the Kansas Association of Counties meeting to be held in Topeka in November.