The Pottawatomie County Commission discussed their goals for the year 2019 at their Monday meeting.

Commission Chair Travis Altenhofen asked fellow commissioners to lay out their short and long-term priorities.

Altenhofen’s included transferring management of the Olsburg fire station — completed in 2018 — over to the city of Olsburg. He wants to get that done in the next couple of months. Altenhofen also wants to analyze a potential tolling system for a potential Belvue Bridge, including necessary software and hardware to operate the program. He saw it as a 6 month goal.

Commissioner Pat Weixelman [Wax-Ul-Min] says they need to look at and address the situation surrounding the Pottawatomie County Courthouse. He says they need a viable option going forward on whether to renovate or demolish this year. Weixelman also raised the idea of looking more into how they serve the Pottawatomie County side of Manhattan with ambulance service.

Commissioner Dee McKee says they need to continue moving forward with the establishment of a permanent ambulance station in a safe spot in the Blue Township area. She also wants to continue with planned road improvements in the area and the county at-large.

Sewer liens

The Pottawatomie County Commission unanimously authorized Administrator Robert Reece to issue liens on behalf of the sewer district on sales of property with delinquent sewer connection fees.

County Counselor John Watt raised the issue. He says that typically when a builder sells a property, they work with a title insurance company that checks with the county to ensure there are no outstanding bills on the land. But Watt says that at least one builder with multiple properties is using a company from Kansas City that hasn’t been checking. At least one sale of a property with unpaid sewer fees has occurred, leaving the sewer district with the bill.

Commissioner Pat Weixelman asked what dollar number would trigger a lien on a property. He says he doesn’t want liens being filed for $25 payments or on people who are just a couple months late on a bill.

Watt says that by the time any of those situations reach him, the bills are in the hundreds of dollars.

The Commission floated $250 before settling on setting the minimum amount of unpaid sewer bills before a lien is filed at $150.

Whispering Meadows Unit 6

The Pottawatomie County Commission will move forward with multiple utility improvements around the 32-lot Whispering Meadows Unit 6 development. Commissioners unanimously approved the projects following public hearings held at their Monday morning meeting.

In total, all improvements are estimated to cost just less than $1.3 million, or about $40,500 per lot.

Sanitary sewer improvements are estimated to cost a total of $292,723, or a cost of $9,147 per lot. Planned projects include construction of sanitary sewer collection lines as well as the installation of a new sanitary sewer main. They would also decommission the existing sanitary lift station and force main serving the proposed sewer district.

Street improvements are estimated to cost a total of $867,458, or a cost of $27,108 per lot. The projects would occur around Phlox Circle, Jasmine Drive, Jasmine Terrace and Lavender Lane.

Water line improvements are estimated to cost a total of $135,898, or a cost of $4,246 per lot. Projects include the installation of 1,898 feet of 6 inch PVC water main.

Commissioners also approved plats for the Whispering Meadows Unit 6, Green Valley Business Park Unit 6 and the Cedars Subdivision Unit 2.

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