Over the past few months, the Butler County Commissioners have been discussing the possibility of putting up a new microwave link to better connect offices throughout the county.
During their Tuesday meeting, the commissioners tentatively gave approval for the project and directed staff members to begin conversations with Butler Community College about the possibility of the county utilizing a communications tower at the college for the new microwave link.
In addition to the microwave link, the project could also include the relocation of Butler County's emergency communications backup system to the college campus. This location would be more central than where it is now.
The microwave link cost is projected to be around $195,000 and the cost for working on the tower site is projected to be around $117,000.
Relocating the emergency communications system would cost an additional $70,000.
The microwave link is expected to make communication among the county's multiple office locations much smoother and faster.
The commissioners discussed where the funding for this project would come from, and County Administrator Will Johnson told them the $195,000 would come from the Capital Improvement Plan budget and the $117,000 could come from the emergency communications sales tax fund.
Commissioners Peggy Palmer and Ed Myers expressed concern about spending such a large amount on the project.
Following the discussion, the commission approved initial negotiations with Butler Community College for use of the tower by a 5-0 vote.
If an agreement can be reached, the commissioners will again discuss how they want to proceed with the project.
In other business, the commissioners:
• authorized and directed Kelly Law Office, LLP to initiate tax foreclosure proceedings upon certain real estate located within Butler County.
• approved a renewal of the City of Augusta’s Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. The motion passed 4-1 with Commissioner Peggy Palmer opposed.
• approved a request by John and Sara Morris for a conditional use permit to be able to establish and operate a small fiber processing mill on their property in the rural residential zoning district.
• approved an application by Kim Edwards to rezone approximately 53.2 acres from an AG-40 agricultural classification to an residential estate classification.
• approved a request by Miles F. Leeper for a conditional use permit to be able to offer retail sales of firearms and ammunition on his property in the rural residential zoning district.
• approved a request by Mark and April Wiggins to split a parcel of property containing approximately 30.52 acres into two parcels.
• approved a disaster declaration for the Feb. 20th record snowfall event. According to Butler County Emergency Management Director Jim Schmidt, the declaration was necessary in order for municipalities within the county to be eligible for potential Federal Emergency Management Agency funds the state of Kansas is applying for to help offset the cost of snow removal associated with the storm. The motion passed 3-2 with Commissioners Dan Woydziak, Mike Wheeler and Jeff Masterson in favor and Commissioners Ed Myers and Peggy Palmer opposed.
Page 2 of 2 - • received and opened liquid asphalt bids for the Highway Department.
• approved and accepted right-of-way dedications for Thunder Road related to the Augusta levee project.
• approved a contract with APAC-Kansas for the proposed SW Thunder Road asphalt surface overlay project pending proper documents being submitted from the company regarding power of attorney.
• held a work session to discuss possible 2013 bridge projects.